The Sony 85 1.4 G Master Lens Review. A lens full of WOW.

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The Sony 85 1.4 G Master Lens Review. A Lens full of WOW. 

You can order the Sony 85 1.4 G Master at B&H Photo or Amazon. 

My video with a look at ALL of the new Sony lenses!

 

I have had the pleasure of using the new Sony 85 1.4 G Master Lens (and the 24-70 G Master) for a few weeks now. While I have not used it every day due to other things in life keeping me busy as well, when I have used it I have been wowed each and every time.

My guess is that some of you, if not MANY of you here have pre ordered this lens. B&H Photo has had it up for pre-order for a while and some have received their 85 1.4 already if you take a look at the reviews there (some of which say this has a noisy AF motor, which I will touch on later) most are loving this lens, and some are naming it the new “Bokeh King” for its amazingly smooth and nice Bokeh.

USING THE 85 1.4 GM on an awesome night in Miami

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As for me, over the years I have used so many 85 1.4 lenses. I have always enjoyed the Canon 85 1.2 back in my DSLR days due to its uber creamy bokeh and very unique way of rendering. In fact, that lens is so unique I look at it sort of like I look at the Leica Noctilux, which is that of a specialty lens. One you do not want to use daily because of that specific look…it can get old and does BUT IT IS a legendary lens with hundreds of amazingly good reviews. The only problem with the Canon is its weight and its crazy slow AF performance. YES, the Sony is much faster to AF than the Canon 85 1.2 and it offers its very own beautiful way of rendering, one that gives even better color and sharpness wide open. While there is a huge difference in Bokeh between something like the Canon 85 1.2 and Sony 85 1.4 I feel the Sony offers a more “everyday” look to its rendering.

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In fact, the Sony does not have a certain “look” that makes it unique and oddball, instead it delivers near perfection in the 85mm focal length. It is the best 85mm lens I have ever used, period. From build to image quality, all the way around, it is a stunning lens.

Be sure to click on all images in this post to see the images how they were intended to be seen..EXIF is embedded in all.

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In fact, this Sony lens delivers amazing sharpness even at f/1.4 and the rendering is also very organic and full of life. The bokeh performance is quite nice and over the weeks of using this lens I started to really appreciate what it offers me. I shoot with an RX1RII and a Sony A7RII for most of my personal work these days, along with some Leica thrown in here and there and occasionally a Olympus when I am in a fun type of mood.

I usually use lenses like the 16-35 f/4, the 35 1.4 and the 55 1.8. In fact, I have never owned a lens longer than the 55 1.8 for the Sony. I have reviewed the 90 Macro but I am usually always a 50mm or under type of shooter. After getting this lens in for review I wondered why I stopped using an 85 or longer lens. Back when I owned my old Canon 5D (The original many years ago) I used lenses like the 85 and even 70-300 quite often, and I really used them.

On the new A6300, this lens is amazing as well. CLICK IT for much better view.

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Last week I pulled out some old had drives from my old DSLR days and was going over images. Not only was my son so so young (he is now 20) but I had tons of images with that old Canon 5D, my old Nikon D700 and tons of Leica M8 and M9 shots. I think when I moved to the Leica M system I stopped using long lenses. I shot the hell out of those Leicas and to be honest, it was the funnest time of my Photographic life. Nothing quite like a Leica M even though the cost of ownership is just too high today for most, even me, especially with solutions like we have from other manufacturers.

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But this is not a post about a Leica or Canon or Nikon. It is about Sony, and this 85 1.4 G Master lens has basically renewed my love for longer lenses. Being mainly a 35-50 guy, when I first attached this 85 to my A7RII I was like “WOAH! This lens is too long”.. then after a few shots I was getting used to stepping back more than normal and even grabbing shots of things that would normally be out of reach with my 35 or 50..

Click the image below to see the full size crop

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With this lens, the magic happens when you shoot it wide open to f/2.8 or so, and it is just made for portraits. The Bokeh is smooth and rich, the color pops and the sharpness is as  good as it gets in a lens of this type. You will not be wanting for sharper images.

Subject isolation is always something you get with a lens of this type. When shooting at 85mm, at 1.4, your subject should be clearly defined and the area around your subject should be creamy, dreamy and beautiful. This may be why some are calling it the new “Bokeh King” as its bokeh is never offending, ever. Instead it is smooth, creamy and delicious. Sony’s engineers really delivered the goods in the IQ department with this lens (and the 24-70 G master).

Wide open f/1.4 goodness. Look at the amazing Bokeh. 

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At the end of the day, it is a great time to be a Sony A7 shooter. The cameras are fantastic and there is nothing they can not do for me and my style of shooting. There are now tons of lenses available and even the new 50 1.8 and 70-300 are fantastic. In fact, there is only one stinker of a lens I have found in the entire Sony lineup, and that is older the 24-70 f/4 Zeiss/Sony lens. I have had that lens for review for months and just can not grow to like it, thus I never reviewed it. I find it flat, dull and soft. So there is my review of the old 24-70 f/4!

BTW, the NEW G Master 24-70 is in the same vein as this 85 1.4 though, and it is gorgeous. I will have a new post on the new G Master 24-70 soon (but see my old post with samples here) – IT IS without question the best 24-70 I have ever used, and I have used quite a few, all of the big names.

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Is this lens NOISY and SLOW and HUGE? 

I see a few stating  this lens has noisy AF and is slow. In my use of this lens in all kinds of light, I have never found it noisy or slow. When I plop and 85 1.4 of any make to any camera I never expect blazing performance like I would get with a wider angle lens. Mostly all 85 1.4 lenses of any make are not blazing AF performers. Most are quick and fast and there has been only one 85 I consider SLOW and cumbersome, and that is the Canon 85 1.2, but even with those weaknesses it is well worth it for the IQ and rendering.

The Sony G Master is in the same class as most other fast 85’s and I have no issues with the copy I have here. No noise, no slow AF. In fact, it is the best 85 I have ever shot with when it comes to build, feel and image quality.

As for the lens being huge, well, it is. It’s bigger than the Nikon 85 1.4 but smaller and lighter than the Canon 85 1.2. 

SONY 85 1.4 G MASTER – 3.52 X 4.23 – 1.8lbs 

CANON 85 1.2 – 3.6 X 3.3 – 2.26lbs (Largest/Heaviest)

NIKON 85 1.4 – 3.4X3.3 – 1.3lb (Smallest/Lightest)

So there you go, the Sony is lighter (though not really smaller) than the Canon by nearly a 1/2 lb. The Nikon is smaller and lighter than the Sony by 1/2 lb! This means the Nikon is 1 lb lighter than the Canon, HOLY COW! I have used all three of these and for my tastes the Sony wins on build and feel but the Nikon wins the size dept, and one would expect the Nikon size on a Sony mirrorless system but this is not the case.

That leads to the biggest argument I see online AGAINST this new Sony. It’s massive size. When the lenses were announced I could not make the New York event as I had injured my leg a week prior, so I asked my good friend Amy Medina to cover it for me as she was local to NY and she is crazy passionate about photography and cameras. Check her Facebook out HERE as she has been running her picture a day series now FOREVER!

When Amy came back she told me “MAN, that lens is HUGE”! She was referring to the 85 1.4. She said it looked great but the size… this made ME nervous as I am not fan of large bulky lenses for daily use. It was soon after that I went to Miami to see and use the lens in the flesh. When I saw it I said…”yep, that is huge”. But once I started using it, on the smaller A7RII body it seemed like a good fit, if not a tad large.

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This lens performed shot after shot..no matter the light. Good, dim, dark. While the AF struggled in very low light, it did not struggle in decent light. It always locked on and nailed the focus which is good as the old days of Sony cameras (very early days of their 1st mirrorless) the focus was slow, dodgy and all over the place. It is amazing how fast they have grown their cameras and lenses. Amazing actually.

After a few weeks of use, I will say that this lens offers the user something very special. If you love the 85 1.4 way of shooting and you own a Sony A7 series camera then you MUST MUST MUST check this lens out, even if you just take a look at a shop or rent it. Yes, you will think it is large and heavy but after using it, you will realize that it was worth it.

If Sony compromised on size, it would NOT deliver as good of IQ, color or contrast or sharpness. It just would not.

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Sony Went for Ultimate Quality

In the G master lineup, Sony went for QUALITY above all else. Above size, above cost and above anything else. The G master series of lenses are designed to represent the best of the best from Sony. It is not designed to represent the smallness of mirrorless. If you want small, there are plenty of small lenses to be found..the 35 2.8, the 55 1.8, the 50 1.8, the 24-70 f/4 and many more. There are also tons of third party lens options from Voigtlander and others that can be used on the Sony system if you want small.

I see this 85 1.4 for the pros, enthusiasts and all who have that crazy passion for photography. Pros can use it for wedding work and I am confident that this lens will deliver amazing results for that kind of work. Portraits – studio or natural light..this lens will work magic. For the enthusiast, this lens will deliver all you could ask for  – your family shots, vacations, artistic..this lens is only limited by YOUR vision.

I personally have found no weakness with this lens besides it larger size. But than again, without the size this kind of quality would not be here and at the end of the day, this is still much smaller than shooting a D800 and 85 1.4 vs the A7RII and 85 1.4. It is also much smaller than a 5D and 85 1.2. The lens may be the same size as the DSLR fast 85’s but this 85 is for me, the best performer of the lot, and the body that it will attach to is quite a bit smaller than either of those DSLR’s, so yes, it will still be smaller and lighter and the lens barrel is so fat it is easy to hold in your hand as you carry around your camera. .

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Some Details

Take a look at these by clicking them to see the 100% crops..

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The Bottom Line

In 2016 we are in a crazy world. Cameras have seemed to reach ultimate quality where over the past 10 years it seems camera companies were scrambling to keep up with the tech by releasing new bodies every few months. Today, a few of those companies seem to be absent now from the camera world and for the big players it seems to be down to Nikon, Canon, Sony, Fuji, Olympus and even Leica.

Sony is pushing ahead and putting crazy resources into their digital imaging division and it has paid off. Today when I talk to my photo friends on social media, most are using Sony and the rest are using a mix of Fuji, Olympus and Leica. It is rare I see a D800 or 5D in use in the real world as well. When out shooting I see loads of mirrorless and of course smartphones but DSLR’s seems to be dwindling compared to what it was just 5-6 years ago.

Mirrorless cam offers us TINY (Think Olympus or even the Pentax Q) or it can offer us more serious and small (Leica M). It can offer us unique sensors (Fuji) and fun and it can also be quite serious with full frame options and loads of lenses (Sony). We have choices and we can go as small as we want and as large as we want.

If you chose Sony for your camera of choice, and made the full frame choice or even the A6300 which is a remarkable APS-C camera, you owe it to yourself to check out this 85 1.4 if you are a fan of fast primes or are a wedding pro, portrait pro or just a passionate enthusiast like me. I just can not see this lens disappointing anyone. Just be sure your wallet is loaded as this lens will set you back $1800. Around the same price range as the competitors..this is just what it costs for that step above in quality.

The Sony 85 1.4 G Master is the real deal. Sony did it again.

ORDER

You can order it at B&H Photo HERE or Amazon HERE. Two of my highest recommended Sony dealers. PRICE IS $1798.00

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59 Comments

  1. Minolta 85 1.4 GD is a quarter of the price, though not as sharp but with better bokeh. and lighter.

  2. Hi Steve, do you really prefer the image quality of the Sony as opposed to the Canon @ 1.2? I am asking as I always thought the Canon was on a class of its own. Cheers for your reviews.

    • For IQ yes, but for dreaminess and artsy style, the Canon wins. The problem with the Canon, it is like the Leica Noctilux. It gets old if you use it often. The Sony has a classic but modern look and will never get tired of that look, as it is a normal rendering. The Canon is VERY dreamy and unique, crazy beautiful. But its slow, clunky in operation and has a long minimum focus distance. Both are beautiful but I see the Sony as a Daily driver, and the Canon a lens you use when you want that look and effect.

  3. A bit late, thank you for your nice review. This one and some other reviews convinced me and I ordered one Sony GM 85/1,4 and I am not disappointed.

    I got whole museum of old Zeiss/Contax lenses here and compared my new lens to them. I also ordered the new Sony G 75-300 and compared it too.

    Here is my ranking in a photo of a landscape, on a tripod, IS turned off, silent mode, remote control release and all at F5:
    1) The Sony GM 85/1,4 is a tiny, tiny bit sharper. I needed many pictures and a lot of magnification to convince myself of this. It is clearly contrastier and a whole lot brighter. How can that be now the camera sensor simply reads how much light. I have got a conspiracy theory: Sony has manipulated the software in a way that favors their lenses! Why don´t we let the camera testing authority invesigare this (joke aside).
    2) The Zeiss/Contax Planar 85/1,4. A tiny bit less sharpness, clearly lower contrast, duller greens (and the whole picture darker but that is of course not because of the lens.
    3) The Zeiss/Contax Sonnar 85/2,8, surprises by looking exactly like the Contax 1,4. I thought it was much less sharp, but in my test many years ago I probably tested it at F2,8, and at this aperture the faster lens wins very much. Anyway, I mostly used the 2,8 lens because of its portability.
    4) The Sony G 75-300 at 85 mm. It has the least sharpness of these lenses. It has a “light bleeding” or “of radiation” of white areas in the picture. It is bright and contrasty. I believe contrast is an understated property and this makes the picture look just great at lower magnifications. If I haven´t time to change to the 85 mm prime, or not have any prime with me, I anyway get the shot.

    Comparing the he Zeiss/Contax Planar 85/1,4 to the Sony GM 85/1,4 with photos of flowers, stilebens and other objects at F5 with foregrounds and backgrounds: The GM is somewhat sharper, more contrasty and brighter for some reason, better colors and a bit smother bokeh. I say this lastly because the difference is not big from what I can see in these photos. Contax a bit on the blurry side, GM a bit on the creamy side, personal which you like. There is nothing extreme or unnatural about the bokeh in the GM. I cannot see any difference in “3-d” although I have tried hard to imagine it..

    The GM is so good, and having autofocus in a tele is important or else I will have the moving objects out of focus, so I find it worthy to carry it around, despite its weight and size.

    Knowing myself, though, I will probably not be able to resist buying a Loxia 85 mm too, if/when it shows up. If it has no better IQ than the GM I can probably resist. I tried one Zeiss ZM Tessar 85/4 before but I found it no better than my Contax lenses, so I resisted that.

  4. Hey! Can you compare it to N 85/1.4G? Isnt this new GM… boring? This bokeh looks kinda boring to me. Isnt 85/1.4G just more interesting? Im wondering about GM, since i have a6000, but in price of GM i can have used D610 and 85/1.4G. Price tells NIKON. Bokeh… im not sure, since i didnt see in internet direct comparison from both lenses, but Nikons is probably more interesting. Nikon has huge downfall if we talk about quality – it may be problems with AF and sharpness.

  5. I came here after reading Ming Thein review od A7R II (or better says trashing). I can not believe how he dislikes it.
    All the best

    • We all have varying views of gear. He is more of a DSLR guy, so most of those guys do not truly like mirrorless, just as I do not care for DSLR’s these days. But instead of writing a biased piece on something I do not like, I skip the reviewing of things I am not a fan of, personally. The A7RII is not a be all end all camera, but it is a serious pro tool with IQ to match any DSLR out there and then some. Ive been using it since launch, at least 3-4X per week, and still ADORE it. Nothing it cant do.

  6. Hi Steve,

    Great review, thanks. I’m very interested in this lens but only have an a7s. I’ve read that it won’t focus well with the a7s. As someone who owns an a7s and a7rii I was wondering if you could offer an opinion on that. If not I’m almost considering going back to a Nikon d750 and 85mm 1.4 as both of those would be cheaper than getting a7rii let alone the g master!

    Best wishes

    Dave

  7. Just wanted to share this video if it’s allowed to drop a link to other sites here.
    It’s the first time I actually realized how big this lens actually is but it shows off how nice the shots can be as well. And his simple lighntning echniques is rather amazing.
    I don’t own a Sony by the way, I have M43 but that doesn’t mean I have no interest in the Sony FF system. A bit too pricey for an amateur/hobbuist for me though.

    Anyway, enjoy the video, and I’ll enjoy browsing through Steve’s site some more. Very rainy day here. Rainy day, dream away! 🙂

  8. Here is something interesting I’ve been noticing. There are quite a few pictures now from early adopters on flickr, etc. PLENTY of wide open shots and I’m finding…wide open…that the bokeh is almost transparent. Take a look for yourself! It’s not just smooth, but the transitions create a sort of transparency which IMO is working against total subject isolation. It’s definitely got some funk going on I’ve never seen before on a 85 in the OOF areas.

  9. was working a year with my A7RII with a ZEISS 35 1.4 first, then I had the Sony 24-70 2.8 GM and also the Sony 85 1.4 GM. I returned all of those lenses due to their performance and especially SIZE!! Why should I choose a lense even bigger and heavier than my stellar Canon 85 1.2 II?? I also had issues with using flash on my A7R – Auto white balance and flash options are just not comparable at all with a Canon professional camera system at all (5DSR, ex430III etc). So after a year with Sony my hopes have been destroyed for a more advanced, lighter to carry system – Even Sony are not able to deliver quality lenses at a size matching that of a A7RII. For me and for now Sony cameras remain rather a toy and I returned to the big, chunky Canons – less post processing required 🙂 (more to carry though but quality comes first here)

    • … I meant of course the 24-70 GM being heavier and larger than my 24-70 L ii… the 85 L ii is way heavier than the Sony 85 GM and has more CA, but it has much more magic – a bit similar to the Noctilux. I believe the Sony 85 GM is a great lens but in my hands and on my A7RII, it was just not accurately focussing and I had much less keepers requiring more post processing than with my 85 LII on my 5DSR. The 24-70 GM was less crisp wide open than the Canon 24-70 LII on my 5DSR but excellent stopped down from f 3.2. The “pop” and WB-accuracy and flash light exposure was WAY better on the Canon – it is just not comparable to any Sony (not to speak from the AF accuracy and speed…). Just my view…

      • Can’t overcome physics. Full frame sensors will require full frame sized lenses which due to having AF motors will be larger and heavy.

        Then again the size/weight was known ahead of time so it shouldn’t have caught you by surprise. Could’ve saved a lot of time/money by doing some research ahead of time.

        • True, was hoping to get an all-in-smaller package from Sony. Was wrong… Now knowing both systems, size and weight is the only downside with Canon. No comparision regarding resolution, “pop” speed, built and keepers – especially when flash-photography is needed, Sony is not an option. Will keep my phenomenal RX1RII will sell the A7RII. Luckily no loss of money since I could return all gear within the free testing period of 14 days.

          • Fair enough. But when size is such a matter for you, why did you choose the biggest lenses available anyway? And what about the other benefits a mirrorless has over a traditional DSLR? Like dynamic range, EVF, true DoF preview …

            I myself don’t see a reason to use large lenses on a small body because I want a small travel kit. But then I just buy small lenses, adapt the best from like 100 years of photography and have a very nice kit. I also have a DSLR for all my large F2.8 zooms which I can use for certain cases. But it’s good to have a choice.

    • Wait…
      You said you were working a year with your A7RII + lenses, then in your other post you said you were able to return your A7RII & lenses with no loss of money due to the 14 day return window.

      Your credibility just went out the window.

      • Umm, I have had an A7RII since launch, and use it almost daily. It;s my main #1 go to, and in my A7RII review I said this: “This is my new #1 replacing my A7II. I will keep the A7s for those moments when I am in the “S” mood or need that extra bit of low light ability”. At one time I had an A7S, A7SIi A7Ii and two A7RII’s. I now have one A7s, one A7RII, and RX100 and an RX1RII which is my other main goto. The Leica SL has been in rest mode, and my office houses 13 cameras and around 30 lenses right now. Stop being a troll and talking of things you know nothing about. In fact, if you live a positive respectful life you will be much much much happier. 😉 All you have to do is look at the last year of posts to see how many A7RII posts there have been, from me, when reviewing new lenses. Also, one can return ANY camera and lens within 30 days of purchase in the USA from respectful dealers, and I recommend one use that option if they buy a camera they hate. Thank you!

  10. Wow, that’s a nice lens! I Own and use the Zeiss ZF.2 85 and Nikkor 85 f/1.4 lenses. Now that I have a A7R2 I’m going to give this one a good look-see. Native mount is always better than using an adapter.

  11. Steve, excellent review and very good sample images. I’ve just checked – this lens weighs more than 800 gr. I mean in metric units :-).

    You see, I had to switch from Pentax K-5 to Olympus EM-1 (partially thanks to your site) because I have serious issues with my wrists… To put it simply, after 1.5 hours of K-5 with 16-50/2.8 (about 600 gr in weight), I feel acute physical pain.

    I wonder if the likes of 85/1.8 or even 85/2.0 could be made that would be far smaller/lighter, but just a good optically at compatible apertures. I think that at f/2.8 especially on full frame camera many an excellent portrait can be made.

    I am sticking to my Pentax FA 77/1.8 because it is excellent optically, and positively tiny in terms of size/weight for its focal length. Even m43 Olympus 75/1.8 is considerably bigger than Pentax.

    Just my pixels.

  12. Great review, what an astonishing lens. It seems remarkable to me that Sony, whom I think have only been manufacturing lenses for about a decade? (after taking over Minolta?) have so quickly caught up to (or even surpassed) the quality and performance of lenses from Zeiss… a specialist optical company established in 1846! The resources they pump into R&D must be massive!

  13. Big and heavy is the Zeiss Otus 85. The Sony isn’t small to be sure but it feels pretty comfortable just as you said. The Otus is so heavy that it feels unwieldy.

  14. When my Batis 85 arrives tomorrow, I’ll know whether I like it as well as the delightful 25. Size and weight were critical along with very positive experience with the 25. The Sony may be better in some respects, but I feel I’ll wind up carrying a lighter lens more often. For others, the look obtainable with the Sony 85 will tilt the choice in that direction. It’s great to have choices.

  15. Hi Steve. Great review have you seen this article about focusing? Did you experience any issues? Thanks.

  16. I wonder if you think the lens has some negligible noise (which depends on user’s tolerance to noise) or no noise at all as some current users have expressed concerns regarding the noise issue with af. If your copy has no noise as described then it does sound as though the majority of users has a defective lens?

    • All 85/1.4 af lenses will have noise to some degree. Big lens, big/more powerful motor needed, lots of glass.

      • I just got my Sony 85 1.4 G Master lens late last week and didn’t really get a chance to use it this past weekend. Mine certainly makes the whirring noise when focusing. I wouldn’t characterize it as a scraping sound. It is difficult for me to be objective about this issue now, since I’d read about the noise before getting the lens. Not sure I’d have worried about it if not forewarned. I don’t think the noise is so loud that it would be disruptive in most settings (e.g. outdoors), but I probably would find it obtrusive in a very quiet setting like during wedding prayer or in a museum. I haven’t decided to return it for this particular reason (yet), but I have to admit that I wish the noise was not there at all. I’m a hobbyist (not a pro) so I think the issue is less critical for me. By the way, the 3.2 firmware update for the A7RII did not help at all with the noise. I don’t know if I think it helped with slowish AF, though. Overall, I remain on the fence about whether I should have purchased an alternative (Batis 85, in particular).

  17. We have to accept the FE “full frame” system is for those with deep, wide pockets and bags, with big hands, strong necks and shoulders, who are not too shy to aim with heavy artillery at their subjects.

    All others should stay with E “APS-C”.

    • Heh. The FE 28/2, FE 50/1.8, FE 35/2.8, FE 55/1.8, Loxia 21/2.8, Loxia 35/2, Loxia 50/2, Batis 18/2.8, Batis 25/2 and Batis 85/1.8 disagree with you.

      Just because big and heavy lenses exist it doesn’t meat you have to use them.

        • I agree with you Ben. I don’t doubt the Sony 85 mm is a stellar lens, but the lenses you list are also stellar. And that list doesn’t even touch on the Leitz lens at moray available for the Sony cameras. No doubt the Sony lens will sell, but it’s doubtful thatbablindvtest of them”super” 85-90 mm lenses would end with a decided win…for anyone .

  18. This review reminds me a lot of your review from exactly one year ago titled “The Sony Zeiss 35 1.4 Distagon FE Lens Review. Best 35mm Lens Ever.”

    I bought that lens based on your review, and I regret that purchase.

    That lens is a pain to use due to its clumsy size, which is not made up for in image quality. I prefer my Batis 25/2 and even my Loxia 35/2 for image quality. The onion ring bokeh is horrendous.

    The images you post from the 85mm GM are nice, but the bokeh is iffy. This time around I am not going to take the bait, and stick to my Batis, which, as far as I’m concerned, ticks all the boxes of what an FE lens should be.

    • You can’t really blame a single review for your own bad lens purchase.

      Did you not try the lens out yourself before buying it? Blindly buying a lens on a single review is always asking for trouble because we’re all different.

  19. Thanks for the review. How do you guys think the new 85/1.4GM compared with the Lux 75/1.4 or the Cron 90/2 Asph? I am now using both the Sony FE and the Leica M/SL system and I am now using the Sony A7r2 for video, speed and flash, and the Leica system for personal works and rendering. Thanks in advance.

    • I will be trying to do a side by side next week between the two. In build, the Sony is head and shoulders above the Batis. In IQ, they are different but the Sony edges out overall. Both are great though the Sony is f/1.4.

  20. Somehow the grittyness of the bokeh in the background just upsets me. I don’t know if it’s the lens, the camera, the combination or the processing. Just doesn’t make me go all gaga over the lens.

    • Agreed, i’m seeing irritating strange block-like structures in the Bokeh of some of the shots, too

    • i have to agree, the bokeh really doesn’t appeal to me at all. The lens is also way to big for the A7 body. I’m sure it will be more appropriate for Sony’s upcoming professional camera (DSLR size).

  21. Thanks for the great reviews Steve. I like they way you are just talking to us. How would you compare the 84mm 1.4 to the Nocticron 1.2? I know it is apples to oranges in a way, but you once raved about the Nocticron. I bought one and just love it, but I also have a sony a7RII so this one is tempting also.

    • Well, you can not use the Nocticron with the Sony as you know. If you have an A7RII, the 85 1.4 is beautiful. But larger than the Nocticron as well!

      • I do know that the Nocticron is MFT. I was more asking about your opinion of the resulting rendering from each of the lenses. Thanks again for your reviews.

  22. Welcome back to the ‘medium’ side! I’m your opposite when it comes to lenses — a medium tele lens (traditionally 85mm to 105mm) has always been my most-used focal length, while wide-angles are the least. I like the medium tele’s ability to get tightly composed images from a polite distance… I think of it as “the shy person’s standard lens”!

    Nowadays my faves are the 45/1.8 on an Olympus or the 56/1.2 on a Fuji, but these are still medium teles on their respective formats, and I couldn’t consider buying into a camera system that didn’t have one. Good to see Sony stepping up its game here.

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