85mm 1.4: zeiss, nikon or sony alpha?

Started May 3, 2013 | Discussions thread
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S3ZAi
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85mm 1.4: zeiss, nikon or sony alpha?
May 3, 2013

I now have all -at least for me- interesting ranges covered: samyang 8mm for WA, sel35 and sel50 for low light, sel18-200 for the zoom stuff, I also have a few more minolta and pentax lenses to experiment with.

I also bought a few manual lenses, among which the real bokeh monster, Pentacon 135mm with 15 blades. And I own a few macro lenses when needed. I also have the sel16 with both adapters, but I almost never use it.

Only thing I'm missing is a fast portrait lens of around 80-100mm. But those don't come cheap. Especially the 1.4 ones (I'm not even considering the 1.2 nikon as it would cost me a fortune, I consider that one to be for pro's, which I'm certainly not).

I have read that 135mm for portraits is a bit too long on apsc, while ideal on FF. Something around 85-100 is far better to deal with on a nex I think, especially without IS. I own a pentax smc 135mm and it's quite hard to keep it steady. My 18200LE at 200mm is easier to handle thanks to the oss.

I don't see sony or a third party doing a 85ish fast prime for nex anytime soon. I'm afraid that even if they make one, it will be 3.5 or perhaps even slower, or it will be too expensive or too big or something, knowing sony.

So I have put some time and effort into studying many reviews and pics of several 85mm 1.4 lenses.

- There is a great zeiss planar 85mm 1.4, manual lens, but zeiss glass. It could be ideal, but it is quite big I understand. I almost ordered one from ebay, but decided to think this over.

- Then there is the nikon 1.4, I remember Matthew (El Matadurr) being very enthousiastic about the nikon lens. It's quite expensive though, especially the newest model.

- Finally there is the option to go for the very expensive combo of sony/zeiss alpha sal85f14z lens with LaEa2. This would give me quite good autofocus but it would also become quite big and clunky? I really would like to see how this looks like to form a real opinion about it.

I have seen many pictures of the first two options, there are people who say they are almost the same, while others say one is definitely better, but I couldn't see a difference real quick. All I could think was: WOW, pictures look great with both the zeiss and the nikon.

No examples of the 3d option. Though I think with the laea2 option I also would like to hold it a while and see how it feels. I might get great speed with fast autofocus, but if it becomes too big to carry around, it wouldn't be much of use anyway.

There are of course other options, like the sigma 85 1.4 lens, but while it's cheaper, it still is quite expensive, if I'm gonna spend that much money, I'd rather pay a few houndred more and get the better option.

Only thing I didn't consider is a speedbooster with a full frame lens. Do the speedboosters have autofocus when combined with an auto lens? If I would choose for a speedbooster, would I need a slower, thus cheaper lens, because the speedbooster would make it faster anyway?

Or should I just wait until there is a real e mount mid range prime zoom? For how long?

So anyone any opinions on this?

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