Photo of an 85mm lens on a table

Why Are 85mm Photography Lenses So Expensive?

For a lot of photographers, having an 85mm lens of their toolkit is essential. You’ll be able to seize gorgeous photos in a number of genres with this focal size, together with landscapes and portraits. And whereas slightly trickier to hold round than a 35mm or 50mm, 85mm lenses are surprisingly versatile by way of shot angles you should use them for.

Sadly, 85mm lenses are additionally fairly costly. The fee can postpone many photographers taking pictures on a finances, leading to them both refusing to buy the lens or needing to save lots of and wait slightly longer earlier than doing so.

However why does the 85mm lens come at such a excessive value? Do inexpensive choices exist? Let’s discover out.

How A lot Do 85mm Images Lenses Value?

Close-up photo of an 85mm lens

85mm lens prices range relying on the digital camera producer you utilize. However typically talking, you possibly can count on to pay a minimum of $400—and sometimes, you’ll must cough up much more.

Let’s use Canon for instance. If you wish to purchase an EF f/1.8 at this focal size, you’ll pay $499.99 if you are going to buy from the official retailer. In the meantime, Nikon’s NIKKOR Z 85mm f/1.8 lens—which works on its mirrorless cameras—prices between roughly $695 and $800.

Some producers have a number of 85mm lens varieties obtainable with totally different specs. For instance, some lenses have a wider most aperture—supplying you with extra management in conditions with decrease mild.


Why Are 85mm Lenses So Costly?

Photo of a camera lens on a black background

Now that we’ve checked out how a lot 85mm lenses value, you’re most likely eager to grasp why producers make you pay such a excessive value. A number of contributing elements trigger 85mm lenses to value greater than another focal lengths; under, you’ll discover 5 of the primary ones.

Manufacturing Prices

For those who’re shaking your fists in anger at producers charging a lot for his or her lenses, it is best to keep in mind that these companies are—nicely—companies. Firms must earn cash, and merchandise that value extra to make will come at heftier costs for the patron.

When creating 85mm lenses, pictures gear producers must endure in depth manufacturing. Firms must think about the complete part, together with sending the lens worldwide, when figuring out prices—each for you and them.

You’re most likely fascinated about shopping for an 85mm lens if you happen to’ve clicked on this text, and let’s face it, your major cause for wanting one is so you possibly can take higher photos. Though the lenses’ total high quality performs a big function in pricing, we will’t ignore the image-related features.

Sure, you possibly can take glorious photos with cheaper lenses. However gear with larger picture high quality tends to value extra, and you’ll seize incredible pictures with the 85mm in a number of genres.

When purchasing for 85mm lenses, you’ll additionally discover that these with wider apertures include an much more important price ticket. Manufacturing prices play a task on this, however the potential of taking higher photos in trickier situations is one other issue.

High quality

Whatever the product you purchase, you’ll pay extra if the standard is larger. You’ll discover this when buying garments and equipment, and the identical is true for electronics and pictures tools.

Many photographers laud the standard of 85mm lenses past their photos alone. Lenses are often constructed nicely and sturdy, even when they aren’t weather-sealed. And if you are going to buy an 85mm lens with climate sealing and a stronger construct, you possibly can count on to pay greater than you’d for the fundamental variations.

Requires a Extra Superior Talent Set

As you progress by the pictures ranks, you’ll discover that some tools requires extra technical capacity than others if you wish to maximize your expertise. Entry-level cameras are fairly simple to study the ins and outs of, however a extra superior mirrorless model would require additional studying.

Whereas most lenses take glorious photos, you’ll have a bigger studying curve with some. The 85mm is one among these; once you’re out and about, you’ll rapidly understand that you simply have to be extra selective with what you embody in your photos. Furthermore, you’ll have to consider issues like picture depth and a lot extra.

Most photographers buy an 85mm lens for a selected goal, whereas 50mm and related lenses have extra common purposes. So, it’s pure to count on that the 85mm will value extra.


Relying on the place you reside, you may must pay extra for 85mm lenses as a result of gross sales tax and different rules. For instance, gadgets offered in Norway usually have 25% VAT on high of the retail value.

For those who reside in a rustic the place the VAT is excessive, you may wish to contemplate buying an 85mm lens from elsewhere. You’ll be able to both journey there or search for a market that ships to you; for the latter, you may must pay larger delivery and import prices.

Can You Discover Extra Inexpensive 85mm Images Lenses?

Photo of a person taking pictures outside in the winter

Having learn this far, you’ll higher perceive why 85mm lenses value greater than many different focal lengths. Can you discover cheaper choices? Briefly, sure—and the three subsections under will reveal a few of your decisions.

Third-Social gathering Lenses

Producer lenses usually have the very best picture high quality and a number of other different specs. Nevertheless, you could find a choice of third-party 85mm lenses that do a superb job for a fraction of the worth.

Viltrox digital camera lenses are a very good instance. For a FujiFilm digital camera, you should buy an 85mm f/1.8 lens for $399. The lens isn’t weather-sealed, however its construct is great. Furthermore, you get a good-quality lens hood included.

Samyang is one other third-party lens producer, and you should purchase each weather-sealed and non-weather-sealed lenses from the corporate. Costs range, however you may get some lenses for $250 or much less.

Each Viltrox and Samyang create lenses for a number of digital camera manufacturers.

Refurbished and Used Lenses

For those who’re not bothered about having a brand-new lens, it can save you some huge cash by buying a refurbished model. Typically, refurbished lenses work simply in addition to these which might be completely new; you may need to take care of a couple of beauty points, akin to scratches, however that isn’t an enormous deal.

For instance, Canon sells a few of its refurbished 85mm lenses for $399—which is $100 under the worth for a brand new one.

85mm Lenses Are Costly, however Value It

85mm lenses value greater than many prime lenses at totally different focal lengths, however the value is price it if you happen to usually plan to make use of your tools. You’ll be able to seize distinctive portraits and panorama photographs and even use your lens for much less typical pictures varieties—akin to road pictures.

Having learn this text, it is best to have a greater understanding of why 85mm lenses include a premium price ticket. You’ll even have a couple of concepts on how one can lower your expenses when shopping for one to make sure that the price doesn’t stifle your creativity.

Photo of an 85mm lens standing on a table
7 Advantages of Utilizing an 85mm Lens for Portrait Images

For those who shoot portrait pictures, it is best to add an 85mm lens to your equipment. Right here’s why.

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