The best lens for great bokeh

Antonio Correia

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My wife bought a A6500 with a Sony 18-135. She now would like to buy a lens for portrait delivering great bokeh. Many are available in the market from Sony itself to Sigma.
She is needing some advice, please. What are you using and what is your choice ?
Thank you ! :)

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Christop82

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I would second the sigma 56mm for bokeh, or the 60mm f2.8 as a budget option. The 60 is still my favorite m43 lens.
 

Antonio Correia

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Thank you guys.
However, my advice is for the Carl Zeiss Sony Full Frame E-Mount Batis 85mm f/1.8
It is not everyday one buys a lens, don't you think so ?

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fractal

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Thank you guys.
However, my advice is for the Carl Zeiss Sony Full Frame E-Mount Batis 85mm f/1.8
It is not everyday one buys a lens, don't you think so ?

Save yourself $500 and get the Sony FE 85 1.8. The Batis has Image stabilization (the Sony doesn't), but so does her A6500. Performance wise, they are nearly identical - the Sony is actually a bit sharper with the Batis having better CA control. If ultimate bokeh is what your after at this focal length - spend a few $hundred more and get the Sony GM 85mm 1.4. JMHO.
 
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davect01

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The 50mm SEL has done me well

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WNG

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The issue here is the a6500 is APS-C, therefore my suggestions for APS-C spec lenses. They will be smaller, lighter, less expensive.
The 56mm f/1.4 from Sigma is equivalent to a 85mm full frame portrait lens at f/1.8.
The affordable Sony 50mm f/1.8 OSS yields a 75mm FOV.

The Batis 85mm is full frame and it will be equivalent to 135mm f/2.5-2.8 on the a6500.
 

Petrochemist

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Bokeh is rather subjective, some people like soap bubble or doughnut bokeh which I tend to find distracting in portraits. So Great Bokeh could maen a wide range of different looks.
I'd suggest looking through images on the web taken with your camera & finding some where YOU like the bokeh - check the lens used & build a shortlist. Flickr can be great for this as it has groups for most cameras
 

Richard Crowe

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The Sony 50mm f/1.8 OSS lens is a great glass for the A6500 and can be had at quite a reasonable price - especially if purchased used. As far as an 85mm lens, the Sony 85mm f/1.8 is certainly a marvelous lens and is less than half the price of the Zeiss 85mm f/1.8. I own both the 50mm f/1.8 OSS and the Sony 85mm f/1.8 although I "might" have considered the Sigma 56mm f/1.4 instead of both of these lenses. However I bought both the 85mm and the 50mm used and the total price for both of these lenses was right about the price of a new Sigma 56mm f/1.4. On a model shoot, I will often carry only these two lenses and have been very happy with the results... The Sony 85mm has one advantage (besides being half the cost) and that is the Focus Hold Button. Since our A6500 is not included in the new Sony firmware updates which will provide continuous Eye-AF (on the A9, A7iii and A7Riii) reprogramming the Focus Hold button allows you to instantly lock Eye-AF when using the 85mm f/1.8 Sony. I have not used the Zeiss 85mm f/1.8 lens but I have heard that the image quality of the Sony version is every bit as good and may be perhaps a tiny bit sharper than the Zeiss 85mm f/1.8 Batis.
85mm Sony f/1.8 - the bokeh is quite smooth
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However, one of the joys of the Sony mirrorless line of cameras is the ability to adapt older lenses for use on these cameras. Some of these older (and quite inexpensive) lenses have some really unique characteristics.

As an example the Sears Auto 55mm f/1.4 (M-42 mount) lens...
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Or the 135mm f/4 Triotar which is a sixty or seventy year old Zeiss lens and for which I paid about $25 USD on eBay. This is IMO a specialty lens with a very unique style of Bokeh.

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I would not necessarily use the older manual focus lenses except for their unique characteristics. But, you can pick a lens for its bokeh rendering and they are fun to play with. But, it is very easy to use the manual focus lenses with the A6500 by virtue of the focus peaking capability of our camera and the adapters are dirt cheap...
Here is a YouTube video by Ben Bond who uses vintage lenses for most of his model work...
Good luck with your A6500...
BTW: There is something I noticed shooting in the dark with the A6500 and adjusting the camera parameters by feel. I have the top dial programmed for shutter speed and since that dial is right next to the mode dial (which doesn't have a lock) I will sometimes, inadvertently move the mode dial when I am adjusting the shutter speed. Once I realized that and kept watch for it, it was no problem but, before I realized what was happening, it was frustrating to say the least...
 
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Richard Crowe

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Actually, the E-Mount Sony 50mm f/1.8 OSS lens is a decent portrait lens on an A6500 camera... I shot these wide open with available light...
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Antonio Correia

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I am amazed how you all answer to such a simple thread I have started with such a simple question and... being a new coming !
First of all - I rarely miss writing back to the threads I start - let me thank you all for being nice to write or post here.

Will, Mike, thank you for your valuable comments.
Richard Crowe I have appreciated your long reply with the option of some extra lenses from "old times". I was amazed by the quality of the image shot with the 135mm f/4 Triotar !

As you probably know, I use m43 (Olympus) and I have made some images with a Nikon from 1974 via Metabones adapter.
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Richard, I have appreciated your portraits. Thank you so much !

Christina what a beautiful and cute little baby you have photographed ! Thank you. Obviously a nice - very nice baby - but also a beautiful bokeh !

I promise you all to post some shots with the A6500 and the Sony 85mm f/1.4 as soon as it arrives from the Netherlands where I have bought it. During next week it will be here !

Best regards to all of you ! Have a nice week-end ! :) :)
 

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