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 body is made of not the highest quality plastic and is very reminiscent of fellows from the Easy Choice series - 50m f / 1.8 and 35m f / 1.8. It looks like a rattle, a kind of "fantastic plastic", but at the same time the body is very compact and incredibly light - 175 g. The lens is equipped with an internal “SAM” focusing wave motor. The drive is noisy and not very fast, but almost always accurate. There is an AF / MF mode switch on the body. With autofocus, the trunk can move a couple of centimeters forward, the front element does not rotate, but the focusing wheel rotates, which is small, slightly rubberized along the edge - a strange and not very convenient design. In manual mode, this wheel scrolls easily and is not very informative, there is not enough smoothness, and a scale of focusing distances is also drawn on it. The lens mount is made of plastic and does not have a rubber gasket to prevent dust and water from 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 actively using the lens since 2012 in conjunction with the full-frame Sony a850 (I have not tested it on cameras with APS-C), for me it was a “everyday” lens. With them I shot weddings, portraits in the studio and in the open air, rarely - reportage. For the latter, the lens is not suitable, autofocus will not always have time to catch fast moving objects, at least on my a850. In the dark, the situation is aggravated, the autofocus starts to "hunt" and if it misses, it takes a long time to refocus. But for a leisurely wedding walk and portrait photography, it 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

Sony 85mm f / 2.8 SAM is a really sharp lens! There were very rare cases when you had to add sharpness in the editor during post-processing. With an open center it is sharp, at the edges almost no detail falls, with f / 6.3 - razor sharpness across the entire frame. I would also like to note that the minimum focusing distance is only 60 cm! I have not seen this on other, even more expensive 85mm lenses. Here are some examples of portrait photos 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, you do not need 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 up the fish ... It is hard 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 pictures taken by me and presented in this review were processed in Adobe Photoshop and shown for review. The rest were developed in Capture One Pro without any corrections ”

        • Yarkiy

          Thanks for the interesting review, it was nice to read and look at the good photos.
          Just one question, what do you mean when you say development without correction, because "development" is already a correction.
          For example, for a good, correct correction.

          • Sergey Dorodnykh

            In principle, I do not shoot in a camera jeep. Therefore, by "development without correction" I mean the conversion of an image from RAW to jpeg without changing the parameters of 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 expensive? 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, type 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 did not understand your collision. Yes, Sergei is a great photographer, you can't say anything about it. But I have never seen an abusive review about the Soniaev 85, and the Nikon 85 1.8g is exactly the same dull flaw detector as the hero of this review, it is heavy, large and expensive. And it costs almost $ 700. which it is not worth IMHO (in contrast to 220 USD for Sonia's 85-ku). 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 a review of such a rare beast as 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 has become a kind of "discovery". I didn’t notice this lens "point-blank" before. On the crop, I don’t know if it is needed, but on the full one it is definitely Must Have.

    The assembly and SAM-motor only upset (based on the use of Sony DT 50 / 1.8). Here Sony disappoints. But, as they say: "Everything is PAID for."

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

  • serega

    “Regarding the 'aperture' - don't be afraid of f / 2.8, the portrait will be beautiful, you don't need to have f / 1.4 to get an expressive shot. (from)

    sure! 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 ???

    in the bottom line - cheap, slow and not always accurate AF, especially in a lack of light, dark (competitors for $ 350 have a 1.8 aperture), light, soapy on open, mediocre bokeh.
    the main justification for buying it is the small choice 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 sufficient 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?
      Moreover, you cannot buy a new one on other systems for $ 350, and if it speaks of a used one - this $ 150
      -Light - yes
      -Sharp on the open - a fact. Either you have a bad copy
      -Bokeh - like models, everyone likes different things.

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

  • KalekseyG

    It's not a direct review, but some kind of verbal battle between the author and the readers. They write to the author about FS - the fool himself, about the picture from Nikkor - the fool himself, about RAW - the fool himself. In reality, all the photos are fake, the sharpness is off scale, there is no lens pattern, the colors are just wild like in 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. Gave a comparative analysis, indicated the + and - of the lens, explained that if you have this system, then for 350 you can buy a new such subject and you will have such 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 don't you include readers' reviews in the general list of reviews on photographic equipment? I was surprised to find this review in the “Objectives” lists and also the previous one for 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 filter diameter 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 fingers. And the author's photos are fire! I bought myself the same one yesterday. I will create masterpieces)

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