Home · Register · Software · Software · Join Upload & Sell

Moderated by: Fred Miranda
Username  

  New fredmiranda.com Mobile Site
  New Feature: SMS Notification alert
  New Feature: Buy & Sell Watchlist
  

FM Forums | Sony Forum | Join Upload & Sell

1
       2       end
  

Sony FE 1.8/85 vs. Sony FE 1.4/85 GM - The Big Shootout
  
 
Jannik Peters
Online
• • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Sony FE 1.8/85 vs. Sony FE 1.4/85 GM - The Big Shootout


Hi everybody,

I have put hours over hours of work in that comparison that I have promised for quite some time. I knew from the beginning that I could only afford one of them and therefore I had to do a detailed comparison.

It is way too much material to upload here, therefore I refer to our blog:

https://phillipreeve.net/blog/sony-fe-1-885-vs-sony-fe-1-485-gm-the-big-shootout/

I hope this helps somebody, this is my conclusion:

"The FE 1.4/85 GM and the FE 1.8/85 share the same focal length and the same lens mount. Even the user interface is comparable despite of the dedicated aperture ring of the GM. But this is where the similarities end. I see two very different lenses with very different strengths.

The FE 1.8/85 is a very practical lens. It is cheap, small, silent, decently built and has very fast autofocus. It delivers sharp and nice images in most cases and most people will also be happy with its optical performance and its rendering. It also doesn’t focus stopped down which is great for studio usage. It is a lens for all people that make a buying decision with the head or with the wallet. My advice to them: Stop reading here, get the FE 1.8/85 and be satisfied by it.

Nevertheless, the Sony FE 1.4/85 GM is the lens that excites me and that has conquered my heart. I have had this impression before I did my comparison and it got only stronger after this test. The build quality of the lens screams quality in every regard. Optically, the FE 1.4/85 is superior in all relevant categories. For landscapers, It is sharper at infinity at equal/large apertures and very sharp across the frame stopped down. Furthermore, it is significantly sharper at close distances and renders colors more gentle and accurate, especially at large apertures. The flare performance of the Sony FE 1.4/85 GM is far superior to the flare performance of the Sony FE 1.8/85 and almost flawless when the lens hood is used. The Sony FE 1.4/85 GM doesn’t show the purple fringing that the Sony FE 1.8/85 has but there is a relevant amount of LoCA wide open. The GM also has a small amount of focus shift when focusing wide open and stopping down. The autofocus of the FE 1.4/85 GM makes noise and is not the fastest around. Forget about shooting running kids with it.

The most important aspect to understand the FE 1.4/85 GM is of course the bokeh. I was never satisfied by the bokeh comparisons that I have seen in the past (mostly FE 1.4/85 GM vs. Zeiss Batis 1.8/85) because they were always limited to the shape of the bokeh balls at close distances. The simple-minded message was: Get the GM if you want round bokeh balls. This is true to a certain degree, but this approach is way too simple to understand the FE 1.4/85 GM’s magic. It became visible that Sony has managed to archive different contrast levels in the focal plane and outside of it. While both lenses have high contrast in the focal plane, the contrast of the FE 1.4/85 is much lower outside of it. The dispersal circles are less harsh and clean of chromatic aberrations, outlining and onion rings. They melt into each other gently. This contributes to subject isolation greatly and the difference in subject isolation is much bigger than the aperture difference might indicate. This is especially if the background is close to the subject. These big differences are not only caused by the speed difference, that becomes visible when comparing the f/1.7 and f/1.8 samples. It is really the lens design that causes these differences.

Another special trick of the Sony FE 1.4/85 GM is the f/1.4 setting. While still being sharp, it is less contrasty and renders even more gently than stopped down. Maybe there is even a small tad of spherical aberration that contributes to that behavior. This “feature” is very nice for many portrait scenarios. Already at f/1.7, the lens crisps up greatly and changes its character. It has more microcontast then but still keeps the bokeh calm. I am pretty sure that Sony has designed this “two-face” behavior intentionally.

Finally, some people claim that the Sony FE 1.8/85 is the sharper lens than the Sony FE 1.4/85 GM and refer to the Lensrentals MTF measurement. The problem with this kind of comparison is that Lensrentals only measure wide open, and these lenses have different speeds. At equal apertures, the Sony FE 1.4/85 GM is visibly sharper than the Sony FE 1.8/85."



Sep 12, 2017 at 08:10 AM
GMPhotography
Online
• • • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Sony FE 1.8/85 vs. Sony FE 1.4/85 GM - The Big Shootout


I had them both and this is a great post on it. Nice work not much to disagree about and mostly agree all the way. My issue with the GM was the stop down focusing in the studio. It just could not attain focus fast enough or see well enough to focus. I had to switch to the Sony 85 1.8 and for the money it's a great lens no question and I got a excellent copy. I do miss the GM though at times. Unfortunately it was a business decision not a personal one. That happens sometimes.


Sep 12, 2017 at 10:57 AM
Jannik Peters
Online
• • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Sony FE 1.8/85 vs. Sony FE 1.4/85 GM - The Big Shootout


- double post -

Edited on Sep 12, 2017 at 11:06 AM · View previous versions



Sep 12, 2017 at 11:04 AM
Jannik Peters
Online
• • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Sony FE 1.8/85 vs. Sony FE 1.4/85 GM - The Big Shootout


If I were a professional photographer, I would make the same decision..

I have just built my own 50m² studio in my home and I have encountered the same problems, even more with the FE 1.4/50.. This is hugely frustrating me and I am trying out Fuji for this now. Just got the Godox X1T-F for that purpose.



Sep 12, 2017 at 11:04 AM
GMPhotography
Online
• • • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Sony FE 1.8/85 vs. Sony FE 1.4/85 GM - The Big Shootout


Jannik Peters wrote:
If I were a professional photographer, I would make the same decision..

I have just built my own 50m² studio in my home and I have encountered the same problems, even more with the FE 1.4/50.. This is hugely frustrating me and I am trying out Fuji for this now. Just got the Godox X1T-F for that purpose.


Yea it's a real issue. Not sure what 50 would be better too. The 55 I'm not sure if it does it or not.

I'm shooting all Godox and I turned to the Batis 135 as well and the Sony 85 1.8 but have not looked at 50mm area


Great work here I know you worked your butt off doing it. We all appreciate it


Edited on Sep 12, 2017 at 11:10 AM · View previous versions



Sep 12, 2017 at 11:08 AM
Jannik Peters
Online
• • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Sony FE 1.8/85 vs. Sony FE 1.4/85 GM - The Big Shootout


55 is better.. I have sold it because I hated the LoCA.. Probably another mistake I made

Unfortunately I have found out that 50mm isn't turning me on that much anyways..



Sep 12, 2017 at 11:09 AM
GMPhotography
Online
• • • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Sony FE 1.8/85 vs. Sony FE 1.4/85 GM - The Big Shootout


Yea 50mm just does not get my juice flowing either.


Sep 12, 2017 at 11:11 AM
jmmaher
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Sony FE 1.8/85 vs. Sony FE 1.4/85 GM - The Big Shootout


I have owned both and currently have the 85 1.8 with no regrets. I don't disagree with anything that has been said but for me faster focusing and great studio performance are the key issues. A great lens that misses the shot is ...

Jim



Sep 12, 2017 at 10:03 PM
GMPhotography
Online
• • • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Sony FE 1.8/85 vs. Sony FE 1.4/85 GM - The Big Shootout


Yea Jim that was my case in front of a client tethered to a 27 inch monitor. 5 focus tabs open and I kept getting misses. I was mortified. I went manual focus after a bit. Immediately sold the GM. I'm getting paid and I can't have that happen

It's a great lens though if you got the light and a slow model. Lol

Edited on Sep 12, 2017 at 10:18 PM · View previous versions



Sep 12, 2017 at 10:15 PM
GabrielPhoto
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Sony FE 1.8/85 vs. Sony FE 1.4/85 GM - The Big Shootout


Well to offer a different perspective, while I most of the time do my work outdoors, I am perfectly happy with my GM working in studio with my particular setup. Absolutely love my GM and after I did my comparison video of GM vs 1.8 vs Batis vs Sigma, my love for the GM got even bigger.
If it wasn't for my mistress (the Sigma 135mm 1.8 Art), I would be completely faithful to my 85mm GM



Sep 12, 2017 at 10:17 PM
 

Search in Used Dept. 

        


GMPhotography
Online
• • • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Sony FE 1.8/85 vs. Sony FE 1.4/85 GM - The Big Shootout


My one issue is I went Godox all the way and went for the portability so my big strobe units are no longer and with very little light the GM has a hard time but worse is a moving model it just could not keep up. Sucks

I even tried some lights with big modeling lights and still could not track. Now maybe with my A9 it would be better. Never got a solid answer on that when I asked if any improvement



Sep 12, 2017 at 10:22 PM
GabrielPhoto
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Sony FE 1.8/85 vs. Sony FE 1.4/85 GM - The Big Shootout


GMPhotography wrote:
My one issue is I went Godox all the way and went for the portability so my big strobe units are no longer and with very little light the GM has a hard time but worse is a moving model it just could not keep up. Sucks

I even tried some lights with big modeling lights and still could not track. Now maybe with my A9 it would be better. Never got a solid answer on that when I asked if any improvement


I keep enough light in my home subject to prevent "Big Pupil Syndrome" then adjust my shutter speed so that it does not count for much on my exposure and that does the trick at least for me. I do also shoot a lot with my 135mm in studio.
I have yet to play with it but wasnt the latest firmware supposed to prevent the low light focusing issues when stopping down if you disabled the Effects On setting?
Anyways..I can surely see how it will be frustrating not been able to focus on your subject in such situation.



Sep 12, 2017 at 10:28 PM
Fred Miranda
Offline
Admin
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Sony FE 1.8/85 vs. Sony FE 1.4/85 GM - The Big Shootout


Jannik Peters wrote:
Another special trick of the Sony FE 1.4/85 GM is the f/1.4 setting. While still being sharp, it is less contrasty and renders even more gently than stopped down. Maybe there is even a small tad of spherical aberration that contributes to that behavior. This “feature” is very nice for many portrait scenarios. Already at f/1.7, the lens crisps up greatly and changes its character. It has more microcontast then but still keeps the bokeh calm. I am pretty sure that Sony has designed this “two-face” behavior intentionally.


This is spot on Jannik. I see this 'feature' as well
There is a noticeable transformation from f/1.4 to f/1.7. Two different looks to choose from depending on the scene.

I also find it stellar at landscape distances. Starting at f/2.8 it's already excellent across the field with no weak zones.
f/2.8 is the sweet spot for LoCA control as well.

There is moderate LoCA wide-open and it's still there at f/1.7 and f/2. Today I compared it to the Batis 135/2.8 and it was no contest even with the Batis wide open. See here:
http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1505520/4#14179012

You would really appreciate the Batis 135/2.8 APO.



Sep 12, 2017 at 11:11 PM
Fred Miranda
Offline
Admin
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Sony FE 1.8/85 vs. Sony FE 1.4/85 GM - The Big Shootout


GMPhotography wrote:
I had them both and this is a great post on it. Nice work not much to disagree about and mostly agree all the way. My issue with the GM was the stop down focusing in the studio. It just could not attain focus fast enough or see well enough to focus. I had to switch to the Sony 85 1.8 and for the money it's a great lens no question and I got a excellent copy. I do miss the GM though at times. Unfortunately it was a business decision not a personal one. That happens sometimes.


Guy, the latest A7RII firmware (and I'm sure A9's current firmware) fixed this issue. Basically lenses that focus stopped-down (Like the 85/1.4 GM) can be set to open the aperture during focus acquisition. All you need to do is switch Setting Effect to "OFF". (This changed from previous firmware versions)



Sep 13, 2017 at 12:57 AM
GMPhotography
Online
• • • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Sony FE 1.8/85 vs. Sony FE 1.4/85 GM - The Big Shootout


Thanks Fred that would certainly help as far as light. But lens speed itself is a worry with the big elements. Something I would want to test


Sep 13, 2017 at 01:50 AM
Fred Miranda
Offline
Admin
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Sony FE 1.8/85 vs. Sony FE 1.4/85 GM - The Big Shootout


GMPhotography wrote:
Thanks Fred that would certainly help as far as light. But lens speed itself is a worry with the big elements. Something I would want to test


You mean, it's not as fast focusing as the FE 85/1.8? I'd say for sure!



Sep 13, 2017 at 01:58 AM
Jonathan Brady
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Sony FE 1.8/85 vs. Sony FE 1.4/85 GM - The Big Shootout




Fred Miranda wrote:
Guy, the latest A7RII firmware (and I'm sure A9's current firmware) fixed this issue. Basically lenses that focus stepped-down (Like the 85/1.4 GM) can be set to open the aperture during focus acquisition. All you need to do is switch Setting Effect to "OFF".


Any issues with focus shift when doing this?



Sep 13, 2017 at 02:14 AM
Fred Miranda
Offline
Admin
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Sony FE 1.8/85 vs. Sony FE 1.4/85 GM - The Big Shootout


Jonathan Brady wrote:
Any issues with focus shift when doing this?


The aperture never opens wider than f/2 whenever Setting Effect is set to "OFF". As far as I can tell, there was never any issue with focus shift to begin with.



Sep 13, 2017 at 02:31 AM
Stoffer
Online
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Sony FE 1.8/85 vs. Sony FE 1.4/85 GM - The Big Shootout


Jannik Peters wrote:
Unfortunately I have found out that 50mm isn't turning me on that much anyways..


GMPhotography wrote:
Yea 50mm just does not get my juice flowing either.


Aaah, thanks guys. I thought I was the only one who doesn't get any inspiration from shooting 50mm. Was almost ashamed to admit it, but I find some solace in your remarks.

Give me 35mm or 85mm any day of the week.



Sep 13, 2017 at 09:31 AM
Stoffer
Online
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Sony FE 1.8/85 vs. Sony FE 1.4/85 GM - The Big Shootout


BTW, thanks for the review, Jannik! The 85 GM is outstanding, it just is.


Sep 13, 2017 at 09:32 AM
1
       2       end






FM Forums | Sony Forum | Join Upload & Sell

1
       2       end
    
 

You are not logged in. Login or Register

Username     Reset password