Minolta AF 85mm F1.4 A-mount lens review by asiafish

reviewer#10579 date: Oct-11-2012
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.3
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 100mm F2.8 Macro
Sony 16-50 F2.8 SSM
Minolta Beercan
Sony 18-55 (E Mount)
price paid:750 (2012)
positive:Bokeh, color, build
negative:Slow and noisy focus
comment:This is my absolute favorite lens for my A77 camera. It is a delight for portraiture, but also really fun as a walkaround lens. No matter what I point it at, the 85mm at or near F1.4 makes it interesting.

Bokeh is just creamilicious, the best I've ever experienced.

At F1.4 it is VERY difficult to find focus on anything that is moving or even on some stationary objects without a tripod (depth of field is THAT thin), but if you nail it, its sharp beyond all get-out. In fact, I would say that at normal portrait distances there is as much detail as resolved by the 100mm macro, but the narrower depth of field makes most parts of a subject appear a tad softer. By F2.8 it equals the 100 macro, likely on account of the increased depth of field.

This is ideal for portraits. Everyone I photograph is delighted with the results, which have a sort of 3D glow. I don't know much about optics, but I cannot imagine anything better than this for portraiture, except perhaps for the same lens on full frame.

**Update 1/26/13**
I've had my A850 for about a month now and if I thought I liked this lens on APS-C, I ADORE it on full frame.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 57
  • sharpness: 4.75
  • color: 4.79
  • build: 4.88
  • distortion: 4.95
  • flare control: 4.42
  • overall: 4.76
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