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: Verdict

The generously-sized front element helps reduce vignetting

As I said at the start, £1750 is a lot of money to spend on a 135mm f/2.8 prime, but with the Batis you can easily see where the money goes. It’s beautifully built, autofocuses silently and accurately, and has very effective image stabilisation. But most importantly the image quality is absolutely sublime – I can’t imagine any prospective buyer being disappointed.

The lens’s natural vignetting can often complement the background blur to help frame your subject. Sony Alpha 7 II, 1/160sec at f/2.8 ISO 160. Model: Kirby-Anne Akindeinde

However, Alpha 7 users are now faced with a sudden glut of portrait lenses: aside from this one there’s the Sony FE 100mm f/2.8 STF GM OSS with its strong apodisation element for ultra-smooth bokeh, while Sigma’s monster 135mm f/1.8 with the MC-11 mount converter looks like a very tempting proposition too, although it’s vast and much heavier. We’re looking forward to testing both these contenders in the near future, and each is sure to have its own blend of strengths and weaknesses. But the stellar Zeiss Batis 135mm f/2.8 sets an exceptionally high bar that won’t be easy to match.

See our gallery of 42 full-resolution images shot using the Zeiss Batis 135mm f/2.8

  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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