This is a continuation of a test of the following lenses on the Sony a7RII:
- Zeiss 85mm f/1.8 Batis.
- Zeiss 85mm f/1.4 Otus.
- Leica 90mm f/2 Apo Summicron-M ASPH.
- AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 G.
- Sony 90mm f/2.8 FE Macro.
The test starts here.
I’d present the f/5.6 results, but I think you get the general idea. The differences are along the lines of the differences at f/4, but more subtle, and less consequential.
I’ll close the test with a few words about handling and usage, then I’ll give you my take-home.
The two lenses that seem made for handholding on the a7x cameras are the Summicron and the Batis. They don’t stick out that far, they’re not that heavy — though the ‘cron is heavier than it looks — and they’re a pleasure to use on the body. The 85 Nikkor is a big pain to use on the a7x, because it’s a G lens and setting aperture is imprecise at best. The Sony macro works fine in spite of its length. The Otus is too much lens to comfortably hand hold for any length of time.
The lens that’s the hardest to focus is the Summicron, because it’s got that short rangefinder throw and making small focus changes is a fiddly operation. The Otus is a joy to focus, but, tactile pleasure aside, the two focus-by-wire lenses, the Sony and the Batis, are even easier to use to dial in that last little tweak to the focus thanks to the firmware going into a mode where it takes more than a little ring turning to make a modest change in focus.
A shout-out to Leica for including a slip out lens hood. It’s not as effective as the reversible ones, but it’s a lot more convenient, with the added bonus that you’re less likely to drop your lens than handling one with a reversed hood attached.
All five lenses are excellent. The Sony is sharp enough at infinity, which is usually the toughest distance for a macro lens. The Nikon is not so hot wide open, but then again, the only other f/1.4 lens in this test is the Otus, which is in a different league from a pricing, size, and weight perspective. The Summilcron has a beautiful rendering, but to my way of thinking, is not worth the money. The Batis is a lovely lens, especially considering its price.
We photographers are lucky to have tools like these.