What Is the Best 85mm Prime Lens for Sony Shooters?

There is certainly no dearth of wide-aperture 85mm lenses for Sony shooters, and given the popularity and versatility of such a lens, it is great to have so many options. This fantastic video review compares five of the best choices to help you figure out which is right for your needs.

Coming to you from Hyun Ralph Jeong, this great video review compares five wide-aperture 85mm lenses for Sony shooters, including:

A good 85mm lens is a staple of almost every portrait photographer's kit, and thankfully, these lenses range in from anywhere from about $600 to a shade under $2,000, and within that price range, you can find a wide range of image quality and desirable attributes, such as smooth and unobtrusive bokeh. One thing that I think does not get discussed enough is the benefit of a compact footprint and light weight. If, for example, you are a wedding shooter lugging around a bag of lenses for 12-14 hours, you may very much prefer the extra weight savings of an f/1.8 lens over gaining less than a stop of aperture with an f/1.4 lens. Check out the video above for the full rundown. 

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Alex Cooke's picture

Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

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The "best"? Why have the Sony G Master and Zeiss Otus been omitted from the list? If I were after the "best", I'd be a little flexible on focal length and include the Leica 90mm apo Summicron in that list.

That's the problem with headlines...

The Sony 85mm f1.4 GM is in the list. Neither the Zeus Otus or Leica 90mm Summircron are available native in Sony E mount, I would guess this is why they weren’t included

My bad re the G Master.

And although there is no native E mount in the other two, one of the stated advantages of mirrorless is the ability to adapt. But fair call.

I've been considering the Loxia.

An 85mm is on my list to get eventually. This many choices is a win for everyone I think. In the end it's hard pressed to beat the Sony 85mm f1.8 for what it does and the price. There are some cheaper options if you want to experiment.

If you're in the market, check out Dustin Abbott's videos. He's compared many of the 85mm FE mount lenses against each other. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wF-cy4HdE18

Very nice

for me it was the sony 1.8 , as a hobbyist cost was important, the 1.8 i think is the best bang for the buck

I have the Sony 1.8 and am very happy with it. I think the quality is excellent for the price.

If you can tolerate ~1.5 stops of light loss and a Canon camera - the RF85 DS is the best 85mm lens currently available on the market.

I got the Viltrox 85/1.8 (AF lens, not mentioned here) when I was looking for a cheap 85mm to start my Sony journey with. Good value for the price.

The Rokinon / Samyang is perfect for me. And the price is right!

He left out some critical feature differences. The Zeiss Batis is the only E-mount 85mm with built-in optical stabilization (OIS). The Zeiss and the Sony f/1.8 are also the only ones with true linear focus motors. Those are smoother, faster and more quiet for video use. All the others including the GM use ring and stepper motors.