I was able to test some 85 mm lenses at doubleyoushop in Brussels Yesterday.
I would like to buy an 85 mm lens as portrait lens, and wanted to have some comparable results of different makes.
the tested lenses are:
the Canon EF 85 mm f1.8. A lens selling at about 370 Euro’s here in Belgium
the Carl Zeiss Planar T* 85 mm f1.4 ZE. A slightly wider max aperture, selling at 1050 euros approx.
the Sigma 85mm f1.4 for Canon. Also at 1.4 slightly faster than the Canon, selling price 889 euros.
test setup was very limited, the view from the frontdoor of the doubleyoushop, and the car that was there, in front of the roundabout.
first, to give you an idea on the scene, full images, reduced size.
CLICK IMAGES TO VIEW FULL SIZE!!
Canon 85mm f1.8 at 2.8
Carl Zeiss at 2.8
Sigma at 2.8
following are some 100% crops of the different images:
first, wide open, 1.8 for the Canon, 1.4 for the other 2
one at the center, one for the bokeh of the background -in the canon image, there’s a car passing by- :
then at 2.8, one at the center of the image, one for the bokeh in the background:
then, all three at f9, one at the center, one at the edge of the image:
for me the results were quite surprising. I had at least expected more difference in the Carl Zeiss. They are often praised for a superb sharpness and better color rendition. This test proves none of the two statements. Neither did the Sigma impress me. Both show huge chromatic abberation (color shift at highlights) the Zeiss a bit blueish, the Sigma in Pink. They do not visually prove to be sharper than the Canon, and the Canon costs less than half the price of the Sigma, about a third the price of the CZ.
Ideally I should have been able to test these lenses also with a portrait subject, since this is the intended use, but unfortunately the occasion did not allow for this.
I would like to thank the vendor at Doubleyoushop for its willing cooperation, since I have not been a customer before in this shop, and still I could, without questioning, test all three lenses.
for me it is clear that the Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 is a very good choice, for a very reasonable budget.
I hope this test will be of help to those out there, looking to buy a 85mm lens.