Sony 85mm f/1.4 G Master – First Impressions Review
The Sony 85mm f/1.4 G Master lens was something I had been lusting over since it’s announcement as I had been thoroughly impressed with a few of the Sony E-Mount lenses as well as the Sony system in general.
I discussed what made me decide to go for this lens in the end in another blog “Sony 85mm f/1.4 G Master – Thoughts/Decision“.
I had finally received a working copy of this lens and first impressions, it’s an incredibly sharp lens!
First, the feel of it…
The weight of the lens threw me off as I knew on paper it’s weight, however when I felt it, it did surprise me a little. It’s incredibly girthy and when the lens is mounted to the body, the lens raises the camera pointing upward if you try to put it down.
Then as soon I tried to focus on something, I immediately knew what all the other reviews were talking about. The lens AF is pretty noisy. I would say if you are thinking of doing an event with this lens, it will make noticeable noise which may be distracting.
The AF speed is in fact, pretty slow! I do hear this is common for fast 85mm lenses, however my old Sigma 85mm f/1.4 was extremely quick, and not even just in the 85mm league, I would simply say it’s quick!
I also found that not only was this Sony 85mm f/1.4 G Master slow, it struggled to achieve focus also. Bearing in mind I was testing in an environment which was pretty bright, I would never have thought it would struggle to nail focus at all.
The minimum focus distance was also something that was strange to me and I had to move a lot further back then expected.
However, I did switch the lens from AF-S to AF-C and the AF performance was very much improved. It seemed more decisive at this point, and once you nail eye-focus in continuous, it seems to hold on pretty well when moving the camera around. I was actually pretty impressed by how well it locked on even when I moved myself closer and further away to the subject.
Since owning the lens, I haven’t had much time to do any property shoots with it as I have been occupied with event shoots and general family time. Event shooting I have been using my Nikon kit as this is where I feel most comfortable in a professional shooting capacity and my family time photos were done on a Sony RX1R which I have been borrowing for the past week or so.
Bearing in mind it’s an f/1.4 lens, when I shot this lens at f/1.4 it looked sharper than some lenses stopped down to f/5.6!
So in short, first impressions are that yes, the lens AF is loud, lens is very large, and image quality is amazing.
Full review will be written up once I have used this lens for a proper shoot.