Sony 85mm f / 2.8 SAM (SAL85f28), a review of the lens from the reader Radozhiva

Review of Sony 85mm f / 2.8 SAM (SAL85f28) for Radozhiva prepared Sergey Dorodnykh (https://vk.com/morphinephotography).

Sony 85mm f / 2.8 SAM (SAL85f28)

Sony 85mm f / 2.8 SAM (SAL85f28)

The fixed lens of the Japanese company Sony, whose release began in 2010 and is included in the budget series “Easy Choice”. It has a focal length of 85mm (equivalent to 35mm) and a maximum aperture of f / 2.8, intended more for portraits.

Appearance

The case is made of plastic of not the highest quality and is very reminiscent of the brothers in the Easy Choice series - 50m f / 1.8 and 35m f / 1.8. It looks like a rattle, such a “plastic fiction”, but at the same time the case is very compact and incredibly light - 175 gr. The lens is equipped with the SAM internal wave focus motor. The drive is noisy and not very fast, but almost always accurate. On the case there is an AF / MF mode switch. With automatic focusing, the trunk can move a couple of centimeters forward, the front element does not rotate, but the focusing wheel rotates, which is small in size, slightly rubberized along the edge - a strange and not very convenient design. In manual mode, this wheel scrolls easily and not very informatively, it doesn’t have a smooth ride, and the focus distance scale is drawn on it. The lens mount is plastic and does not have a rubber gasket that protects against dust and water entering the camera.

Sony 85mm f / 2.8 SAM (SAL85f28)

Sony 85mm f / 2.8 SAM (SAL85f28)

TECH SPECS

  • Lens size (long x diameter) - 52 x 70mm (52mm filter).
  • The weight of the lens is 175 grams.
  • Aperture Petals - 7.
  • Design - 5 elements in 4 groups.
  • The aperture values ​​are 2.8-22.
  • The minimum focusing distance is 0,6 m.
Optical design Sony 85mm f / 2.8 SAM (SAL85f28)

Optical design Sony 85mm f / 2.8 SAM (SAL85f28)

Personal experience

I have been very actively using the lens since 2012 in conjunction with the full-frame Sony a850 (I did not test it on cameras with APS-C), for me it was a “every day” lens. To them I shot weddings, portraits in the studio and in the open air, rarely - reporting. The lens is not suitable for the latter, autofocus will not always have time to cling to fast-moving objects, at least on my a850. In the dark, the situation is aggravated, autofocus starts to “scour” and, if you miss it, you need a long time to refocus. But for a leisurely wedding walk and portraiture, he is more than suitable.

Sample photo on Sony 85mm f / 2.8 SAM (SAL85f28) Sony 85mm f / 2.8 SAM (SAL85f28)

Sample photo on Sony 85mm f / 2.8 SAM (SAL85f28) Sony 85mm f / 2.8 SAM (SAL85f28)

Sharpness

The Sony 85mm f / 2.8 SAM is really a sharp lens! There were very rare cases when you had to add sharpness in the editor during post-processing. With the center open, it is sharp, the detail almost does not fall at the edges, with f / 6.3 - razor sharpness over the entire field of the frame. I would also like to note that the minimum focusing distance is only 60 cm! I have not seen this with other, even more expensive analogs of 85mm lenses. I give a few examples of portrait photographs taken as close as possible.

Sample photo on Sony 85mm f / 2.8 SAM (SAL85f28) Sony 85mm f / 2.8 SAM (SAL85f28)

Sample photo on Sony 85mm f / 2.8 SAM (SAL85f28) Sony 85mm f / 2.8 SAM (SAL85f28)

Sample photo on Sony 85mm f / 2.8 SAM (SAL85f28) Sony 85mm f / 2.8 SAM (SAL85f28)

Sample photo on Sony 85mm f / 2.8 SAM (SAL85f28) Sony 85mm f / 2.8 SAM (SAL85f28)

Vignetting and chromatic aberration

But what owners of this lens and full-frame cameras sometimes have to face is not strong vignetting and periodically manifesting chromatic aberrations. With f / 2.8 aperture, there is a vignette that does not spoil the frame and does not always require correction, and the chromaticity is most often caused by purple and green halos on contrasting objects. Usually found on metal or glass products. In other cases, you can neglect and not pay attention. At f / 4, the vignette and chromaticity disappear. It behaves quite well in backlight, you can catch glare, but this is NOT the case when the frame will be corrupted. I would say that it is better to experiment with this, shooting both with and without a hood.

Sample photo on Sony 85mm f / 2.8 SAM (SAL85f28) Sony 85mm f / 2.8 SAM (SAL85f28)

Sample photo on Sony 85mm f / 2.8 SAM (SAL85f28) Sony 85mm f / 2.8 SAM (SAL85f28)

Sample photo on Sony 85mm f / 2.8 SAM (SAL85f28) Sony 85mm f / 2.8 SAM (SAL85f28)

Sample photo on Sony 85mm f / 2.8 SAM (SAL85f28) Sony 85mm f / 2.8 SAM (SAL85f28)

Sample photo on Sony 85mm f / 2.8 SAM (SAL85f28) Sony 85mm f / 2.8 SAM (SAL85f28)

Sample photo on Sony 85mm f / 2.8 SAM (SAL85f28) Sony 85mm f / 2.8 SAM (SAL85f28)

BOKE!

Now a little about all of us dearly beloved "bokeh" :)

Soft, unobtrusive, without extra doubling, allowing you to show the volume and nature of the pictures. When shooting in the setting sun, beautiful, sharp pictures are obtained, with the correct color rendition and atmosphere. On f / 2.8, the “bowls” are round, but with f / 5.6 there is a hint of “nuts”. Many flattering words, but there is a fly in the ointment ...
Subjectively, of course, but over time this drawing really becomes boring and becomes boring.
On the one hand, you always get what you expect from the lens, and on the other, you want something new.

Regarding the "aperture" - do not be afraid of f / 2.8, the portrait will be beautiful, it is not necessary to have f / 1.4 to get an expressive shot.

Sample photo on Sony 85mm f / 2.8 SAM (SAL85f28) Sony 85mm f / 2.8 SAM (SAL85f28)

Sample photo on Sony 85mm f / 2.8 SAM (SAL85f28) Sony 85mm f / 2.8 SAM (SAL85f28)

Sample photo on Sony 85mm f / 2.8 SAM (SAL85f28) Sony 85mm f / 2.8 SAM (SAL85f28)

Sample photo on Sony 85mm f / 2.8 SAM (SAL85f28) Sony 85mm f / 2.8 SAM (SAL85f28)

Pros:

  • Light weight and dimensions
  • Minimum Focus Distance
  • Aperture and sharpness
  • Small diameter filters
  • Virtually no vignette and chromatic aberration
  • PRICE! (an average of about $ 220 for a new and about $ 150 in the secondary market)

Cons:

  • Assembly and autofocus in difficult conditions.
Sample photo on Sony 85mm f / 2.8 SAM (SAL85f28) Sony 85mm f / 2.8 SAM (SAL85f28)

Sample photo on Sony 85mm f / 2.8 SAM (SAL85f28) Sony 85mm f / 2.8 SAM (SAL85f28)

Sample photo on Sony 85mm f / 2.8 SAM (SAL85f28) Sony 85mm f / 2.8 SAM (SAL85f28)

Sample photo on Sony 85mm f / 2.8 SAM (SAL85f28) Sony 85mm f / 2.8 SAM (SAL85f28)

Sample photo on Sony 85mm f / 2.8 SAM (SAL85f28) Sony 85mm f / 2.8 SAM (SAL85f28)

Sample photo on Sony 85mm f / 2.8 SAM (SAL85f28) Sony 85mm f / 2.8 SAM (SAL85f28)

This is just a great lens! With all its pros, you can forget about the cons. It doesn’t matter which device you will use it on, whether it is a full frame or a camera with a crop sensor, you can get beautiful and clear pictures on the street and in the studio. The Sony 85mm f / 2.8 SAM has been and will be one of the most beloved lenses in the Sony A line! From the “must have” series, I highly recommend it!

The review was prepared by Sergey Dorodnykh specially for the site Radojuva.com.ua

PS Some of the pictures taken by me and presented in this review were processed in Adobe Photoshop and shown for review. The rest, without any corrections, were shown in Capture One Pro, you can archive them download from this link.

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Comments: 46, on the topic: Sony 85mm f / 2.8 SAM (SAL85f28), a review of the lens from the reader Radozhiva

  • Baz lighter

    Wonderful review! Great lens! Usually pros choose either canon or nikon. If it’s no secret, why did you choose the Sony system?

    • Sergey Dorodnykh

      I chose for a long time, there was a choice between the Sony a850 and the Canon 5D Mark II. High resolution was necessary, and at that time Nikon had only an expensive D3x with 24 megapixels. The choice fell on Sony because of the interesting color rendition.

  • Vladimir

    Here we praise, here we scold, here we wrap fish ... There is no way to understand whether it is good or bad.

    • Dim

      Perfect only angels in the sky

  • Andrei

    Great review! Great examples of photos. It is amazing what result can be achieved even from a cheap lens with even hands.

    • ñ

      or fsh

      • Sergey Dorodnykh

        “PS Some of the pictures taken by me and presented in this review were processed in Adobe Photoshop and shown for review. The rest, without any corrections, were revealed in Capture One Pro ”

        • Yarkiy

          Thanks for the interesting review, it was nice to read and look at the good photos.
          There is only one question, what do you mean by saying development without correction, because “development” is already a correction.
          For example, for a good, correct correction.

          • Sergey Dorodnykh

            I basically do not shoot in a chamber jeep. Therefore, by “developing without correction” I mean converting an image from RAW to jpeg without changing the brightness, contrast, etc.

            • yarkiy

              And I basically do not shoot in a chamber jeep, but because of principle, in order to be able to correct, and if not correct, then what is the point of such a principle.

              In both wedding photos, by the way, I'm sorry for clinging, the lights are knocked out, and the skin is overcooked. It’s not possible to match the skin due to the monitor’s settings, but whoever forbids adjusting the exposure and the black and white points, chromatic aberrations are again removed in a couple of clicks. Or do you basically do not process wedding photographs to show the optical qualities of the lens for review?

              • Dim

                Maybe this is for review, not everyone is removed in the equal?

              • Sergey Dorodnykh

                For review, specially these images without processing.
                The lights were broken because the sun was setting on that side.
                I usually process my wedding photos a little, you can’t give the client the bare source)
                Here is a shot with a slight retouching of the skin and a small florist taken at the same 85m f / 2.8

    • Elena

      Cheap? You didn't mix anything up?

      • Sergei

        Is he dear? Carl Zeiss 85f1.4 - expensive. Or lenses from the G-Master line are expensive. And this lens is very cheap. Used can be found from 8 to 10 thousand rubles. If we talk about the very cheap Sony A whale lenses, such as 18-55, then this is not even a lens, but a probe ...

  • zengarden

    Small, simple, cheap, sharp (but is such a flaw detector needed for portraits?).
    According to the picture, Nikon fifty dollars is even more interesting.
    The review is more likely not a lens, but photographs and the author’s ability to process them :)

    • anonym

      Nikon has as much as 9 fifty dollars, which one is more interesting?
      Compare 85 and 50mm is not correct.

    • Basil

      Honestly, I didn’t understand your impact. Yes, Sergey is a cool photographer, you can’t say anything. But I never saw an abusive review about Sonievsky 85-ku, and Nikonovskaya 85-ka 1.8g is exactly the same dull flaw detector as the hero of this review, it’s heavy, big and expensive. And it costs almost 700 cu which he IMHO is not worth (unlike 220 cu for Sonia's 85th). The same 7 petals, also without food glasses with the same wild chromates and monstrous sharpness and without any “drawings”. In fact, I would like to see an overview of such a rare beast like the Sony a850.

      • Sergey Dorodnykh

        Soon I want to share my thoughts on the a850. But it’s not yet known when it will turn out

        • Basil

          Will wait :)

    • scif

      Well, find at NIKON at least one 85ku for 220 cu

      • anonym

        Nobody said that Nikonovskaya costs 220 bucks, read carefully

  • Basil

    Sorry, that is off topic.
    Here Schneider Krausenach put together this 85-ku for Samsung:
    http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-85mm-Camera-Fixed-Lens/dp/B007261AZE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1455724479&sr=8-1&keywords=samsung+85+1.4

    Can anyone here use it?

    • Sergey Dorodnykh

      Unfortunately I did not deal with Samsung technology

  • Kostya

    Handsomely! Thanks! For a long time there were no “live” photos!

  • Alexander

    An interesting lens. I do not know how it is on the crop, but the full frame is very worthy.
    For me, this article was a kind of “discovery”. I had not noticed this lens “point blank” before. On crop I don’t know if he is needed, but from the full one definitely Must Have.

    Only the assembly and the SAM motor are upsetting (based on the Sony DT 50 / 1.8). Here Sony let us down. But, as they say: “IT IS PAID FOR ALL”.

    For the more affluent, the alternative is the Minilta 85mm F1.4 G. Everything is fine in it, okromy prices - an average of $ 750.

  • serega

    “Regarding the“ aperture ”- do not be afraid of f / 2.8, the portrait will be beautiful, it is not necessary to have f / 1.4 to get an expressive shot.” (from)

    of course! just forgot to add: "if you have FF, not crop." on crop 85 / 2.8 - nothing at all.

    • Sergey Dorodnykh

      I wrote that I did not test on crop

  • serega

    and by the way, the FF regiment arrived! :)

    http://www.optyczne.pl/9416-news-Pentax_K-1_oficjalnie_zaprezentowany.html

    • anonym

      The Pentax K-1 is capable of shooting at 4,4 fps.
      WTF ???

  • anonym

    What does Pentax have to do with it?

  • Alexey

    Why upload FS images, show how FS works ???

    the bottom line is the cheap, slow and not always accurate AF, especially in low light conditions, dark (350 rivals at competitors for $ 1.8), light, soapy on open, mediocre bokeh.
    The main justification for his purchase is a small selection of lenses from Sony in comparison with Nikon / Kenon.

    • Sergey Dorodnykh

      Why are you reading the review, see how the letters look?

      -Cheap - very
      -Slow - depending on what to compare (all optics with a SAM-motor are slow in speed)
      -AF - accurate with enough light
      -Dark - why compare with competitors if the Sony system simply does not have other 85mm with af except for the expensive 85 1.4?
      Especially for $ 350 you can’t buy a new one on other systems, and if it’s talking about used, this $ 150
      -Easy - yes
      - Sharp on open - a fact. Or you have an unsuccessful instance
      -Boke - like the models, everyone likes different things.

      For an undemanding amateur photographer, this lens “for the eyes” is enough.
      The advantages of this lens overlap its shortcomings.

  • KalekseyG

    It’s direct not a review, but some kind of verbal battle between the author and readers. The author is written about FS - the fool himself, about the picture from Nikkor - the fool himself, about RAW - the fool himself. Actually, all the photos are FSh golem, sharpness rolls over, there is no picture of the lens, the colors are just wild as in the cartoons.

    • Sergey Dorodnykh

      Calibrate the colors on the display, the colors are quite good. In the courtyard of the 21st century, what's wrong with processing photos? Moreover, the author does it well. Here, not all photos are processed, and those that are better without processing than in other reviews.
      It is better to look at portraits from portrait glass than at flowers))

      • KalekseyG

        That's all right, but the pictures from your minolta are much more lively and more natural

  • anonym

    What kind of strange attacks on the people ???? I will be on points so that there is no booth:
    1. The author killed his time, the strength to write a review of what he has with examples, wrote a review well (this is my subjective opinion)

    2. I posted photos in which I showed that there is such a lens, it can produce such a result, and if processed in the FS, it will be what we see. (I don’t see anything criminally, this is his review and he wanted to upload processed photos)

    3. He gave a comparative analysis, indicated + and - the lens, explained that if you have this system, then for 350 you can buy a new one such a subject and you will have these photos.

    Question (not run over!) To those who criticize, give an example of a lens, for this system with af, 85 with a similar light, for the new 350 bu 100-200.

  • Michael

    Arkady, why do not you include reviews from readers in the general list of reviews on photographic equipment? I was not surprised to find this review in the “Lenses” lists and also the previous one on the Minolta 50. Maybe there is a separate list for these articles?

  • Oleg

    Good day! Thanks for the good review, I really liked it, if you can see more photos for the review on this lens?

  • nezhnost

    Surprisingly, all photos from the review in exif spelled out 50mm 1.7 and only in the photo in the comments 85mm 2.8

    • Sasha

      Yes there is

      • Sergey Dorodnykh

        Open RAW in Photoshop and see the real Exif)
        Taken at 85mm!

  • ASP

    In the technical specifications it is necessary to correct the value of the diameter of the filter from “52 mm” to “55 mm”

  • Alexander

    Minolta 135 2,8 in terms of thread and other parameters will fit the Sony A 77 ll mount?

  • Alexander

    Arkady? Are you an omniscient specialist in photography, please tell me! The Minolta 135 2,8 lens in terms of thread and other parameters is suitable for the Sony A 77 ll / Sony Alpha 77 mark 2 /?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      I am not omniscient. If a suchthen will do.

  • Sergei

    The review is pleasant, it is felt that the author knows what he is talking about, and does not suck it out of his finger. And the pictures of the author - fire! I bought myself the same yesterday. I will create masterpieces)

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