ANOTHER ~ ZEISS BATIS VS. SONY G MASTER (85MM) THREAD

Started Mar 15, 2017 | Discussions thread
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wildstyl Junior Member • Posts: 40
ANOTHER ~ ZEISS BATIS VS. SONY G MASTER (85MM) THREAD
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Title pretty much sums it up...

I know this topic has been over-debated quite intensively on this forum, Youtube, and many other photography websites so I apologize if this is repetitive for some, but after countless days of watching reviews and reading comparisons I still find myself left in the dark, (50/50) when trying to compare these two lenses.

Basically, I am looking to add an 85mm to my collection for my Sony A7Rii mainly for portraiture but also for the occasional street and or odd-ball architecture or landscape shot. I won't have a chance to rent or test either lens before purchasing so as of now I am left to what interpretation can be gained from the majority of reviews online.

The problem with what literature and video is available on this topic lies in the fact that most reviews are from Sony "Artisans" or other "Sony Owned" internet fanboys which must be taken with a grain of salt due to personal or monetary bias.

Furthermore, what unbiased reviews and discussion is left to ponder took place at a time when the Batis was available for purchase but the G Master was still on per-order making the majority of relevant discussion out to really be speculation....

SO WHAT CAN BE SAID FROM ALL THESE SPECS AND REVIEWS?

  • GM is Faster (1.4 vs 1.8) and has (11 aperture blades vs the Batis 9).
  • GM is to produce slightly smoother bokeh (less swirled and distracting) with slightly better subject isolation (3D Pop) at further focal distances, and rounder bokeh balls (no cat-eye).
  • GM is heavier and probably has quality control issues (Like Sony 35mm 1.4). Batis is smaller, fully weatherproof (unlike Sony's claim), and is built like a tank.
  • GM is loud while Batis is silent (really not important considering how loud the shutter is).
  • GM comes with useful features (AF-hold, aperture adjustment ring, and de-clickable aperture option) vs. Batis depth of field display (more bling than useful)
  • Batis focuses slightly faster
  • GM is $600-800 more (is it really worth the price increase?)
  • GM is colder temperature wise and provides slightly less micro-contrast when compared to RAW shots with Batis
  • Did I miss anything?

WHAT I ACTUALLY BELIEVE AND WANT TO CONFIRM WITH OTHERS OPINIONS

  • Batis is much better for traveling and "everyday photography" as it is lighter, fully weather sealed, more ergonomic, and more practical for on location shooting, and its cheaper. It's also a Zeiss so you know it will be reliable at all times.
  • GM and Batis basically produce exact same level of sharpness (no sharpness advantage per $ increase). I have actually heard rumors that Batis is slightly sharper when comparing Batis at F1.8 to GM at F1.4.
  • BOTH PRODUCE (CAT-EYE) BOKEH. This is important as the biggest claim for getting the GM is its better bokeh. When comparing pictures on FLICKR I find both lenses produce good "3D pop" but at the same time both exhibit cat-eye balls towards the outside of the frame which seems to be due to the lenses overall design constraints (which is quite disappointing in terms of the hundreds of claims for the GM superior bokeh). See examples below.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/cjmorvillo/33276936511/in/pool-sel85f14gm/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/r3ddlight/32326242093/in/pool-sel85f14gm/

https://1.img-dpreview.com/files/p/TS560x560~forums/57541811/bdb4a794688843c7869691e652cbb892

  • BOTH HAVE GOOD SUBJECT ISOLATION & 3D POP. The more I look at these lenses pages on FLICKR I am seeing instances where even a trained eye may not be able to distinguish the 2 lenses unless shooting pure back lit highlighted bokeh ball images. BOTH RENDER BEAUTIFUL IMAGES and is is hard to say what is what with all of the post processing that takes place after the fact.

I guess at this point the longer I wait the more confused I get as towards picking one over the other.  To be completely honest I have always liked Zeiss lenses more than Sony branded ones.  The Batis to me is a higher quality product and looks better aesthetically speaking, and in my opinion it will provide better functionality, ergonomics, and over feel for the smaller Sony mirror-less cameras, and will be more a pleasure to use, even if the Sony GM may produce better visual results in speculation.

Its just hard to stomach paying $1200 for a lens that is second best when I could spend a few dollars more and get the 85GM.  It's just hard to decipher what to believe considering the countless "excellent and exceptionally rated" reviews the Batis 85 got prior to the Sony GM release.  Then all of the sudden the GM comes out and most Sony sponsored shooters and fanboys are saying the GM is "far superior"....?!?  Well... a minute ago you were drooling over your Batis 85 so whats the real story?

What I am trying to ask all of you is.....

If I purchase the Batis 85mm which I have longed for, are you going to end up seeing it for sale here in the classifieds a few months later as I will be trading up for the 85 GM at the end of the day?

Or will I be happy with the Batis 85 and move on?

Is the bokeh and image pop really that much better at 1.4 over 1.8?  Do those extra 3 aperture blades make that much of a difference?

Worth an extra $600-800, the added size, weight, and noise?

Again, at this point in time I do civil and environmental engineering by day and am not typically cashing all of my checks off of my portraits and if the discussion or argument is over video features I would much rather use a loxia anyhow if that is worth anything moving forward.

I just want to know I am not going to regret getting the Batis 85?  Or is that why so many are for sale used?  Just cant shake the G Master itch?

Thanks all for any input!

Sony a7R II Sony FE 85mm F1.4 GM Zeiss Batis 85mm F1.8
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