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Posts Tagged ‘85mm’

Comparing a 50mm Versus 85mm Lens for Photographing People

12 May

As a writer for Digital Photography School, one of the most frequently asked questions I receive from beginner and intermediate photographers is, “If I have to choose just ONE lens to buy right now, which one should I choose?” We’ve previously discussed the differences between a 24mm lens and a 50mm lens for photographing people, and in that same vein, it’s time for another lens showdown!

lens photographing people

In this article, we’ll be discussing the differences between an 85mm and a 50mm lens for photographing people. Once again, I’ll walk you through several sets of similar images taken with each lens so that you can easily see the differences between the two. Hopefully, you can walk away with a better understanding of which lens might be the best upgrade for you.

To keep things consistent, all images in this article were taken with a Canon 60D, and either the Canon 50mm f/1.8 lens or the Canon 85mm f/1.8 lens. The Canon 60D is an APS-C sensor (cropped sensor) camera, so in order to determine the functioning focal length of these lenses on this camera, multiply the lens focal length by 1.6 (multiply by 1.5 if you use Nikon). So on a cropped sensor camera, the 50mm lens functions roughly as an 80mm lens, and the 50mm lens functions as a 136mm lens.

1. Differences in Depth of Field

lens photographing people

This image was taken with Canon 85mm lens at f/1.8.

One of the biggest differences between the 85mm lens and the 50mm lens is the distance that you’ll need to stand from your subject. With the 85mm lens, the minimum focusing distance is 2.8 ft, and with the 50mm lens, the minimum focusing distance is 1.15 ft.

This means that in general, you will be standing further away from your subject with the 85mm lens, than you will with the 50mm. In turn, this decreases the depth of field, which means that images shot with the 85mm lens tend to have much blurrier bokeh than images shot with the 50mm lens, even when using the same aperture.

lens photographing people

This image was taken with a Canon 50mm at f/1.8.

You can see the difference clearly in the cherry blossoms in the background of the two images above, both of which were shot at f/1.8. The cherry blossoms are fairly well blurred in both images, but the shape of the blossoms is more defined in the image taken with the 50mm lens, and the blossoms are significantly more blurred and creamy in the image that with the 85mm lens.

Of course, everyone has a different preference when it comes to bokeh. Some prefer the more uniform creaminess that the 85mm lens offers, while other photographers prefer to have a little more definition in the background.

lens photographing people

Left: 85mm lens | Right: 50mm lens.

You may even find that you prefer different approaches in different applications! For example, I usually favor the more uniform bokeh of the 85mm lens. However, when I’m photographing in the grass, I prefer the bit of texture which the 50mm lens provides (see the examples above).

This is purely a matter of preference, so start making mental notes about which type of images you tend to prefer when you look at other photographers’ work. If you find that you are always drawn to the creamier texture, then the 85mm lens may be a better fit for you. If you prefer a bit more texture in the background, you may want to consider the 50mm lens instead.

2. Differences in Framing

lens photographing people

This image was taken with 50mm lens.

In addition, spend some time thinking about the content of your backdrops. Using an 85mm lens will result in an image that is more closely framed on your subject. On the other hand, shooting with the 50mm lens will result in an image that includes more of the background (though not nearly as much as shooting with the Canon 24mm lens).

Do you happily hike up to the top of a mountain for a photo session? You might want to consider the 50mm lens in order to more fully capture the trees and vistas in the background behind your portrait subject(s).

lens photographing people

This image was taken in exactly the same place as the previous one, only using the 85mm lens instead of the 50mm.

On the other hand, do you often find yourself trying to disguise the background in your images? Do you shoot on location with backgrounds that are sometimes out of your control and/or unpredictable?  In that case, you may want to consider the 85mm lens.

When you combine the decreased depth of field of the 85mm lens with the closer framing of your subject, the 85mm lens is stellar at creating beautiful portrait images at almost any location.

3. Differences in Shooting Distance

lens photographing people

This image was taken with 50mm lens.

Remember when I said that when you’re using an 85mm lens you’ll be standing further away from your subject than you would be using a 50mm lens? Here’s another reason why that’s important to know, I almost never use my 85mm lens inside our home.

Our house is just over 1,000 square feet, and depending on the room, sometimes I physically cannot back up far enough to use my 85mm lens. Aside from official photography business, it’s important to me to be able to capture little day to day moments of our family, and so having a fast lens that I can use indoors is a must-have for me.

As much as I love my 85mm lens, it just isn’t a great fit for that purpose given the size of our home. Your mileage may vary.

Lens photographing people

This image was taken with 85mm lens.

On the other hand, when we’re outdoors I often prefer my 85mm lens. In that situation, standing further away from my subjects is a good thing. I can let my kids play and have fun without being all up in their business. Having a bit more space between them and the camera means that they’re able to relax more easily, which in turn leads to more genuine expressions and candid smiles.

Conclusion

As you can see, both of these lenses are great for capturing portrait-style images of people – I personally keep both in my camera bag and use them with near equal frequency.

That said, if you’re only able to purchase one lens right now, both lenses have situations in which they outshine the other, so it’s important for you to think realistically about your preferences and the way you’ll use a portrait lens most often in order to get the most bang for your buck!

If you have one of these lenses – which do you use the most for people photography?

The post Comparing a 50mm Versus 85mm Lens for Photographing People by Meredith Clark appeared first on Digital Photography School.


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Speedmaster 65mm and 85mm fast primes for Fujifilm GFX on the way

26 Apr

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Chinese manufacturer Zhong Yi Optics has shown of a pair of manual focus prime lenses for Fujifilm’s medium format GFX 50S at a tradeshow at Beijing. The lenses are currently the fastest yet announced for GF mount.

The new lens is a Speedmaster 65mm F1.4, which is exclusively designed for the GFX system. Details are scarce, other than what can be seen from photos of the lens. It has manual aperture and focus rings and supports 77mm filters. Mounted on the Fujifilm it will be equivalent to a 51mm F1.1 lens on a full frame body.

The second lens already exists and is being made available for the G-mount. The Speedmaster 85mm F1.2 is equivalent to 67mm F0.95 and features ED, HRI and low-dispersion elements. The lens has a minimum focus distance is 1 meter and 11 aperture blades. It too accepts 77mm filters.

This pair of lenses will ship sometime in 2017 at prices to be announced later.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Review of the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Art Lens

20 Mar
Review of the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Art Lens

Portrait sample using the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Art lens.

Last summer I had the opportunity to test out the Sigma 20mm f/1.4 Art lens and review it for dPS. I absolutely loved the lens, so when the opportunity arose to try Sigma’s 85mm f/1.4 Art lens, I jumped at the chance.

I continue to be excited by Sigma’s lineup of Art lenses, as they offer incredible image quality for a great price. Several of my photographer friends were singing this lens’s praises since it began shipping, so I was eager to see if it lived up to its reputation.

Review of the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Art Lens

The Sigma 85mm F1.4 DG HSM A

First Impressions of the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Art Lens

As a Nikon shooter, I tested the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Art lens in a Nikon mount. The first thing I noticed about this lens is that it is an absolute beast. The lens is 3.7 inches wide by 5 inches long (94.7mm x 126.2mm), and weighs in at a whopping two and a half pounds (1113 g / 39.3 oz.)!  Compare this to Canon’s 85mm f/1.2L II lens, which weighs in at four ounces lighter and is more than an inch and a half shorter. The filter thread is 86mm, compared to 72mm for the Canon one. For another comparison, Nikon’s 85mm f/1.4G is also more than an inch and a half shorter and 2/10 of an inch slimmer, weighs more than a pound less than the Sigma at 595 g / 21oz.), and accepts a 77mm filter.

Specs

The Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Art lens consists of 14 elements in 12 groups, featuring two low dispersion SLD elements and an aspherical element to help reduce chromatic aberration. The construction of the lens feels as solid as other Sigma Art lenses I’ve used. The metal barrel has a nice finished look, the switches and focusing ring have a high quality feel to them and they are easily located when looking through the viewfinder. The ribbed rubber focusing ring takes up a large portion of the lens barrel and provides a long, smooth throw, perfect for manually focusing if you desire.

There is rubber sealing around the lens mount to protect against dust and moisture, as well as oil repellent coatings on the front and rear elements. Sigma also states that the lens’s hypersonic motor (HSM) has 1.3x more torque than its predecessor, allowing the lens to focus faster. Minimum focus distance is 33.3 inches, similar to competitors’ lenses.

Review of the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Art Lens

The Sigma 85mm F1.4 DG HSM A

Fast glass

The fast maximum aperture of the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Art makes this lens a workhorse for many applications. At f/1.4, you’re getting a lot of light through the lens and onto the imaging sensor, making it ideal for low light situations. In addition, that fast aperture allows for use of lower ISOs, helping to minimize noise. Finally, working at wider apertures such as f/1.4 mean you can force your viewer to look exactly where you want by creating images with extremely shallow depth of field.

Accessories

The lens ships with a high quality padded soft case, ideal for transporting the lens. Sigma also provides a sizable plastic hood, ideal for helping to eliminate lens flare off the sizable front element. The hood locks into place securely and offers good protection from impact as well.

The Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Art lens is compatible with Sigma’s USB dock, which helps facilitate the updating of firmware, lens calibration, or other customizations such as focus parameters. Unfortunately, I was not provided with the USB dock for this review. My first time shooting with the lens I found it to front focus quite a bit. This was corrected by using my Nikon D810’s AF Fine Tune feature, but in my 25 years in photography, that’s a feature I’ve never had to use before, so I was a little put off by the need to do so.

In Practical Use

Once the AF issues were corrected, the lens was awesome to use. The autofocus was fast and quiet and the lens was tack sharp. The beauty of a portrait lens at f/1.4 is the ability to blur the background way out of focus and have the sharp areas of the image really jump out at you. This made the initial front-focusing issues all the more of a problem because when you photograph using such shallow depth of field if you miss your focus, you really miss it! It’s imperative that you’re precise and that the lens can be counted on to focus where you tell it to.  See this article I wrote: Fast Glass: Tips for Working With Wide Aperture Lenses for more that.

The Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Art is an excellent portrait lens. The bokeh is buttery smooth and the contrast and sharpness make for a beautiful look to the image straight out of the camera. Repeatability of focus was a bit of an issue at times, and I occasionally had to refocus the lens when taking multiple shots at the same distance.  While for me it wasn’t a major problem, it’s worth noting when you may need to work under greater pressure than what I was facing in my test shoots.

Portrait sample with the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 art lens.

Portrait sample with the Sigma 85mm F1.4 Art lens.

Other applications

The lens does exhibit some focus breathing when changing focus from one distance to another. Focus breathing is where objects in the image become more or less magnified as the focus is changed. This won’t be a major problem for still shooters unless you are focus stacking, but for video shooters, this may be a slight cause for concern, especially when doing drastic focus pulls.

While I did not have a chance to use the lens under these circumstances, I was struck by how quickly the lens focused and thought it would have made an excellent lens for photographing sports such as basketball, back in my sports photography days. In addition, the excellent image quality and wide aperture mean the lens can be used in many other situations. Those include; landscape photography, when either a moderate telephoto focal length is needed, or when photographing a flower, tree, or another object when you want a shallow depth of field to blur the background or foreground.

Wildlife Example Using Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Art

Wildlife example shot with the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Art lens. Photo courtesy Dennis Clark / dennisaclark.com

Pros

When properly calibrated, the lens is tack sharp and provides stellar image quality. Build quality is outstanding, and the lens felt good in my hands. The autofocus was fast and smooth, as well as quiet. Image quality was outstanding.

Price-wise, the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Art lens is a bargain, comparatively speaking. The Nikon 85mm f/1.4G retails for $ 1599, while Canon’s 85mm f/1.2L lists for $ 1899 (at the time of writing this review). At $ 1199, the Sigma provides outstanding image quality at quite a bit less than its competitors. The lens is available in Nikon, Canon, or Sigma mounts.

Portrait sample using the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Art lens

Portrait sample using the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Art lens.

Cons

This lens is heavy. Combined with a pro body, you could be lifting almost 6 pounds every time you take a shot. For wedding and portrait photographers who might want to use this lens a good portion of their workday, that means a lot of heavy lifting and arm fatigue after a while.

Also, there is no image stabilization on the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Art. While neither Nikon nor Canon offers image stabilization on their fast 85mm offerings, it should be noted that Tamron’s SP 85mm f/1.8 lens, while a stop slower, does have that feature. That allows the lens to be handheld at shutter speeds slower than could be achieved with the Sigma at 85mm f/1.4.

 

Summary

The Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Art lens is an outstanding value that provides incredible image quality at a good price. While I would prefer it to be a bit small and lighter, there’s no denying that the bottom line for image makers is image quality and the Sigma delivers that. Four stars.

Review of the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Art Lens

Portrait example using the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Art

 

Review of the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Art Lens

Another portrait example using the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Art

Review of the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Art Lens

Portrait example using the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Art lens.

Review of the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Art Lens

Nature example using the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Art. Photo courtesy Dennis Clark / dennisaclark.com

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Sony FE 85mm F1.8 sample gallery and first impressions

28 Feb

The Sony FE 85mm F1.8 joins Sony’s full-frame E-Mount lineup as the most affordable native lens that offers a short telephoto focal length. Other full-frame systems have had comparably low-cost 85mm lenses for quite a while, and it’s nice to see Sony filling in some of the gaps for budget conscious users.

The FE 85mm balances superbly on Sony’s a7-series bodies, and though it’s no G Master lens, it feels solid enough. Focusing is silent and fairly quick (contrary to Sony’s ‘nifty fifty’ FE 50mm F1.8), and it has excellent sharpness wide open, even well off-center. It’s even sharper by F2.5, seemingly peaking by F4. There’s an awful lot of purple and green fringing wide open though, as you’ll see in our gallery, but this is to be expected, and is indeed common, in lightweight fast primes (they’re far less distracting by F4.5). Careful software corrections might be able to take care of most of it (remember: it’s lateral CA that’s easy to remove, not axial), albeit typically at a cost to other areas of the image – download a few of the Raw files to see for yourself.

On an a7R II, this lens focuses wide open, quickly and accurately.

Of particular interest is our observation that this lens, currently, focuses wide open* on an a7R II (or, technically, opens up to F2 if you’ve selected an aperture smaller than wide open). This addresses one of our largest complaints with recent Sony lens releases that focus stopped down, often slowing focus in low light or forcing otherwise capable phase-detect AF systems to revert to contrast detect-only. It appears that, at least for now, Sony’s recent 100mm STF and 85mm F1.8 lenses address this issue, and without an image cost to boot: take a look at our aperture series with our LensAlign target here (please choose the option to ‘Open Link in New Window’), and you’ll note no focus shift as we stop down (the lens was focused once wide open, then switched to MF for the series). You can also judge problematic apertures for axial CA in this series, as well as how circular out-of-focus highlights remain as you stop down the 9-bladed aperture.

Oddly, the same doesn’t hold true on other Sony bodies: the lens focuses stopped down at the shooting aperture on an a7 II, a7S, and a6300/6500. Oddly, this sometimes leads to slight front-focus at smaller apertures on those cameras, though it’s not a huge deal as the focus shift is often masked by the increased depth-of-field. It’s interesting from an academic standpoint though – as focusing at the selected aperture should increase focus accuracy, not decrease it. We have our hypotheses, but for now, we’ve reached out to Sony for comment. 

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See our Sony FE 85mm F1.8 sample gallery


 *Note this only holds true for AF-S and for initial focus acquisition in AF-C, after which the lens stays stopped down, presumably to avoid having to constantly open and close the aperture during continuous drive. We still wish this weren’t the case, as (1) AF-C is often useful even in Single drive mode, and (2) DSLRs are fully capable of opening and closing the aperture in between shots, even at 14 fps. There may be other nuances we’re missing that explain why Sony chooses to focus stopped down, but the inconsistencies between bodies is confusing. Rest assured, we are in constant discussion with Sony engineers about this issue.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Yongnuo YN 85mm F1.8 lens now available

18 Feb

Yongnuo has announces its full-frame 85mm F1.8 lens, for Canon and (eventually) Nikon mounts. This budget-friendly lens, which closely resembles Canon’s 85mm F1.8, first surfaced a couple of months ago. It features 9 elements in 6 groups, as well as a 0.85m minimum focusing distance, a 58mm filter diameter, and an overall weight of about 460g/16oz. It’s offered Canon EF mount now, with reports pointing to a Nikon version coming soon.

Yongnuo announced the launch on its Facebook page, where it is also giving away three lenses for testing. The lens features an AF/MF switch and according to its B&H listing, gold-plated contacts. The new lens is priced at $ 177 at B&H, but is currently backordered.

Via: PhotoRumors

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Video overview: Sony’s FE 100mm F2.8 STF GM and FE 85mm F2.8

10 Feb

We got a closer look at some of the headline features of Sony’s newest FE lenses on the show floor of the Wedding and Portrait Photography Conference and Expo in Las Vegas. The FE 100mm F2.8 STF GM OSS and FE 85mm were both introduced earlier this week – take a closer look at what’s new and notable in the overview video above.

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Hands-on with Sony 100mm F2.8 STF G Master and FE 85mm F1.8 lenses

09 Feb

Hands-on with Sony 100mm F2.8 STF G Master and FE 85mm F1.8 lenses

Sony announced a pair of short telephoto prime lenses at this year’s WPPI show in Las Vegas – the FE 100mm F2.8 STF GM OSS and the FE 85mm F1.8, both intended for use on the company’s a7-series mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras.

Here’s the FE 100mm F2.8 STF GM OSS, which joins Sony’s growing ‘G Master’ lineup, as one of the company’s flagship lenses. 

Hands-on with Sony 100mm F2.8 STF G Master and FE 85mm F1.8 lenses

The 100mm F2.8 has a complex optical design, featuring 14 elements in 10 groups, including ED and aspherical elements. Somewhat unusually, this lens is a ‘Smooth Trans Focus’ (STF) design, which incorporates an APD (apodization) element. The APD element acts as a radial gradient filter, which – in simple terms – improves the quality of out of focus areas, by diffusing bokeh circles. Traditionally, we’ve seen APD elements in lenses specifically aimed at portraiture, for obvious reasons.

Unlike the Minolta-designed 135mm F2.8 [T4.5] STF lens that Sony still offers for A-mount cameras, the 100mm F2.8 STF is an autofocus lens.

A ‘macro’ switch enables the lens to be focused down to 0.57 meters (a little under 2 feet), and built-in stabilization should enhance its usefulness when hand-held.

Hands-on with Sony 100mm F2.8 STF G Master and FE 85mm F1.8 lenses

Eleven aperture blades means an almost perfectly circular aperture even when the 100mm F2.8 is stopped down. This isn’t the sole determinant of bokeh quality but it goes towards ensuring out-of-focus highlights remain circular.

Hands-on with Sony 100mm F2.8 STF G Master and FE 85mm F1.8 lenses

The FE 100mm F2.8 features a ‘manual’ aperture ring. It’s not mechanically linked, and offers an ‘A’ position to transfer aperture control to the camera body. The ring can operate either as a conventional ‘clicked’ dial with third-stop detents, or ‘declicked’ for smooth, stepless operation. For video work, ‘declicking’ allows for much more practical brightness adjustment during shooting. 

Hands-on with Sony 100mm F2.8 STF G Master and FE 85mm F1.8 lenses

Like all of Sony’s G Master lenses, the 100mm F2.8 is built to a very high standard, and features dust and moisture sealing. A rubber grommet runs around the circumference of the lens-mount, to help maintain the seal between camera and lens. Despite the complex optical construction and high standard of build, the lens is relatively lightweight, weighing in at 700 g (1.54 lb).

Hands-on with Sony 100mm F2.8 STF G Master and FE 85mm F1.8 lenses

Much lighter though, is the new FE 85mm F1.8, a budget short telephoto prime aimed at enthusiast Sony FE shooters who don’t need (or can’t quite justify) the GM 85mm F1.4. This affordable prime weighs in at 371 g (0.82 lb).

Hands-on with Sony 100mm F2.8 STF G Master and FE 85mm F1.8 lenses

The optical design of the FE 85mm F1.8 is much simpler in comparison with the 100mm F2.8, comprising 9 elements in 8 groups. The button above the AF/MF switch can be customized and assigned together with functions in the camera body. On most bodies it’s a focus hold control by default, but you could for instance assign it to EyeAF.

Hands-on with Sony 100mm F2.8 STF G Master and FE 85mm F1.8 lenses

Sony makes life easy for camera journalists by writing some key spec directly onto the lenses. Here, we can see that the filter ring is 67mm and minimum focus distance is 0.8m (2.6ft). Compared to the 100mm F2.8 this isn’t great (it’s pretty standard for a short tele prime) but it’s fine for mid-length portraiture, of the kind that lenses of this type are ideally suited to.

In contrast to the more expensive Zeiss Batis 85mm F1.8, the Sony isn’t stabilized. However, unlike the similarly unstabilized 85mm F1.8s from Canon and Nikon, the Sony FE 85mm F1.8 can be used with the second-generation a7 series cameras, which offer in-body stabilization.

Hands-on with Sony 100mm F2.8 STF G Master and FE 85mm F1.8 lenses

Despite its lower cost and lack of ‘GM’ designation, the FE 85mm F1.8 is also dust and moisture sealed, although we don’t know whether the amount of sealing is equivalent to Sony’s high-end lenses. Like the FE 100mm F2.8, the 85mm features a rubber grommet around its mount, to help keep dirt and moisture out of the lens throat. 

Both lenses are expected to ship in March. The FE 100mm F2.8 STF GM OSS will cost $ 1500, while the FE 85mm F1.8 will sell for around $ 600.

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Has a new champion been crowned? Sigma 85mm F1.4 Art lens review

08 Feb

The Sigma 85mm F1.4 Art hasn’t been on the market long, but it has already begun to make some serious waves. Lenstip and DxO have rated it the sharpest 85mm lens ever created, beating out even the legendary 85mm F1.4 Zeiss Otus, which isn’t something that we take lightly. We were lucky enough to get our hands on the lens back in mid-November and we were very impressed to say the least, so much so that it took top honors for the ‘Best Prime Lens of 2016’ as chosen by our staff.

It has, without a doubt, been a pretty big topic of discussion not only amongst our staff members, but also amongst portrait photographers around the world. With that said we just had to get our hands on it to see how it really performs and to see how it holds up next to some very stiff competition at 85mm. The Sony FE 85mm F1.4 GM is a very formidable competitor and arguably the best modern 85mm F1.4 on the market (behind the manual focus Zeiss Otus, of course). With that in mind, the question is; can the Sigma hold its own? Our review will answer that question and more.

APS-C   

With an equivalent focal length of 136mm and an equivalent aperture of F2.2, this lens can be usefully used on an APS-C camera. Even with its slightly longer focal length, it does still fit into the focal range that’s often used by portrait photographers and the fast aperture does allow for it to be used in low-light situations as well. However, its size, weight and price makes it worth considering 85mm F1.8 lenses instead.

Sigma 85mm F1.4 DG HSM Art headline features

  • F1.4 maximum aperture
  • 85mm max fixed focal range
  • 2 FLD glass elements (low-distortion glass with fluorite-like performance)
  • 1 Aspherical SLD element
  • Canon EF, Nikon (FX) and Sigma SA Bayonet mounts

Specifications Compared

  Sony FE 85mm F1.4 GM Sigma 85mm F1.4 DG HSM Art
 MSRP $ 1800.00  $ 1199.00
 Lens Type Prime Prime
 Focal Length 85mm  85mm 
 Filter Thread 77mm 86mm
Image Stabilization No No
Lens Mount  Sony FE Canon EF, Nikon (FX), Sigma SA Bayonet 
Aperture Ring Yes (w/ d-click feature) No
Maximum Aperture  F1.4 F1.4
Minimum Aperture F16  F16
Minimum Focus  0.80 m (31.5?) 0.85 m (33.46?)
Diaphragm Blades  11 9
Elements  11  14
Groups  8 12
Special Elements/Coatings  1 ‘Extreme Aspherical’ element, 3 ED elements and ‘Nano AR’ coating 2 FLD glass elements and 1 Aspherical SLD element
Autofocus  Yes Yes
Motor Type  Ring-type Supersonic Wave Ring-type Hypersonic
Full Time Manual  Yes Yes
Focus Method  Internal Internal
Distance Scale  No Yes 
DoF Scale  No Yes
Full Weather Sealing  Yes No (dust and splash proof)
Weight 820g (1.81 lb) 1131g (2.49 lb) 
Dimensions  108 mm (4.23?) x 90mm (3.52?) 126mm (5.0″) x 95mm (3.7″)
Hood  Yes ( ALC-SH142) Yes

As you can see the lenses are fairly different in terms of build and design. The Sony 85mm has a manual aperture ring that can not only function on its own, but the aperture can also be adjusted with the camera by switching the ring to ‘A’. This ring also features a special de-click feature for smooth, silent aperture changes while shooting video. The Sigma 85mm lacks the weather sealing that the Sony has and there’s also a fairly substantial difference in size and weight as the Sony 85mm is a fair bit smaller and lighter. The price point is one area of the where the Sigma really prevails over the Sony, on paper, at least.

Specifications are fun to look at, but the real question is how do these lenses perform? Read on, to find out.

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Sony announces 100mm F2.8 STF G Master and FE 85mm F1.8 lenses

07 Feb

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Sony has taken the wraps off of two full-frame new mid-telephoto prime lenses. The company is making big claims about bokeh produced by the FE 100mm F2.8 STF OSS GM, which it says is improved by the use of an apodization (APD) element. The optical design is said to minimize vignetting, and the lens offers an 11-blade aperture. A macro switching ring engages the lens’ close focus capabilities for shooting subjects as near as 0.57m/1.87ft (0.25x magnification). The lens includes Sony’s built-in optical stabilization, and like other G Master lenses, it’s dust- and weather-resistant.

100mm F2.8 GM MTF chart via Sony. Lens configuration via Sony.

Also new is the non-G-Master FE 85mm F1.8, a relatively compact and lightweight portrait prime for the E-mount system. It uses a 9-blade circular aperture, ‘double linear motor system,’ and is also dust- and moisture-resistant. The lens does not offer built-in stabilization.

85mm MTF chart via Sony. Lens configuration via Sony.

Both lenses are expected to ship in March. The FE 100mm F2.8 STF GM OSS will cost $ 1500, while the FE 85mm F1.8 will sell for $ 600.

Press Release

Sony Introduces 100mm F2.8 STF G Master™ with Highest Ever Quality Bokeh for an ? Lens

New Full-frame 85mm F1.8 Mid-telephoto prime lens and Compact Radio-Controlled Flash announced as well

LAS VEGAS, Feb. 7, 2017 – Sony Electronics, a worldwide leader in digital imaging and the world’s largest image sensor manufacturer, has today introduced two new lenses for their popular line of E-mount interchangeable lens cameras.

Sony’s new lenses include one of their flagship G Master Series – an FE 100mm F2.81 STF GM OSS mid- telephoto prime lens (model SEL100F28GM) built to deliver breathtaking bokeh with a unique STF™ (Smooth Trans Focus) design, and a new compact, lightweight FE 85mm F1.8 mid-telephoto prime lens (model SEL85F18) that is a welcome addition to the bag of any hobbyist or enthusiast photographer looking to create amazing portraits.

They have also introduced a new powerful, compact flash (model HVL-F45RM) with radio-controlled wireless communication that is ideal for professional shooting with Sony’s lineup of ?7 full-frame cameras.

FE 100mm F2.81 STF GM OSS Telephoto Prime Lens

A specially designed mid-telephoto, full-frame prime lens, the new 100mm STF is built to produce truly unique, magnificent and beautiful bokeh while maintaining the exceptional standard of resolution that is showcased by Sony’s entire line of flagship G Master series lenses, making it a powerful photographic tool for any portrait, fashion, nature or wedding photographer.

These impressive defocus capabilities are made possible by the lens’ advanced optical structure, as it features a newly designed 11-bladed aperture and a unique optical apodization lens element. Similar to a neutral density filter that increases in density towards the edges, the apodization element creates beautiful transitions of in-focus to out-of-focus areas within an image, making for exceptionally soft, smooth bokeh that adds depth and dimensionality. This allows the subjects to stand out against beautifully defocused elements in both the foreground and background, producing an image that is naturally pleasing to the eye. The design of the lens also ensures that vignetting is kept to an absolute minimum, ensuring optimum image quality.

Additionally, the new 100mm lens supports both contrast AF and focal-plane phase detection AF2, and has a high-precision, quiet direct drive SSM (Super Sonic Motor) system that ensures exceptionally fast and accurate AF performance. The SEL100F28GM also offers up to 0.25x close-up capabilities with a built-in macro switching ring, built-in Optical SteadyShot™ image stabilization, a customizable focus hold button, AF/MF switch, aperture ring and more. It is dust and moisture resistant as well3.

FE 85mm F1.8 Telephoto Prime Lens

The new 85mm F1.8 mid-telephoto prime lens offers an extremely versatile, lightweight and compact telephoto prime lens solution for a variety of Sony camera owners ranging from working professionals to emerging enthusiasts that have stepped up to full-frame or APS-C cameras for the first time. With its wide F1.8 aperture, it can produce impressive, exceptionally sharp portraits with soft background defocus that take advantage of its 85mm focal length and wide F1.8 maximum aperture.

The new prime lens features a 9-bladed circular aperture mechanism that ensures smooth, natural looking bokeh, and a double linear motor system to allow for fast, precise and quiet focusing. It also has a focus hold button that can be customized and assigned together with functions in the camera body like the popular Eye AF feature. There is a smooth, responsive focus ring and AF/MF switch as well, and the lens is also dust and moisture resistant 3.

New Compact Radio-controlled Flash

Sony’s new HVL-F45RM flash enhances the radio-controlled lighting system capabilities of their growing system, offering a compact professional shooting solution when combined with the currently available wireless remote controller FA-WRC1M and receiver FA-WRR1.

The new flash, which is designed to complement the compact bodies of Sony’s E-mount camera lineup including full-frame ?7 models, produces a maximum lighting output as expansive as GN45 4. This ensures sufficient illumination even when shooting with bounce lighting or high-speed-sync (HSS) flash. The radio capabilities of the HVL-F45RM allow it to be used as a transmitter or a receiver at up to 30m (approx. 98 feet5), making it an ideal fit for creative lighting with multiple flashes. Additionally, unlike optical flash systems, radio-control flashes do not require a direct line-of-sight between components to function properly, while also minimizing any impact that bright sunlight has on signal transmission and control.

The HVL-F45RM flash has an impressive battery life of up to 210 bursts, and can tilt up to 150o vertically, a complete 360o horizontally and up to 8o downward to maximize versatility. Usability has been maximized with a new large, bright and highly visible LCD display, an LED light, dust and moisture resistant design3 and a revamped menu system that mimics those of Sony’s newest camera systems.

Pricing and Availability

Both of the new lenses and the new flash unit will ship to authorized dealers throughout North America.

The new FE 100mm F2.8 STF OSS GM Telephoto Prime Lens will ship this March for about $ 1,500 US and $ 2,050 CA.

The new FE 85mm F1.8 Mid-Telephoto Prime Lens will ship this March for about $ 600 US and $ 800 CA.

Replacement lens hoods for each of the new models will also be available for purchase as well.

The new HVL-F45RM flash will ship this May for about $ 400 US and $ 550 CA.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Sigma 85mm F1.4 Art DxO results: a new king is crowned

03 Feb

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DxO just published its score for the Nikon mount Sigma 85mm F1.4 DG HSM A. Drumroll please: it received the highest score ever for a lens on DxO, a 50 when mounted to a D810 and a 51 when mounted to the D800E. What’s even more impressive is that it actually scored a perfect 36 P-Mpix for image sharpness on a D810, which has a 36MP sensor.

That’s pretty incredible. We know that sharpness isn’t everything when it comes to shooting portraits, but you have to admire the sheer feat of engineering that Sigma was able to accomplish with this lens. 

See our Sigma Art 85mm F1.4
sample gallery

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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