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State of the art manual portrait lens for Sony – Loxia 85 2.4? Voigtländ...

  
 
zeitlos
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · State of the art manual portrait lens for Sony – Loxia 85 2.4? Voigtländer 65 2.0?


Yes, I do have the Sigma 105mm 1.4 and the Tamron 35-150 2.0-2.8. Fabulous (!!!) lenses. However, bulky and big.

Currently, I'm looking for a lens that can be used mainly for portraits. I'm still missing my Pentax FA77mm 1.8.

I want to try manual focusing using my A7 IIIs technical benefits for doing so.

However, I'm still not sure which lens would be the one that can put a spell on me when reviewing the results.

Is the Loxia 85 2.4 still up to the task? Or would you rather go with Voigländer? 65mm Apo? 40mm 1.2?

I'm looking for something that has charm

I also own the fabulous Sigma 65mm 2.0. However, it's rather clinical and "cold". Still I like it a lot for what it is, but I wanted to try something for the heart.

Loxia and the Voigtländer mentioned can be bought new here in Germany for about the same price (about 950 Euro).
The Loxia seems to be quite heavy again. So not sure if it is a lens you can have with you in addition to your ordinary stuff when you go out without know whether you need it or not. But if it delivers this extra portion of magic...

Any suggestions/recommendations for a manual lens with great bokeh suitable for portraits? A keeper, something to adore and play with? Something of good build quality.

Voigtländer seems to be the best you can get for Sony at the moment, at least that's the impression I get from reading reviews/comments on internet forums etc.



Edited on Nov 24, 2022 at 12:54 PM · View previous versions



Nov 24, 2022 at 12:50 PM
tsdevine
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · State of the art manual portrait lens for Sony – Loxia 85 2.4? Voigtländer 65 2.0?


Maybe the 85/1.8 K?I like it for wider aperture shooting more that the 77. I really don’t shoot portraits, but I have both of the lenses I mentioned.

zeitlos wrote:
Yes, I do have the Sigma 105mm 1.4 and the Tamron 35-150 2.0-2.8. Fabulous (!!!) lenses. However, bulky and big.

Currently, I'm looking for a lens that can be used mainly for portraits. I'm still missing my Pentax FA77mm 1.8.

I want to try manual focusing using my A7 IIIs technical benefits for doing so.

However, I'm still not sure which lens would be the one that can put a spell on me when reviewing the results.

Is the Loxia 85 2.4 still up to the task? Or would you rather go with Voigländer? 65mm Apo? 40mm 1.2?

I'm looking for something that
...Show more



Nov 24, 2022 at 12:54 PM
zeitlos
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · State of the art manual portrait lens for Sony – Loxia 85 2.4? Voigtländer 65 2.0?


Thanks! Is it this one? https://johnnymartyr.wordpress.com/2018/03/05/go-to-portrait-lens-nikkor-85mm-1-8-k-aid/

Seems to have character! Can I adapt it to my Sony A7III easily?



Nov 24, 2022 at 12:55 PM
tsdevine
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · State of the art manual portrait lens for Sony – Loxia 85 2.4? Voigtländer 65 2.0?



No, Pentax. I’m sure you’ll get a bunch of other recommendations.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/lensreviews/SMC-Pentax-K-85mm-F1.8-Lens.html



zeitlos wrote:
Thanks! Is it this one? https://johnnymartyr.wordpress.com/2018/03/05/go-to-portrait-lens-nikkor-85mm-1-8-k-aid/

Seems to have character! Can I adapt it to my Sony A7III easily?




Nov 24, 2022 at 01:03 PM
Steve Spencer
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · State of the art manual portrait lens for Sony – Loxia 85 2.4? Voigtländer 65 2.0?


Although I love the Voigtlander 65 f/2 APO and specifically for portraits, I think I would prefer the Voigtlander 75 f/1.5. It only come in Leica M mount, but adapts pretty well to Sony cameras. Here is a review of the lens on Sony from Philip at Philipreeve.net:

https://phillipreeve.net/blog/review-voigtlander-75mm-f1-5-vm/

The Zhong Yi 90 f/1.5 might be a good choice as well. Here is a review from Bastian at Philipreeve.net:

https://phillipreeve.net/blog/review-zhong-yi-90mm-1-5-m/

The Loxia 85 f/2.4 is an excellent lens and takes good portraits, bit at times I like a wider aperture.



Nov 24, 2022 at 01:16 PM
Bokehddicted
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · State of the art manual portrait lens for Sony – Loxia 85 2.4? Voigtländer 65 2.0?


The Lox85 is wonderful.

To note:
- very ‚transparent‘, like a veil is lifted… likely due to few groups/elements
- incredible colors, contrast… but i find Zeiss pop to really kick in at f4
- unusually heavy in relationship to size… feels not only solid like the other Lox, but like a gold bar
- unusually long… looks kinds awkward, especially wirh the hood
- smoothest rendering of any lens i ever owned… the perfect artefact-free bokeh balls is a sight to be seen
- moon shaped bokeh



Nov 24, 2022 at 02:30 PM
Gunzorro
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · State of the art manual portrait lens for Sony – Loxia 85 2.4? Voigtländer 65 2.0?


The Canon EF 85/1.2L II is another choice to consider (with Sigma MC-11). Not as lightening fast as on native Canon bodies, but still offers a creamy, buttery OOF area up through the initial Loxia 85's f/2.4.

I own the Loxia 85 and would consider it a candidate for portraits, but might like the 85L II better for that sort of images. The Loxia is great otherwise -- fantastic color and sharpness at slightly smaller apertures -- nature loves these images. I wouldn't own the 85L II for nature (I do have the 50/1.2L and use it occasionally for scenes and flowers with its greater DOF, but I use the Loxia 50 far more often!).



Nov 24, 2022 at 02:51 PM
Oogappeltje
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · State of the art manual portrait lens for Sony – Loxia 85 2.4? Voigtländer 65 2.0?


If you'd chose a 85 f/1.8 lens you should consider the Batis 85. After trying most FE mount 85 it's my pick since a few years.

Manual focus, character, adorable....... the VM 1.5/75 Nokton comes to mind (350g + adapter on E-mount) vs 594g for the Loxia85.

If weight and seize do not matter the 85GM is still the portrait king



Nov 24, 2022 at 02:59 PM
philip_pj
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · State of the art manual portrait lens for Sony – Loxia 85 2.4? Voigtländer 65 2.0?


'still up to the task?'

Lens's image performance is not correlated with age. The excellent old ones are still excellent despite the fickle winds of fashion blowing through the field of stills photography like so much of today's cultural restlessness.

The Loxia 85mm is a better portrait lens than I was expecting, I feel it's about at the 75th percentile range. Images are clean and workmanlike rather than charming. It would however cost me a lot of material that better designed MF short telephotos deliver with aplomb. Why?

220 degrees of rotation means portraiture is not the main intent of the lens. 600 grams and a long thin lens body (to comply with the Loxia guiding principle of 52mm filter threads) and a full coverage hood only reinforce this impression. It's size, shape, weight and rotation work against it - for this rather specialised prep-intensive use case. Preparation takes longer and the crucial extra second or two transforms the subject's fresh expression into a dull model stare. OK if you pay or coerce them, of course.

You have two basic choices and one current alt choice: look for charm in a modern a7 system short tele lens (good luck), or try one of the many old world lenses which delivered charm in barrow loads. For their Sony output, Cosina thinks that longer than 50mm equals macro work.

The alt choice is Cosina's one current short tele lens for Leica M (one out of of twenty-one M lenses!) is a beauty. And even better, it behaves itself on Sony cameras, on which it performs in a way M users can only dream about (due to magnification, IBIS). It's the dreamy wide/near open and the very sharp mid apertures VM 75/1.5. Around 100 degrees of fast action rotation, light and compact, shorty hood. Resale will stay high as the years pass by.



Nov 24, 2022 at 04:19 PM
akashyap
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · State of the art manual portrait lens for Sony – Loxia 85 2.4? Voigtländer 65 2.0?


I’ve got a Batis 85 and CV 40, both are great for portraits at different focal lengths and AF/MF, so I’d definitely recommend them for lighter alternatives. But the manual focus experience of the Batis 85 is horrible.

There are so many adaptable short teles, so voting for the CV 75/1.5 would open a can of worms, but I’m very keen on trying that lens for portraits over a CV 65 and Lox 85. I’d love to try the latter 2 for every other application, and I love me some EXIF, but they seem a bit sharp for portraits relative to the samples of the CV 75 I’ve seen.



Nov 24, 2022 at 05:25 PM
 


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Dave Sanders
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · State of the art manual portrait lens for Sony – Loxia 85 2.4? Voigtländer 65 2.0?


akashyap wrote:
I’ve got a Batis 85 and CV 40, both are great for portraits at different focal lengths and AF/MF, so I’d definitely recommend them for lighter alternatives. But the manual focus experience of the Batis 85 is horrible.

There are so many adaptable short teles, so voting for the CV 75/1.5 would open a can of worms, but I’m very keen on trying that lens for portraits over a CV 65 and Lox 85. I’d love to try the latter 2 for every other application, and I love me some EXIF, but they seem a bit sharp for portraits relative
...Show more

The CV 75/1.5 seems like a fantastic lens, but there's also the older CV 75/2.5 LTM that's worth considering. I had and foolishly sold a fetching silver copy and really enjoyed it. It's small, light and renders beautifully. I have the Loxia 85 now and while the CV 75/2.5 doesn't hit the same highs as the Loxia for sharpness, it's a different experience, with a different look entirely.

I think my Loxia is the best landscape lens I've ever used, but I almost never use it for portraits. As others have pointed out, it's long, heavy, and awkward. The CV 75 would be a much better fit for that role.

Anyways, the 2.5 LTM can be had for around $300 US in mint condition, black or silver. Worth a thought.



Nov 24, 2022 at 05:49 PM
MrTMan
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · State of the art manual portrait lens for Sony – Loxia 85 2.4? Voigtländer 65 2.0?


Bokehddicted wrote:
The Lox85 is wonderful.

To note:
- very ‚transparent‘, like a veil is lifted… likely due to few groups/elements
- incredible colors, contrast… but i find Zeiss pop to really kick in at f4
- unusually heavy in relationship to size… feels not only solid like the other Lox, but like a gold bar
- unusually long… looks kinds awkward, especially wirh the hood
- smoothest rendering of any lens i ever owned… the perfect artefact-free bokeh balls is a sight to be seen
- moon shaped bokeh


Completely agree. Is it practical as a portrait lens? No, not at all. But it’s nonetheless my favorite portrait lens due to the characteristics above. I always reach for it first, unless I desperately need AF.



Nov 24, 2022 at 09:40 PM
zeitlos
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · State of the art manual portrait lens for Sony – Loxia 85 2.4? Voigtländer 65 2.0?


Wow, that was really helpful! Thanks so much! I spent the last few days trying to organize my head, but then new ideas kept popping up and everything was a mess again.

I'll definitely keep the older lenses suggested here on my list. I can well imagine that the charm/character they bring might be what I'm looking for. So thanks again for the suggestions! Always welcome!

Nevertheless, I will try it first with the newer - i.e. current - lenses.

As I see it, the following lenses should be at the top of my list at the moment:

1. Voigtlander 75 1.5
2. Zeiss Loxia 85 2.4
3. Voigtlander 65 2.0

When it comes to the Loxia, opinions differ from little or not at all suitable for portraits to "best glass" for portraits. Sure, it always depends on your own taste.

I would definitely like the 75mm. I had said Pentax 77mm 1.8 on the K1, i.e. FF, and it fitted perfectly. I had the Samyang 75 1.8 on Sony for a short time. The focal length was also very practical there. For me it was even a bit more comfortable than 85mm.

Now the crucial question: The 75mm 1.5 does not exist natively for Sony. is this coming? If not, what are the disadvantages of using it on a Sony A7III? Will all the help that Sony cameras offer with manual focusing then be offered at all? Are aperture, time, etc. included in the EXIF ​​data of the photo? Is there anything else to consider?

I think all the points mentioned are irrelevant for the Loxia 85 2.4 and the Voigtländer, right? They are made directly for the Sony bayonet, so everything should fit.

One reads only the best about the Voigtländer 65mm. Among other things, but not necessarily in the application area portrait. Oh yes, what also speaks in favor of the 75mm 1.5 is the size and weight.

Which M-adapter for Sony would you recommend?

Finally: I also think about Leica from time to time. Would the lens perform better on a Leica SL camera or a Leica M camera (visibly)?

In any case, thanks for your help. I appreciate that!



Nov 25, 2022 at 07:23 AM
QuietOC
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · State of the art manual portrait lens for Sony – Loxia 85 2.4? Voigtländer 65 2.0?


zeitlos wrote:
Now the crucial question: The 75mm 1.5 does not exist natively for Sony. is this coming? If not, what are the disadvantages of using it on a Sony A7III? Will all the help that Sony cameras offer with manual focusing then be offered at all? Are aperture, time, etc. included in the EXIF ​​data of the photo? Is there anything else to consider?


The native Voigtlanders have full electronics: EXIF, focus distance for 5-axis stabilization, and electronic Lens Compensation. The native Zeiss Loxias don't have a focus distance encoder, so they only get 3-axis stabilization, but they have the rest.

There is an AF adapter for Pentax that would get you EXIF with the Limited. I don't know if Pentax has distance encoding, or if that adapter translates it. Third-party adapters don't bother supporting much beyond the basics.

TTArtisan has a 6-bit code reading M-mount adapter. https://phillipreeve.net/blog/ttartisan-leica-m-to-e-6-bit-adapter-product-of-the-year

Edit: below is a quote from ricoh-imaging.co.jp. Presumably "focal length" is erroneous and should be "focus distance."

The lens which can obtain the focal length information such as F/FAJ/FA series lenses are corresponded to five-axis mechanism (horizontal shift, vertical shift, roll, pitch and yaw), and the other older lenses are corresponded to three –axis mechanism (roll, pitch and yaw).

MonsterAdapter is also claiming 5-axis stabilization support with their adapter, but that may be erroneous:

https://www.monsteradapter.com/products/la-ke1-pentax-k-mount-lenses-to-sony-e-mount-cameras-adapter

Edited on Nov 25, 2022 at 08:52 AM · View previous versions



Nov 25, 2022 at 07:44 AM
tsdevine
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · State of the art manual portrait lens for Sony – Loxia 85 2.4? Voigtländer 65 2.0?


I have said Pentax lens and adapter......is there a way I can ascertain whether it includes distance?

Edit: I checked, and Focus Distance 2 is always inf. (Checked on some of my shots that really wouldn't have been focused on infinity.)

QuietOC wrote:
The native Voigtlanders have full electronics: EXIF, focus distance for 5-axis stabilization, and electronic Lens Compensation. The native Zeiss Loxias don't have a focus distance encoder, so they only get 3-axis stabilization, but they have the rest.

There is an AF adapter for Pentax that would get you EXIF with the Limited. I don't know if Pentax has distance encoding, or if that adapter translates it. Third-party adapters don't bother supporting much beyond the basics.

TTArtisan has a 6-bit code reading M-mount adapter. https://phillipreeve.net/blog/ttartisan-leica-m-to-e-6-bit-adapter-product-of-the-year





Nov 25, 2022 at 08:01 AM
Alan Parker
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · State of the art manual portrait lens for Sony – Loxia 85 2.4? Voigtländer 65 2.0?


The CV75/1.5 is a beautiful lens indeed, that does adapt well as per Philip's/Bastian's review. It is a bit of a hidden gem. You should also look for Helena's posts with the lens; she's made a great gallery with it as well. EDIT: Right, Oogappeltje below me also has a copy.
Adapting can be done with various adapters; from close-focus (what I have) to a 6-bit option like QuietOC is saying. It does help to get some M mount options if you want to keep that path open for the future.
I think Juha would know best, but I don't think Voigtlander is currently looking at an E mount CV75/1.5. It might be more M mount focused in terms of design aesthetic.

Edited on Nov 25, 2022 at 08:20 AM · View previous versions



Nov 25, 2022 at 08:16 AM
Oogappeltje
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · State of the art manual portrait lens for Sony – Loxia 85 2.4? Voigtländer 65 2.0?


The 75 nokton doesn't give you any EXIF. I doubt it will be released in emount.

Good adapter could be voigtlander closefocus adapter. Beautifully build, but a bit heavy. Cheaper Chinese dumb (metal) adapter from Amazon will do.

The new Techart AF adapter could work and gives EXIF.



Nov 25, 2022 at 08:17 AM
Erichimedes
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · State of the art manual portrait lens for Sony – Loxia 85 2.4? Voigtländer 65 2.0?


If I were to buy a modern MF lens solely for portraiture, I'd be looking at the CV 50/1.2 Nokton. Similar enough to my 40/1.2 but I like 50mm for portraits. The 40 is probably my favorite lens, and I prefer that focal length for all-around use, but I think the 50 has similar enough rendering. And it is such a great focal length for portraits, especially with f1.2 at your fingertips.

But I would really consider an old fast 50 if I were in your shoes, trying out manual focus for portraits. The Canon nFD 50/1.4 and Nikon ai-s 50/1.4 are both fantastic lenses. Although the Auto Sears 55/1.4 might be my favorite old fast 50, when the light is soft and easy.

I really loved the Pentax 77mm as well, and I wonder if I should have sold mine. I actually just ordered the Samyang 75/1.8 to try out in its place, because I want AF and that lens looks amazing for the size and weight. I like small lenses, and that one is less than half the weight of the Batis 85 which I already have and love.

Good luck in your search!



Nov 25, 2022 at 09:00 PM
freaklikeme
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · State of the art manual portrait lens for Sony – Loxia 85 2.4? Voigtländer 65 2.0?


Why not just adapt the 77 limited? It's got an aperture ring and geared manual focus, so you only need a dumb adapter for it. Or you can buy Monster's bulky smart adapter and get EXIF and auto aperture (and AF if you decide you need it). No need to miss it when you can still use it. And it's on sale at B&H right now for $626.95.


Nov 26, 2022 at 12:16 AM
zeitlos
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · State of the art manual portrait lens for Sony – Loxia 85 2.4? Voigtländer 65 2.0?


Thanks for all your answers again. Very enriching and enlightening.

I just saw a review by this Leica guy (don‘t remember his exact name now) now on Youtube and he also said he wouldn‘t buy the 75mm 1.5. Why? Not because it is a bad lens (he thinks the contrary is true) but because he‘s used to shooting portraits in 50mm. So maybe I should take a closer look at the 50mm 1.2 as well. For the 40mm 1.2. I know that is has many fans. However, I scrolled through the Flickr gallery and I don‘t know why, something didn‘t work with me in terms of bokeh, rendering etc. In contrast, I liked what I saw on flickr from the 75mm 1.2 a lot. I will check out the 50mm 1.2 as well.

@freaklikeme: Wow, I didn‘t even know that something like this exists!

https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/monsteradapter-la-ke1-review-get-eye-af-with-your-pentax-lenses-on-sony-e-mount


https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/76-canon-nikon-sony-other-camera-brands/435502-monster-adapter-la-ke1-pentax-kaf-sony-e-report.html

Okay, really expensive, but in combination with the lens here in Germany maybe 100-200 Euros more expensive than the Voigtlander lenses alone. Would be interesting to test the Voigtländer 75mm against the Pentax 77 Limited



Nov 26, 2022 at 03:17 AM
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