Sony SAL-85F14Z 85mm f1.4

Last updated (09 August’10):
- Review by SLRGear

The Sony SAL-85F14Z 85mm f1.4 features 85mm at focal length with maximum aperture of f/1.4. The lens construction has 8 elements in 7 groups and has diagonal angle of view at 29 degrees. Closest focusing distance at 2′ 10” (85cm) and has a filter size of 72mm. The Sony SAL-85F14Z 85mm f1.4 lens weighs 1lb 7oz (650g) and it measures 81mm in diameter and 75mm long.

Sony SAL-85F14Z 85mm f1.4
Overall Rating: ★★★★★ | Latest Price Info

Expert Reviews

Sony SAL-85F14Z 85mm f1.4 Reviews

SLRGear reviews the Sony SAL-85F14Z 85mm f1.4 and writes;
“The Sony 85mm ƒ/1.4 Zeiss is an excellent lens, offering excellently sharp images at very wide apertures. It rivals the other major manufacturers in terms of its performance, and offers something they don’t – image stabilization, which is built-in to Sony dSLR camera bodies.”
Rating: ★★★★★

Camerasdirect reviews the Sony SAL-85F14Z 85mm f1.4 and writes;
“Results of our field tests were similar to the tests on the Sonnar T* 1.8/135 ZA lens. In low light conditions, the 85mm F1.4 Planar T* produced ‘punchier’ pictures than the Sony 75-300mm lens at the same focal length with richer colours and sharper subject definition. This is not to say that the Sony zoom lens is bad (in fact, on the contrary); it’s just that the Carl Zeiss prime lens delivers noticeably better pictures – as you would expect from its design and price.”
rating: N/A

Photoreview reviews the Sony SAL-85F14Z 85mm f1.4 and writes;
“Flare was unnoticeably in backlit shots and out-of-focus areas were very attractively rendered. Autofocusing was very fast and very accurate, thanks largely to the wide maximum aperture. No distortion was observed and image sharpness and brightness remained constant across the field of view at all lens apertures. Overall, this lens was a delight to use.”
Rating: ★★★★½

Photozone reviews the Sony SAL-85F14Z 85mm f1.4 and writes;
“It is already able to produce exceptionally sharp and contrasty results straight from f/1.4. The excellent performance peak is reached around f/4. The center to border quality is very even (although that’s a lesser issue regarding the typical applications of such a lens). The quality of the bokeh (out-of-focus blur) is buttery and about as good as it gets. Distortions, vignetting and lateral CAs are non-issues in field conditions..”
Rating: ★★★★☆

User Opinions

Sony SAL-85F14Z 85mm f1.4 User Reviews

Superb Fast Telephoto Lens From Sony and Zeiss | Rating: ★★★★★
“Having used Zeiss lenses for more than fifteen years, I have no doubt that this new lens is as optically superb as its manual focus equivalent that’s available now for Nikon F-Mount 35mm SLR cameras (The new Zeiss ZF (Nikon F-Mount) 85mm f1.4 Planar lens is optically superior to the earlier Contax version that I own.).” – by John Kwok

Best portrait lens ever! | Rating: ★★★★★
“The sharpness creamy bokeh are unmatched by any other alpha mount lens. The auto clutch is a fine addition,.. When it is in AF, the focusing ring doesn’t turn. Nice. The colors are reproduced as true as any glass on the market. Very fast focusing even in low light, but to really get the most out of it, mount it on the A700.” – by Steven W. Miller

An excellent portrait lens | Rating: ★★★★★
“..Each lens is razor sharp at its widest aperture. A discussion of this lens, as well as of the Minolta 85mm f1.4 lens, may be found at the Photozone site. Compared to the Minolta lens, this lens is sharper and exhibits less vignetting, although it does exhibit slightly more chromatic aberration but to no serious extent.” – by Photo/Video Gearhead

Unbelievably Sharp | Rating: ★★★★★
“Sony’s Zeiss Planar 85mm/1.4 is among the sharpest lenses I’ve ever seen. I’ve long been a fan of Zeiss medium format glass – particularly the Zeiss lenses for the Contax 645. Not only is this lens incredibly sharp, but somehow even captures a “medium format” look and feel.” – by Brian Smith

Worth it, worth it, worth it! | Rating: ★★★★★
“This lens is phenomenal. I was a bit hesitant about purchasing it simply due to price tag, but with a daughter on the way and with the sale of some other equipment, I was able to make it happen. This lens is amazing. My daughter is 3 months old now and I have taken 100s of professional quality photos. Razor sharp. Fantastic colors. Amazing bokeh.” – by K. Jamison

A Beautiful Piece of Glass | Rating: ★★★★★
“On my Alpha 550 85mm translates into 125mm and for me, I think that’s ideal for shooting faces.. This lens focuses fast, holds the focus, gives you colors that are true and photos that are sharp. If you can afford it, I can’t recommend this lens highly enough, Sony & Zeiss have come up with a lens most people only dream about owning.” – by Dave Mayer

Amazing Lens | Rating: ★★★★★
“Great lens–performs well in low light. The only slight knock is that there can be some VERY slight CA in high contrast situations. SOOC images are incredibly sharp–jpegs need no sharpening at all. RAW files are only sharpened after being resized. Thing is built like a tank. “ – by William P. Rowland

Extraordinary Lens | Rating: ★★★★★
“..Even wide open, shots from this lens are consistently sharp. A couple of stops down and it is nothing short of amazing. I’m looking forward to putting this on an a900 to see just how far we can go. “ – by D. Hall

More user opinions | Write your opinion


Sony SAL-85F14Z 85mm f1.4 User Manual

- Download Sony SAL-85F14Z 85mm f1.4 User Manual (PDF – 2.0Mb)

Features & Specifications

Sony SAL-85F14Z 85mm f1.4 Specifications

The Sony Carl Zeiss SAL-85F14Z lens is a brilliant lens for portraits, low light and midrange telephoto shooting. It’s a beautiful piece of glass–and for intimate or low-light portraits, fashion shots, and quick candid photographs with superior visual accuracy, this professional lens will satisfy the most uncompromising demands. Its performance at fully open aperture is astonishingly precise–and its 35mm-equivalent 125.7mm focal length gives you sharp midrange close-ups and natural, distortion-free portraits at relaxed distances.


* Superb Sharpness at Fully Open Aperture: In conjunction with the Super SteadyShot image stabilization system of the Sony α (Alpha) DSLR-A100 camera, this superb Carl Zeiss lens achieves pinpoint sharpness–even working with hand-held camera by available light.
* Excellent Contrast Reproduction: Precision optical design and advanced T* coatings help to reduce flare and increase contrast.
* Smooth Backgrounds: Smooth, visually pleasing out-of-focus backgrounds give portraits and close-ups an extra dimension of beauty.
* Focus Hold Button: For full creative control, a focus hold button located on the lens can lock auto-focusing even in continuous advance mode–and focus lock can also be set on the spot-focus center frame area.
* Auto Clutch: In auto-focus mode, the manual focus ring does not rotate–and in manual focusing, you’ll have a solid, hands-on feel.

Compatible Models
Sony DSLR-A100, DSLR-A100K.

What’s in the Box:
Lens, front and rear lens cap, SH0002 lens hood.

See also: Carl Zeiss/Sony | Lens Reviews

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