In my quest for amazing people shots, I have been evaluating quite a few options to find the perfect Canon portrait lens. The Canon EF 85mm F/1.8 USM is on the top of the list, mainly due to the affordable price and value for money. It’s a decent focal length for portraits and the lens itself is marvelous.
The 85mm is super sharp with real-time manual focusing and excellent build quality. Its 8-blade aperture produces amazing bokeh and the 1.8 aperture makes it very fast indeed. If it had weather sealing and scratch resistant glass, it would certainly be on par with Canon’s much pricier L lenses.
Among the other lenses that caught my eye were the Canon EF 100mm F/2 and the 135mm F/2. Both have legendary reputations for their sharpness and performance.
As sufficient and practical as these three lenses are, the one element missing from all these is Image Stabilization (IS). At these focal lengths, IS is really useful when shooting handheld. And how many of us only ever shoot using a tripod?
Patents of these lenses with image stabilization have recently turned up and likely mean that updated versions are on the horizon. The 135mm is listed as having an F/2.8 aperture. Unless it is a mistake, it means a step backwards from the faster Canon EF 135mm F/2 currently in the lineup.
This seems to follow Canon’s recent practice of adding image stabilization to most of their mid-range offerings. It would be a small, but still important factor in considering the perfect Canon portrait lens. Especially for someone like myself who prefers to shoot on the move.
There is as of now, no hint on when we might see these updated lenses. And it’s quite possible we never will. In any case, I hope that we see more details surface soon. Before my next lens purchase would be perfect.
More details on Canon Rumors.