March 28 2011 - Photo Jottings

March 28 2011


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 SAMCheck 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.  

Click to check out the Vivitar 85mm F/1.4 review
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