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Lens review

Sony FE 85 mm f/1.8

15 March 2019
Maciej Latao

8. Vignetting

First let's check how the lens performs on the smaller APS-C sensor – appropriate thumbnails can be found below.

A7RII, APS-C, f/1.8 A7RII, APS-C, f/2.0
Sony FE 85 mm f/1.8 - Vignetting Sony FE 85 mm f/1.8 - Vignetting


The light fall-off in the frame corners is noticeable only near the maximum relative aperture, by f/1.8 and f/2.0 amounting to 28% (−0.95 EV) and 23% (−0.75 EV) respectively. By f/2.8 it drops to a negligible level of 9% (−0.27 EV), and by f/4.0 it disappears practically completely (5% and −0.16 EV).

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After passing to a bigger full frame sensor there are much more problems and photos shown below are the proof.

A7RII, FF, f/1.8 A7RII, FF, f/2.0
Sony FE 85 mm f/1.8 - Vignetting Sony FE 85 mm f/1.8 - Vignetting
A7RII, FF, f/2.8 A7RII, FF, f/4.0
Sony FE 85 mm f/1.8 - Vignetting Sony FE 85 mm f/1.8 - Vignetting


At the maximum relative aperture we got as much as 58% (−2.48 EV) of brightness loss, a value notably higher than 43% of the Nikkor AF-S 1.8/85g and 47% of the Canon EF 1.8/85. Still these problems only were to be expected after the performance of the previous chapter – such heavily truncated circles of light don't come out of nothing.

By f/2.0 the vignetting decreases to 52% (−2.12 EV), still remaining very bothersome. By f/2.8 it drops to 30% (−1.03 EV), and by f/4.0 it gets even lower, to 25% (−0.84 EV). When you stop down the aperture to f/5.6 you are able to limit that aberration to 22% (−0.72 EV), and results by f/8.0 and f/11.0 are, respectively, 18% (−0.57 EV) and 12% (−0.38 EV).

Sony A7RII, JPEG, f/1.8
Sony FE 85 mm f/1.8 - Vignetting