Michael Topham couples the Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2 lens to the Sony Alpha 7R II to find out if it is an ideal wideangle companion for full-frame users
Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2 Review – Features
The construction of the Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2 features ten elements in eight groups and draws on the manufacturer’s Distagon design. Four of the ten lens elements are aspheric on both sides and are claimed to ensure consistently high image quality over the entire image field, and impressive levels of sharpness that extend all the way to the edge of the frame. The remaining lens elements are made from what are described as ‘special’ glass, and just as we’ve seen on so many Zeiss lenses before, the lens features the manufacturer’s T* anti-reflective coating to reduce the effects of flare and ghosting, and to ensure the very best transmission of light to the sensor.
Unlike the Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8, which features optical image stabilisation to compensate for handshake, the Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2 does not. Although it would be nice to have, there’s an argument that at shorter focal lengths stabilisation is not absolutely essential on a wideangle lens where minor movements of the camera can cause fewer disturbances. As for the type of autofocus motors used within the lens, Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2 features specially designed high-performance linear motors that provide a smooth, fast and quiet autofocus operation in use. Just as you’d expect from a lens aimed at professionals and keen enthusiasts, it has a weather-sealed construction and is designed for operation in temperatures ranging from -10 °C to +55°C.
One of the most interesting features on the new Batis lenses is the introduction of an OLED panel. Unlike focus distance and depth of field markings that are typically printed on the barrel, the electronic display on the Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2 reveals these variables in real-time. Although some may view this feature as a novelty, it’s designed to be a practical solution and provide better readability in low light or at night.
The lens boasts an aperture range of f/2-f/22 and has the ability to focus closely to within 20cm. Landscape and architectural photographers wanting to separate foreground subjects from distant ones will appreciate the incredibly shallow depth of field that can be created by opening the lens fully to its maximum f/2 aperture. Also, those who regularly shoot with screw-in filters or adapter rings will want to take note of its 67mm filter thread. The benefit of an internal focusing system means that any filters fitted won’t spin around when the lens is autofocusing.