Review (In Progress): Sony Zeiss 50mm f1.4 (Full Frame E Mount)

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony Zeiss 50mm f1.4 FE product images review (3 of 8)ISO 4001-200 sec at f - 2.8

The release of the Sony Zeiss 50mm f1.4 for full frame E mount cameras begs the question “just how many 50mm lenses does one need?” In truth, just one–but the strategy is a smart one for the company. You see, years ago camera manufacturers used to offer loads of different lens options. You’d get a 50mm f1.8, f1.4, f2, etc. Leica still does this and to some degree, Zeiss does too. But with Sony, you’re getting something different.

This new lens isn’t part of the company’s G Master series of optics and instead it’s a lens that was created in collaboration with Zeiss. It boasts dust/moisture resistance, 11 aperture blades, and other cool features including Zeiss T* coatings that are bound to give you that Zeiss-like look though probably not as clear as their Milvus lineup of lenses.

Editor’s Note: In conjunction with the changes we’ve been doing here on the site, we’re once again changing our review format. First impressions reviews will be completely replaced with a fuller and fuller review that will be updated overtime. Readers will be given notifications on when the full review is complete. Each section will also be rated with stars and an overall cumulative rating. Additionally, comparisons will be made. If parts seem incomplete it’s because they’re still being worked on.

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How to Use an 85mm Lens for Natural Light Portraits

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Zeiss 85mm f1.4 Milvus review portrait extras (6 of 6)ISO 4001-500 sec at f - 2.2

Natural light is the choice of many photographers looking to render a specific look in a scene. It’s beautiful when use correctly–and it often is by many portrait photographers. When used by a photographer that acts very carefully about the images that they’re creating, it can inspire others and enthrall viewers with its captivation. But it isn’t always as simple as just going out in the golden hour and telling a portrait subject to stand there and look nice.

Instead, it’s a collaborative effort. And if you’re looking to get serious about portraiture, we recommend starting with an 85mm lens.

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Review: Sony 85mm f1.4 G Master (Sony Full Frame E Mount)

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony 85mm f1.4 G Master lens product images. (7 of 8)ISO 4001-160 sec at f - 2.5

“Hey guys, this is Justin, Chris’s Kickstarter campaign manager. I wanted to write and say that if the Phoblographer has ever helped you with your photography, please consider donating to our Kickstarter for La Noir Image–now with both iOS and Android support!. Thank you, guys, you are the best.”

Every brand right now is creating very killer 85mm lenses that really tug at my heart, but without a doubt the one with the best bokeh so far has to be the Sony 85mm f1.4 G Master lens. It’s big, it’s a bit weighty, and it has a unique aperture ring around it that Sony is trying to push onto its higher grade prime lenses.

With 11 aperture blades, weather resistance built in, a 77mm filter thread and weighing just under 30 oz, the lens is quite surely aimed at the higher end user–especially with its $1,798 price tag. In all honesty, it will give you the best images from any 85mm lens right out of the camera–but I’d be telling a complete lie if I said that every photographer needs one.

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Review: Tamron 85mm f1.8 Di VC USD (Canon EF)

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Tamron 85mm f1.8 Di VC review product images (8 of 8)ISO 4001-50 sec at f - 2.8

When Tamron announced their new initiative to make major improvements to their lenses, the quality of the products was rather mixed–and so that made me a bit scared about the new Tamron 85mm f1.8 Di VC USD. But they’ve taken some time, improved things even more and with that said, they’ve created a lens that could arguably be called the absolute best value 85mm lens for DSLR cameras.

The lens features 9 aperture blades, 13 elements in 9 groups, weather sealing, an actual metal barrel, and a very overall light weight of approximately 23 oz to 25 oz. At $749, you’re getting what looking on paper to be one hell of lens.

And in all honesty, I actually want to buy one.

All product photos shot on the latest edition of the EyeEm Magazine.

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Sample Comparison: Sony G Master 85mm f1.4 vs Zeiss 85mm f1.8 Batis

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony 85mm f1.4 G Master Lens (11 of 11)ISO 4001-30 sec at f - 2.8

All images by Jason Lanier. Used with permission.

For a little while now, photographer Jason Lanier (who is a Sony Artisan) has been working with both the Zeiss 85mm f1.8 Batis lens and the new Sony 85mm f1.4 G Master. Lots of folks are asking which one is better. Recently, he asked if I’d like a couple of samples. Knowing that you guys wanted to see these, I happily obliged.

Here are some samples that he’s got recently. For editorial neutrality’s sake, these images were SOOC and sent to Lightroom to be resized with minor adjustments. Take a look for yourself and make your own judgements.

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Tamron Announces Sweet New 85mm f1.8 and 90mm f2.8 Lenses

Tamron SP 85mm F1.8 Di VC USD (model F016 Canon mount)

This year is turning out to be a pretty awesome one for camera gear so far. Today, Tamron is announcing two new lenses. One–and perhaps the more coveted of the two–is the Tamron SP 85mm f1.8 Di VC USD. It’s the first 85mm f1.8 lens with image stabilization designed for full frame 35mm DSLR cameras.

I’m sure the portrait photographers in the audience just started to drool…

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The Phoblographer’s Guide to Zeiss Milvus Lenses

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Zeiss 85mm f1.4 Milvus lens product images (5 of 7)ISO 4001-125 sec at f - 2.0

Zeiss released their Milvus collection of lenses as an update to their lineup of standard DSLR lenses. They all incorporate weather sealing, an amazing metal build exterior, a giant rubber focusing ring, and enhance optics that make you really feel like you’re shooting with a Zeiss lens. Some words that come to mind are beautiful, masterpiece and long lasting.

The site has reviewed every Zeiss Milvus lens so far, and so all of the reviews are being compiled into a guide for those interested in Zeiss lenses. This guide features tidbits about each lens along with sample photos.

Editor’s Note: this guide is not sponsored by Zeiss. With that said, Editorial judgement has been left in tact.

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Eight Fantastic 85mm Lenses for Portrait Photographers

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Zeiss Rokinon Sigma 85mm f1.4 three way comparison (1 of 3)ISO 4001-125 sec at f - 3.5

The 85mm lens–it’s a classic and one of the most popular focal lengths for portrait photographers. This focal length is highly valued for many reasons–but above all else it compresses the view of the portrait subject just enough to render them flattering while allowing the photographer to maintain a close, intimate proximity to the subject. Beyond this, everyone loves bokeh and focal lengths like this offer lots of it.

We’ve scoured our Reviews Index to find and compile some of our favorite 85mm lenses just for you and have also included sample images from each of our reviews.

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