Prioritizing bokeh, the Canon RF 85mm f/1.2L USM DS is a unique portrait-length prime, characterized by its flattering focal length, exceptionally bright maximum aperture, and advanced optical design. Differentiating itself from Canon’s other RF 85mm f/1.2 lens, this version features a DS (Defocus Smoothing) coating that helps to soften and smooth the bokeh quality when working at wider aperture settings, making it particularly suitable for shallow depth of field applications.
Beyond the bokeh-optimized design, the optical layout of this lens incorporates a Blue Spectrum Refractive Optics element; a specially developed element that helps to nearly eliminate chromatic aberrations and color fringing for notable clarity and color accuracy. In addition to this, an ultra-low dispersion element and one aspherical element are also featured to further control various aberrations and distortion for great sharpness and resolution. Individual elements also feature an Air Sphere Coating to suppress flare and ghosting for high contrast and color fidelity when working in bright and backlit conditions.
Complementing the imaging capabilities is an apt ring-type Ultrasonic Motor, which delivers fast, near-silent autofocus and full-time manual focus override. A unique Control Ring is also integrated into the lens design for intuitive control over exposure settings from the lens itself.
Defocus Smoothing coating helps to achieve an especially soft and smooth bokeh quality when working at wide aperture positions. While this coating softens the look and feel of the out-of-focus regions in an image, sharpness is still retained on the in-focus portions for noticeable subject separation and an overall three-dimensional quality. The effect is greatest when working at f/1.2, however the DS coating requires approximately 1.3 stops more exposure than the standard version of the lens when shooting wide open. By f/3.2, the two versions of the lens have nearly identical light transmission and performance.