Batis 85 1.8 vs. G Master 85 1.4 (for Sony E-mount)

Batis 85 mm 1.8

  • Announced: April 2015 (always in supply shortage until April 2016).
  • Optical design: ZEISS Sonnar with 11 lens elements in 8 groups.
  • E-mount, AF/MF, OSS, OLED screen (showing distance and DOF), dust and weather-sealed, Zeiss T* anti-reflective coatings.
  • Aperture: 1.8-22; Diaphragm blade: 9; Filter size: 67 mm; Minimum distance: 80 cm
  • Size: 81 x 92 mm; weight: 475 g.
  • Price: $1,200.

Sony 85 mm 1.4 G Master

  • Announced: March 2016
  • Optical design: 11 lens elements in 8 groups.
  • E-mount, AF/MF, non-OSS; dust and moisture-sealed; Nano AR Coating to reduce surface reflections, flare, and ghosting;
  • Manual aperture ring (can be de-click); focus-hold button, AF/MF and de-click switch on its barrel.
  • Aperture: 1.4-16; Diaphragm blade: 11 (rounded); Filter size: 77 mm; Minimum distance: 80 cm.
  • Size: 89.5 x 107.5 mm;  weight: 820 g.
  • More: zero abbreviation open wide.
  • Price: $1,800.

Comparison remarks

  • Bokeh:
    • GM 85 creates more creamer bokeh at same apertures.
    • GM 85 creates rounded bokeh (thank to 11 rounded diaphragm) while Batis 85 create “cat-eye” bokeh.
  • Sharpness: GM 85 wins, even at wide open (for both lens).
  • AF Speed: GM 85 is equal, and in some cases, faster than Batis 85.
  • Flare resistance: GM 85 wins.
  • Micro-contrast: Batis 85 wins.
  • AF Motor:
    • Batis 85 has “silent” AF motor.
    • Many reported that GM 85 has relatively noisy motor (like grinding noise) while focusing event with latest firmware 3.10 (watch this or this, and read dpreview topic here). Need to wait for response from Sony: if this can be fixed after 1st stage of production?
    • Some reported that “moving lens elements” while focusing create some kinds of scratches inside GM 85 lens (watch this and).
    • Some commented that the noise of GM 85 may went away after 500 shots.
  • One issue that I concern is: GM 85 has many buttons and rings on its barrel which may cause it more exposed to dust/weather (more chance to make its weather-shield become less effective).
  • Personal perspective: best E-mount 85mm for Sony camera (comments by Steve Huff and his samples, Jason Lanier and his 1st comparison, or Joseph Radhik,…)
  • Weight/Size: Batis 85 is light and small; but GM 85 size is still very balanced and weight less than it shows.
  • Batis 85 focus ring is made of “rubber” which easily attaches dust.

Pre-Conclusion:

  • GM 85 has exceptional bokeh and DoF thank to its aperture 1.4 and 11 diaphragm blades. It’s super sharp open wide thank to superior optical quality. It also got Aperture ring and Focus-hold button to support more economical control. Those worth $600 difference (between two lenses).
  • Portrait shooting is not my day-to-day work, therefore weight and size of GM 85 is acceptable (comparing to Batis 85).
  • Wait for Sony to confirm on noisy motor issue. Hope the issue will be fixed for the next production stage. GM 85 should be as “silent” as Batis 85.
  • Also need some more comment on weather-sealed effectiveness of GM 85 from other users.

Updates on occurred issues:

  • LensRentals.com has opened one GM 85 for investigate [04/2016] :
    • The “visible scratch” is actually not scratch, it is lubricant trait.
    • Noise is obviously comes from SSM motor, no furthur breakdown examination yet.
    • Full article: link here

 

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