Sony users are blessed with a smorgasbord of affordable lenses, and Yongnuo has added another to the list: the YN 85mm f/1.8 S DA DSM for Sony full frame cameras. At only $200, is it any good?
The immediate competitors to Yongnuo’s new lens are the Viltrox 85mm f/1.8 II and the Samyang 75mm f/1.8, both typically retailing for just under $400, though there’s currently a discount on the Samyang bringing it down to $329. (Strangely, the same lens is sold as Rokinon but is only discounted to $349.)
As you might guess for a lens that sells at such a low price point, there are some compromises when it comes to image quality on the Yongnuo, though it’s definitely not what you’d expect. There are nine elements in eight groups and seven aperture blades — a step down from the nine found in both the Samyang and the Viltrox.
The lens doesn’t seem to be available for purchase from stores at present but as a very affordable option for Sony a7 and a6xxx shooters, it might make for a good first prime lens for those starting out. If you spend twice the money, you will get autofocus performance that is significantly better, however.