Hello dear friends. There has been no secret here on the bloggings, surrounding my desire to find the perfect 85mm lens. It has become my own photo gear holy grail, and a fun journey it has been. I’ve owned, sold, used, borrowed or rented at least a dozen different 85mm (or equivalent) lenses for a few different systems over my years. It’s probably the single most fascinating focal length, for me. The most popular classification for a lens of this focal length, is going to be portraiture. It balances minimal distortion, with flattering spacial compression when working at traditional distances for portraits, and is a go to for many portrait photographers. I do like a good portrait session, but a mid range tele lens like a nice, fast 85mm can offer much more than merely head and shoulder shots. I want to look at this lens on its own at first. How sharp is it? Bokeh? What kind of value does is present at its price point for a photographer like me, or you? Later, I’ll be comparing this lens to a couple other fast portrait lenses that I have here on the blog, but for now let’s see how this beautiful new Sigma Art lens stands on its own…
Well hi there! Been a while. Yes, I’ve been focused largely on launching the Nauti Straps stuff (utterly shameless plug, of which it will not be the last, surely) which has been going smashingly thus far, so thank you to everyone who’s supported me in that venture. That said and done, I’ve been long wanting to compare these two premier portrait focal length prime lenses for the two formats I shoot in concert in the Sony FE and micro 4/3 systems.
Enter the Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8 Sonnar FE mount lens for Sony E mount cameras, and the Panasonic Leica 42.5mm f/1.2 DG Nocticron lens for micro 4/3 system shooters.
C’mon in for comparisons, pixel peeping galore and my thoughts as someone who has been shooting these two lenses for the better part of the last year.
Who doesn’t fantasy shop? I certainly do, and while I have done a really good job over the years of tempering my cravings to buy a newer full frame camera, I’d be lying if I said I haven’t been interested in the Sony Alpha 7 series. Much like the NEX series (or “Axxxx”, or whatever it’s called now) I’ve always felt that Sony has spent their time and effort on camera bodies and sensor development, while largely ignoring the need to round out their optical offerings for either the APS-C or Full Frame mirrorless systems. To be fair, and as a seeming act of nose thumbing in my direction, Sony released 4 brand new FE mount lenses a couple weeks ago. This new set of lenses is certainly a step in the right direction as they’ve finally released more lenses than cameras for the FE mount.
Sony seems to be focused on leading the charge in sensor tech while slowly bringing new lenses to market, and other companies and systems have benefited from this sensor based model, namely Nikon and Olympus. While researching my options in the world of Canon full frame land (I also shoot a Canon 5D2), I kept tabs on the A7 series, and when the A7II was announced with IBIS, and all the other bells and whistles for the same price as the aging 6D, I decided to dig deeper.
I’ve been looking to update my 5D2 for a little while. It still does most of what I need it to, but I’ve been walking on thin ice after having sold and traded off my other Canon DSLR bodies leaving me with no backup.
Most of the work I do with the Canon is in interior work, so I never saw it as a huge liability seeing that I could, in a pinch, shoot with my micro 4/3 setup to cover me.
Now, the Metabones adapters are well documented, and with the new mark 4, has seemingly remedied most of the gripes I’ve read about, namely the internal surface reflections by way of a series of matte bezels inside the adapter. One problem I’d come across is that it was hard to find good info with use on this new A7II. Well, here are my initial thoughts…
*Firstly, thank you to Lensbaby and Sony for the early Christmas gift! Being a micro 4/3 man primarily when it comes to my compact MILC camera system of choice, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t very curious about the new NEX cameras. My experience with the NEX5 prior to this was limited to over the counter tinkering and parking lot shooting. I will do a more in depth review of the NEX5 vs. the GF1 soon as the NEX5 both confirmed some of my doubts and opened my eyes to it as a viable choice for those looking into a small mirrorless interchangeable lens compact camera. Combined with a Lensbaby Tilt Transformer and Composer front, I feel it provides NEX system users an easy, affordable and fun way to greatly diversify the NEX system.