Michael Topham pairs the Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8 by with the flagship Sony Alpha 7R II and puts its delight factor to the test

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Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8

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Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8 Review

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Price as reviewed:

£909.00

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Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8 Review – Features

While the Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2 conceals an optical construction of ten elements in eight groups and draws on the manufacturer’s Distagon design, the Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8 features 11 elements in eight groups and is based on the Sonnar design. (A name that’s derived from the German word for sun, <Sonne>, and refers to the symbol of utmost brightness). Three of the lens’s 11 lens elements are made from what Zeiss describes as ‘special’ glass, while it also inherits the manufacturer’s T* anti-reflective coatings to eliminate the effects of flare and ghosting.

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The Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2 accepts 67mm filters and adapters via its filter thread

The aperture is adjustable from f/1.8 to f/22 and unlike the Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2, it’s the first Batis lens to feature built-in optical image stabilisation. Combined with in-camera stabilisation, this pairing provides the benefits of both systems and should effectively counteract any accentuated camera shake that can occur from handholding a heavier lens for medium telephoto focal length. The lens uses specially designed high-performance linear motors to drive the autofocus and the filter thread (67mm) doesn’t rotate on focusing, which will please filter users. In other respects, the lens has the ability to focus within 80cm of a subject and measures slightly longer than the Batis 25mm f/2, resulting in it being 140g heavier.

  1. 1. Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8 Review – Introduction
  2. 2. Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8 Review – Features
  3. 3. Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8 Review – Build and handling
  4. 4. Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8 Review – Image quality
  5. 5. Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8 Review – Test results
  6. 6. Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8 Review – Verdict
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  • Maurice

    Strange. Other reviewers rate this lens as extremely sharp. Maybe you had a bad copy?

  • Michael Topham

    Couldn’t agree with you more Entoman. We’re looking forward to seeing more lenses being introduced to the Zeiss Batis line-up.

    As for the build quality and finish, it’s just as good as you’d expect from Zeiss. Personally, I like the way these lenses look on the Alpha 7-series (thus my comment about the way it compliments these cameras), but I will admit I slightly prefer the way they look coupled to the older Alpha 7-Series cameras than the very latest models. I say this based on that the older Alpha 7 cameras, namely the Alpha 7 and Alpha 7R, have a smoother body finish that’s more in keeping with the finish of the barrel of this lens.

    Thanks for your comments.

  • entoman

    It’s great to see Zeiss producing AF lenses for the Sony A7 series, and hopefully the Batis range will be expanded to include macros, wide-aperture long teles and some decent zooms.

    I must admit to being rather puzzled by the comment “Zeiss has meticulously designed the styling of this lens to ensure it compliments Sony’s Alpha 7-series cameras.” The styling of the lens is fine, but to my eyes it looks completely out of place on the angular Sony bodies.

    Sony cameras are fantastic, highly innovative machines, and very much deserve the awards they receive (e.g. DPReview product of the year 2015), but they still need another couple of iterations before they can compete with Nikon or Canon ergonomics.