85mm round up
Okay ... the writing is on the wall.
I have accumulated 4 different ~85mm lens for the SONY. Obviously, each has something about it that is rather unique.
The SONY AF 85mm f/2.8 SAM ø55 (6.5-oz) is small, easily concealed for its focal length and of reasonable aperture ... and affordability. It gives folks a quick AF-portrait/short-telephoto lens for little cost.
The TAMRON SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di 1:1 MACRO ø55 (14.3-oz) is extremely sharp, just the right length and has a MACRO capability that simply is hard to match. A class leader in that regard, but rather slow to autofocus, so using it that way for any kind of action is ... prohibitive.
The Rokinon MF 85mm f/1.4 ø72 (17.5-oz)is a terrific portrait lens, and due to its extreme wide aperture, allows for a bokeh that simply cannot be achieved by the prior two lenses. The drawback is that is must be used in Manual mode (or "Crippled A" mode, if available) ... and manually focused. In the studio, that will be a small, but tolerable annoyance for its $269 cost.
The SIGMA AF 85mm f/1.4 DG EX HSM ø77 (25.6-oz) is an equally great bokeh providing lens, with its f/1.4 aperture. It has the added autofocus feature, but it tacks on another $600 to give it to you. It can be used in all modes of the camera and is the all-around winner, in my opinion, for general use.
The SONY CZ 85mm f/1.4 ø72 (19-oz) is the most expensive of the bunch (not pictured here). For its $1369 price tag, the true "buy back" is substantially reduced, as the preformance gulf between the image produced with the SIGMA and that of the Zeiss is too "unremarkable" to debate. I do not think seeing Zeiss stamped on your lens is going make that much difference in the long run. You can do a heck of a lot for another $500 in pocket or with another focal length lens. But then again, for those who simply must have the company logo on your lenses, that baby is waiting for you - cha-ching!
So what would you say is your favorite?
Well ... the SIGMA delivers a heck of a shot ... as it should. It has got:
- the wide aperture,
- the truest focal length,
- autofocus and
- seemingly compromises nothing.
So, when it comes to what I would want ... that's the ticket, but you will pay to get it.
The f/2.8 Sony is great for a "subby" lens, in less than perfect conditions. If I didn't have a lens of this length, I would quickly get one of those, practice with it, until I was sure I was going to use it ... then get the SIGMA and put it into action, for the artistic stuff.
Hope that answers your question.
The MACRO is a macro ... that can substitute also, but you are either going to have to go manual focus for quickly getting close during your portrait work ... or in AF wait for the macro focus runs its slow, painful cycle to catch up to you. It can be a little frustrating, but the result is usually an intensely sharp image and right on the money.
Below is the TEST subject, shot handheld with Super SteadyShot 'on', f/2.8 for all four lenses and a shutter of 1/30 second, ISO-800. I merged the center focus 100%-size results from all four lenses.
There have been no adjustments to any of these images. They are as they come from the camera, as JPEGs. this is just a close comparison of the lenses and their results.
all i need is one Zeiss...
and some room to use it ... that may not be in the cards. Either that or bring a drill to make a hole in the wall.
To me the Tamron and the Sigma look the best.
It looks to me that, based on your sample pictures, the Tamron is the sharpest of all. The Sigma is close behind, but at least to me it seems the Tamron is a bit sharper. I guess the real test would be shooting with a tripod and compensating for distance (since the Tamron is 90mm).
Hey Don what do you think of the Sigma 105mm Macro?
No, I have to say, time and again, the TAMRON delivers a clear, sharp, contrasty and beautifully colored image. That really was not in debate, to be honest. Our old buddy, "Coldrain" was a big proponent of the "TAMRON 90" ... and for good reason. For the $399 you would spend for this lens ... you would have a bargain ... with the exception that the focus speed is ... well, you would have to experience it to understand the issue. If your work does not require you to follow a rapidly moving object ... something that is just "sitting there" ... it is the perfect solution. It is one I have lived with for four-years, with this lens. Not complaining, just need the speed.
Again, the SIGMA is best all-around performer, as I assumed it would be ... and why it is, now, in my bag. Tough choice, huh?
The small SONY is, again, the cheapest AF solution of them all ... and you do have to sacrifice some image quality that the others have.
Still, the bang for the buck ... if you can live with manual focus, is the Rokinon. It will take work to get that super-sharp-focus ... you need a good pair of orbs to make it sing, there is no doubt, but for $269 ... and that awesome f/1.4 bokeh ... it is a consideration.
I have no experience with the SIGMA 105mm f/2.8 MACRO ... but, it sounds like a winner and worthy of investigation.
Originally Posted by Switchblade906