Sony FE 85mm f1.8 review

The Sony FE 85mm f1.8 is a portrait lens for the masses

Sony FE 85mm f1.8
(Image: © Sony)

Digital Camera World Verdict

While the Sony 85mm f/1.4 G Master lens is the company’s most exotic ‘money no object’ portrait prime, this f/1.8 is only about a third of the cost and less than half the weight. It therefore lightens the load for handheld shooting and is easier on your bank balance. Handling is refined, build quality is impressive and image quality is excellent in all respects, making this lens a great buy.


  • +

    Excellent image quality

  • +

    Compact and lightweight

  • +

    Weather-sealed construction


  • -

    No optical image stabilizer

  • -

    Looser depth of field than an f/1.4 lens

Why you can trust Digital Camera World Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out how we test.

The Sony FE 85mm f1.8 follows on from Sony’s 35mm and 50mm f/1.8 lenses, and has a similar look and feel. It’s certainly not cheap for an 85mm f/1.8 but only costs about a third as much as Sony’s f/1.4 G Master lens and is much more manageable in size and weight. If you don’t feel the need for that extra two-thirds of an f/stop offered by the G Master lens, the f/1.8 is a much more cost-effective proposition.


Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Matthew Richards

Matthew Richards is a photographer and journalist who has spent years using and reviewing all manner of photo gear. He is Digital Camera World's principal lens reviewer – and has tested more primes and zooms than most people have had hot dinners! 

His expertise with equipment doesn’t end there, though. He is also an encyclopedia  when it comes to all manner of cameras, camera holsters and bags, flashguns, tripods and heads, printers, papers and inks, and just about anything imaging-related. 

In an earlier life he was a broadcast engineer at the BBC, as well as a former editor of PC Guide.