Review Sony 85mm f/2.8 (APS-C)

Sony 85 mm 2.8 test, SAL-85F28, Test Sony 85 mm 2.8 op aps-c

Sony 85 mm 2.8 has entered the market at the end of 2010. It is a short telephoto lens with a fixed focal length, at an attractive price. In this test of the Sony 85 mm 2.8, we look at how attractive this lens is in terms of optical qualities.

Sony 85 mm 2.8 test, SAL-85F28, Test Sony 85 mm 2.8 op aps-c
Sony 85mm 2.8, @ 5.6 100 ISO 1/640 s
Sony 85 mm 2.8 test, SAL-85F28, Test Sony 85 mm 2.8 op aps-c
Sony 85mm 2.8, @ 2.8 100 ISO 1/800 s

On a camera with an APS-C sensor, this portrait lens transforms into a small telephoto lens and an 85 mm lens becomes less suitable for making an overview picture, but is very good for portraits.

Construction and autofocus

The Sony 85 mm 2.8 feels a bit light and cheap when you first take it in your hands, especially if you are used to a more luminous and voluminous 85 mm 1.4 lens. The lens is made of hard plastic, and probably to save weight, the bayonet is also made of plastic. The focus ring rotates so smoothly that you think it might be broke. But everything works properly. The drive of the autofocus is fast and virtually silent. There is no searching in low light if you use this lens together with the Sony A77 camera.{insertgrid ID = 289}


The vignetting of the Sony 85 mm 2.8 is low over the entire range. Only at aperture 2.8 and 4 you can sporadically recognize vignetting in practice. It is easy to correct this with software.vignet-SonySAL85f28


No, we have not forgotten to insert the Imatest distortion measurement results. The distortion of the Sony 85 mm 2.8 is so low, that the rod in the graph is too small to be seen.distortion-SonySAL85f28


Even on a camera with an APS-C sensor and despite the relatively low luminosity, the bokeh of the Sony 85 mm 2.8 is not disappointing. But for photographers who have more money to spend and who find bokeh very important, an 85 mm 1.4 is probably an attractive alternative. With beautiful reflections in the background, the bokeh becomes restless. Below are two practice examples, where the bokeh was not so representative.Bokeh2-SonySAL85f28Bokeh1-SonySAL85f28Bokeh3-SonySAL85f28


The Sony 85 mm 2.8 does not suffer much from flare. But if flare does occur, as shown here in direct and bright back light, it really hits.Sony-85-mm-glare


Even at full aperture, the resolution of a jpg file is already above the 1500 LW/PH, even in the corners. Of diaphragm 4 to 11, the resolution in the center remains nicely constant and very high (more than 2000 LW/PH). At all apertures it goes that you will not see the difference in resolution between the corners and the center with the naked eye.resolution-SonySAL85f28

Chromatic aberration

The measured chromatic aberration is very low at all apertures. With the Sony 85 mm 2.8, you will never suffer from visible chromatic aberration in practice.CA-SonySAL85f28

Conclusion Sony 85mm 2.8 review


  • Very good optical performances:
  • High resolution from full aperture
  • Low chromatic aberration
  • No distortion
  • Inexpensive


  • Actually none: sometimes restless bokeh

The Sony 85 mm 2.8 is a very attractive offer in terms of price/quality ratio. Our Sony 85 mm 2.8 test shows almost only good things: a free lens hood, no distortion, very low chromatic aberration and a high resolution where the corners are little inferior to the center. These are achievements for which you would want to pay much more than the price asked for the Sony 85 mm 2.8.


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