Review Sony 85mm f/2.8 (APS-C)


Sony 85 mm 2.8 has entered the market at the end of 2010. It is a short telephoto lens with a fixed focal length, at an attractive price. In this test of the Sony 85 mm 2.8, we look at how attractive this lens is in terms of optical qualities.

Sony 85 mm 2.8 test, SAL-85F28, Test Sony 85 mm 2.8 op aps-c
Sony 85mm 2.8, @ 5.6 100 ISO 1/640 s
Sony 85 mm 2.8 test, SAL-85F28, Test Sony 85 mm 2.8 op aps-c
Sony 85mm 2.8, @ 2.8 100 ISO 1/800 s
On a camera with an APS-C sensor, this portrait lens transforms into a small telephoto lens and an 85 mm lens becomes less suitable for making an overview picture, but is very good for portraits.

Construction and autofocus

The Sony 85 mm 2.8 feels a bit light and cheap when you first take it in your hands, especially if you are used to a more luminous and voluminous 85 mm 1.4 lens. The lens is made of hard plastic, and probably to save weight, the bayonet is also made of plastic. The focus ring rotates so smoothly that you think it might be broke. But everything works properly. The drive of the autofocus is fast and virtually silent. There is no searching in low light if you use this lens together with the Sony A77 camera.
Sony 85 mm f/2.8 SAM SAL85F28
Image Stabilization:-
lenses/ groups:5/4
length x diameter:52 / 70
filter size:55
Lens hood:+


The vignetting of the Sony 85 mm 2.8 is low over the entire range. Only at aperture 2.8 and 4 you can sporadically recognize vignetting in practice. It is easy to correct this with software. vignet-SonySAL85f28


No, we have not forgotten to insert the Imatest distortion measurement results. The distortion of the Sony 85 mm 2.8 is so low, that the rod in the graph is too small to be seen. distortion-SonySAL85f28


Even on a camera with an APS-C sensor and despite the relatively low luminosity, the bokeh of the Sony 85 mm 2.8 is not disappointing. But for photographers who have more money to spend and who find bokeh very important, an 85 mm 1.4 is probably an attractive alternative. With beautiful reflections in the background, the bokeh becomes restless. Below are two practice examples, where the bokeh was not so representative. Bokeh2-SonySAL85f28
Bokeh1-SonySAL85f28 Bokeh3-SonySAL85f28


The Sony 85 mm 2.8 does not suffer much from flare. But if flare does occur, as shown here in direct and bright back light, it really hits. Sony-85-mm-glare


Even at full aperture, the resolution of a jpg file is already above the 1500 LW/PH, even in the corners. Of diaphragm 4 to 11, the resolution in the center remains nicely constant and very high (more than 2000 LW/PH). At all apertures it goes that you will not see the difference in resolution between the corners and the center with the naked eye. resolution-SonySAL85f28

Chromatic aberration

The measured chromatic aberration is very low at all apertures. With the Sony 85 mm 2.8, you will never suffer from visible chromatic aberration in practice. CA-SonySAL85f28

Conclusion Sony 85mm 2.8 review


Look in our list of reviewed lenses to compare the performance of this lens with other lenses.
ECWYSIWYG score: This table shows the performance of this lens when you store the files in the camera as jpg, with all available in-camera lens corrections applied. This score gives you for this lens/test camera combination: "What you see is what you get".


  • Very good optical performances:
  • High resolution from full aperture
  • Low chromatic aberration
  • No distortion
  • Inexpensive


  • Actually none: sometimes restless bokeh
The Sony 85 mm 2.8 is a very attractive offer in terms of price/quality ratio. Our Sony 85 mm 2.8 test shows almost only good things: a free lens hood, no distortion, very low chromatic aberration and a high resolution where the corners are little inferior to the center. These are achievements for which you would want to pay much more than the price asked for the Sony 85 mm 2.8.
Ivo Freriks
Author: Ivo Freriks
With Camera Review Stuff I hope to make a modest contribution to the pleasure that you get from photography. By testing cameras and lenses in the same way, evluating the results and weighing up the pros and cons, I hope to help you find the right camera or lens.


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