Sony FE 85mm f/1.8 Lens DxOMark Review: Better than Batis 85mm f/1.8

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DxOMark published their Sony FE 85mm f/1.8 lens test results: Tested on the 42MP Sony a7RII, the Sony FE 85mm f/1.8 Lens achieves an outstanding overall score of 46 points, with a combination of 40 P-Mpix Sharpness – “It has a truly impressive 1.8 TStop transmission (matching that of the maximum aperture), and extremely high levels of sharpness, both of which helped it achieve a high DxOMark score, and placing it alongside pricier alternatives such as the rival Zeiss Batis as well as the Sony FE 85mm f1.4 GM.

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The most important result is: the Sony FE 85mm f/1.8 Lens ($598) performs better than the Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8 lens ($1,199).

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The new Sony is sharp wide-open, with levels in excess of 80% acutance across the central 30% of the field — though as you might expect, sharpness levels drop in the outer field. Peak sharpness is achieved at f/4; however, it achieves optimum performance and more uniform sharpness across the field between f/5.6-8.

Zeiss Batis 85mm F1.8 vs Sony FE 85mm F1.8 vs Sony FE 85mm F1.4 GM

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Compared to the maker’s own FE 85mm F1.4 GM lens, and the rival Zeiss Batis 85mm F1.8, respectively, the new lens offers similar levels of performance. All three perform similarly at f/1.8, with the new Sony displaying high central sharpness along with the expected fall-off in sharpness in the outer zones. While the higher-speed G Master has slight astigmatism that may well add some aesthetic quality to images shot wide-open, it also has the lowest and arguably the least imposing and most attractive vignetting of the trio.

Conclusion from DxOMark:

Large high-speed primes such as the 85mm F1.4 G Master are nice to have, but they are pricey, large, and sometimes intimidating. When it comes to moderate-speed lenses, it sometimes seems that manufacturers put price before outright optical performance. That’s not the case here. While not exactly cheap, the Sony FE 85mm F1.8 costs less than its premium G Master sibling or even the rival Zeiss Batis 85mm F1.8, yet it has a real nice balance of performance, with excellent sharpness and low lateral color and distortion. Apart from a little vignetting, with its unobtrusive size and low weight, this new lens looks to be an excellent alternative for all the right reasons.

Sony FE 85mm f/1.8 Lens: $598 at Amazon, B&H, Adorama.

Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8 Lens: $1,199 at Amazon, B&H, Adorama.

Sony FE 85mm f/1.4 GM Lens: $1,798 at Amazon, B&H, Adorama.

Read the full review at DxOMark.

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