Sony 85mm f/1.4 GM Review

Reviews

Over the years, I’ve owned a few 85mm lenses — Canon’s 85mm f/1.2L II, Nikon’s 85mm f/1.4G, and even a Zeiss Milvus 85mm f/1.4. I really liked the Nikon version when I had a D700, but I switched to Canon a few years back and never had a chance to try it on a modern Nikon. Canon’s 85mm f/1.2L II lens is loved by most people, but I never really liked it. I think it was mainly the build quality of the lens that bothered me. The Canon doesn’t focus like their other lenses, the lens isn’t all internal focusing, and the lens hood feels cheap. Moreover, the Canon lens is slow to autofocus.

Nowadays, I’m shooting more and more with mirrorless cameras for a variety of reasons. So, I decided to part with my Canon 85mm f/1.2L II and purchase the Sony 85mm f/1.4 GM lens. Without a doubt, I can honestly say, it’s the best 85mm lens I’ve used to date.

Pros:

  1. Quick autofocus (compared to Canon).
  2. Aperture ring — just like Fuji lenses — I love this feature.
  3. Bokeh.
  4. Contrast.
  5. Sharpness.
  6. The lens hood — seriously, why do so manufacturers not pay attention to detail? Sony’s lens hood is solid and it clicks into place.

Cons:

  1. Expensive, but aren’t they all.
  2. The lens hood — it’s a little fidgety to get on.
  3. Noisy autofocus.
  4. Autofocus could be faster.
  5. Size.
  6. Weight.

Sony’s lens is a winner. It might not say Zeiss, Leica, or any other regular camera brand, but wow — this lens exudes quality!

Now, let’s talk about the images!

This first set of images are from a senior photo shoot I did back in June. It was in the early evening, but the sun was still fairly harsh. The images were edited in Capture One, Photoshop, Alien Skin Exposure, and Perfectly Clear. The subject had quite a bit of bad acne that I had to Photoshop out. Still, you can see how the lens rendered the scene beautifully. All of the photos below were shot on an A7R II.

This next photo was also edited.

Every photo below, is straight out of the camera as a JPEG. I think you’ll see, even without editing, this lens does an exceptional job of rendering an image. Just think how nice they would look if I took the time to post process them. Why didn’t I edit them? Sometimes, JPEGs are good enough.

Well, what do you think? Comments or questions? Please post below!


Noah Bershatsky

Noah Bershatsky

I was a nerd before hipsters were cool.


https://bershatsky.com


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