Sony 85mm F1.4 G Master Lens Review

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Hey everyone! I’m John Sison and today we’re taking a look at the Sony 85mm F1.4 G Master lens for the Sony E-mount system.

The 85mm F1.4 is the second G Master lens to come from Sony and it promises to be one of the best portrait lenses available for E-mount users.

Now portrait photographers, as well as street photographers would also find this lens interesting be cause to date, it is the fastest telephoto prime lens that has an aperture of F1.4 and it also has been a popular focal length for people for quite some time now.

Now today, I have it mounted on my Sony A7R mark 2, so stick around because I’m going to take a few shots with it and at the end of the video, I’ll let you know what I personally think of it.

Sony 85mm F1.4 G Master lens has a solid metal and plastic construction with a rubber focus ring and a plastic aperture ring.

It accepts 77mm filters and has a focus hold button and has a switch to quickly change between autofocus and manual focus. On the top you have the lens designation indicating
the focal length and aperture and on the other side of the lens, there is a switch to change
between having a clicking sound or having it silent when you change your aperture.

Supplied with the lens is a plastic barrel type lens hood to block out any flare from the sun and different light sources. It also has rubber on the top of the hood and it fits securely in place by locking it in.

Sony 85mm F1.4 G Master Lens
Sony 85mm F1.4 G Master Lens

Now Sony 85mm F1.4 G Master lens weighs approximately 880 grams and in terms of build quality, its very much like the other G Master lenses where it has a very solid build.

Now a welcome addition is the aperture ring which makes it easier to change your settings, especially when you’re doing it on the fly and especially if you’re doing video.

Now my only real wish is that Sony had this on more lenses, not just the higher end ones but having this lens paired with the A7R mark 2 is no doubt going to give you some amazing quality images.

Having the click and declick option is a handy feature to have especially if you shoot video cause not only is it silent but you don’t get that jagged footage when you change the aperture.

The focus ring doesn’t offer much resistance which isn’t exactly a bad thing but I do recommend using focusing aids such as manual focus assist and peaking.

Just to make sure that your subject is in tack focus. Also, if you wanted to do some off hand close up shots, the minimum focusing distance of the lens is 80cm.

Now if you’re using Sony 85mm F1.4 G Masterlens on cameras like the A7 II series or the a6500 you get the benefit of having in body stabilisation. But unfortunately, if you have any cameras
other than these its best to make sure that you’re shooting at a fast enough shutter speed
that will not blur your subject because there is no optical stabilisation in the lens.

Focusing is fairly quick but not as quick as the other G Master lenses and while it does make a bit of noise while autofocusing, its not as noticeably loud unless you’re shooting in an environment where its dead quiet.

The images that come out of this lens are extremely sharp and the out of focus blur is very smooth, so if you’re a portrait photographer, this may be a lens you may want to add to your kit.

Even shooting wide open, I was really impressed with what I was getting and that bokeh is one of those features that make this lens special.

There was an extremely tiny bit of vignetting and shooting wide open at F1.4 gave me a bit of chromatic aberration but these things can be easily corrected in post.

In terms of distortion, its virtually non existent. All these shots were with the A7R mark 2 so its really getting that benefit of that 42 megapixel sensor and they were all shot in
RAW and converted to JPEG.

Now I’ve been shooting with this lens extensively for the past few months and despite its heavy price tag and weight, I really enjoyed using this lens.

With beautiful out of focus blur and sharpness to match, this lens easily earns itself the G Master status and I feel like portrait photographers would enjoy using this classic focal length.

With excellent build quality my own real downsides to this lens is the heavy price tag, weight and that little bit of chromatic aberration when shooting wide open at F1.4.

Now if you’ve seen my first impressions video of this lens, I sort of complained about the autofocusing noise that you get and while that was my original concern, shooting with it like everyday doesn’t really make a big difference to me.

I can imagine it making a little difference when you’re shooting weddings where it needs to be dead quiet but really, its not a big deal and its not a deal breaker for myself.

Now if you feel like this lens is a bit too expensive, you could always get the highly regarded Carl Zeiss 85mm F1.8 Batis lens. The main differences is that it is a bit cheaper, it doesn’t have the aperture ring and it has an aperture of F1.8 instead of F1.4.

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