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LR test: Sharpness Tests of the Sony FE 85mm f/1.8
  
 
Steve Spencer
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p.5 #1 · p.5 #1 · LR test: Sharpness Tests of the Sony FE 85mm f/1.8


timballic wrote:
My "landscape" always includes foreground interest, and very, very rarely is it at infinity setting...

...as here, with Canon TS-E 90/2.8, here w/o any movements. I love that lens! (This is the sort of shot I'm wanting the Batis for.)
https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4266/35680954171_cf304abf94_o.jpgWalls, Track and Barns by Tim Ball, on Flickr


Tim,

I think you may find a bit better performance from you AF lenses and you get use to AFing with a bit more precision. Even being just a tiny bit off can affect sharpness at times. Part of the reason I use MF instead of AF is up to this point I still get more precision from MF. One tip I might add in this regard is that I am getting older too and I have found that I do much better with an EVF camera if I use my reading glasses which themselves have a bit of magnification. If you have reading glasses and haven't tried them, it might be worth a try. I use my regular glasses (which are progressives) for setting up the shot and for composition, but I keep my reading glasses in my pocket and switch to them for focussing. For me it helps a lot.
One other point, although I do often recommend the tech art pro adapter (as Fred suggests) for people who want AF on a Sony camera, if I remember correctly you have an A7 and the tech art pro adapter doesn't not work with the first generation Sony cameras or the A7sII.



Jul 15, 2017 at 05:27 PM
timballic
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p.5 #2 · p.5 #2 · LR test: Sharpness Tests of the Sony FE 85mm f/1.8


Thanks Steve, but I'm going to see how I get on with the Batis AF for a while!

Back to the original theme, i.e. Lens Rentals tests of the FE 85/1.8, I'm interested that my results at F/1.8 mirror theirs, i.e., the Batis being sharper (and clearer). However, the results one stop down, at F/2.8 are very different, as the FE improves hugely, (at least the copy I tried did), whilst the Batis only improves slightly, so at F/2.8, my results show the FE to be just ahead, which continues up to F/5.6, from where it's too close to call!
Roger says the Batis is 2x the cost of the FE, but with careful buying, the Batis can be found for only 35% more than the FE. (Well, mine was )
I'm looking forward to seeing how bokeh compares.



Jul 15, 2017 at 07:12 PM
philip_pj
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p.5 #3 · p.5 #3 · LR test: Sharpness Tests of the Sony FE 85mm f/1.8


The Batis 85 makes an interesting case here. Images of MTF below to illustrate the gains made by the Batis 85 between its 'poorer by design' f1.8 and its fabulous f2.8 performance (close to the f4 peak). It's a general point to make for users of moderate speed (f1.8-f2) modern short tele lenses: that they can benefit greatly by stopping down just one stop if performance (clarity, sharpness) is their goal. I use this technique a lot with the FE55, which has a similar leap in image quality at f2.8. Benefits include greater separation and better shaping of the subject (more DOF), a form of 3D. cheers.

PS Rapid up, rapid down; by f8 you have lost 5-8% of performance with the Batis 85mm, early onset diffraction is a little recognised attribute of many fast-moderate modern lenses. This is why lesser lenses can look like the equal of the top tier optics, stopped down. By f11, 10-15% is gone. If you have more, you have more to lose. Put another way, f11 is considerably worse than f2 for the B85 in/near the centre. Outer frames are strong, but a price must be paid.





flat lines for orderly bokeh and low detail rendering.







huge increases in medium and small size detail, we know this as 'sharpness'.




Jul 16, 2017 at 12:24 AM
timballic
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p.5 #4 · p.5 #4 · LR test: Sharpness Tests of the Sony FE 85mm f/1.8


Philip, Can you put up the equivalent MTF charts for the FE 85/1.8 at the above apertures?

What I am seeing, is certainly an improvement with the Batis from F/1.8 to 2.8, but a greater improvement with the FE. So that the FE starts "behind" the Batis, but leaps up to be just ahead of it. (I'm really concentrating on corners rather than centre, to see the difference most clearly.

Now I'm looking at distant results and I'm not seeing that leapfrog by the FE, the Batis stays ahead at F/2.8

Too early to really make any meaningful comments yet, except, perhaps, stopped down a bit, the FE beats the Batis
(sharpness) in the centre, but the Batis better at corners. It really seems to be a six of one half a dozen of the other.

The biggest difference is that the FE is cool and the Batis warm, but on two separate days, albeit same time, it's hard to know, especially as AWB on the A7 is not one of its better points.

Edited on Jul 16, 2017 at 03:27 PM · View previous versions



Jul 16, 2017 at 02:44 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.5 #5 · p.5 #5 · LR test: Sharpness Tests of the Sony FE 85mm f/1.8


timballic wrote:
Philip, Can you put up the equivalent MTF charts for the FE 85/1.8 at the above apertures?

What I am seeing, is certainly an improvement with the Batis from F/1.8 to 2.8, but a greater improvement with the FE. So that the FE starts "behind" the Batis, but leaps up to be just ahead of it. (I'm really concentrating on corners rather than centre, to see the difference most clearly.


I manage to get a great copy of the Batis 85 and at infinity it is noticeably better than the FE 85 from wide open. This FE 85/1.8 was borrowed from Guy for this comparison. Great copy, perfectly centered.

My results show that the Sony is optimal at f/5.6 (center and edges). Af f/4 it's similar to the Batis in the center area but a larger apertures, the Batis is better everywhere, especially towards the corners.

The FE is a great lens but the Batis has higher resolution/contrast and lower aberrations. Bokeh is very similar. The difference is not big and copy variation will certainly make these lenses very close in performance.
I still have the test if anyone is curious to see it.



Jul 16, 2017 at 03:25 PM
timballic
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p.5 #6 · p.5 #6 · LR test: Sharpness Tests of the Sony FE 85mm f/1.8


I can't help feeling that both copies I've picked up are both rather mediocre. Not actually faulty, but not brilliant either.
I'll post some examples as I work through my comparisons. I'll have to leave the infinity test until tomorrow, as too much heat haze now.

Here's the first, Bokeh in the centre of my test scene, both F/1.8 (Both AWB, in Lr, Batis reads 8500, +13; FE 8800 +14!) The whole "test" scene can be viewed back at pg 2 #10 of this thread

First Batis 85
Batis 85 @1.8 by Timothy Ball, on Flickr

Then FE 85/1.8
FE 85/1.8 @ 1.8 Centre 100% by Timothy Ball, on Flickr


Edited on Jul 16, 2017 at 03:48 PM · View previous versions



Jul 16, 2017 at 03:29 PM
 

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Petercliff
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p.5 #7 · p.5 #7 · LR test: Sharpness Tests of the Sony FE 85mm f/1.8


I have the Macro Sony 90mm and have shot it at infinity for my landscape work. At infinity it is not sharp to my standards which led me to purchase the 85mm Loxia. The 85mm Loxia is on the level of the the 21mm Loxia. I absolutely love the 85mm Loxia for Landscape work. Its very easy to focus the 85mm... With my copy, hard stop then back off just a nudge and Im sharp throughout. The picture in the link was taken with my 85mm Loxia. Pano shot.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BV_FdApljPs/?taken-by=cliffpeterson



Jul 16, 2017 at 03:46 PM
timballic
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p.5 #8 · p.5 #8 · LR test: Sharpness Tests of the Sony FE 85mm f/1.8


Peter, from what I've seen of the Loxia 85, it is better for landscape than the Batis. Thanks for the info about the 90 macro too.

Now stopped down of F11, this is so I can gauge how good dof is behind my focus point.
Here I'm seeing quite a lot more detail/dof with the FE (sadly!)
(Someone's cut the hedges since I took the FE shots, so part of the comparison doesn't work!)
NB. This isn't to say that the Batis can't resolve as well at distance as the FE, just that clear dof with the FE is better, (which is perhaps more important to me for my more "stopped down" sort of use.)
(I'll try infinity test tomorrow)

Batis 85
Batis 85 @11 by Timothy Ball, on Flickr

FE 85/1.8
FE 85/1.8 @ 11 Centre 100% by Timothy Ball, on Flickr


--and here's top left corner F8 Not a lot between them.Perhaps the Batis just has the edge.
Certainly from F/1.8- 5.6 the Batis is clearly better than the FE, but here at F8, very similar.

Batis 85
Batis 85 @ 8 Top left by Timothy Ball, on Flickr

FE 85/1.8
FE 85/1.8 @8 Top Left 100% by Timothy Ball, on Flickr

These results aren't really helping me pick a clear winner for my type of photography. If anything, the FE may have the edge, but I think it's so close that I may need to shoot more with both.




Jul 16, 2017 at 03:52 PM
timballic
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p.5 #9 · p.5 #9 · LR test: Sharpness Tests of the Sony FE 85mm f/1.8


Thankfully I got this Batis in a very good deal, so if I decide to sell, I won't lose much. I certainly don't think I can complain about it to the seller, I'm sure it's within its manufacturing tolerances.

I'm leaning towards keeping the Batis, but next time the FE 85/1.8 comes up in a sale, to try another copy of it.

Oh, I'm SO weary of trying to get good copies of "modern" lenses!
I know legacy MF prime lenses, also vary from copy to copy, but these modern ones are giving me a lot more trouble in finding good ones. (I put "prime" in there, because the C/Y35-70/3.4 took me 4x copies before I got a good one. It's probably my most used lens to date, too.)



Jul 16, 2017 at 05:46 PM
Steve Spencer
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p.5 #10 · p.5 #10 · LR test: Sharpness Tests of the Sony FE 85mm f/1.8


timballic wrote:
Peter, from what I've seen of the Loxia 85, it is better for landscape than the Batis. Thanks for the info about the 90 macro too.

Now stopped down of F11, this is so I can gauge how good dof is behind my focus point.
Here I'm seeing quite a lot more detail/dof with the FE (sadly!)
(Someone's cut the hedges since I took the FE shots, so part of the comparison doesn't work!)
NB. This isn't to say that the Batis can't resolve as well at distance as the FE, just that clear dof with the FE is better, (which
...Show more

Tim, I am not convinced by these shots that the Batis would be worse when you want deep DOF. I find the difference in these two shots to be pretty subtle and could very well be affect by exact focus placement. I think the two lenses are close, but I agree totally with Fred's take. I think you have a good Batis and although not quite as good as some of the MF alternatives, it is very close. If you had the FE, I would probably tell you to keep it instead. I think at times it is easy to spend far to much time trying to scrutinize very small differences in lenses that are very similar in performance and spend hours testing when those hours could have gone to shooting. So my advice is just keep this Batis and use it for awhile and unless you are unhappy with the quality of the shots you are making be happy that you have a very good lens. In addition, the Batis will be a nice match including in filter size with your Batis 25.



Jul 16, 2017 at 06:53 PM
timballic
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p.5 #11 · p.5 #11 · LR test: Sharpness Tests of the Sony FE 85mm f/1.8


Thanks Steve, that's sound advice. Thank you.


Jul 16, 2017 at 07:02 PM
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