Other lenses below are on the menu to be fit in to the degree they perform with something worthwhile or interesting.
Update Feb 16: the Voigtlander 40/2 is really nicely built, harkening back to the Zeiss ZF series. The Venus Optics Laowa 12mm f/2.8 looks promising but I have yet to use it in the field.
Venus Optics Laowa 12mm f/2.8 Zero-D
Laowa claims zero optical distortion for the about $949 Venus Optics Laowa 12mm f/2.8 Zero-D , which would be quite an accomplishment, and very useful under the right conditions. It should be interesting to see how it performance on sharpness.
Sergey Z writes:
I wanted to bring to your attention the REAL reason in my opinion for owning this lens -- the combination of:
(1) really short minimal focusing distance
3) very interesting quality "smudge" bokeh This lens produces very interesting (in my view) results when used wide-open focused on a subject located roughly at its minimal focusing distance and with interesting stuff in the background.
I highly recommend you take some images like that during your review as I predict you will be surprised by the results (though you may disagree with me on the goodness of the bokeh, since it is very subjective and quite pronounced).
DIGLLOYD: the ZF.2 Zeiss 25mm f/2.8 Distagon is poorly corrected for close distance focusing which is nearly right at the front lens element, and its rendering there is very interesting. I’ll certainly check it out with the Laowa 12m f/2.8.
Voigtlander Nokton 40mm f/1.2
The about $1099 Voigtlander Nokton 40mm f/1.2 Aspherical offers the highest lens speed available for a normal lens on Sony. It remains to be seen if f/1.2 makes any real difference over f/1.4, that is, whether its T-stop is more like T/1.4.
The lens looks beautifully built and attractive to the eye—compare to the generic blah of the Samyng 35/2.8 and the Sony 85/1.4 further below, both of which look like cheap plastic yuck.
Samyang 35mm f/2.8
The about $349 Samyang 35mm f/2.8 competes against the about $698 Sony/Zeiss Sonnar T* FE 35mm f/2.8 ZA. At half the price some skepticism is warranted as to performance. Since I don’t have the Sony 35/2.8, I’ll be pitting it against the Zeiss Loxia 35mm f/2 Biogon.
Compact it is, but it sure looks unserious compared to the Voigtlander 40/1.2.
Sony 85mm f/1.8
The about $548 Sony FE 85mm f/1.8 is a much less expensive alternative to the about $1798 Sony FE 85mm f/1.4 GM. Since I don’t have the Sony 35/2.8, I’ll be pitting it against the Zeiss Loxia 85mm f/2.4 Sonnar. I can’t say I have much if any interest in shooting the Sony 85/1.8, but it’s worth a look to establish where it stands on image quality.