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Sony FE 85mm f/1.8 lens Review
  
 
CBokeh
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p.2 #1 · p.2 #1 · Sony FE 85mm f/1.8 lens Review


Well said, Eric.


Mar 10, 2017 at 11:17 PM
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p.2 #2 · p.2 #2 · Sony FE 85mm f/1.8 lens Review


ecarlino wrote:
It's a really big swimming pool and room for everyone. Thankfully, Sony is building out their line of reasonably priced lenses as well. We have to keep in mind that in addition to the pros and enthusiasts who frequent FM.com, for whom having $10k or (a lot) more of equipment is the norm, there are those for whom buying a $500 lens is a luxury. It's nice to see that Sony can deliver this level of IQ at this price point.

Up until my mid-30s, I would not have spent the money I do now on this crap. I'm finding my
...Show more


ecarlino, thank you for this very logical post.
I COULD buy the Batis if i really wanted to, but I'd rather not. I find it harder and harder to justify the photo gear I want, until I see the pictures and videos I'm able to get of great family moments.
Like you said, the Batis is more than my whole kit currently. I've got a budget A7 kit, and this new 85 is my most likely purchase for a second AF lens.



Mar 11, 2017 at 12:24 AM
Jeff Kott
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p.2 #3 · p.2 #3 · Sony FE 85mm f/1.8 lens Review


I don't think it's silly to compare this lens to the Batis (or even the GM). In deciding which AF 85 to get for this system, I want to see what I'm getting for the extra money and, in the case of the GM, the additional weight and size.


Mar 11, 2017 at 12:36 AM
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p.2 #4 · p.2 #4 · Sony FE 85mm f/1.8 lens Review


ecarlino wrote:
It's a really big swimming pool and room for everyone. Thankfully, Sony is building out their line of reasonably priced lenses as well. We have to keep in mind that in addition to the pros and enthusiasts who frequent FM.com, for whom having $10k or (a lot) more of equipment is the norm, there are those for whom buying a $500 lens is a luxury. It's nice to see that Sony can deliver this level of IQ at this price point.

Up until my mid-30s, I would not have spent the money I do now on this crap. I'm finding my
...Show more

Essentially I agree; and i think it's fantastic that lenses like this are available. Like many, it wasn't that many years ago that a GM or even a Batis would have been way out of my budget, and this lens would have seemed expensive but worth it and a real relief.

But that doesn't mean comparisons aren't useful, especially to the Batis. I'm sure there are some of us who could afford a Batis, but it's be a slight stretch that they need to be sure is or isn't worth it. And others who could afford it easily, but who nevertheless want to figure out if they are throwing away the extra $$

Basically there are a huge range of abilities and willingnesses to pay that affect our photo budgets here at FM, and information that is useful to people all along that range is welcome!



Mar 11, 2017 at 12:47 AM
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p.2 #5 · p.2 #5 · Sony FE 85mm f/1.8 lens Review


Jeff Kott wrote:
I don't think it's silly to compare this lens to the Batis (or even the GM). In deciding which AF 85 to get for this system, I want to see what I'm getting for the extra money and, in the case of the GM, the additional weight and size.


I agree...when I'm looking at a certain focal length, I'd love to see a full comparison of all the lenses of that focal length and I will make my decision based on various criteria. These criteria for my decision vary depending on the focal length and what I'm planning on using it for...so for a given focal length a GM lens might be the optimal choice for me whereas for a different focal length, a compact light slow lens might fit the bill.



Mar 11, 2017 at 12:51 AM
ecarlino
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p.2 #6 · p.2 #6 · Sony FE 85mm f/1.8 lens Review


DavidBM wrote:
Essentially I agree; and i think it's fantastic that lenses like this are available. Like many, it wasn't that many years ago that a GM or even a Batis would have been way out of my budget, and this lens would have seemed expensive but worth it and a real relief.

But that doesn't mean comparisons aren't useful, especially to the Batis. I'm sure there are some of us who could afford a Batis, but it's be a slight stretch that they need to be sure is or isn't worth it. And others who could afford it easily, but who nevertheless
...Show more

David, even though my prior post was in reply to yours, I was hoping you didn't take it as a 'rebuttal' as I was in agreement with you having pointed out that the Batis is, in fact, unsurprisingly better - given the engineers had a larger budget to work within.

However, "better" and "worthwhile" are two totally separate discussions. The first being empirical, the second being personal. My guess would be that 70% of people won't recognize the difference given their typical intended output (1000px screenshot) and similar to not needing 42MP, would be better off putting the money towards their kids college fund, etc.

And to be clear, I'm not taking anything away from the new Sony lens; rather, I think it's great that they're releasing quality gear at prices that I think are actually 'sane'. I think an a72 with 28 / 50 / 85 from this series of lenses would be an awesome kit.



Mar 11, 2017 at 01:39 PM
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p.2 #7 · p.2 #7 · Sony FE 85mm f/1.8 lens Review


ecarlino wrote:
David, even though my prior post was in reply to yours, I was hoping you didn't take it as a 'rebuttal' as I was in agreement with you having pointed out that the Batis is, in fact, unsurprisingly better - given the engineers had a larger budget to work within.

However, "better" and "worthwhile" are two totally separate discussions. The first being empirical, the second being personal. My guess would be that 70% of people won't recognize the difference given their typical intended output (1000px screenshot) and similar to not needing 42MP, would be better off putting the money towards
...Show more

Not at all, I think we are completely on the same page!
I was just thinking that if 70% won't see a difference, and 10% will regard any improvement as reason to get the better lens, that leaves 20% who want a discussion of exactly what the differences are so they can make up their minds on the personal question of whether that difference is worth it to them.




Mar 11, 2017 at 08:13 PM
ecarlino
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p.2 #8 · p.2 #8 · Sony FE 85mm f/1.8 lens Review


DavidBM wrote:
Not at all, I think we are completely on the same page!
I was just thinking that if 70% won't see a difference, and 10% will regard any improvement as reason to get the better lens, that leaves 20% who want a discussion of exactly what the differences are so they can make up their minds on the personal question of whether that difference is worth it to them.


You're probably spot on and my comments were mostly meant to support the "read-only" folks as they drive-by FM.

I'd probably weight things slightly differently to incorporate an additional group:

60% won't see a difference and realize it and are thankful for a quality ~$500 lens.
10% will pay up for the best
10% are genuinely on the fence (perhaps 1/3 of the conversation)
10% (probably 1/2 of the discussion) are looking to over-analyze and argue irrationally and aren't even in the market for any of the lenses being discussed.

:-)



Mar 11, 2017 at 09:39 PM
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p.2 #9 · p.2 #9 · Sony FE 85mm f/1.8 lens Review


Funny how it is on a gear forum people want to discuss and compare...gear.


Mar 11, 2017 at 09:52 PM
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p.2 #10 · p.2 #10 · Sony FE 85mm f/1.8 lens Review


ecarlino wrote:
You're probably spot on and my comments were mostly meant to support the "read-only" folks as they drive-by FM.

I'd probably weight things slightly differently to incorporate an additional group:

60% won't see a difference and realize it and are thankful for a quality ~$500 lens.
10% will pay up for the best
10% are genuinely on the fence (perhaps 1/3 of the conversation)
10% (probably 1/2 of the discussion) are looking to over-analyze and argue irrationally and aren't even in the market for any of the lenses being discussed.

:-)


I strongly and emotionally disagree with that last 10%

ps. I think if this new 85 was available when I was shopping for an 85, it would have been very difficult to choose. The performance for the price is hard to ignore even if you have more money to spend.



Mar 11, 2017 at 11:12 PM
 

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ecarlino
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p.2 #11 · p.2 #11 · Sony FE 85mm f/1.8 lens Review


virtualrain wrote:
ps. I think if this new 85 was available when I was shopping for an 85, it would have been very difficult to choose. The performance for the price is hard to ignore even if you have more money to spend.


one of the reasons that I keep buying used gear now and selling it 6 months later (not having much inventory over the long-dreary Chicago Winters) is that the lens line up continues to evolve and I have no idea what direction I may go in - and my overall expectation is that the Sony line up will eventually have an awesome series of small, light, cheap glass that suits me fine and I don't want to 'wearing' big/expensive gear just because I can't tolerate the depreciation.

Nikon has an awesome f/1.8 series (and i'm sure Canon has something similar).

For now i'm enjoying a combo of Batis and f/1.4 Sonys but I can see the day where i'm all f/1.8 glass. But, when i'm there, I won't even give a rats ass about what the top of the line looks like, b/c that's not the market i'm in. And i'd never try and fool myself that the $500 lens is comparable to the $1500 lens, but i'd be content and try to get everything out of the $500 lens.

photography is among a few hobbies where people hang out and discuss a whole bunch of irrelevant crap. people that are in the market for $500,000 houses don't go on home-tours of $1.5MM homes (unless they just want to depress themselves over what they can't have or don't need).



Mar 11, 2017 at 11:45 PM
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p.2 #12 · p.2 #12 · Sony FE 85mm f/1.8 lens Review


ecarlino wrote:
one of the reasons that I keep buying used gear now and selling it 6 months later (not having much inventory over the long-dreary Chicago Winters) is that the lens line up continues to evolve and I have no idea what direction I may go in - and my overall expectation is that the Sony line up will eventually have an awesome series of small, light, cheap glass that suits me fine and I don't want to 'wearing' big/expensive gear just because I can't tolerate the depreciation.

Nikon has an awesome f/1.8 series (and i'm sure Canon has something similar).

For now
...Show more

Sure, but I'm sure you've looked at magazines that feature million dollar homes, or $250,000 cars...or even gee whiz $2500 lenses. In fact...you've been active in discussing such lenses...so what is it you are exactly trying to say...something about crap.



Mar 11, 2017 at 11:55 PM
chez
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p.2 #13 · p.2 #13 · Sony FE 85mm f/1.8 lens Review


For me, when I look for a certain focal length, I look at most lenses that are available at that length and evaluate them based on my criteria for that lens. Price obviously is one of the criteria...but it is NOT the only one. If a $500 lens does what I need, I'd be just stupid buying a $2000 lens, but conversely, if a $500 lens does not do what I need, I again would be stupid buying the lens.

I want to know what $1,500 buys me and if it provides more of what I need out of that lens, I don't have a problem spending the cash.

It would be a shame to restrict comparing the $500 lens against the $2000 because of some people's perceived notion the two lenses are aimed at different photographers.



Mar 12, 2017 at 12:04 AM
Jeff Kott
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p.2 #14 · p.2 #14 · Sony FE 85mm f/1.8 lens Review


ecarlino wrote:
photography is among a few hobbies where people hang out and discuss a whole bunch of irrelevant crap.


You might think that, but when our daughter was a baby my wife spent considerable time on a forum discussing baby wearing wrap blankets. There's a huge market for buying and selling used baby wraps and the price of some of them was astonishing to me. Now she frequents a fountain pen forum - same thing. Don't even get into audio equipment forums, etc. etc.




Mar 12, 2017 at 12:05 AM
ecarlino
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p.2 #15 · p.2 #15 · Sony FE 85mm f/1.8 lens Review


Jeff Kott wrote:
You might think that, but when our daughter was a baby my wife spent considerable time on a forum discussing baby wearing wrap blankets. There's a huge market for buying and selling used baby wraps and the price of some of them was astonishing to me. Now she frequents a fountain pen forum - same thing. Don't even get into audio equipment forums, etc. etc.



Classic. I meant to qualify it by saying one of the few that MEN waste their time on. Joking ladies (not really)
Audiophiles were my other area that really comes close. The amount of money one can spend for incrementally less gain is astonishing. Sadly, I've spent as much on Bowers and Wilkins as I have on Sony......

Btw, my commentary re: the over-analysis is meant in jest; most probably get it, except for that [email protected]@ss above you who I've had too much wine already tonight to get into it with (ok, wine,there's another one where you can go nuts).

Seriously, I started off by my only real point and that is its great to see what can get squeezed into $500 and there's no point in lusting after $1500 gear if that's not in the cards. My orig comment wasn't directed anyone who has the time/resources/energy to look at every option.



Mar 12, 2017 at 02:04 AM
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p.2 #16 · p.2 #16 · Sony FE 85mm f/1.8 lens Review


chez wrote:
Also let's not forget the image stabilization in the Batis. At this focal length it becomes very useful if shooting in dim light.


True, but it's really a minor point nowadays, since the FE bodies have in-body IS. The OIS on the Batis is only mediocre anyway, and the improvement over IBIS alone is pretty minimal.

That said, from the sample images I've seen so far, the Batis images look nicer to my eye. There's something somewhat pedestrian about the rendering in the FE 85 shots that I've seen so far. I look forward to reviewing it, and comparing it to my current solution, which is a Canon EF 100/2 with metabones. I love the optics of that combo, but good low-light AF is a downside to the adapted lens, so if the FE 85 can fill that niche with similar optical quality and good AF, it'll be awfully tempting. Still, I need to see more shots by competent photographers, rather than some guy who pointed a camera at a weed to test bokeh.



Mar 12, 2017 at 01:45 PM
chez
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p.2 #17 · p.2 #17 · Sony FE 85mm f/1.8 lens Review


Jman13 wrote:
True, but it's really a minor point nowadays, since the FE bodies have in-body IS. The OIS on the Batis is only mediocre anyway, and the improvement over IBIS alone is pretty minimal.

.


I shoot both an A7R and A6000 so the OIS is really a big feature. I was also under the impression that OIS and IBIS work together, thus giving more stability than just using either one on their own.

I use my Batis for street shooting, quite often in dim light where the OIS really kicks in, especially for the 85mm length.



Mar 12, 2017 at 02:00 PM
Bespoked
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p.2 #18 · p.2 #18 · Sony FE 85mm f/1.8 lens Review


OIS doesn't really work in conjunction with IBIS for increased stabilisation, I've tested it countless times and it seems IBIS negates the in-lens stabilisation.


Mar 12, 2017 at 03:02 PM
chez
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p.2 #19 · p.2 #19 · Sony FE 85mm f/1.8 lens Review


Bespoked wrote:
OIS doesn't really work in conjunction with IBIS for increased stabilisation, I've tested it countless times and it seems IBIS negates the in-lens stabilisation.


This thread seems to imply pitch and yaw of the ibis are turned off when a lens with OIS is attached.

http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1384887/0

I would think OIS specific to a lens for the longer focal lengths can stabilize pitch and yaw better than the camera equivalent. How much better ibis with OIS is I don't know and I haven't seen any conclusive tests.



Mar 12, 2017 at 03:23 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.2 #20 · p.2 #20 · Sony FE 85mm f/1.8 lens Review


chez wrote:
I shoot both an A7R and A6000 so the OIS is really a big feature. I was also under the impression that OIS and IBIS work together, thus giving more stability than just using either one on their own.

I use my Batis for street shooting, quite often in dim light where the OIS really kicks in, especially for the 85mm length.


Although the A7, A7R and A6300 are still relevant, I hope Sony/Zeiss stops developing stabilized lenses because current and future bodies have and will continue having amazing IBIS and this technology will get even better with next generations.
IMO, lenses with OIS are longer needed and the benefit is that perhaps we are getting them lighter/smaller and with higher in IQ. I don't believe the new Zeiss Batis 135mm will have OIS but could be wrong.

The Batis 85/1.8 was a telephoto lens initially designed for the IBIS-less A7 and A7R series. I don't think this trend will continue for Sony bodies and the new FE 85/1.8 is an example of the future.



Mar 12, 2017 at 03:56 PM
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