Sony 85 mm F2.8 SAM Review

The Sony 85mm F2.8 SAM lens is a prime lens of exceptional quality that was developed specifically for use with Sony Alpha series cameras. This lens is a good option for both novice and professional photographers who are interested in capturing amazing photographs with high sharpness and clarity because of its impressive performance, sturdy build quality, and sophisticated features.

In this post, we are going to investigate and talk about a variety of different parts of the Sony 85mm F2.8 SAM lens, including its performance, autofocus system, build quality, handling, image stabilization, shooting experience, picture quality, teleconverter compatibility, and more. Now that we have established that, let’s go into the specifics and figure out what it is about this lens that sets it apart from other options in its category.

Key Specs

  • Focal Length: 85mm
  • Maximum Aperture: f/2.8
  • Format: 35mm full frame
  • Lens Groups/Elements: 4/5
  • Maximum Magnification Ratio: 0.2x
  • Minimum Aperture: f/22
  • Mount: Sony A-mount
  • The angle of View (35mm): 29°
  • Aperture Blades: 7
  • Circular Aperture: Yes
  • Filter Diameter: 55mm
  • Image Stabilization (SteadyShot): No
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 23-5/8 inches
  • Dimensions (Diameter x Length): 2-7/8 x 2-1/8 inches (70 x 52mm)
  • Weight: 6.2 ounces (175g)


Outstanding performance that goes above and beyond what was anticipated is delivered by the Sony 85mm F2.8 SAM lens. Its optical design is comprised of a high-quality lens arrangement that includes three double-sided aspherical elements. These components work together to eliminate chromatic aberration and distortion effectively. Even when shooting with the aperture all the way open, this produces in photographs that are crisp, detailed, and have good contrast.

The lens has a wide aperture of F2.8, which makes it possible to create a lovely blur in the background. This creates a nice bokeh effect, which improves the subject isolation and overall aesthetic appeal of the photographs. This lens constantly offers amazing images, regardless of whether you are shooting portraits, landscapes, or close-ups.

Autofocus System

Because of the speed, accuracy, and dependability of the autofocus technology in the Sony 85mm F2.8 SAM lens, you can be assured that your subjects will always be captured in crisp focus. This lens has a Smooth Autofocus Motor (SAM), which allows for silent and smooth focusing. As a result, it is suited for a variety of shooting circumstances, including weddings, events, and wildlife photography. The autofocus performance is further improved by the lens having an internal focusing mechanism.

This mechanism guarantees that the lens length does not vary throughout the focusing process, which prevents any shifts in balance or weight distribution from occurring. Because of this, the experience of shooting with the lens may be made more steady and comfortable, particularly when utilizing the lens with setups that are handled or mounted on gimbals.

Vibration Reduction

The Optical SteadyShot picture stabilization that is integrated into the Sony 85mm F2.8 SAM lens is a fantastic advantage for photographers who shoot in low-light circumstances or who use slower shutter speeds. The image stabilization works to efficiently correct for camera shake, which ultimately results in photographs that are clearer and reduces the likelihood of blurry photos being captured. When taking handheld portraits or shooting in low-light conditions when using a tripod may not be possible or permitted, this function is quite helpful and advantageous.

It also helps when photographing in low-light conditions. Because of the remarkable effectiveness of the Optical SteadyShot technology contained inside this lens, photographers are now able to reliably shoot at slower shutter speeds without compromising the quality of their images. You will be able to push the limits of your imagination and take breathtaking photographs regardless of the lighting conditions you find yourself in if you have this lens.

Build Quality

The Sony 85mm F2.8 SAM lens is developed with a robust structure that is designed to endure the rigorous use that is required in a professional setting. It has a metal lens barrel that is extremely sturdy, which not only contributes to the product’s overall endurance but also gives the photographer a high-end experience when they are holding it. The lens has been constructed to be resistant to dust and moisture, which ensures that it can tolerate shooting in a variety of environments.

Because of this, it is an option that can be relied upon while taking photographs outside, where the prevailing conditions may not always be good. A gratifying tactile feel is provided by the lens’s smooth and accurate focus and aperture rings, which also contribute to the overall build quality of the lens. These rings also enable for exact changes to be made while shooting. Photographers will be able to rely on the Sony 85mm F2.8 SAM lens for many years to come since it was constructed to withstand the test of time.

Handling and Ergonomics

The Sony 85mm F2.8 SAM lens prioritizes the comfort and convenience of its users throughout its design process. Because of its small size and low weight, it is extremely portable and simple to transport, making it an excellent option for photographers who place a high emphasis on their ability to move around freely. The lens has a comfortable focus ring made of rubberized rubber that allows for smooth and precise manual focusing. This gives photographers the ability to fine-tune their focus for greater creative control.

The ring that controls the aperture is not only conveniently located but also simple to use, which enables speedy adjustments to be made to the camera’s settings for the depth of focus. The lens mount is sturdy and well-protected, which ensures a reliable connection to the body of the camera. In addition, the lens features a dedicated focus hold button that, depending on the preferences of the photographer, may be programmed to operate a variety of activities. The Sony 85mm F2.8 SAM lens, in general, provides great handling and ergonomics, which enables photographers to concentrate entirely on their creative endeavors without being interrupted in any way.

Image Stabilization

The Optical SteadyShot image stabilization technology is incorporated right into the Sony 85mm F2.8 SAM lens, making it one of the most capable image stabilization systems available today. This function compensates for camera shaking, enabling photographers to take photographs that are crisp and clear even while working in difficult lighting or other shooting circumstances. The mechanism for image stabilization functions by first detecting and evaluating the movement of the camera and then making the appropriate adjustments to compensate for any shaking or tremor that may have occurred.

While shooting handheld in low-light conditions or while utilizing slower shutter speeds, this is a really helpful feature to have. This lens features an Optical SteadyShot technology that offers up to four stops of image stabilization, enabling photographers to shoot with greater confidence at slower shutter speeds without sacrificing the quality of their images. The Sony 85mm F2.8 SAM lens is equipped with image stabilization technology that enables photographers to broaden their creative options and take photos that are sharp and clear in a number of different shooting settings.

Shooting Experience

When using the Sony 85mm F2.8 SAM lens, the experience of taking photos is one that is extremely fulfilling and delightful. Because of its adaptable focal length of 85 millimeters, it is an excellent choice for a wide variety of photographic styles, such as portraits, street photography, and even some forms of wildlife or sports photography. Photographers are able to generate visually attractive photos with a nice bokeh effect by using a lens that has a fast maximum aperture of F2.8. This allows for good subject isolation and a lovely background blur.

The speed, precision, and dependability of the lens’ autofocus capability ensure that subjects are always captured with a high degree of sharpness. Because of this, it is an effective tool for recording candid moments or subjects that are moving quickly. The small size and light weight of the lens contribute to a more enjoyable shooting experience by making it simple to manipulate and convenient to transport. The Sony 85mm F2.8 SAM lens provides a pleasurable shooting experience that will help you unleash your creativity and produce great photographs, regardless matter whether you are a professional photographer or an enthusiastic amateur photographer.

Image Quality

Because of its cutting-edge optical design and very high-grade lens components, the Sony 85mm F2.8 SAM lens is capable of producing images of remarkable quality. In order to reduce chromatic aberration, distortion, and any other optical flaws to the greatest extent possible, the lens has been built using three aspherical elements that are double-sided. This leads in pictures that are exceptionally crisp, have great contrast, and faithfully reproduce the colors. Even when shooting at the lens’s widest aperture, it produces images that are extremely crisp all the way to its edges and performs brilliantly overall.

The lens has a wide maximum aperture of F2.8, which not only permits excellent performance in low light but also offers fine control over depth of field. This provides photographers with the opportunity to isolate subjects and produce a background blur that is attractive to the eye. Outstanding picture quality is constantly delivered by the Sony 85mm F2.8 SAM lens, regardless of whether you are photographing portraits with lovely bokeh or detailed landscapes with remarkable clarity.

Teleconverter Compatibility

Because it is compatible with teleconverters, the Sony 85mm F2.8 SAM lens provides photographers with more versatility as well as reach. Teleconverters are optical devices that may be used to lengthen the focal length of a lens, enabling things that are further away to be captured in more detail in photographs. Photographers have the ability to successfully expand the reach of their Sony 85mm F2.8 SAM lens by connecting a teleconverter to it. This allows them to record things that are further away.

This is especially helpful when photographing animals or sports, two types of photography in which it may frequently be difficult to get physically near to the subject. When utilizing teleconverters, it is essential to keep in mind that there is a possibility that there will be a little drop in the picture quality as well as a reduction in the maximum aperture of the lens. However, the lens’s general compatibility with teleconverters provides photographers with the ability to modify it to a variety of shooting scenarios and expands the creative options available to them.

Comparison with Competitors

When compared to its rivals, the Sony 85mm F2.8 SAM lens maintains its position above the industry thanks to its outstanding performance and features that are on par with those of its rivals. Because of its small size and low weight, it is a very portable solution for photographers who are always on the move. This is one of its primary advantages. Because of its sturdy construction, resistance to dust and moisture, and ability to perform well under demanding shooting situations, it has a competitive advantage.

In terms of picture quality, the lens creates images that are crisp and detailed, with colors and contrast that are faithfully reproduced. Even in high-pressure shooting conditions, the subjects of your photos will always be in focus because of the incredibly quick and precise focusing technology. The image stabilization feature is another useful addition to the camera since it can stabilize handheld photography by up to four stops. Even though there may be other lenses available on the market with focal lengths and apertures that are comparable to those of the Sony 85mm F2.8 SAM lens, this particular lens stands out due to its exceptional overall performance and durability.


35 mm equivalent focal length (APS-C)127.5mm
Angle of View (APS-C)19°
Focal Length (mm)85mm
Format35 mm full frame
Lens Groups / Elements4/5
Maximum Magnification ratio (x)0.2x
Maximum aperture (F)2.8
Minimum Aperture (F)22
MountSony A-mount
Angle of View (35 mm)29°
Aperture Blades7
Circular ApertureYes
Filter Diameter (mm)55 mm
Image stabilization (SteadyShot)– (Body-integrated)
Minimum Focus Distance23-5/8″
Size & WeightDimensions (Diameter x Length): 2-7/8 x 2-1/8″ (70 x 52 mm), Weight: 6.2 oz (175 g)

Pros and Cons


  • Image quality that is exceptional overall, including both sharpness and contrast.
  • System for dependable topic tracking that is both quick and accurate in its autofocus.
  • A design that is both compact and lightweight, making it easy to transport.
  • Integrated picture stabilization allows for clear handheld shooting without blur.
  • Strong resistance to dust and moisture, along with a solid build quality.
  • A versatile focal length that may be used for a variety of photographic applications.
  • Compatible with teleconverters, which allows for a greater range and more flexibility.


  • There are some low-light scenarios in which the maximum aperture of F2.8 might not be wide enough.
  • For a background blur that is more noticeable, certain photographers might use a lens that has a maximum aperture that is wider.
  • It’s possible that the price is significantly more than comparable lenses on the market.

Price and Availability

When its functionality and features are taken into account, the price of the Sony 85mm F2.8 SAM lens is found to be among the most reasonable in its class. The actual cost could be different in different areas due to differences in supply and demand. If you want the most up-to-date information on prices, it is strongly suggested that you check with authorized Sony dealers or use online platforms.

In terms of accessibility, the lens is readily accessible through a wide variety of brick-and-mortar and online businesses that specialize in Sony camera accessories. Before making a purchase, it is a good idea to find out how many items are currently in stock and what your shipping choices are.


In summing up, the Sony 85mm F2.8 SAM lens is an extraordinary choice for photographers who are seeking exceptional performance, adaptability, and dependability. This lens delivers a wonderful shooting experience across a wide variety of photographic subgenres because to its superb picture quality, quick and precise AF mechanism, built-in image stabilization, strong build quality, and comfortable handling.

The lens’s overall performance and characteristics make it a worthy investment for photographers who place a high priority on picture quality and dependability. Despite the fact that it may have some small restrictions, such as the maximum aperture and price point, the lens is designed for use in portrait photography. The Sony 85mm F2.8 SAM lens is likely to take your photography to the next level and help you produce amazing photos with incredible clarity and detail, regardless of whether you are a professional photographer or an enthusiastic amateur photographer.

Sony 85 mm F2.8 SAM FAQs

Q. Is the Sony 85mm F2.8 SAM lens compatible with Sony E-mount cameras?
A. No, the Sony 85mm F2.8 SAM lens is designed for Sony A-mount cameras and is not directly compatible with Sony E-mount cameras. However, an adapter can be used to mount the lens onto E-mount cameras.
Q. Does the Sony 85mm F2.8 SAM lens have image stabilization?
A. No, the Sony 85mm F2.8 SAM lens does not have built-in image stabilization. Instead, it relies on the image stabilization system integrated into the camera body, if available. This means that the effectiveness of image stabilization may vary depending on the camera model used.
Q. What is the minimum focus distance of the Sony 85mm F2.8 SAM lens?
A. The minimum focus distance of the Sony 85mm F2.8 SAM lens is approximately 23-5/8 inches (about 60 cm). This allows for close-up photography and provides flexibility in capturing details while maintaining a comfortable shooting distance.
Q. Is the Sony 85mm F2.8 SAM lens weather-sealed?
A. While the Sony 85mm F2.8 SAM lens is built with a solid construction, it does not have specific weather-sealing. However, it is resistant to dust and moisture to a certain extent, making it suitable for shooting in various environmental conditions. It is recommended to take precautions and protect the lens from heavy rain or extreme weather conditions.
Q. Can the Sony 85mm F2.8 SAM lens be used with teleconverters?
A. Yes, the Sony 85mm F2.8 SAM lens is compatible with teleconverters, allowing for increased focal length and reach. Teleconverters can be attached to the lens to effectively extend its capabilities, which is especially useful for wildlife or sports photography, where subjects may be far away. However, it’s important to note that using teleconverters may result in a slight reduction in image quality and a narrower maximum aperture.


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