There have been rumblings about the possibility of a new Sony FE 85mm f1.2 GM lens for the last few years. Until now, the rumors were merely speculations at the possibility of such a lens. Hope has been renewed in online forums with the latest 50mm f1.4 G Master lens release. Could Sony have a new portrait lens in development?
My first experience with Sony mirrorless was the unveiling of the 85mm f1.8 at an event in NYC nearly six years ago. Since then, the manufacturer has consistently introduced new gear and outpaced competitors. Sony has a habit of creating gear that its consumers want.
As a portrait photographer, the idea of a new 85mm f1.2 G Master lens is exciting. I always look forward to photographing with Sony cameras and appreciate their wide-aperture prime lenses. If it is a possibility, I have a few things I would like to see. Below is my wishlist.
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Keep The Character
One of the constant disappointments among our reviews team is how boring some of the new lenses are. Sure, on paper, they look like technical marvels. Our real-life experience with said lenses showcases clinically sharp images with abundant details, perfect incremental gradation, and minimal distortions. The quest for perfection has sucked the heart right out of the lens. It’s boring as hell.
I’d love to see the same gorgeously vibrant colors and contrast in the 35mm f1.4 GM. Please leave a few distortions and the possibility of lens flares. It will also help give new viewpoints that aid in storytelling which is great for environmental portraits.
Sharp, But Not Too Sharp
The 85mm focal length is ideal for a closeup portrait. Sony sensors are so sharp that some lenses are too sharp for women’s portraits. Decreasing sharpness in-camera is something I often find myself doing in these cases, especially when paired with a high-resolution camera body.
Sharp is good, but can we dial it back so that not every pore is visible for a head and shoulders crop? Sharpness is excellent for clothing, hair, and quaint details. But when it comes to the face, we aren’t aiming for a full-page beauty ad. Furthermore, most clients don’t arrive with the proper makeup for that, which adds unnecessary post-production retouching time.
Our Editor-in-Chief recently coined it as a return to classic sharpness with his recent 50mm f1.4 GM lens review. That is an excellent description and a worthy directive for the future of Sony’s premium lenses.
Low Light Performance
Sony is known for its blazing-fast autofocus system in ideal light. Many lenses are noticeably slower to focus in low light conditions. If its lowlight performance improved, I could see many wedding photographers investing in a new Sony 85mm f1.2 GM lens.
Keep It Premium
Another commonality our Phoblographer team shares is our appreciation for all-metal lenses. I’d love to see an all-metal design with a new 85mm f1.2 GM lens. However, that might be too heavy to photograph with comfortably.
If that’s the case, Sony should continue to focus on a compact, lightweight design with the same robust quality found on other lenses. Sony GM lenses provide excellent weather and dust resistance. It’s great for most weather conditions. Plus, its rugged build feels good to hold in your hands.