Another, more specialized version of the RF 85mm F1.2 L USM will be announced later in 2019. This is the “DS” version — which stands for Defocus Smoothing. It is a fixed focal length, 85mm lens which takes the idea of beautiful, soft backgrounds, or “bokeh,” and pushes the concept even further.
While technical information on the upcoming DS lens is limited at this time, we’ll briefly outline its basics here.
Defocus Smoothing is a coating technology, similar in some ways to the general concept of apodization technology, which has been a part of optical design in the lens industry for some time. In the case of the RF 85mm F1.2 L DS lens, a special optical coating is added to two lens elements, which progressively smooths the edges of out-of-focus areas (compared to the RF 85mm F1.2 L without DS technology). Simply stated, the DS lens gives even smoother “bokeh” and rendering of out-of-focus highlights, particularly when it’s used at or near its maximum f/1.2 aperture. The edges of out-of-focus highlights with the DS lens, in particular, are smoother — this is the biggest difference between these two 85mm f/1.2 lenses.
Because DS coating is indeed a coating technology, it does not rely on added optical elements or “soft focus” optics to achieve its results. Accordingly, the DS lens’ size and weight are essentially the same as with the RF 85mm F1.2 L USM lens, along with its outer appearance, and basic optical performance. The DS lens uses the same general optical design as the conventional RF 85mm F1.2 L; the major distinction are the Defocus Smoothing coatings used on two lens elements.
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Canon RF 85mm F1.2L USM DS
Reviewed by Gene Wright on