Bower 85mm f/1.4 Manual Focus Telephoto Lens for Sony/Minolta

Bower 85mm f/1.4 Manual Focus Telephoto Lens for Sony/Minolta

Bower 85mm f/1.4 Manual Focus Telephoto Lens for Sony/Minolta

B&H # BO8514M MFR # SLY85S
Bower 85mm f/1.4 Manual Focus Telephoto Lens for Sony/Minolta

Bower 85mm f/1.4 Manual Focus Telephoto Lens for Sony/Minolta Top View

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  • Aspherical

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Overview
  • 1Description

The Bower 85mm f/1.4 Manual Focus Lens is a special effort in the independent lens manufacturer world, being a popular focal length for serious portraiture combined with an extra large f/1.4 maximum aperture.  Most independent manufacturer lenses are either zooms or very short or long focal length fixed lenses.  This lens is precision manufactured in South Korea.

This lens mounts to any Sony (or Minolta Maxxum) camera and works on both "full frame" cameras like the DSLR-A900 as well as the "APS-C" style digital SLR cameras, but the aperture is neither communicated to nor controlled by the camera body.  As such, you can use the lens in "M" manual exposure mode or "A" aperture-priority mode only, and in both cases you will physically move the aperture ring to the aperture of your choice and it will stay at that aperture even before the exposure.

With a 35mm equivalent focal length of ~127mm and that f/1.4 aperture, this Bower 85mm lens opens up photographic opportunities you'll never get with your zoom.  Capture close portraits of singers on dark stages with only spotlights on their faces, and those background lights will be soft cascades of low-contrast coloring.  With the big f/1.4 opening, you'll have enough light to stop subject motion.  Or try it in brighter conditions at fast shutter speeds and low ISOs to make great shots of people in front of blooming trees, with background flowers almost looking like paintings.  It isn't easy nailing manual focus at f/1.4-2.0 (nor for that matter is it easy for an AF system), but you'll get better with practice, and soon be making many snaps that stand out in a crowd.

This lens was truly created with large-aperture shooting in mind.  Though a fine performer with plenty of contrast and resolution at f/5.6-f/11 apertures, it is at its best shooting between f/1.4-2.8, where it presents a high-peak-resolution focus point surrounded by lower resolution/contrast out-of-focus areas.  Rather than just sharpness all around, for many pictures it is this stark drop off in resolution and contrast that effectively draws a viewer's eye towards a subject.

Bright f/1.4 aperture
Aspherical lens element provides high quality images
Fully multicoated optics
Ideal portrait lens
Low weight relative to many 85mm f/1.4 lenses
Smooth helicoid manual focus action
Internal focusing means that lens length remains constant during focusing (lens front also does not rotate)
Made in South Korea
In the Box
Bower 85mm f/1.4 Manual Focus Telephoto Lens for Sony/Minolta
  • Front & Rear Lens Caps
  • Lens Hood
  • Lens Pouch
  • Limited 1-Year Warranty
  • Table of Contents
    • 1Description
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    Specifications
    Performance
    Focal Length 85mm
    Aperture Maximum: f/1.4
    Minimum: f/22
    Camera Mount Type Sony Alpha, Minolta AF
    Format Compatibility APS-C
    35mm Film / Full-Frame Digital Sensor
    Angle of View 28.3°
    APS-C Picture Angle: 19.1°
    Minimum Focus Distance 3.28' (1 m)
    Magnification Not Specified By Manufacturer
    Maximum Reproduction Ratio Not Specified By Manufacturer
    Elements/Groups 9/7
    Diaphragm Blades Not Specified By Manufacturer
    Features
    Image Stabilization No
    Autofocus No
    Tripod Collar No
    Physical
    Filter Thread 72 mm
    Dimensions (DxL) Approx. 3.0 x 3.75" (76.20 x 95.25 mm)
    Weight 1.15 lb (.52 kg)
    Packaging Info
    Package Weight 1.85 lb
    Box Dimensions (LxWxH) 9.9 x 5.5 x 4.6"

    Bower 85mm f/1.4 Manual Focus Telephoto Lens for Sony/Minolta Review

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