Review Sony FE 85mm f/1.4 GM
GM stands for G Master. Sony lenses with this designation are designed for professional use and must satisfy the most demanding photographers. The new Sony FE 85 mm F1.4 GM has everything on board to manage that: a complex optical design with lots of special glass, high brightness and rock-solid construction. Is this lens worth its price?
Sony 85mm f/1.4 GM (SEL85F14GM): Excellent For portrAITS AND MORE:
For head-and-shoulder portraits, lenses with a focal length between 70 and 105 mm are popular. As a photographer, you then are not too far away from your model, nor too close. The perspective of such a short telephoto lens ensures that protruding parts of the face (nose and ears) do not draw too much attention. For the Sony A7 series, there were already two possible portrait lenses available in the FE mount: the Sony FE 90mm f/2.8 macro and the Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8. Both lenses offer high sharpness. But fans of a butter-soft background blur often want a bit more brightness. The new Sony 85mm f/1.4 GM offers that. The GM series, according to Sony, also has to be among the very top in the area of resolution. According to the manufacturer, future sensors of 100 megapixels and more have already been taken into account in designing the lenses in the GM series.
BUILD AND AUTO FOCUs
The Sony FE 85mm f/1.4 is quite big and heavy. The difference from the 85mm f/1.8 Zeiss Batis is big. If low weight and compact dimensions are important, then the Zeiss Batis is a logical choice. The Sony 85mm f/1.4 is for photographers who are looking for the highest image quality and the nicest bokeh. The lens, in contrast to the Zeiss Batis 85mm, does not have image stabilization. That makes the Sony 85mm less suitable as a documentary lens in combination with a first-generation Sony A7. If you primarily work with flash lighting in the studio, then the lack of image stabilization is not a problem. Of course the 85mm GM works best on the new Sony A7R II, even if it’s only because the lens is so good optically that you sell it short by hanging anything but the very best sensors behind it. The auto focus does its work quietly, accurately and reasonably quickly for an f/1.4 telephoto lens. For sports and action photography, it might not be fast enough, but for portraits it works well, even in low light. And that high brightness naturally invites using this lens in low light. A big advantage of the mirrorless Sony A7 models is that you can really have the auto focus on the eye. The focal depth at f/1.4 is so limited that you really have to do that. The lens is very solidly built and really feels as though it can withstand years of professional use. The aperture can be set on the lens. When it is set to f/16, the aperture can also be set with the setting wheel on the camera.