Which of These Affordable 85mm Lenses Is the Best?

Wide-aperture 85mm lenses are some of the most popular out there, a fact the seemingly never-ending arms race between manufacturers for the most bokeh-licious portrait lens can attest to. Not all of us want to spend over $2,000 on such a lens, though, and there are plenty of options that still offer good image quality at much more affordable prices. This excellent video comparison takes a look at two such options. 

Coming to you from Tom Calton this great video review compares the Tokina 85mm f/1.8 ATX-M and Viltrox 85mm f/1.8 STM II. At $399 each, both of these lenses significantly undercut first-party f/1.2 and f/1.4 options. And while those may also possess somewhat better image quality or autofocus performance, if you are shopping purely from an aperture standpoint, it is important to remember that the difference between f/1.8 and f/1.4 is less than a stop. When it comes to depth of field and bokeh, if you are pixel-peeping, sure, you will notice the difference, but for all practical purposes, you are likely to be perfectly happy with the smaller aperture. On top of that, f/1.8 versions tend to be much smaller and lighter in addition to being far cheaper, so it is well worth considering if you would be better served by one instead of a flagship portrait lens. Check out the video above for the full rundown from Calton. 

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