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 – Image quality
To find out if the image quality is a match for its impressive build, handling and autofocus performance, I put the Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2 through extensive testing out in the field coupled to a Sony Alpha 7R II. A series of shots of the same scene taken throughout the aperture range uncovered signs of vignetting when the lens is fully opened to f/2. The good news is that this vignetting is by no means severe and is quite tasteful if want to encourage the viewer’s eye to any central subjects in the image. Corner shading quickly starts to disappear when the lens is stopped down to f/2.8, and as you reach f/3.2 and f/3.5 there’s virtually no trace of any vignetting.
Landscape and architectural photographers who would like to capture the finest details will be eager to find out where in the aperture range the lens resolves its optimum sharpness. Excellent sharpness is recorded between f/4-5.6, but the sweet spot is located closer to f/5.6-f/8. The lens continues to resolve sharp images beyond these settings too, and while f/16 isn’t the sharpest aperture, it still delivers good results with acceptable edge-to-edge sharpness. It must also be noted that excellent sharpness is resolved in the centre of images at f/2, but to record a decent level of edge-to-edge sharpness across the frame you’ll ideally want to close the lens down by a few stops to f/4.
Some of my real-world images recorded at f/2 did flag up some red and green fringing along high-contrast edges, but these faint fringes of colour became apparent only when I was inspecting my images at very close magnification. This was a relatively easily fix by enabling the Remove Chromatic Aberration option that’s found beneath the Lens Corrections tab in Lightroom 6. The lens profile for the Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2 is also available for Photoshop CS6 and Photoshop CC users, but you will need to check that you’re running the latest version of Camera Raw (v9.1.1) first.