Sony shooters everywhere were excited when Zeiss announced their new Batis line of Sony FE lenses. I shared my initial thoughts on the Zeiss Batis 2/25mm (25mm F/2) a few weeks back, and today I am here to give you my final verdict on this FE lens.
The Batis 2/25mm is the wider of the two Batis lenses currently available on the market (the other being the incredibly hard to come by 85mm). The performance of the 2/25mm from my perspective was stellar, really nothing for me to complain about.
The lens focused quickly, quietly, and was able to track subjects as accurately as any other lens that I have used on my a7R II. The other piece that I was really impressed with was the manual focusing on this lens. I am not a fan of focus by wire systems in general, but the Batis 2/25mm actually did a great job. The response from my movements and the focus were spot on, and only when I racked the focus to either extreme did I really even notice that I was not using a tradition manual focus system.
As for image quality, the lens has quite a bit of vignetting and distortion, which the a7R II corrects for in camera (jpg’s only) and that you can correct for in Lightroom with a camera profile. So this is worth noting, but for most people, the correction is simple and removed any hint of the lens’s imperfections.
Overall, I was very happy with the Zeiss 2/25mm from a performance perspective. For that reason, I am happy to give it an outstanding 4/5 stars for performance. (knocking off the 1 point due to the uncorrected image quality that the lens produces)
One of the biggest highlight features of the new Batis line of lenses is that addition of a new OLED screen on the top of the lens. This is a novel addition that gives the photographer important information about the focus and DoF that the lens is producing.
In practice, I found myself using the OLED screen very little. I feel that this was less about the feature, though, and more to do with the fact that I am not used to looking at my lens for information when shooting these days. Regardless, the feature works well and the information it displays (distance to subject, DoF, etc.) was interesting and useful when I did remember to look at it.
I do wish that the lens had a traditional manual focus mechanism. The focus by wire motor that the lens makes use of is acceptable for most use cases but still doesn’t give you that feel of a traditional setup, nor the responsiveness.
While image stabilization is not super important on stabilized FE bodies like my a7R II, it would’ve been nice to see that added here. Though, I fully understand it not being included.
So again, I’m going to give the 2/25 a solid 4/5 stars for its features.
Design-wise Zeiss really hit this one out of the park, in my opinion. It is sleek and brilliantly engineered. I especially like how the hood almost seamlessly integrates with the barrel of the lens. This lens looks great on my a7R II.
It doesn’t only look good, though, it also feels really good. It’s light, but not so light you wonder about its build quality. It also balances very well on the a7R II and was a joy to have attached to the camera.
Again, the build quality of the 2/25mm Batis is great and feels good. That said, given the price point for this lens, I do wish that it had a little more of a premium feel to it.
The plastic exterior just doesn’t have that same feel that you expect from a high-quality lens from Zeiss. It’s not bad, just not what I have personally come to expect from Zeiss given my experience with many of their other lenses.
For that reason, I have given the 2/25mm Batis a 4/5 stars.
Honestly, this lens is expensive, but if you need an AF-capable lens this wide on the Sony FE system, then your options are currently limited. It’s built well, produces gorgeous images, and looks good doing it.
If you need this lens for professional purposes, it’s a great deal. If this is going to be a lens that sits in your bag and hardly ever gets touched, then I would say to wait for a cheaper option or maybe think about using a manual focus lens instead.
Below you can take a look at some sample images (EXIF data is included for those of you who want that information). Feel free to click on them for a larger version.
Ultimately, the Zeiss Batis 2/25mm is an excellent addition to the Sony FE lens ecosystem. It is a lens that I would be happy to use again if given the chance and one that I will consider heavily as I grow out my FE lens kit.
If you would like to get your hands on one, you can find them over on B&H for $1299.