85mm 1.4: zeiss, nikon or sony alpha?

Started May 3, 2013 | Discussions thread
S3ZAi
OP S3ZAi Contributing Member • Posts: 885
Re: 85mm 1.4: zeiss, nikon or sony alpha?

Gomez Garcia Gonzalez wrote:

I went through this same process, so I'll share my experience.  I got a manual focus C/Y Zeiss 85mm F1.4. It was lovely and dreamy wide open, pretty sharp stopped down. I'm not sure if it was just my copy, but I was a bit disappointed with the CA and it wasn't really sharp until about F4. It produced amazing images in the right conditions, mostly still life nature shots where I could control the CA and nail the extremely shallow depth of field.

I compared it to a Minolta AF 85mm F1.4 and there was no comparison. Bye bye Zeiss. I compared the Minolta to the newer Sony Zeiss also and didn't see any difference in sharpness or CA behaviour at F1.4 (there is still some for both). I think the Zeiss coatings perhaps give the Sony lens slightly better microcontrast, but otherwise the lenses are identical designs as far as I can tell.

If you're prepared to go with la-ea2 for AF and are considering Minolta lenses, I'd gor for the 85mm over the macro if portraits of people are your thing. The 85mm will focus much faster than the macro. The 100mm macro is cheaper, with very good IQ and possibly more useful as a general purpose lens. The 85mm Minolta is about the same price used as the C/Y Zeiss, if you've already got the la-ea2 or think it's cost is worthwhile to get AF, that's the way to go I think. If you are going manual focus and saving a bit of money, I'd probably go for the new Rokinon/Samyang over the C/Y Zeiss, it's sharper at F1.4 than any of the lenses already mentioned, including the Sony Zeiss.

Disclaimer:obviously I've only tested single examples of the lenses mentioned here, some of them used models, so your experience may be different to my own.

Thank you very much for this usefull info. I've been going through dpreview and google for hours now to just find out whether af would work with minolta lenses and la-ea2. So the answer is yes. I guess Minolta lenses are just exactly the same technology, mount and af wise, as the newer alpha lenses.

I was indeed thinking about the minolta 85mm 1.4, it's quite expensive, but still, I think the best option to go that way, it has also af and very sharp from what I could see over the net. Thank you, now I will start saving for this combo.

 S3ZAi's gear list:S3ZAi's gear list
Sony Alpha NEX-7 Sony Alpha a7R Sony E 35mm F1.8 OSS Sony FE 55mm F1.8
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