Meike AF 85mm f/1.8 STM - Review / Test Report
Lens Reviews - Sony Alpha (Full Format)

Review by Klaus Schroiff, published August 2022

Introduction

Autofocus lenses are still pretty rare beyond the mainstream players, but slowly and steadily, some of the Chinese players are taking the leap. Yongnuo was probably the first, followed by Viltrox, and now Meike has started offering AF lenses - their first shot in the mirrorless AF segment is the Meike AF 85mm f/1.8 STM in Sony E-mount. This medium-tele lens is compatible with both APS-C and Full Format Sony Alpha cameras. Priced at just $199, it undercuts the competition by a huge margin. This raises the question of what you can expect from such a bargain lens. Let's see.
The build quality of the Meike lens is Ok, although you shouldn't expect Sony G-Master quality, of course. The lens body is made of some kind of plastic based on a metal mount. The very broad, plastic focus ring is a tad wobbly but operates smoothly. You can feel that plastic moves on plastic, though. Weather-sealing is not provided. It's worth noting that the design is probably closely related to Meike's 85mm lens in EF- mount using an extended mount (similar to what Sigma did for some of their lenses). The mount extension leaves more space between the camera grip and the lens, which is actually a good thing. Design-wise, the extended mount doesn't look like an afterthought (unlike on some other extended DSLR lenses) but it adds about 1cm in length compared to the Sony FE 85mm f/1.8, for instance. A deep petal-shaped hood is provided. Firmware updates are possible via a USB port on the mount. In fact, we updated our sample to firmware 1.20, which worked nicely.
As mentioned, this is an auto-focus lens that uses a stepping motor (STM) for focusing. The AF speed is clearly on the slow side so if you want to use it in fast-paced scenarios, better look elsewhere. Typical for most modern lenses, manual focusing works "by-wire" and it does the job nicely here. The electronic coupling also translates to a camera-controlled aperture as well as EXIF data. The latter is important for in-camera image stabilization. However, the lens doesn't feature a built-in image correction profile.
Specifications
Optical construction9 elements in 6 groups
Number of aperture blades9 (rounded)
min. focus distance0.85m (max. object magnification 1:?)
Dimensions95x78mm
Weight386g
Filter size67mm
Hoodpetal-shaped (bayonet mount, supplied)
Other features-
MountSony FE