Just confirmed - camera off, mounted the 85L II (set to AF), powered camera on, touched no buttons/dials/etc., and as soon as the self-clean finished, rotating the focus ring extended the front element.
Hey Neuro (and Infared) thanks for testing that. I was doing some research and found this: "If you have the shutter button half pressed, you can override the focus manually, or if you have it set to back button focus, you will always be able to override it." So low and behold I switched to back button focus and I was able to manually focus without touching anything else. If you get a chance can you switch your camera to shutter button focus and verify that the front element doesn't move when you turn the focus ring if your not holding the shutter button half-way down. I'm just super (neuro)tic and since I bought this lens from a seller on craigslist, I just want to make sure it is working properly. Anyway, sorry to totally hi-jack this thread, but I really appreciate the help. This is only my third day with this lens but I am totally loving it. It's nice to be able to just open a small window in a totally dark room and have enough light to get great pictures.
Your 85L is fine. Mine behaves exactly like that (85L II with 5D3)
- if shutter button controls AF: MF override only works after pressing the shutter half way (and in AF one shot mode only, not in servo)
- if back AF-ON button controls AF: manual focus override is enabled all the time, regardless of the AF mode.