Is this new portrait lens for the Sony Alpha 7 series worth its stratospheric price, asks Andy Westlake

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Zeiss Batis 135mm f/2.8

Pros:

  • + Superb sharpness even at f/2.8
  • + Essentially no chromatic aberration
  • + Relatively low vignetting
  • + Fast, silent, accurate autofocus
  • + Solid, weather-sealed construction

Cons:

  • - Visible pincushion distortion
  • - Very expensive for an f/2.8 prime

Product:

Zeiss Batis 135mm f/2.8 review

Manufacturer:

Price as reviewed:

£1,749.00

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Zeiss Batis 135mm f/2.8 Review: Test results

In our Applied Imaging lens tests, we used the Zeiss Batis 135mm f/2.8 on the 42.4MP Sony Alpha 7R II.

Resolution

Zeiss batis 135mm f/2.8: MTF50 (lp/ph) for centre and corners vs aperture

Central sharpness is exceptional even at f/2.8, but the corners really aren’t too far behind. Stopping down to f/4 gives peak central sharpness, while the corners reach their best at f/5.6. At f/8 the lens gives uniformly excellent results from corner to corner, but at smaller apertures diffraction progressively softens the image.

Curvilinear Distortion

Zeiss Batis 135mm f/2.8 distortion: SMIA TV = 1.3%

In the nearest thing the Batis has to a flaw, pincushion distortion is plainly visible in our chart tests when we look at uncorrected raw files. Turn on in-camera lens corrections (or use profiled lens corrections in raw processing) and this disappears at a stroke, to give perfectly corrected images.

Zeiss Batis 135mm f/2.8 distortion: Corrected JPEG. SMIA TV = 0.1%

Shading

Zeiss Batis 135mm f/2.8: Vignetting at f/2.8

With its relatively large front element, vignetting is far from severe, with less than 1.3 stops falloff in illumination at the corners with the aperture set to f/2.8. Stopping down to f/4 reduces this significantly, and by f/5.6 there’s just a negligible amount of residual vignetting in the corners of the frame.

Zeiss Batis 135mm f/2.8: Vignetting at f/4

Zeiss Batis 135mm f/2.8: Vignetting at f/5.6

Zeiss Batis 135mm f/2.8: Vignetting at f/8

  1. 1. Zeiss Batis 135mm f/2.8 review: Introduction
  2. 2. Zeiss Batis 135mm f/2.8 review: Features
  3. 3. Zeiss Batis 135mm f/2.8 review: Focusing
  4. 4. Zeiss Batis 135mm f/2.8 review: Image Quality
  5. 5. Zeiss Batis 135mm f/2.8 Review: Test results
  6. 6. Zeiss Batis 135mm f/2.8 review: Verdict
  7. 7. Zeiss Batis 135mm f/2.8 review: Specifications
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