Built for use with Sony’s range of full-frame mirrorless cameras, the new optic marks the first time an autofocus 135mm focal length lens has been released in E-mount for Sony’s Alpha 7-system cameras. With a minimum focus distance of 0.87m, it features an aperture range of f/2.8-22.
As with the other lenses in the Batis lens family, the 135mm f/2.8 features full autofocus, supported by a built-in optical stabilisation system to counteract the shaking that long focal-length lenses often suffer from. On the inside, 14 lens elements are arranged in 11 groups, and Zeiss says that it has employed special glass types in its optical construction, in order to rule out as many kinds of image imperfections as possible. According to its own testing, the new lens gives little in the way of chromatic aberration.
Alongside autofocus, the 135mm also inherits its siblings’ OLED display for quick and easy visualisation of focus distance and depth of field, rather than just using printed markings on the barrel, and updates this display in real time. The OLED should also prove particularly handy when shooting in low light or at night, rather than having to peer at the lens’s exterior in the dark.
In terms of exterior build quality, its metal housing should provide a tough design and a premium feel, and dust- and dirt-shielding should go some way to protect the lens when shooting in inclement weather. At 614g, Zeiss seems to be trying to keep the lens as compact and user-friendly as it is able, despite its rather long focal length. It seems that Zeiss intends to aim the new lens squarely at portrait, wedding and event photographers, highlighting the pleasing bokeh that its long focal length lenses should provide.
Product manager of Zeiss Camera Lenses, Dr Michael Pollmann, says: ‘The bokeh works very well indeed, and the optical design – an Apo Sonnar – ensures outstanding images time and again.’
The Zeiss Batis 135mm f/2.8 will be available from specialist dealers from May, for £1,749.99.