Large high-speed primes such as the 85mm F1.4 G Master are nice to have, but they are pricey, large, and sometimes intimidating. When it comes to moderate-speed lenses, it sometimes seems that manufacturers put price before outright optical performance. That’s not the case here. While not exactly cheap, the Sony FE 85mm F1.8 costs less than its premium G Master sibling or even the rival Zeiss Batis 85mm F1.8, yet it has a real nice balance of performance, with excellent sharpness and low lateral color and distortion. Apart from a little vignetting, with its unobtrusive size and low weight, this new lens looks to be an excellent alternative for all the right reasons.
This is troubling news for Zeiss as it seems there is little reason to buy the more expensive Batis unless you really need in lens stabilization. And for most people the 85mm GM will not be worth the much higher cost. The new 85mm G is a nice lens and I can only highly recommend it!