Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2 lens review with samples (Full-frame & APS-C)
For letting in a decent amount of light and offering somewhat out of focus backgrounds, it costs a huge 1300 us dollars or little over 900 pounds here in the uk expensive. But at least this thing has auto focus. So if its image quality is good enough, then it could offer some value. Zeisss batteries lenses are very usable and nicely designed overall, and this one is no exception. Its aesthetic design is unusually corpulent, offering quite a returned profile for all my viewers, for whom english is not their first language, and i know there are a few of you im saying its fat, although its made of metal its not really very heavy, weighing 335 grams. Well, under a pound, its based on a metal lens mount with rather a thin weather ceiling gasket in that distinctive zeiss blue colour, then we get a nicely rubberized manual focus ring which turns very smoothly and feels nice to touch theres, even a display, which can tell You your focus distance, a bit of a gimmick, but still quite cool looking. If the display doesnt seem to work for you at first then set your camera to manual, focus and turn the focus ring anti clockwise for a while, which will get you into its settings. Where you can choose for it to be on all the time only on when manual, focusing or off altogether, when you change focus, the lens suffers from clear focus. Breathing zooming in as you focus more closely, the lenses autofocus motor is quick, silent and accurate.
As you can see here, it works very well. It will probably work a little quicker again on a newer camera body than this one. Its filter thread size is 67 millimeters and it comes with a completely plastic but quite shapely lens hood. It does not have image stabilization overall, it doesnt feel the same as zeisss most expensive lenses, but its build quality is very lovely. Nonetheless, its unusual shape might turn a few heads too now lets take a look at image quality, which is much more important im going to start by testing it on a full frame camera. My 42 megapixel sony a7r ii in the middle of the image at f2. Sharpness and contrast are just good, not great, and a little color fringing on contrasting edges is visible. The good news, though, is that the corner image quality is no worse still managing to look reasonably sharp, which is good to see on such a wide angle. Lens. Stop down to f 2.8 for more brightness and a little more contrast, but no extra sharpness back in the middle, though we do see better sharpness now and no more color fringing stop down to f4 for another little boost in sharpness in the middle and a slightly More subtle boost in sharpness in the corners, the corners tay, this sharp down to f11 stop down to f16 or darker and softness begins to emerge because, well, you know why diffraction overall, on a full frame camera, i was left with slightly mixed feelings by this lens.
I did wish it was sharper at f2, but then again at least its a corner image quality is as good as its quality in the middle, which is important for a wide angle optic. I think that anyone shooting with a 24 megapixel camera will be delighted with the lenses image quality overall, but 42 megapixel, shooters or higher will only be satisfied. Lets see how the lens copes on an aps c camera. Now my little 24 megapixel sony a5100. That aps c sensor is a little more demanding than the 42 megapixel full frame one and accordingly, we see a little more softness in the middle now at f2, with slightly more noticeable color fringing. But again, the good news is that the image corners dont look any worse at least heres f 2.8, where the corners look just a tiny bit sharper and cleaner and the middle looks pretty good stop down to f4 and the middle now looks great and the corners Look very nice also again, the image quality stays this sharp down to f11 and if you stop down darker than that, then softness ensues so its a similar performance on aps c, just good enough at the brightest capture of f2, but very good when stopped down a Little alright lets move on and look at distortion and vignetting on a full frame camera. These pictures are taken with in camera, corrections turned off its certainly good news for distortion here, theres, barely any at all at f2.
Vignetting is rather heavy, though at f, 2.8 f. 4 and f 5.6: it only goes away quite gradually so youd better leave. Those corrections turned on now on to close up image quality with a minimum focus distance of 20 centimeters. The lens can get you really close to your subject at those close distances. The image is a little softer at f2, with slightly more pronounced colour. Fringing f2.8 looks a lot better and f4 is very sharp. How does this lens work against bright light, thats an important question for a wide angle, optic which could be catching the sun here and there in your pictures? The lens performs just about on a good side of average. Some flaring is clearly visible, but its fairly transparent and not too heavy while were working in a dark lets, take a look at coma levels. Now, at f2, bright points of light in your image corners see some glaring, but surprisingly little coma smearing. If you want to see some decent sun stars here, youll have to stop down to f 5.6 or f 8, and there they make a gentle appearance. Lets. Take a look at this lenses bokeh with its maximum aperture of f2. Shooting close up can get you some generously out of focus backgrounds and they always looked lovely and soft in all my sample images, albeit with some slightly blue, highlighting on especially bright points of light. Finally, longitudinal chromatic aberration. That is a real problem for this lens.
Unfortunately, we see some huge color fringing before and after the plane of focus at f2 on contrasting edges. F 2.8 is almost as bad, but at f4 it begins to clear up and at f 5.6. It finally goes away. So then, overall 24 or in this case 25 millimeter lenses with at least a reasonably bright maximum aperture, seem to be difficult to design and i dont think ive ever come across an incredibly sharp one at any price on any system. So the fact that this lens is not perfectly sharp at f2 doesnt necessarily mean its not competitive, even if i was hoping for a bit more at this very high price point, as i mentioned before, users of 24 megapixel full frame cameras will be delighted with its Image quality, i think, but 42 megapixel shooters will only be satisfied, sharpness issues aside, though, and forgetting its issues with color fringing. It certainly is a good enough lens, optically and in terms of its build quality, it gets nice pictures it just about misses on my recommendation, because i really dont think its worth as much as 1300.