Canon RF 85mm f/2 Macro IS STM review

The Canon RF 85mm f/2 Macro IS STM is a portrait prime that shoots close-ups of all kinds

Canon RF 85mm f/2 Macro IS STM review
(Image: © James Artaius)

Digital Camera World Verdict

The Canon RF 85mm f/2 Macro IS STM is another pocket friendly RF prime that punches way above its weight, obliterating the old EF 85mm f/1.8 and boasting corner sharpness superior to the almighty RF 85mm f/1.2L! The 5-stop IS makes such a difference when shooting portraits and macro alike, and the smooth and quiet STM focusing combined with click-less control ring make it a useful tool for video work. Yet another great RF optic from Canon.


  • +

    Low price, high IQ

  • +

    Stunning stabilization

  • +

    Macro capability


  • -

    Shame it's not f/1.8

  • -

    Not weather sealed

  • -

    Not true 1:1 macro

Why you can trust Digital Camera World Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out how we test.

The Canon RF 85mm f/2 Macro IS STM is a hugely welcome addition to the rapidly matured RF mount lineup, providing users with an affordable, compact and high performance portrait prime – and one that does double duty for macro shooting.

While its counterparts, the Canon RF 85mm f/1.2L USM and Canon RF 85mm f/1.2L USM DS, are two of the best Canon RF lenses, they carry eye-bleeding price tags north of two-and-a-half grand. 

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

James Artaius

The editor of Digital Camera World, James has 21 years experience as a journalist and started working in the photographic industry in 2014 (as an assistant to Damian McGillicuddy, who succeeded David Bailey as Principal Photographer for Olympus). In this time he shot for clients like Aston Martin Racing, Elinchrom and L'Oréal, in addition to shooting campaigns and product testing for Olympus, and providing training for professionals. This has led him to being a go-to expert for camera and lens reviews, photo and lighting tutorials, as well as industry news, rumors and analysis for publications like Digital Camera MagazinePhotoPlus: The Canon MagazineN-Photo: The Nikon MagazineDigital Photographer and Professional Imagemaker, as well as hosting workshops and talks at The Photography Show. He also serves as a judge for the Red Bull Illume Photo Contest. An Olympus and Canon shooter, he has a wealth of knowledge on cameras of all makes – and a fondness for vintage lenses and instant cameras.