The inexpensive Vivitar 85mm F/1.4 turned in a darn good performance, making an medium telephoto 85mm F/1.4 accessible to cost-conscious Sony DSLR people, as this wonderful lens is priced $1000 less than the Sony CZ 85/1.4 planar! How does the Vivitar stand up to the CZ, or Sony 85mm F/2.8 SAM? Check out the full review of the Vivitar 85mm F/1.4 here.
I added a small bonus section at the bottom of the review page comparing the Sony 85mm F/2.8 SAM with the Vivitar 85/1.4 at F/2.8-8.
The Vivitar 85mm F/1.4 is a full-frame compatible lens, but works fine on APS-C cameras.
One thing I noticed with this lens is; light fall-off is so heavy at F/1.4 that you’ll probably need to drag the shutter at least half a stop for a correct exposure, so that means the light gathering ability is not really F/1.4, it’s more like F/1.8. Of course, depth of field is still the same, and backgrounds can be wiped out easily with this lens, just make sure you focus accurately.
Note; bright daytime use at F/1.4 will often result in having to use a shutter speed of 1/8000
at ISO 100, yes 100! Most consumer grade cameras don’t have 1/8000sec shutter speed, (the pro use Sony A700/A850/A900 do) so you’ll need to use a neutral density filter (this two stop Tiffen will work great) to bring down the light value and allow your camera to get the proper exposure.