Icy impressions with the ZEISS Batis 2.8/18
ZEISS Camera Lens Ambassador Brian Matiash had the opportunity to test the new Batis 2.8/18 in January 2016. In this short article he tells about his experiences.
by Brian Matiash
When you are given the unique opportunity to use a highly anticipated lens months before it is announced, much less shipping, you take full advantage of it. So, you could imagine my excitement when I learned that I would have about a week to put the new ZEISS Batis 2.8/18 to use back in early January. Of course, that excited would quickly turn into frustration as the weather in Portland brought several days of very heavy rain. Still, a glimmer of hope made itself known on the evening of January 3rd, when local weather forecasts showed a rapid drop in temperature, indicating a strong likelihood of a snowstorm… something that we rarely get.
Sure enough, I woke up the following morning to find everything outside coated in a beautiful layer of pristine snow. If there was one opportunity to put the new Batis 2.8/18 to use, it was this one. I packed my gear and beelined it to the Columbia River Gorge knowing that the entire area will likely be clear of tourists due to the weather and it being the first post-New Year business day. Fortunately, my hunch proved correct as I found myself alone at each waterfall I visited.
If you’re at all familiar with the existing Batis 2/25 and Batis 1.8/85 lenses, then you’ll feel right at home with the Batis 2.8/18. It shares the same stellar build quality of its siblings with the primary difference being the massive, sweeping 18mm focal length. Focusing was quick and the images produced had vivid colors and were sharp to the edges. What was also great was how close I could focus on objects, allowing me to fill the frame with them, and having a fast f/2.8 aperture allowed me to further draw focus to those foreground elements while allowing the background to gently fall into bokeh.
It has been a long wait from when I had to return the Batis 2.8/18 back to my friends at ZEISS but now that it is shipping, I am truly looking forward to using it more extensively on all of my shoots.