The Zeiss 25mm f2 Batis is one of the company’s lenses designed for the full frame Sony E-mount (FE), but unlike the Loxia lenses, the Batis line has autofocus. Beyond this, they have a new and very unconventional feature: a HUD on top of the lens that displays information in the right situations.
With 10 elements in 8 groups and a minimum focusing distance of just under eight inches, the lens is one that many photographers can keep in their kit for a variety of reasons. Food? Cool, use it! Architecture? Sure! Adventure! You got it! And what makes this all possible is Zeiss’s stamp of approval when it comes to being more resistant to abuse and the elements.
And if you’re a Sony user, you’re bound to become smitten with the colors.
Pros and Cons
– The straight out of the camera color rendition we’ve seen with any single lens that we’ve ever tested. Tied right up there with the Zeiss 85mm f1.8 Batis lens.
– Pretty compact for what it is–a full frame wide angle prime lens
– Weather sealing
– Quite sharp with great bokeh
– That display thinger really is superfluous.
We tested the Zeiss Batis 25mm f2 with the Sony A7r Mk II, Sony A7, and the Flashpoint Li-Ion Flash with radio trigger.
Specs taken from the B&H Photo listing
|Camera Mount Type||Sony E (Full-Frame)|
|Format Compatibility||35mm Film / Full-Frame Digital Sensor
|Angle of View||82°|
|Minimum Focus Distance||7.87″ (20 cm)|
|Maximum Reproduction Ratio||1:5.2|
|Filter Thread||Front:67 mm x 0.75 mm Pitch|
|Dimensions (DxL)||Approx. 3.19 x 3.07″ (81 x 78 mm)|
|Weight||11.82 oz (335 g)|
Taken from our first impressions post.
The Zeiss Batis 25mm f2 lens is pretty large for a mirrorless camera lens but pairs well with the Sony A7. The front of the lens sports a 67mm filter thread–which is quite large. The lens hood is petal style and helps protect that large front element.
Take the hood off of the lens and it becomes a much smaller package. The lens’s body is comprised of a metal exterior, a large rubber focusing ring, and the display screen readout.
The Batis lenses don’t have controls on them like aperture rings or MF/AF switches. Instead, you’ll set that via the camera.
During our testing period, we weren’t able to take it out into the rain as the skies didn’t quite shower us in either NYC or Portland, but considering that Sony cameras are marketed as dust and splash proof we’re very positive that these two will pair together quite well. For what it’s worth, we wouldn’t take the duo out into a hurricane, but we did take it out onto the top of a very ashy mountain. They stood up to the dust and elements better than the allergies of some journalists could.
The Zeiss 25mm f2 Batis lens is also very well constructed that it’ll fit comfortably in the hands of many different photographers. It’s not too chunky and it slopes at just the right parts to make it comfortable to hold in real life situations.
Ease of Use
The only really weird thing about these lenses is the display on top. When in full automatic focusing modes, the lens won’t display a single thing there until it starts up and the display shows off the company’s logo. When in manual focusing mode, information like the depth of field and distance away that the lens is focusing will show up.
As far as practicality goes, I honestly found this rather useless. A dedicated depth of field scale would have been much more sufficient and easier to use.
For what it’s worth though, we didn’t see any big effect on the battery life.
As some of the company’s first autofocusing lenses (the only other ones are the Touit) the Zeiss 25mm f2 focuses quickly and accurately with both Sony cameras that we performed the tests on. No matter whether the focusing point was selected or set to full auto point selection, the performance was always speedy.
When manually focusing, you’ll simply use the focusing ring–which isn’t anywhere as smooth as what Zeiss has offered before. Instead, it has the equivalent amount of tension as many other autofocus lenses. In this way, it really doesn’t feel like a Zeiss and is nothing like the company’s previous offerings.
The Zeiss 25mm f2 Batis is overall an incredible lens when we’re talking about the image quality. It’s sharp, not very contrasty and gives some of the best color rendition that we’ve seen. It can only be tied with its sibling: the 85mm f1.8 Batis.
In fact, we’re very tempted to call it the best (if not one of the best) Sony FE mount lenses.
Though it’s tough to get any sort of bokeh with a wide angle lens of any sort, it’s not impossible. When you get that bokeh, you’ll see that it’s quite lovely and significantly better than any other equivalent wide angle offering that we’ve tested. In comparison to many 24mm f1.4 lenses or 25mm lenses, the bokeh here is beautiful and creamy though hazy in some situations.
Bokeh fiends will be happy indeed.
When it comes to sharpness with this lens, it’s fairly sharp wide open but it really starts to fine at f5.6 and can even make your jaw drop at f3.5. To get even better results from this lens, we really suggest using a flash and find a way to make its light output look as natural as possible.
Trust us, you won’t regret it.
Here is where this lens is the king and end-all-be-all of all other lenses–and it has to do with color rendition. This is the very first time that anything and everything that I saw come from the Sony cameras needed little to no color work. This is especially true with the new Sony A7r Mk II.
In our tests the color fringing that we found was very, very slight and can easily be nerfed with Adobe Lightroom. Beyond this, you won’t see the fringing unless you were look at your images at 100%. As we’ve always stated, no one on the internet that is willing to pay you money or care about your work will look at your images at 100%. No bride will ever want to see her nose hairs.
Extra Image Samples
– Great size
– Excellent colors with the correct metering methods
– Weather resistance
– Lightweight if not a bit chunky in the bag
– Nothing really too terrible about this lens
The Zeiss 25mm f2 is a lens that offers top notch image quality–and that’s what Zeiss customers have come to expect. In many ways, the Batis line represents the pinnacle of what’s possible with this company.
You’ll fall in love with the image quality for many reasons. Not only is the lens sharp, but it offers excellent bokeh. Even better, the lens is just genuinely sharp without the need for micro contrast. Add onto that the absolutely spectacular color rendition and you won’t have a single reason to complain.
If you can get over the weird HUD on top of the lens, then you’ll be happy to pick one up.
The Zeiss 25mm f2 Batis receives our Editor’s Choice award as well as a rating of five out of five stars. Want one? Check out the B&H Photo listing for more details.
Recommended Cameras and Lenses
– Sony A7r: One of the company’s highest megapixel bodies doesn’t have such a great autofocusing system, but it surely does have a heck of a lot of versatility when it comes to the RAW files.
– Sony A7r Mk II: Sony’s latest and greatest camera can give you the best image quality of any of the company’s cameras. You won’t have a single reason to complain here.