Home Photography Sony Prime Portrait Lens Comparison: 85mm – 135mm

Sony Prime Portrait Lens Comparison: 85mm – 135mm

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  1. I own the Sony 85mm 1.8 and the Sony 135mm 1.8 – Both lenses are great. The 85 is small lightweight, cheap and really really good. It is my workhorse it most situations. I never thought that I need the 1.4 over the 1.8. Besides: Your clients are not going to notice anyways. The 135mm on the other hand is the craziest lens I have ever worked with. That thing is sharp as a razorblade and super fast and accurate at focusing. I bought it for weddings instead of the 70-200 2.8 and I am super happy, but I found that I barely use it outside of weddings. I much prefer the 85mm working distance.

  2. Regarding the 85 1.8 vs 1.4, everyone else I've ever seen review the two side by side has said that the 1.8 is actually a little bit sharper? However all of the other corrective aspects such as flaring and abberation are definitely more controlled on the 1.4.

  3. I've been using the 85mm f/1.2 L II with an MC-11 adapter and learned a way to get it to show up as F1.2. If you go to the menu, navigate to Camera 1 > Exposure2 (10/14) > Exposure Step, and set it to 0.5EV , it'll finally be F1.2 instead of F1.3 wide open. Make sure your EV dial is exactly at +0 or it'll still show up as F1.3.

    I learned about this thanks to a post by Brian Smith in a dpreview thread. He notes that it's just to make us feel better since it's wide open at F1.3 when using 0.3EV steps, but having the EXIF metadata reflect reality is a nice bonus.

    As for the lens itself, I really enjoy how it renders photos. It's undoubtedly my most used lens.

  4. The only thing I regret from switching from Canon to Leica and then to Sony (first with Leica lenses, among them the 75mm f1.4 Summilux) is the Canon 85L. Sure, that thing is huge and heavy and very slooooooow to focus – but what magical rendering, bokeh, delicacy and ooomph! Hesitating now between the Sony 1.4 and 1.8 85's, its probably just forlorn lost love for the good ole 85L…

    Another thing to consider is minimum focus distance, it not only determines FOV but also DOF. For exemple, the Sony-Zeiss 55mm f1.8 has a minimum distance of 0.5m versus 0.8m for the Sony 85's. So, focussing at 50cm with the 55, you actually get a similar field of view as with a 85mm at 80cm, but smaller depth of field than with the 85mm f1.8. So except if you're looking for more compression, the 55m will do a better job at isolating subjects and washing out backgrounds. On the other hand, the 135mm f1.8 has a shorter minium focus distance (0.7m vs 0.8m) than the 85s, even although it's a longer lens. So this lens will give you the most background blur by a large margin, and greater versatilty in choosing DOF, if you can handle the "blander" compression. So just focal length and aperture isn't the whole story.

  5. This is a superb review in my opinion. Of course nobody's taste is exactly the same and we change our tastes (as Tony mentions), but it helped me to decide NOT to buy a 135mm f1.8 lens by any OEM and keep using my Sony GMaster 85mm f1.4 and spend the money I saved on more lighting products (the latter being my choice not Tony's advice)

  6. Love your vids tony. Your a respect YouTubeR
    Your a great couple. Good mix . Intelligence and you make all photographers jealous, with your knowledge and your partnership with your wife, who is equally intelligent . She is also great for the camera. Very good mix. Congrats on both of you. You guys rock.

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