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LR test: Sharpness Tests of the Sony FE 85mm f/1.8
  
 
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · LR test: Sharpness Tests of the Sony FE 85mm f/1.8


LR test: Sharpness Tests of the Sony FE 85mm f/1.8
Roger Cicala at LensRentals just posted MTF and variance testing for the Sony FE 85mm f/1.8.
There are side-by-side comparisons to the similar speed Batis 85/1.8 and faster lenses like the FE 85/1.4 GM and Sigma 85/1.4 Art.

Here is an except from Roger's summary:

"So was this exciting or what? Iím sure the answer to that question is dependent on who you are and if you appreciate nerding out to MTF charts. We have a reasonable performance 85mm f/1.8 lens at a fairly reasonable price in FE mount now. It isnít cool, or sexy, or going to change the way you do photography and see the world around you. But itís a useful option to have, and I bet it finds its way into a lot of camera bags.."

Read entire review.

_____________________

Sony FE 85mm f/1.8: B&H Photo | Adorama





Sony FE 85mm f/1.4 GM and Sony FE 85mm f/1.8






Zeiss 85mm f/1.8 Batis and Sony FE 85mm f/1.8






Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Art and Sony FE 85mm f/1.8









Jun 30, 2017 at 05:08 PM
MikeEvangelist
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · LR test: Sharpness Tests of the Sony FE 85mm f/1.8


I especially love this lens as a 135mm substitute on my a6500. Great combination.


Jun 30, 2017 at 05:24 PM
justruss
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · LR test: Sharpness Tests of the Sony FE 85mm f/1.8


It's exactly what a lens like this should be: Solid/great optics, solid functionality, great price.

The Batis is sharper throughout, but not by much. The GM is faster and renders beautifully-- at a price. The Sigma is what Sigma always is these days with the ART line.

Great effort by Sony.



Jun 30, 2017 at 05:40 PM
AGeoJO
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · LR test: Sharpness Tests of the Sony FE 85mm f/1.8


The Sigma 85mm Art is one sharp lens alright and the sharpest of the bunch from looking at those charts. However, the sharpness alone doesn't necessarily make it the best portrait lens; there are other tangible characters that would render certain traits to be called that. In addition, it is very subjective and it varies from person to person what we consider a "pleasing" portrait lens. I refrain from saying the "best" portrait lens, as you can tell .


Jun 30, 2017 at 05:47 PM
GabrielPhoto
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · LR test: Sharpness Tests of the Sony FE 85mm f/1.8


Interesting how the sigma is sharper than the GM even though the two copies I tested both were unable to match my GM in the center and near center area. The 1.8 it sure is a hot for Sony though


Jun 30, 2017 at 06:00 PM
GMPhotography
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · LR test: Sharpness Tests of the Sony FE 85mm f/1.8


Not buying it my Sony 85 1.8 must be special. Sharp as heck. Lol

I'm kidding but I do have a exceptional copy of it



Jun 30, 2017 at 06:13 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · LR test: Sharpness Tests of the Sony FE 85mm f/1.8


Thanks for another great test Roger. The 85/1.8 is definitely the best value showing very strong performance compared to much more expensive and heavier 85s.

Except for the Sigma, I've tested all these lenses at infinity and my results pretty much mimic these charts.
I managed to get a great Batis 85 that's noticeably better in regards to resolution/contrast and aberration control when compared side-by-side to Guy's FE 85/1.8 (which I had for a few days and is indeed a superb copy). At about f/4, the differences are very small though.

The 85/1.4GM at and above f/2 is one the sharpest 85mm I've tested to date. The Batis comes very close after f/2.8.

My landscape lens choice is still the tiny 85/4 ZM though. At f/6.3 is matches the best lenses but IMO renders better colors and has a nicer sunstar shape. (10-blade aperture)



Jun 30, 2017 at 07:18 PM
chez
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · LR test: Sharpness Tests of the Sony FE 85mm f/1.8


If I already did not have the Batis, I would pick up the Sony, but the Batis
I got is very sharp and the OS really helps on my A7R and A6000. I use the 85 mainly for street shooting handheld so the OS is much appreciated at times.

But boy it's hard to beat the Sony for value.



Jun 30, 2017 at 08:52 PM
seanj
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · LR test: Sharpness Tests of the Sony FE 85mm f/1.8


I sold the Batis just before the FE 85/1.8 was announced. I decided I'd shoot my Contax G 90/2.8 for portraits and save a lot of money. I had bought the Batis at an EDU price, so I didn't really lose money in the sale. I later decided I missed AF, and by then the FE 85/1.8 had been released. I bought the FE 85/1.8. I view my Batis portraits and my FE 85 portraits in Lightroom and cannot tell the difference between the two lenses. At least the GM provides rounder out of focus points of light. But the Batis and FE 85 are very, very similar in sharpness and in out of focus rendering. And I saved a bundle.


Jun 30, 2017 at 09:16 PM
AGeoJO
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · LR test: Sharpness Tests of the Sony FE 85mm f/1.8


The price of the Batis has come down quite a bit; a used one can be had for around $850 or so. It is getting closer to that of the FE 85 now. Like Harry (chez) mentioned, it has a built-in OSS and it is worth having to people without IBIS bodies. Optically, it is a sharper lens and for sure, not a worse lens. I am not advocating of getting the Batis but just stating the obvious that some may overlook .


Jun 30, 2017 at 11:02 PM
 

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Fred Miranda
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · LR test: Sharpness Tests of the Sony FE 85mm f/1.8


I've tried a couple copies of well-centered 85/1.4 GM lenses and never thought it was tack sharp wide open. Stopped down to f/1.7, there's a big improvement, especially in contrast. The lower contrast wide open coupled with slightly lower resolution works well for portraits though.

The LR's MTF graph below shows what I see with my Batis and GM lenses (at infinity and close distance). The Batis 85 has higher contrast and resolution wide open compared to the 85/1.4GM. However, what the MTF graph does not show is that the GM @ f/1.7 matches the Batis contrast/resolution and slightly surpasses resolution at mid and corners. The Sony FE 85/1.8 performs similarly to the Batis in this regard.







Jun 30, 2017 at 11:08 PM
jhinkey
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · LR test: Sharpness Tests of the Sony FE 85mm f/1.8


The 85/1.8 is on travel with me right now and it seems to be doing an admiral job.
This plus the 35/2.8 are making a fine travel duo.

Neither lens is outstanding, but they are way more than good enough for travel pics.

J



Jul 01, 2017 at 08:51 PM
bluloo
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · LR test: Sharpness Tests of the Sony FE 85mm f/1.8


Great write up. Thanks for posting.


Jul 02, 2017 at 01:05 AM
GabrielPhoto
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · LR test: Sharpness Tests of the Sony FE 85mm f/1.8


Fred Miranda wrote:
I've tried a couple copies of well-centered 85/1.4 GM lenses and never thought it was tack sharp wide open. Stopped down to f/1.7, there's a big improvement, especially in contrast. .


Guess I got a special copy of the GM just like Guy does with the 1.8 cause I cannot fault mine specially after comparing to the two copies of the Sigma. I am not usually that lucky



Jul 02, 2017 at 01:11 AM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · LR test: Sharpness Tests of the Sony FE 85mm f/1.8


GabrielPhoto wrote:
Guess I got a special copy of the GM just like Guy does with the 1.8 cause I cannot fault mine specially after comparing to the two copies of the Sigma. I am not usually that lucky


I never said it's soft wide open. Can you please post 1:1 crops showing the center area at f/1.4 and then at f/1.7 without any post production? I'm curious to see it. I've not seen a copy where there isn't a significant improvement.



Jul 02, 2017 at 01:18 AM
GabrielPhoto
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · LR test: Sharpness Tests of the Sony FE 85mm f/1.8


Oh I dont mean is tack sharp at 1.4 vs stopping down of course, but it was sharper than the two copies of the Sigma Art I tested for my review which I thought was the sharpest based on the DXO field maps. In fact, because of those expectations is why I ended trying a second copy of the Sigma because I was expecting it to beat or at least match the GM in center sharpness.



Jul 02, 2017 at 01:32 AM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · LR test: Sharpness Tests of the Sony FE 85mm f/1.8


GabrielPhoto wrote:
Oh I dont mean is tack sharp at 1.4 vs stopping down of course, but it was sharper than the two copies of the Sigma Art I tested for my review which I thought was the sharpest based on the DXO field maps. In fact, because of those expectations is why I ended trying a second copy of the Sigma because I was expecting it to beat or at least match the GM in center sharpness.


I see! One lens that is already screaming sharp from wide open is the FE 50/1.4 ZA.



Jul 02, 2017 at 02:46 AM
GabrielPhoto
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · LR test: Sharpness Tests of the Sony FE 85mm f/1.8


Fred Miranda wrote:
I see! One lens that is already screaming sharp from wide open is the FE 50/1.4 ZA.


It is indeed. My only issue with it is that at 1.4 the sharpness across the frame (which matters a lot to me for my composition) is not as good as the GM across the frame at 1.4 for example as shown on the DXO fieldmaps and other tests I have seen.
Still, would be nice to have that 1.4 but I normally grab the 85mm or the 35mm 1.4 L ii (canon) so even my 55mm 1.8 does not see as much action as it should :/
85mm 1.4 GM @ 1.4






50mm 1.4 @ 1.4







Jul 02, 2017 at 02:58 AM
k-h.a.w
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · LR test: Sharpness Tests of the Sony FE 85mm f/1.8


What advantage would these 85mm lenses have over my FE 90/2.8 MACRO G OSS or my Leica Summilux-R 80/1.4 on TAP?

K-H.



Jul 02, 2017 at 03:07 AM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · LR test: Sharpness Tests of the Sony FE 85mm f/1.8


GabrielPhoto wrote:
It is indeed. My only issue with it is that at 1.4 the sharpness across the frame (which matters a lot to me for my composition) is not as good as the GM across the frame at 1.4 for example as shown on the DXO fieldmaps and other tests I have seen.
Still, would be nice to have that 1.4 but I normally grab the 85mm or the 35mm 1.4 L ii (canon) so even my 55mm 1.8 does not see as much action as it should :/
85mm 1.4 GM @ 1.4


https://cdn.dxomark.com/dakdata/measures/SonyA7RII/Result/DakResult/Sony_FE_Carl_Zeiss_Plannar_T_STAR_50mm_F14_ZA/MTF_v2/MTF_ACUTANCE_50mm_f1.4.png">



DXO's field maps look like a great resource, but I personally don't trust them...Many lenses don't perform the way they display them and for me, there are too many examples of discrepancies. The 50/1.4 ZA is a good example. From my tests at infinity, it's sharp at center and towards the corners wide-open with a noticeably dip at mid-field.. Their field map images do not show this behavior.



Jul 02, 2017 at 05:12 AM
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