Zeiss Batis 25mm and 85mm Lenses

Eric Tessmer at Spiderhouse in Austin, Zeiss 85mm Batis on Sony a7II

Eric Tessmer at Spiderhouse in Austin, Zeiss 85mm Batis on Sony a7II

Eric Tessmer at Threadgills, 85mm Batis on a7II

Eric Tessmer at Threadgills, 85mm Batis on a7II

Detail, Paramount Austin, 85mm Batis on Sony a7II

Detail, Paramount Austin, 85mm Batis on Sony a7II

lamp, balcony at Paramount in Austin, 85mm Batis on Sony a7II

lamp, balcony at Paramount in Austin, 85mm Batis on Sony a7II

Billy Gibbons at the Paramount, Austin, 85mm Batis and Sony a7II

Billy Gibbons at the Paramount, Austin, 85mm Batis and Sony a7II

Billy Gibbons at the Paramount, Austin, September 6, 2015. 85mm Batis on Sony a7II

Billy Gibbons at the Paramount, Austin, September 6, 2015. 85mm Batis on Sony a7II

Billy Gibbons at the Paramount Austin, 85mm Batis and Sony a7II

Billy Gibbons at the Paramount Austin, 85mm Batis and Sony a7II

Mike Flanigin and Kat Edmonson, Paramount 9/06/2015, 85mm Batis and Sony a7II

Mike Flanigin and Kat Edmonson, Paramount 9/06/2015, 85mm Batis and Sony a7II

Clark and Court Building, 25mm Batis and Sony a7II

Clark and Court Building, 25mm Batis and Sony a7II

Eric Tessmer in Houston, 25mm Batis and Sony NEX-7

Eric Tessmer in Houston, 25mm Batis and Sony

Thanks to my friends at Zeiss, I was able to borrow the 25mm f2 and 85mm f1.8 Batis lenses in September. I have been impressed with Zeiss glass since I got my first Hasselblad in 1980 and I continue to be throughout their evolution (and mine!) into digital. I could be very happy to stay with Zeiss lenses no matter what Sony camera I combine them with. The particular combination of the 85mm Batis and the a7II was perfect for the show at the Paramount Theatre in Austin, the focal length and the size made it a great package. I’m a Leica user from way back but I was never happy using lenses longer than 50mm on the M series, but Zeiss has pretty much got the 85mm prime covered. I used the Batis and the Sony on manual focus but quick tests of its autofocus capability wre impressive in all types of lighting including the available darkness of a coffeehouse/bar and the balcony of a theatre. I had more opportunity to test the 85mm than the 25mm, but I found the wide angle to be extremely sharp-as I expected. These lenses have some unique features I didn’t really get into and I didn’t try them for video, however I would definitely buy both. There just isn’t another 85mm prime for the E series and if there were I’m certain it won’t surpass the Batis’ performance. This is the kind of lens that enables you to crop the image if 85mm isn’t long enough, and I would love to see it on the a7rII. The 25mm would be perfect for architecture, landscape, shooting classic cars, etc. The T* coating is, well, T* coating. Years of Hasselblad use taught me to appreciate that. It’s also somewhat redundant to comment on the Zeiss 3D look because everyone else who has used the Batis lenses has already said that-there’s a reason for that. Great job as usual, Zeiss!

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