04 January, 2015

The E-Mount 85mm gap

Portrait with the Sony 85mm f/2.8 SAM (at f/2.8) [click to enlarge]

As you may have noticed, I'm disappointed by the absence of a fast, native, 85mm FE lens for the A7.

There is a fast Sony/Zeiss 85mm A-Mount, but it's way too expensive for someone waiting for a native E-Mount. If, however, you have an LA-EA4 adaptor (and I do), then there's a not-so-fast (but downright cheap) alternative: Sony's "Easy Choice," 85mm f/2.8 SAM.

The lens is plastic, with a plastic mount. By itself the lens is small and light; but with the adaptor, the combination is about what you would expect for an 85mm.

It's noisy in auto-focus mode, in part because the external ring actually turns. And, there's some extension of the lens during focus. But, for all that, it's surprisingly quick. Auto-focus is assisted, no doubt, by the phase-detection built into the adaptor. When the lens is set to manual focus, there's a bit of play in the ring.

BUT, it does a pretty nice job. It's sharp and dependable.

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