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
Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8 Review – Verdict
Zeiss has meticulously designed the styling of this lens to ensure it compliments Sony’s Alpha 7-series cameras. It’s not only a lens that looks fantastic, but also backs up its minimalist design with a robust build quality and a superb image quality performance that will tempt portrait, event, wedding, and documentary photographers into taking a much closer look. Just like the Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2, it’s a lens that excels when coupled to cameras boasting the highest resolution sensors and I’m impressed by how accurately and silently the autofocus went about its business in use.
Shooting at f/1.8 creates images with an extremely attractive depth of field. Though it’s not at it’s sharpest in the centre or at the edges when it’s used wide-open, things start to sharpen up very quickly when it’s stopped down to f/2.8 and beyond.
There’s been a demand for a high-quality medium-telephoto prime for Sony Alpha 7-series cameras for a while and Zeiss has managed to hit the nail on the head with the Batis 85mm f/1.8. The price might be hard to swallow, but for serious enthusiasts and professionals specialising in portraiture it’s a lens that’ll see regular use and deliver results to be proud of.
There’s always the try before you buy approach to consider too, and if the price of buying the lens outright puts you off there’s always the option to hire it from companies such as Hireacamera. Hiring the lens for a day will cost you £29, while you can expect to pay £108 for weeklong hires.