Minolta AF 85mm F1.4 A-mount lens review by awa54
|awa54#44329 date: Jul-1-2019|
flare control: 4
|ownership:||I own this lens|
|compared to:||Minolta 85mm f1.4 G D|
Minolta 50mm F1.4
Minolta 28-135mm f4-4.5
Minolta 35-105mm f3.5-4.5 (original)
|positive:||*so* sharp without being clinical|
No flare issues with hood fitted
ultimate DOF control
flare control isn't as good as later versions
|comment:||This lens is so good at what it does... center sharpness is there even wide open, contrast and edge sharpness pick up to near perfect levels between f2.8 and f4, superb bokeh and most importantly to me the images are packed with detail, but don't have that over-sharp/too-contrasty look that lens makers seem to be designing for these days. |
That said, neither does this lens make "vintage feel" images like many sought after classic lenses do... It has most of the attributes of modern designs, just not "kicked up a notch" to over-emphasize sharpness and micro-contrast. There is one area where it shows its age though: in DOF CA, there are definitely strong chromatic fringes in the out of focus part of shots that make use of wider apertures, the look is a bit "vintage" but not terribly so and it's a "feature" for me rather than a failing...
If anything, this lens is better within its range than the 50/1.4 is, though that lens is well deserving of its status as a classic and each focal length has its own strengths. The two zooms mentioned above can make great images at 85mm, but the lack of light gathering, the slightly poorer sharpness/distortion/contrast and the much busier bokeh they offer all add up to the 85/1.4 being a big step up in IQ for most uses.
These are getting more affordable as the A-mount fades away, so if you still shoot this mount or are OK with an adapter to E-mount, grab one!