Zeiss Loxia 85/2.4 vs Zeiss Batis 85/1.8 vs Sony FE 85/1.4 GM vs Sony SAL 85/1.4 ZA. Battle of 85mm lenses for Sony E Mount – Comparative Lens Review
Distortion, vignetting and color reproduction
Zeiss Batis 85/1.8 shows some of the pincushion distortion, the other three lenses are almost distortion free. When it comes to the light fall off, Batis has most significant vignetting dropping to around 40% of luminescence in the corners compared to 100% in the center. Loxia is somewhat better with drop to around 50%, followed with Sony at above 50% while Sony Planar 85/1.4 is just a little better. Bigger light fall then expected seems to be trade mark of the recent Zeiss lenses. For the portrait lens, vignetting however doesn’t have to be bad thing, but if you want to shot at even luminescence across the frame, Batis will improve at f/5.6 but it won’t get fully rid of vignetting even at f/16.
There is one thing that Zeiss should be rightfully proud of. Color accuracy across the product range. Zeiss Batis and Zeiss Loxia, both have almost identical color interpretation (at equal settings) and this is the case also with Otus and even my older Distagon ZE lenses. If you switch the lenses on the set, for the wedding e.g., you can easily use any of the Zeiss lenses at the same white balance settings, and unless your light temperature change, you can easily correct all of your shots (if needed) in a batch process. This is even more important for video creators, since dynamic corrections are much more complicated.
From the tested lenses, Batis and Loxia has typical Zeiss colors, slightly shifted to the colder range with a ted of green hue. The difference in the temperature that I measured between those two lenses was in average less than 50K. Sony FE 85/1.4 GM has similar color interpretation varying between 100-200K with a slight shift toward red. Sony Planar 85/1.4 ZA, despite having Zeiss label, shifts heavily toward warmer tones, with a temperature difference of more than 500K in comparison to Batis and Loxia. Part of the reason may lie in the adapter LA-EA4 with translucent mirror. Heavily shifted toward red/yellow hue, this lens was most difficult to correct for the skin tones that I like.