Summary: You just can't go wrong with Zeiss optics. Some people bring up the fact that it is heavy. It is. When I switch from one of my other lenses to this lens, I know I'm in business. It is perfection.
Excerpt: This is my fifth Zeiss ZE lens. My set includes the 18, 25, 35, 50 and now the 85. All are used via a Metabones adapter on a Sony FS100, and sometimes on my NEX-7 and 5DII. I prefer Zeiss lenses over their Canon L equivalents because they are solid, sharp all the way, and have solid, firm focus rings. They don't flop loosely like those on some auto focus lenses. The only thing I can say about Zeiss lenses is...if you ever pick one up and use it, you will be hooked.
Excerpt: This is probably as sharp as it gets. It is a wonderful lens. It is built to last at least 50 years. The best lens I've ever had so far. If you can get it buy it, in 20 years you will still be using it.
Pros: Consistent Output, Durable, Easily Interchangeable, Nice Bokeh, Strong Construction
Excerpt: I use a 1DX and wanted this for a portrait lens. I think 85mm is great for what I wanted and since I have bought and sold the Canon 1.2 twice so far, and since I love Zeiss, I wanted to try this one. I love the images. In my opinion, it is not a great lens to hand hold at SS slower than 1/100. Tripod, no problem, faster shutter speeds, great. The lack of autofocus and IS will be a problem for many and should not be overlooked.
Summary: Love this lens. Zeiss makes such great glass. Everything about this lens gets me excited to shoot photos. I prefer it over the high end Canon L lenses, and the almost full radius manual focus ring allows for perfect critical focus.
Excerpt: I'm a working pro. I've owned and used this lens for about 2 years now, so I feel my opinion is in pretty good authority to speak about it. This is the only review I have ever left so I hope it sincerely helps somebody make an informed purchase.It comes down to auto focus. In my portrait and fashion work, 1) the model is not moving in distance from me 2) I'm shooting at a huge aperture of f11.
Summary: As many reviewers have stated, this is manual focus only. It takes some getting used to. I will probably shoot tethered when working on location and shooting wide open. Manual focus would be nice, but it is worth living without it with this lens. There is a certain old school sense of satisfaction when you nail the shot with your eye. AF can make you a bit lazy. Remember, AF has only really been around since the 80s. Love it. Sense of color and depth are amazing.
Summary: I'll try to keep it short: BLUF: This lens produces some amazing images with very elegant colors, however, it takes a while to get used to the manual focus, which is also what makes it fun to use. Not a super sharp lens therefore it does not get the 5 stars, but a very good (perhaps the best) alternative option to canon's 85mm F1.2L. The good: I've been using the lens for about 2 weeks now, and I am in love with it.