Quality Extension – ZEISS Batis 2.8/135 lens test
ZEISS photographic lenses history can be traced back to the end of 19th century. Although the history is quite long, this prestige brand never abide by stereotypes, innovation and advancing attitude with the times is commendable. In recent years, it doesn’t matter if they are traditional SLR mount Otus / Milvus lenses, or aiming for the younger generation mirrorless system launched the Batis / Loxia / Touit series lenses, you can see ZEISS has put a lot of effort into research and development of their new products.
Not far from now, ZEISS launched a new Batis lens, the ZEISS Batis 2.8/135 lens, which is the 4th Batis lens in the family, the series has become more complete and give users a new choice in the mid-telephoto range.
Extremely sharp high quality image
Like other Batis lenses, this Batis 2.8/135 is made for SonyTM full frame mirrorless cameras, incorporate feature such as autofocus, built-in optical image stabilizer. Unlike other Batis lenses, this is the only lens in Batis family that used the APO technology. APO is a legendary hallmark, lens that carry the APO name must meet certain requirement — extremely high quality image, that, usually tag along a pretty high price tag. Today, only four lenses in ZEISS family are APO lenses, consisting of three Otus lenses and the Milvus 2/135. So, how’s the performance of this 5th APO Batis 2.8/135 lens? Let’s find out. After our test, Batis 2.8/135 lens’s resolution is pretty good, we test it on a A7R-II camera and it shows great details in our 100% zoom-in view. Sample images “center sharpness” and “edge sharpness” were shot in f/2.8 to see the quality in the center and edge region. Sample image “center sharpness 100%” and “edge sharpness 100%” are zoom-in on the focus area. From these images, whether on center area or edge region, Batis 2.8/135 lens has provided satisfactory result.
Very good chromatic aberration correction
Regarding chromatic aberration control, we found a metallic object to shoot this test. As shown in sample image “chromatic aberration” and the zoom-in sample image “chromatic aberration 100%”, it is very easy to get chromatic aberration when shooting metallic objects, especially in highlighted area. This lens has very nice performance image even at wide open aperture. In these tests you can hardly see chromatic aberration or purple/green “edges” with your naked eyes. Eventually, this lens with superb chromatic aberration control is being expected, APO is the short form of Apochromatic, which means eliminate chromatic aberration.
Sonnar lens structure design brought you soft bokeh
Amoung all classic ZEISS lens design, Sonnar is one with very special characteristic. In analog photography era, Sonnar’s structure was well known for it’s unique bokeh effect, soft image in wide open aperture, yet very sharp image when used in stop-down aperture. With development over time, now-a-day, Sonnar’s structure has not only kept it’s unique bokeh effect, but keep improving it’s sharpness in wide open aperture, making it more practical for daily use. Sample images “bokeh” and “bokeh 2” are bokeh effect test, from these images, using other flowers as background, Batis 2.8/135 bokeh effect is outstanding, main subject stands out from the background without any mess, overall very pleasant. When you use light spot as a background, in middle to closer distant, sometime “lemonade shaped bokeh spot” will appear in the picture, but some users especially love this effect.
Let’s talk about the handling first. At first glance, this lens looks pretty big, but it only weights 614g, using it on a Sony A7R-II is quite balance, no clumsy feeling. In practice, this lens is aim for portrait and mid-tele market, during this test, I realized that this lens has a little macro feature. The shortest focusing distant is 87cm, it’s also ideal for shooting flowers and foods.
Handling is very good, superb resolution and chromatic aberration control, built-in optical image stabilizer is a plus! Batis 2.8/135 has exceptionally brought out the essence of ZEISS.