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Canon adds f/1.4 85mm portrait lens, three tilt-shift macro lenses, close-up lighting rig

Create: 09/04/2017 - 11:03
Canon lenses, macro light setup


  • F/1.4 lens gives Canon photographers three choices in 85mm focal length
  • Canon expands tilt-shift lineup with 50, 90 and 135mm manual-focus lenses
  • Macro Twin Lite provides custom lighting option for close-up photography

In its current lineup, Canon has two portrait lenses. One is f/1.8 and the other is f/1.2. The just-announced Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM is one of four lenses Canon has announced, as well as a macro-light setup.

The 85mm lens sits between its two current offerings for those who want the half-stop difference.

It uses 14 elements in 10 groups and includes a glass-molded aspherical element. The aperture is formed by nine blades, and Canon promises smooth bokeh.

Canon says this is its first L-series lens that has internal stabilization, providing up to four stops of stabilization.

Close-focus distance is 2.8 feet (0.85 meters), and the lens acepts 77mm filters.

The lens is relatively compact at 3.5 x 4.1 inches (88.6 x 105.4mm), although it weighs 33.5 ounces (950 grams).

It will be available in November 2017 for US$1,599.


Not content with just one tilt-shift lens, Canon announced three of them, which also are macro optics.

The Canon TS-E 50mm f/2.8L Macro lens, TS-E 90mm f/2.8L Macro lens and TS-E 135mm f/4L Macro are all priced at US$2,199 each and will begin shipping in November 2017.

As their names indicate, these are Canon’s premium L lenses, which account for the higher price. The addition of this trio gives Canon five tilt-shift lenses. Canon currently has 17mm and 24mm tilt-shift L offerings.

Like the 17mm and24mm lenses, these are manual focus only. This is because most people who these lenses will want precise control over focusing.

These are intended for full-frame cameras but can be used when attached to an APS-C body, which have a 1.6X magnification factor.

Each lens uses glass-molded aspherical elements, as well as ultra -low-dispersion elements.

  TS-E f/2.8 50mm
L Macro
TS-E f/2.8 90mm
L Macro
TS-E f/4 135mm
Elements/groups 12/9 11/9 11/7
Ultra-low-dispersion elements 2 1 2
Aperture range f/2.8-32 f/2.8-45 f/4.0-45
Aperture blades 9 9 9
Close-focus distance 10 inches
(0.27 meters)
16 inches
(0.39 meters)
19 inches
Tilt range +/- 8.5° +/- 10° +/- 10°
Shift range +/- 12mm +/- 12mm +/- 12mm
Filter size 77mm 77mm 82mm
Dimensions 3.4 x 4.5 inches
(86.9 x 114.9mm)
3.4 x 4.6 inches
(86.9 x 116.5mm)
3.5 x 5.5 inches
(88.5 x 139.1mm)
Weight 34.0 ounces
(945 grams)
32.3 ounces
(915 grams)
39.0 ounces
(1,110 grams)

Canon says it has made some improvements over previous models:

  • Larger tilt, shift and lock knobs
  • Larger lock-release button
  • A new tilt-locking control for the the zero-tilt position prevents the lens from inadvertently tilting during shooting.

Each of the lenses can be rotated 90 degrees to assist the photographer when shooting with the camera turned vertically.

Watch Canon’s promotional video that describes the three tilt-shift lenses:

Canon Macro Twin Lite MT-26EX-RT

With the introduction of the three macro tilt-shift lenses, Canon also announced a macro light setup, the Macro Twin Lite MT-26EX-RT.

This device places two small flash units near the front of the lens. The flash units can be fired simultaneously or independently to provide the photographer with greater control over the lighting of the subject being photographed.

The kit includes two removable light diffusers and redesigned controls and information LCD module. The setup is powered by either a rechargeable battery pack or six AA alkaline or NiMH batteries.

The entire unit (without batteries) weighs about 20 ounces (570 grams) and will be available in November 2017 for US$989.99.

About the Author

Mike Elek is a longtime journalist and was one of the original editors for The Wall Street Journal Online. He also has worked as a reporter and editor in Pittsburgh; Philadelphia; Vineland, N.J.; Poughkeepsie, N.Y.; New York City; and Hong Kong. He is a U.S. Air Force veteran. He shoots with film and digital cameras.