Because they’re one of the oldest mirrorless autofocusing camera mount, the Sony E Mount has a ton of great lenses available to it. And if you’re a portrait photographer, then we’ve got something special for you today. We’re talking about what the best 85mm lens for Sony E Mount is. After years of real-world testing more than any other outlet, we’re helping budding portrait photographers decide which one is the one to rule them all!
How We Chose the Best 85mm Lens for Sony
Here’s some insight into how to use this guide to the best 85mm lens for Sony:
- The Phoblographer’s various product round-up features are done in-house. Our philosophy is simple: you wouldn’t get a Wagyu beef steak review from a lifelong vegetarian. And you wouldn’t get photography advice from someone who doesn’t touch the product. We only recommend gear we’ve fully reviewed in these roundups.
- If you’re wondering why your favorite product didn’t make the cut, there’s a chance it’s on another list. If we haven’t reviewed it, we won’t recommend it. This method keeps our lists packed with industry-leading knowledge. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
- Sony E mount has a ton of 85mm lenses available. And so, we’re choosing the best 85mm lens for Sony from the ones that we’ve reviewed. Luckily, we’ve reviewed the vast majority of lenses for Sony E Mount. You can find them in this guide here.
- So what makes a lens the best 85mm lens for Sony? A few things: at the top of it all is portability. I mean, what’s the point of using a lens if you never want to handhold it or carry it for a long time? Then there’s image quality. Sony’s image quality tends to be very clean and clinical. But some have a bit of variety. We also value weather resistance because it helps prolong the shelf-life of your product.
- If you’re using a Sony lens, then the autofocus will undoubtedly be quick.
- If you’re curious, we’ve done a pretty big comparison of some key 85mm lenses for Sony. Take a look here.
The Best 85mm Lens for Sony: Sony 85mm f1.8
There are a lot of great reasons why we’re choosing the Sony 85mm f1.8 as the best 85mm lens for Sony E Mount. Quite honestly, you’re not going to see the difference between this and so many others. Even when we’ve talked to Sony Artisans, most of them reach for the 85mm f1.8 instead of the G Master because it’s got comparable image quality in a smaller package. Plus, it’s lightweight, fast to focus, and weather resistant.
It’s also much less prone to problems compared to the Sigma 85mm f1.4 DG DN Art lens. They even told us that they made compromises to get the lens down to that size.
- Great image quality
- Fast focusing with the Sony a7r II and in good lighting it will focus quickly with the Sony a7
- Nice feel; though not as great as the G Master 85mm f1.4 lens.
- Weather resistance built in
- Compact size
- Honestly, not a darn thing.
This lens is available for $837.50. In our review conclusions, we said:
This is in many ways, the absolute most perfect portrait lens for most Sony camera users. If you don’t need or can afford the 85mm f1.4 G Master lens, then the Sony 85mm f1.8 FE lens is a fantastic option. It’s sharp, has less saturated colors (only the Loxia is less saturated that this), focuses pretty well with most cameras (the Batis is fastest) and it has weather resistance. But it’s also small and offered at a pretty affordable price point.
3 Other Great Options
Here are three other great options that photographers will enjoy. These lenses are all larger and have a faster aperture than our choice. But for some photographers, these might be the best 85mm lens for Sony because of image quality, balance, or affordability.
Zeiss 85mm f1.8 Batis
This lens is available for around $1,249. Our review concluded by saying:
Still though, this isn’t a terrible lens. In fact, it’s far from it. There isn’t a single major problem with this lens and it shares characteristics with many others out there with the exception of the Zeiss 135mm f2–which has Micro Contrast. You won’t be as excited about the images straight out of the camera, but this lens will help set you up for beautiful photos that your clients will really fall for.
Sony 85mm f1.4 G Master
This lens is available for around $1,798. Our review concluded by saying:
If you own an 85mm lens manufactured within the last five years or so, you probably don’t need to upgrade to this lens. They’ll all give you great bokeh, great sharpness that can be enhanced in Lightroom, and some are even better built. What you’re paying for here is native mount use and autofocusing abilities. If you have an older lens and portraiture don’t bring in most of your money then don’t consider this lens. If portraiture puts food on the table, then consider your purchase carefully because this lens is very expensive.
Sigma 85mm f1.4 DG DN Art
This lens is available for around $1,199. Our review concluded by saying:
The Sigma 85mm f1.4 DG DN Art offers tremendous value for just $1,199. It retains the excellent image quality of its predecessor while addressing many of its shortcomings: It’s smaller, lighter, and features markedly improved autofocus performance. In fact, this lens performs on par with the highly-rated Sony 85mm G Master. Talk about punching above its weight. Be sure to check out our upcoming direct comparison between these two lenses. Unfortunately, the Sigma falls just short of perfection due to its severe pincushion distortion. Otherwise, it would have been a shoo-in for the Phoblographer’s Editor’s Choice Award.