Sony FE 85mm F1.8 E-mount lens reviews

reviews found: 14   
reviewer#45789 date: Nov-29-2021
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.5
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:Tamron 20mm f/2.8 FE
Tamron 35mm f/2.8 FE
Sony 50mm f/1.8 FE
Sony 50mm f/2.5G FE
Sony-Z 55mm f/1.8 FE
Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 RXD FE
Tamron 28-200mm f/2.8-5.6 RXD FE
Minolta 28mm f/2.8
Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Art
Sony 50mm f/1.4
Minolta 50mm f/1.7
Tamron 90mm Macro f/2.8
Sony 135mm f/1.8
Sigma 17-35mm f/2.8-4 EX
Minolta 24-105mm f/3.5-4.5
Sony 28-75mm f/2.8 SAM
Minolta 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5 RS
Minolta 28-135mm f/4-4.5
Minolta 70-210 f/4
Sony 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G SSM
Minolta 100-400mm f/4.5-6.7 APO
price paid:700 (Cdn, used)
positive:Great IQ, quick AF, beautiful Bokeh, moderate size and weight, decent price.
negative:None at the price point.
comment:At portrait distances it makes a nice creamy background. Further away you can get a touch of swirl in your Bokeh. Sharp, quick AF, compact for what it is. Great IQ and colour. This lens hits all the points and I haven't felt any desire for something fancier, faster or more expensive.
reviewer#44544 date: Jul-5-2020
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.8
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:Zeiss 85 1.4 (A mount)
price paid:£500 New
positive:Very sharp
Lovely bokeh
Small and light
negative:80cm minimum focus distance is a bit long. Trying to do some product photography and realised in this scenario the 85 is pretty useless as my only lens between 35mm and 135mm (which each have much closer MFD.
comment:I still can't quite believe this lens. I had the Zeiss 85 1.4 on a-mount and after reading favourable reviews online, decided to go for the 85 1.8 before trying the 85 1.4. I never have tried the 1.4, so impressed by the 1.8's performance.

Firstly, it is such a small compact lens. Only slightly larger than the 35 1.8 (which it is a perfect accompaniment to), and importantly a much smaller diameter lens to the zeiss. I have a peak design 6 litre sling bag and can carry the 35 and 85 on top of each other (with separator) on one side and A7iii with 135 1.8GM mounted on the other side. No way I could've done this with A mount, or given the size, the 85 1.4GM.

As I said, I've never tried the 1.4GM, which presumably must be stellar, but the 1.8 is easily on par with my experience of the zeiss 1.4. The ISO capabilities of the A7iii easily make up for any loss of light from 1.4 to 1.8 and the images it takes a beuatiful. Lovely Bokeh, super fast AF with eye AF, in a tiny package. Really is nothing to dislike here.
reviewer#44491 date: Apr-3-2020
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 3
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 3.8
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:Lensbaby Twist 60 F2.5
Sigma 65 F2 DG DN C
Sigma EX 70 F2.8 DG Macro
Samyang 75 F1.8
Samyang AF 85 F1.4
Tamron SP 85 F1.8 USD
Canon EF 85 F1.8 USM
Minolta MD 85 F2
Sony 85 F2.8 SAM
Tamron SP 90 F2.5 Macro
Canon EF 100 F2 USM
Minolta AF 100 F2
Minolta MC 100 F2.5
Minolta AF 100 F2.8 Soft Focus
Minolta AF 100 F2.8 Macro D
Minolta AF 100 F2.8 Macro RS
price paid:398 USD (used)
positive:Quiet
30 FPS tracking
Lens Compensations
Hood included
Sealing?
negative:Axial CA/purple fringing
Busy backgrounds
AF-S problems on A7III
Focus breathing
Lack of distance scale
Metal surfaces
Plastic filter threads
Wide - 82.1 to 81.4 mm according to DXOMark
comment:After lugging the Tamron SP 85mm F1.8 around last week I decided to make an offer for this lens. This was the most I've even spent on a single lens so far. This came out the same year as the Tamron and is $150 cheaper than that lens--suggesting a lower end lens. Canon has discounted their EF 85mm F1.8 USM to less than half the price of this Sony. First copy was "Made in Vietnam" like Tamron's OSD primes. The second copy is "Made in CHINA".

Unfortunately, I had AF-S issues using this lens on the A7III. Often the camera will confirm focus and not move when given an out-of-focus scene. It spends a good deal of time racking focus in AF-S on both the A7III and A6000. It is quicker in AF-C. It did work better in AF-S on the A7RII. Adapted 85mm F1.8's lock focus much quicker in AF-S. There are currently no firmware updates for the lens.

I purchased a second used copy of this lens after being disappointed with the AF-C performance of the Samyang 85 F1.4 on the A7RIV. This lens seems optically similar to the previous copy despite originating from a different country. Sony Fast Hybrid AF-C performance is the big selling feature of this lens.

This lens continues the styling of the early FE lenses like the 1.8/55 Sonnar instead of the newer G and GM primes. The anodized black finish looks nice when brand new. However the parts that extend out the front are plastic. I prefer soft control surfaces and metal filter threads. The redundant MF switch is a nod to cheap SLR lenses of the past, and it has a focus hold button like 1988 Minolta lenses.

While it is plenty sharp wide-open there is a high amount purple fringing--like the older Canon while backgrounds are busier and less blurred. The majority of users however rank this lens highly. I would say it has nicer rendering the later Sony FE primes like the compact G's and 1.8/35. I prefer the rendering of the lowly FE 50 F1.8. Some of the native competition has similar optical issues with slower focusing. The Samyang 75 F1.8 at least had much less purple fringing. I prefer the even shorter Sigma 65mm F2 DG DN C.
reviewer#44489 date: Apr-3-2020
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 5
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:Samyang 85/1.4
price paid:450 USD (new)
positive:Test
negative:Test
comment:Test
reviewer#44095 date: Jul-2-2018
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 5
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:A-Mount 85 mm 1.4 G RS
price paid:600 €
positive:Very sharp from wide open
Light weight
Focus hold button for Eye-AF
Very fast AF
Price
negative:Wide open the uncorrected vignetting is over 2 stops
comment:In combination with an A7r3 auto-correction on and IBIS this lens is close to perfect.
Just because I saw some comments: the lens has dust an moisture sealing and i didn't encounter any problems in the 6 months of heavy use.
reviewer#44078 date: Jun-4-2018
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.8
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:Fuji 56mm F/1.2 on APS-C.
Fuji 90mm F/2 on APS-C.
price paid:499 USD new
positive:Superb portrait lens in natural light. I have not tested it with studio strobes. Programmable button on the lens (I use mine for eye focus) is brilliant.
negative:I would love to have an aperture ring on Sony lenses. But, using the thumb wheel is almost as fast.
comment:I didn't think Sony would be able to match Fuji for skin tones. I was wrong. With the proper custom white balance set on my A7II, this lens renders images which look similar to Portra film. For portraits, I actually like the more muted (and realistic) color gradations I get with this lens over the more saturated colors I get with my Fuji gear. I don't think you can find a better portrait lens on any system for this price.
reviewer#44031 date: Mar-17-2018
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.6
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:Sony E 10-18mm. Voigtlander FE 15mm. Batis 18mm. Batis 25mm. Zeiss 16-35mm f4. 16-35mm GM. Sony FE 28mm. Zeiss FE 35mm. Batis 40mm. Samyang FE AF 45mm. Sony FE 50mm. Sony FE 50mm macro. Zeiss FE 55. Sony FE 85. Samyang 85mm f1.4. Sony 85mm GM. Sigma A FE 135mm. Sony 70-200 GM. Sony 100-400mm GM.
price paid:£436.00
positive:Well made and great form factor. As sharp as the Zeiss 55f1.8. Need I say more.
negative:Toy-town $1.00 hood that SONY has the cheek to sell replacements at £30.
comment:Great balance, sharp, detailed, well made, I could go on and on. For the money you can get the Samyang 85mm f1.4.
It is sharper than the GM or Zeiss and equal to the samyang but in a smaller package. Recommended, but checkout the Samyang before you decide.
reviewer#43022 date: Feb-27-2018
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.8
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 used to own this lens
compared to:Sigma 1.4/85
Carl Zeiss 1.4/85 ZF.2
Jupiter 9 2/85
price paid:507 euro (new)
positive:Sharp (even wide open)
Light (for a fast 85mm)
Custom control button on the lens
negative:MF experience (because of focus by-wire)
comment:Been trying to find a do-it-all 85mm lens for the last few years. Where the Sigma did do it for sharpness, I did not like the colours or bokeh. The Carl Zeiss was just not as sharp wide open, but liked its colours & bokeh. The jupiter 9 is a fine lens, but nowhere near a do-it-all lens, a very decent portrait lens, yes!

For me this Sony 1.8/85 does-it-all. No real flaws (I haven't seen any bad CA, yet?). I am amazed by its sharpness wide open, just stunning, also into the corners. Colours are pleasant/neutral. Bokeh is smooth at portrait distance, a bit busy at longer distance. Images have POP & OK rendering (no, not like a 1.4 OoF nice).

The custom button is a nice feature that I would like on all (AF) lenses. Manual focus experience is just not the same as any of my Loxia or vintage lenses, but I knew this was a trade-off so no complaining. I gave 4 rating on build because although light & compact the lens is build, to much plastic feel.

CZ & Sigma are now sold, Sony + Jupiter are here to stay.
If you are into the market for a 85mm on your Sony A7-9 series, this one is hard to beat on pure price&preformance ratio.

update- using the 1.8/85 on the A7iii body the Eye-AF taking potraits feels like cheating, 99% in focus!
reviewer#40962 date: Nov-8-2017
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 5
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:90 2.8 85 Samyang 28-70g , 85 2.8 whatever
price paid:$599.00
positive:Everything, really, Focussing, sharpness, weight and price.
negative:none
comment:Great lens. In the studio and out, no point plumping for Gmaster in my opinion but I would take one just for the aperture dial.
reviewer#40961 date: Nov-8-2017
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 5
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 100/2
CZ 85/1.4 (A mount)
CZ 55/1.8 (APS-C & FF)
price paid:450€
positive:light & small
AF/MF button
build quality
negative:no OSS
comment:I made a first shooting with this lens

It is just great !
I love the result it gives

no specific issues after this shooting
reviewer#37852 date: May-6-2017
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 5
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:85mm 1.4 GMaster
price paid:599 Euro
positive:Weight and Smallness, Feel, IQ.
negative:nothing
comment:This is a great lens! For the money? Not only for the money! I love this lens. For studio-portrait-work I use the GMaster on a tripod, but I can't really see the difference in the photos between the two lenses. For daily work and for travelling, this is a must have. And the bokeh is awesome! Lovely!
reviewer#37850 date: May-6-2017
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.6
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:Sigma 85mm F/1.4
SONY SEL55F18
Sony SEL2470F4
price paid:€640
positive:The lens perfectly matches the A7 size.
It's light and well build. The Focus Hold button on the lens can be configured to start Eye AF. It's sharp, straight from F/1.8 and the improves (edges) towards F/3.5
I like the AF/AM switch that, compared to the sigma, doesn't flip all the time.
negative:The lens shows some CA, persistent in some situations. It requires manual intervention in Lightroom. It shows some flare, but nothing more then I expected.
It has no OS, but using a A7Rii that doesn't matter much to me
comment:Given the price I'm glad I didn't bye the Batis 85mm, that was on my list first.
I like the 85mm and 135mm length a lot and this replaces my Sigma (which was very good too).
reviewer#37836 date: Apr-18-2017
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.8
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:None
price paid:£599
positive:Price
Performance
Weight and balance
negative:Bokeh slightly less impressive than Zeiss and GM
Not weathersealed
comment:Got this lens pretty much on release day. While I've not shot as many portraits as I'd like, I know from use it'll do an admirable job. AF is swift and accurate. Colours are good and bokeh attractive.

Balance with A7ii is excellent and as body has ibis, not putting OSS as a negative.
reviewer#36792 date: Mar-21-2017
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.8
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:• Sony FE 2,8/90 mm Macro G
• Minolta M-Rokkor 4,0/90 mm
price paid:434,00 €
positive:• sharpness
• size and weight
• silent SSM-Drive
• weather sealing
• focus-hold button
• AF/MF - switch
negative:• lack of OSS

comment:The Sony FE 1,8/85 mm represents a very good compromise between price, performance and weight.

The quality of the 1.8 / 85 mm really comes into its own on a sensor with 61 MP: Sharp from f / 1.8, plus a great T bokeh. The fast and quiet SSM drive, the internal focusing, the focus-hold button, the AF/MF - switch and the sealing against dust and moisture are convincing.

Build has only been rated "4" due to the lack of OSS.

Conclusion: In terms of price, size and weight the Sony FE 1.8/85 mm is a welcome addition to the Sony lens-program and due to the offered performance highly recommended!
reviews found: 14   

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 14
  • sharpness: 4.89
  • color: 4.93
  • build: 4.43
  • distortion: 4.79
  • flare control: 4.71
  • overall: 4.75

to add your review
you need to login

Dyxum.com - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania