Canon 85mm F1.8 LTM Lens

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The Canon 85mm F1.8 LTM is arguably the best Canon 85mm RF lens made. It is relatively hard to find and has very high reputation as a portrait lens without the softness associated with most vintage lenses. It has similar resemblance to the older Canon 100mm F2 LTM lens but with improved ergonomics and optical performance.

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Build Quality

The Canon 85mm F1.8 is a solid and compact lens for its focal length. It’s compact dimensions and solid build quality is perfect balance on Leica M Rangefinders. The lens is all metal construction with design consisting of focusing and aperture ring turning simultaneously.

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Image Quality

The Canon 85mm F1.8 LTM is a vintage lens that offers relatively modern rendering with typical Fuji signature colours. The lens produces sharp contrasty images and renders like newer modern glass. There isn’t noticeable flare or vignetting with this lens and it renders image beautifully for 1970’s Lens.

The Lens offers a relatively fast maximum aperture at F1.8. When shot wide open, it produces pleasant bokeh and smooth out of focus area. The image rendering is classic with natural and vibrant colours.

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Practical Use

The Canon 85mm F1.8 LTM is in original Leica Thread Mount hence requires a LTM-to-M adapter to work properly on Leica M Cameras.

The focusing throw on this lens is very long but very smooth at the same time. When adjusting for aperture, since the lens has no dual helicoil mount and the aperture ring turns with focusing throw. This can be confusing during practical use as both aperture and focus turn at the same time.

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Canon 85mm F1.8 vs Canon 85mm F1.9

The main difference in terms of image quality is when shooting both lenses wide open. The Canon 85mm F1.8 LTM is definitely sharper and more contrasty than the Canon 85mm F1.9 LTM at their respective maximum aperture, this is partially due to their optical design. When shooting wide open, the bokeh of the Canon 85mm F1.8 is more smooth and pleasant in comparison to the Canon 85mm F1.9 lens.

The size and weight of the Canon 85mm F1.8 is bigger and heavier than the Canon 85mm F1.9 lens. It is slightly larger in dimensions and around 100 grams more in weight. There is also a difference in applicable filter size for both lenses with 58mm for the Canon 85mm F1.8 lens and 48mm for the thinner Canon 85mm F1.9 lens.

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Specifications

 

Lens Mount: Leica Thread Mount (LTM)


Production Year: 1960 - 70s


Construction: 7 Elements / 6 Groups


Diaphragm: 13 Blades


Maximum / Minimum Aperture:  F1.8 - F22


Closet Focusing Distance: 1m


Dimensions: 75mm x 60mm


Filter Size: 58mm


Weight: 470g

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Conclusion

The Canon 85mm F1.8 LTM is an excellent short telephoto lens, it has plenty of character and shoots eye-pleasing portraits. The lens has great colour rendition and produces contrasty images. It is an amazing lens for Leica M you won’t regret buying, that is if you can find one.

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