In an HDSLR Shooter exclusive interview, we meet with Zeiss’ Richard Schleuning for a sneak peek at their new Batis full frame lens family designed for Sony E-mount cameras.
Created to “compliment the existing Sony/Zeiss lenses”, the Batis family will begin with a 2/25 lens and 1.8/85 lens and will have built in auto-focus and image stabilization. A unique feature of the Batis family is the backlit LCD screen on the lens barrel itself, which displays focus distance and depth of field. This may sound like some sort of bulky addition, however as you can see in the video above it’s a super sleek screen. Plus, having held it at NAB, we can tell you that the Batis lenses are deceptively light, weighing in at less than 1 pound (0.74 lbs.).
Zeiss’ Rich Schleuning notes that these lenses are intended for still photos, and focused more toward landscape, architectural, interior and portrait photography. That isn’t to say they couldn’t be used for shooting motion, however they will function at their peak when used as still photo lenses. To that end, the Batis 1.8/85’s image stabilization will pair well with on camera image stabilization such as you’d find on the Sony A7S. And again, these are full frame lenses that cover a 36 megapixel sensor, making them a perfect match for the Sony A7S.
The Batis 2/25 will be priced at a highly reasonable $1,299, while the 1.8/85 will be $1,199. Zeiss will be announcing pre-order availability soon.
For more information on the new Zeiss Batis lenses see our interview above, the press release below and visit www.Zeiss.com
The ZEISS Batis 2/25 and ZEISS Batis 1.8/85 are the first full-frame autofocus lenses for Sony’s E-mount cameras to be exclusively developed and distributed by ZEISS. This new family of lenses is particularly suited for the use with Sony’s alpha range of mirrorless full-frame system cameras. The two new lenses will be available for purchase now and starts shipping in July 2015.
“The Batis family of lenses is the first time we have launched autofocus lenses for Sony’s full-frame E-mount cameras which are ZEISS through and through – in other words exclusively developed and distributed by us,” says Dr. Michael Pollmann, Product Manager at ZEISS Camera Lenses. The Sony alpha full-frame E-mount system, which currently consists of the 7 family of cameras, is one of the most innovative camera systems on the market and is becoming an increasingly popular choice for professionals and people considering switching from DSLRs. “The ZEISS Batis lenses are our way of acknowledging this trend and providing creative and ambitious photographers with the expert tools they need,” says Pollmann. The lenses are easy to use yet offer professional performance, so they are a sound investment for amateur photographers, too: “Camera sensors are constantly evolving, and so are photographers. Our Batis lenses are the perfect answer to these changing trends and herald a new era of professional photographers using mirrorless full-frame cameras,” says Pollmann.
Broad scope of applications and a modern design
The ZEISS Batis 2/25 and ZEISS Batis 1.8/85 lenses offer an initial choice of two focal lengths which have proved to be the most popular among users of the system: a moderate wide-angle focal length and a tele portrait focal length. The lenses make optimal use of the camera sensors, capturing every last detail with impressive contrast and high resolution. As well as offering fast and reliable autofocus, the lenses also support manual focusing, allowing users to choose the best option for each individual situation. The sleek, modern design – with smooth surfaces reminiscent of the high-end ZEISS Otus lenses – emphasizes the superior quality of this new lens family and gives the Batis lenses an unmistakable look and feel.
Features for demanding users
“In response to numerous requests from customers, we decided to equip the Batis lenses with a display showing the focus distance,” says Pollmann. For the demanding photographer, the cutting-edge OLED display is a major highlight – an innovation that is currently unparalleled in the world of camera lenses. The electronic display is easy to read even in low light. It shows the distance between the camera system and the focal plane as well as the depth of field. ZEISS Batis lenses are also furnished with dust and weather seals, allowing them to be used in even the harshest weather conditions. The fast, quiet AF drive with linear motors keeps the subject crisply in focus even when shooting in hectic situations. In addition, a handy, rubberized focus ring supports manual focusing, providing the user with full creative freedom when it comes to image composition.
Both ZEISS Batis lenses have a ‘floating elements’ design which compensates for aberrations of the lenses at different distance settings. The two lenses also offer a standard filter thread with a 67 mm diameter. ZEISS Batis lenses support all the operating modes and functions of the current range of E-mount cameras.
ZEISS Batis 2/25
The ZEISS Batis 2/25 wide-angle lens has ten lens elements in eight groups and draws on the ZEISS Distagon optical design. Four of the lens elements are aspheric on both sides and five are made from special types of glass. The aspheric lens design ensures consistently high image quality over the whole image field and a sharpness that extends right to the edges of the frame. The moderate 82 degree image angle combined with a minimum focusing distance of 0.2 meters makes this wide-angle lens the perfect choice for architecture and landscape photography and many other applications besides. It encourages the user to make creative use of depth of field which can often yield surprising results, particularly in close-up photography.
ZEISS Batis 1.8/85
The ZEISS Batis 1.8/85 is a moderate tele lens which offers 11 lens elements in eight groups and features the ZEISS Sonnar optical design. The lens elements are made from special types of glass and designed to ensure superior image quality. The ZEISS Batis 1.8/85 is a particularly good choice for wedding photography and portrait shots, offering the high speed which provides plenty of creative scope to bring out the main subject. Thanks to its optical image stabilization, the ZEISS Batis 1.8/85 can capture outstanding images even under difficult, shifting light conditions.
Available from summer 2015
The ZEISS Batis 2/25 and ZEISS Batis 1.8/85 lenses will be available for purchase now and starts shipping in July 2015. The recommended retail prices are €1,092 or US$1,299 (excl. VAT)* for the ZEISS Batis 2/25 and €1,008 or US$1,199 (excl. VAT)* for the ZEISS Batis 1.8/85.
“With their outstanding image quality, fast autofocus and innovative features, the new Batis lenses are in a class of their own. Photographers all over the world will soon be able to experience the superior quality of these lenses for themselves,” says Pollmann. In the period leading up to the launch, ZEISS will be publishing the thoughts and impressions of photographers who have used the ZEISS Batis lenses for the very first time on its website at www.zeiss.com/batis and on its social networks. In June this will be followed by the release of further technical details and additional information on how ZEISS brand ambassadors are using the ZEISS Batis lenses.