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Shootout at Close Range: Sony G Master 85mm f/1.4 vs Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8 Sonnar (Dolls, Sony A7R II) UPDATED

Sony 85mm f/1.4 GM
Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8 Sonnar

Get Sony G Master Lens and Zeiss Batis at B&H Photo.

I plan a distance comparison, but I was curious: how would the Sony 85mm f/1.4 GM compare to the Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8 Sonnar at a shooting distance roughly equivalent to a tight head and shoulders portrait, a distance thus highly relevant to real-world usage—for portraiture.

Close-range performance is one area where many lens designs are compromised, particularly in f/1.4 designs. So how does it fare against the 2/3-stop slower Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8 Sonnar?

Shootout: Shootout vs Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8 (Dolls, A7R II)

With images up to 24 megapixels and large crops, from f/1.4, f/1.8/1.7, f/2, ..., f/8.

Includes comments on field of view, field curvature, vignetting, aberrations, sharpness, contrast.

Update: I went back and reshot several times. There is a confounding factor at work that I discuss that makes me conclude that such a close range comparison cannot be matched properly (across the frame) due to the perspective difference caused by a different entrance pupil position for the two lenses. Based on 12.5X Live View, I have concluded that this perspective difference makes it impossible to match the lenses at close range in a way that allows the best performance for each to shine. I will be showing the Sony separately and at its best shortly.

UPDATE 2: now I understand my perplexity in not being able to match the two lenses: the Sony 85mm f/1.4 GM has a pronounced focus shift in outer zones. I have no posted a full aperture series with detailed examples from f/1.4 - f/8. Important read for anyone using this lens and wanting to get the best out of it.

Sony 85mm f/1.4 GM Aperture Series: Dolls (includes a 2nd series at MOD).

f1.7 @ 1/15 sec, ISO 100; 2016-04-15 18:41:54
Sony A7R II + Sony FE 85mm f/1.4 GM

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