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LR test: Sharpness Tests of the Sony FE 85mm f/1.8
  
 
GabrielPhoto
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p.2 #1 · p.2 #1 · LR test: Sharpness Tests of the Sony FE 85mm f/1.8


Fred Miranda wrote:
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.


It was not the only test I saw like this but at least with my lenses so far its pretty accurate for example how it shows the Zeiss 35mm 1.4 to lose sharpness quickly away from the center. All 3 copies I tested showed that behavior unlike my Canon 35mm 1.4 L ii which is very sharp across the frame wide open just like the fieldmap shows.
Then again, their Sigma tests show better than my GM which was not what I found during the tests of the copies I tried...so as usual, nothing beats testing yourself and keeping whatever works for our individual needs.
Still, I am happy with my 55mm specially since its cheaper so I dont feel as bad for not using it that often



Jul 02, 2017 at 05:18 AM
timballic
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p.2 #2 · p.2 #2 · LR test: Sharpness Tests of the Sony FE 85mm f/1.8


Mine came in the same post as the Batis 25, (that I'm discussing on "Batis 25 alternatives?" thread), no time yet to look at it, except a quick check to ensure it was well centred.

As Fred says, "The 85/1.8 is definitely the best value showing very strong performance compared to much more expensive and heavier 85s."

That's why I chose it...though, for me, the contender was the 90/2.8 G macro. I would have liked Roger to have included a comparison with that too, as most/all reviews only refer to it's c/u performance, with little to say about how it does at distance.
Cost, size and weight swayed me to the 85/1.8, and that c/u's are a minority use for me. I want to try the 85/1.8 on ext. tubes for that.

I may very well get a copy of the 90 G macro to do the comparison myself, once I've covered the cost of the Batis 25, by selling off some legacy lenses....and the FE 24-70/4.



Jul 02, 2017 at 07:53 AM
timballic
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p.2 #3 · p.2 #3 · LR test: Sharpness Tests of the Sony FE 85mm f/1.8


Oh dear! This thread prompted me to check out my newly arrived 85/1.8..I'm not fully impressed. I don't think there's a definite fault, just that it's a bit lacklustre compared with what I'm used to seeing.

It is well centred but even at F/8 the corners just lack any "bite". I manually focussed here as AF-S is slightly softer so it may also need adjusting. F/8 is the sharpest, at F/5.6 it's quite a bit softer.

Here I did a comparison with OM Z 90/2 @8 (my sharpest)and TS-E 90/2.8 @8 (my favourite) MF lenses at near this FL.

FE 85/1.8 top left corner of my wall of charts at 100%
FE 85/1.8 @8 by Timothy Ball, on Flickr

and here the OMZ 90/2, then the TS-E 90/2.8 both at F/8 too.
OM Z 90/2 @8 by Timothy Ball, on Flickr
TS-E 90/2.8 @8 by Timothy Ball, on Flickr


Easier to see at 200%. 1st FE85, then OMZ, then TS-E all F/8 top left corner
FE 85/1/8 @ 8 200% by Timothy Ball, on Flickr
OM Z 90/2 @8 200% by Timothy Ball, on Flickr
TS-E 90/2.8 @ 8 200% by Timothy Ball, on Flickr

I wonder if this is just how the FE 85/1.8 is, or whether I've picked up a poor copy?

Edited on Jul 02, 2017 at 01:02 PM · View previous versions



Jul 02, 2017 at 12:43 PM
bjornthun
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p.2 #4 · p.2 #4 · LR test: Sharpness Tests of the Sony FE 85mm f/1.8


timballic wrote:
Oh dear! This thread prompted me to check out my newly arrived 85/1.8..I'm not fully impressed. I don't think there's a definite fault, just that it's a bit lacklustre compared with what I'm used to seeing.

It is well centred but even at F/8 the corners just lack any "bite". I manually focussed here as AF-S is slightly softer so it may also need adjusting. F/8 is the sharpest, at F/5.6 it's quite a bit softer.

Here I did a comparison with OM Z 90/2 @8 (my sharpest)and TS-E 90/2.8 @8 (my favourite) MF lenses at near this FL.

FE 85/1.8 top
...Show more

What distance are these samples shot at?

Remember that lensrentals test are at infinity. They are not imatest.

The Olympus OM Zuiko 90/2 is a macro lens, and is one of Olympus' finest lenses, so I'm not surprised to see, that it gives even modern lenses a real beating.



Jul 02, 2017 at 01:01 PM
timballic
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p.2 #5 · p.2 #5 · LR test: Sharpness Tests of the Sony FE 85mm f/1.8


bjornthun wrote:
What distance are these samples shot at?

Remember that lensrentals test are at infinity. They are not imatest.

The Olympus OM Zuiko 90/2 is a macro lens, and is one of Olympus' finest lenses, so I'm not surprised to see, that it gives even modern lenses a real beating.


Bjorn, this is my initial "torture test wall", to check out that everything is OK before I move into the real world shooting . The Chart is 1.6m across and the focal plane of camera is 3.8m from the wall. All set up fully parallel.

So I suppose this is mid distance?

I agree about the OM Z 90/2 being one of the sharpest, but though I love the TS-E 90/2.8 it isn't in the same league of sharpness, which is why the much softer 85/1.8 results has given me a shock.

I think that now I've finished assessing the Batis 25, I need to get out with this 85/1.8 for some real world shooting this afternoon , as I've only got this week left if it needs to go back.


Edited on Jul 02, 2017 at 01:13 PM · View previous versions



Jul 02, 2017 at 01:06 PM
bjornthun
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p.2 #6 · p.2 #6 · LR test: Sharpness Tests of the Sony FE 85mm f/1.8


timballic wrote:
Bjorn, this is my initial "torture test wall", to check out that everything is OK before I move into the real world shooting . The Chart is 1.6m across and the focal plane of camera is 3.8m from the wall. All set up fully parallel.

So I suppose this is mid distance?

I agree about the OM Z 90/2 being one of the sharpest, but though I love the TS-E 90/2.8 it isn't in the same league of sharpness, which is why the much softer 85/1.8 results gave me a shock.


I think it's mid distance, but not infinity. You could test focusing in the corner with the Sony 85/1.8, in order to rule out field curvature.

The Sony 90/2.8 has field curvature, so care is needed for focusing a landscape with that one.



Jul 02, 2017 at 01:13 PM
timballic
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p.2 #7 · p.2 #7 · LR test: Sharpness Tests of the Sony FE 85mm f/1.8


bjornthun wrote:

.... You could test focusing in the corner with the Sony 85/1.8, in order to rule out field curvature.

The Sony 90/2.8 has field curvature, so care is needed for focusing a landscape with that one.


Thanks Bjorn, I've just checked, and no field curvature at all noticeable at F/1.8. I think I may have a poor copy. I'll get out this aft to make sure one way or the other.

Thanks for that about the Sony 90 macro. I'm surprised, I usually associate macros with having flat fields!



Jul 02, 2017 at 01:19 PM
bjornthun
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p.2 #8 · p.2 #8 · LR test: Sharpness Tests of the Sony FE 85mm f/1.8


timballic wrote:
Thanks Bjorn, I've just checked, and no field curvature at all noticeable at F/1.8. I think I may have a poor copy. I'll get out this aft to make sure one way or the other.

Thanks for that about the Sony 90 macro. I'm surprised, I usually associate macros with having flat fields!


You're welcome.



Jul 02, 2017 at 01:30 PM
bluloo
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p.2 #9 · p.2 #9 · LR test: Sharpness Tests of the Sony FE 85mm f/1.8


I'd love to see a 20 or 21mm from Sony, in the same vein as the affordable 85 and 50 FEs


Jul 02, 2017 at 02:56 PM
timballic
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p.2 #10 · p.2 #10 · LR test: Sharpness Tests of the Sony FE 85mm f/1.8


I've done my standard field-test for peripheral sharpness and dof, (where I know what it should/could look like)

I can tell it isn't a lemon, but maybe not a peach either.. Possibly from the middle-lower end of tolerances?

I do hope these are acceptable in this thread? Fred, let me know if I'm clogging things up here, and I'll move onto a seperate thread.

I'll ring the shop tomorrow and explain the situation and hopefully get another from them to compare it with. (I've just bought the Batis 25 from them so they should know I'm genuine ). However, there was/is too much heat haze to tell precisely what's going on at infinity. I shot them, but hard to differentiate heat haze from lens softness. Tomorrow morning forecast drizzle again, so I can't do it then either!

This is my "test Scene" definitely NOT done for central sharpness, but for peripheral sharpness and gauging dof. Almost the opposite of a portrait lens test.
Both outer signs are on the same plane, and I focus on inner edge of left sign, (or sometimes on a pebble I place in the road, midway between them.)
FE 85/1.8 @ 8 Test Scene by Timothy Ball, on Flickr

I can see that I wouldn't recommend this lens for its bokeh..not awful, but not awfully nice either. Also it is definitely soft wide open, (not pleasant to MF with), then jumps much sharper by F/2.8. F/8 seems to be sharpest, after which diffraction sets in.
Here's the centre distance at F/1.8. Look at the "doubled" white railings, plus CA.
FE 85/1.8 @ 1.8 Centre 100% by Timothy Ball, on Flickr

It sharpens up nicely F/8-11, just before diffraction sets in. Not many of the lenses I've compared get the separation of foliage as well as this, (though the torture test for a lens is in winter, w/o any foliage, when all is fine twigs. Very few lenses deal well with that.)
FE 85/1.8 @ 11 Centre 100% by Timothy Ball, on Flickr

Top left in plane with sign. The best it gets F/8. Sharp-ish, except for the extreme top left.
FE 85/1.8 @8 Top Left 100% by Timothy Ball, on Flickr

I really want another, good FE 85/1.8 to compare this performance with. I've compared so many 85-100mm lenses here, that I can tell that this is rather "middle of the road" performance...pun intended! It does sharpen nicely in the centre, but not brilliantly out to the corners.
I've seen much worse, but I've also seen much better, again the OM Z 90/2 comes to mind and the MD 100/2.5, which are almost my "reference" lenses in this FL. The TS-E 90 rendering is my favourite, though not quite as sharp as those two, along with the NAiS 105/2.5.
As I now need AF, this FE 85/1.8 is the first option I've tried.

Edited on Jul 16, 2017 at 03:47 PM · View previous versions



Jul 02, 2017 at 03:34 PM
 

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GMPhotography
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p.2 #11 · p.2 #11 · LR test: Sharpness Tests of the Sony FE 85mm f/1.8


I'm on phone so hard to see at 1.8 it should be a razor. Send it back

I'm out walking around with the Batis 135. Keeper



Jul 02, 2017 at 04:08 PM
timballic
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p.2 #12 · p.2 #12 · LR test: Sharpness Tests of the Sony FE 85mm f/1.8


bluloo wrote:
I'd love to see a 20 or 21mm from Sony, in the same vein as the affordable 85 and 50 FEs


Not to mention 24mm, but as they have such a poor QC record with the 28/2,(I've tried five and now given up), these harder to produce FL's, (finer tolerances), may be even worse!



Jul 02, 2017 at 04:11 PM
timballic
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p.2 #13 · p.2 #13 · LR test: Sharpness Tests of the Sony FE 85mm f/1.8


GMPhotography wrote:
I'm on phone so hard to see at 1.8 it should be a razor. Send it back

I'm out walking around with the Batis 135. Keeper


Thanks Guy, that's JUST what I needed to know. This copy couldn't even begin to be compared with a razor at F/1.8.
Not only not sharp, but a bit hazy/veiled at F/1.8 too.

I'll try for another copy. Have you any experience of the 90 macro, for distance work?

This is Lr compare view 100% Centre at infinity F/1.8 left : F5.6 (best) right. The difference between them looks even greater in the original. (All my Flickr links can be followed for full size files.)
FE 85/1.8 LR Compare F/1.8 vs 5.6 Centre 100% by Timothy Ball, on Flickr



Jul 02, 2017 at 04:14 PM
GMPhotography
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p.2 #14 · p.2 #14 · LR test: Sharpness Tests of the Sony FE 85mm f/1.8


I have a Sony 85 tests on the forum. Look that up for examples to compare against. I have a really good copy and you should at least get results close to that. Fred tested mine as well and says the same thing. It's just a really good copy. So keep trying


Jul 02, 2017 at 05:27 PM
timballic
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p.2 #15 · p.2 #15 · LR test: Sharpness Tests of the Sony FE 85mm f/1.8


Thanks Guy, from a quick look at your results, it could be a completely different lens design!

I'm getting that dreadful Sony lens "gloom" again, brought on by trying to snag a good (or even reasonably good) FE 28/2, and giving up after 5x "dog" copies! Not again Sony, please no!

Perhaps I'd better add the Batis 85 into my "shortlist" as well!?



Jul 02, 2017 at 06:28 PM
pdmphoto
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p.2 #16 · p.2 #16 · LR test: Sharpness Tests of the Sony FE 85mm f/1.8


^The true Zeiss lenses for Sony, Batis and Loxia, do seem to have a better QA record than the Sony/Zony lenses.

Edited on Jul 02, 2017 at 07:37 PM · View previous versions



Jul 02, 2017 at 07:33 PM
GMPhotography
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p.2 #17 · p.2 #17 · LR test: Sharpness Tests of the Sony FE 85mm f/1.8


I have a brand new 28mm F2 have not tested yet but I'm going to sell it on the board. I'm going to buy the zoom

timballic wrote:
Thanks Guy, from a quick look at your results, it could be a completely different lens design!

I'm getting that dreadful Sony lens "gloom" again, brought on by trying to snag a good (or even reasonably good) FE 28/2, and giving up after 5x "dog" copies! Not again Sony, please no!

Perhaps I'd better add the Batis 85 into my "shortlist" as well!?




Jul 02, 2017 at 07:35 PM
chrisgibbs
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p.2 #18 · p.2 #18 · LR test: Sharpness Tests of the Sony FE 85mm f/1.8


pdmphoto wrote:
^The true Zeiss lenses for Sony, Batis and Loxia, do seem to have a better QA record than the Sony/Zony lenses.


Six of one, half a dozen of the other. Unless you're buying a very spendy Zeiss Cinema lens, chances are they're all simply Japanese (made under license) Zeiss, none of those mentioned are true German Zeiss.

It's a bit like these Mercedes SUV's made here in the US, down in Alabama, they really don't compare "copy to copy, fit & Finnish wise" to the German made G-Class.



Jul 02, 2017 at 09:15 PM
philip_pj
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p.2 #19 · p.2 #19 · LR test: Sharpness Tests of the Sony FE 85mm f/1.8


In one interview, Sony's lens designers were incredulous at the QC/QA attention of Zeiss, which has been helping them with tolerance control for two decades now. When you make the best in the business for a range of ultra demanding fields, when you have been at it longer than everyone else, when you 'invented' the modern concept of micro-contrast (the basis for real world lens testing which highlights faults), this might seem to be a natural progression.

Zeiss have engineers at the fab plants, for overseeing lens output on which their reputation depends. How many discriminating Milvus/Loxia buyers would trust them if they fell back to say, FE 35/1.4 or wide CV standards? I'll take six of Zeiss, thank you.



Jul 02, 2017 at 10:29 PM
JimBuchanan
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p.2 #20 · p.2 #20 · LR test: Sharpness Tests of the Sony FE 85mm f/1.8


timballic wrote:
Not only not sharp, but a bit hazy/veiled at F/1.8 too.

I'll try for another copy. Have you any experience of the 90 macro, for distance work?

This is Lr compare view 100% Centre at infinity F/1.8 left : F5.6 (best) right. The difference between them looks even greater in the original.


Just curious, these infinity test shots; were they auto focused or manual focused.
Thanks.



Jul 03, 2017 at 12:05 AM
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