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Gear Reviews

Zeiss Batis 2/25 | Initial Thoughts & Impressions

By Anthony Thurston on January 30th 2016

When Zeiss announced their Batis line of full frame Sony FE mount lenses with autofocus and interesting OLED readouts, I was impressed. Since then my excitement has waned, not for anything wrong with the lenses themselves, but with Zeiss’s apparent lack of ability to keep up with demand.

Regardless, I finally managed to get my hands on one of the Batis lenses, the 2/25mm (25mm F/2 in case you don’t speak Zeiss) and these are my initial thoughts.

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[RELATED: Zeiss Announces New Batis FE Lens Line]

Initial Thoughts On 2/25 Zeiss Batis

As you would expect from Zeiss, the build quality on the 2/25mm Batis lens is exceptional. The lens feels great in the hands and looks spectacular mounted to the front of my a7R II. I have only had the lens for about a week now, and have only played with it around the house, but in that time, I have grown very fond of it.

The focus ring turns smoothly, and the rubber ring feels great in the hands, though if you hands were wet or had some sort of liquid on them, I could see the rubber ring possibly causing issues. For most, I don’t think this would be an issue, though. Speaking of the focus, the manual focus on this lens is actually quite good for a focus by wire optic. It is fairly responsive, and you can only really tell it’s focus by wire when trying to do super quick focusing from one extreme to another, and the lens doesn’t keep up with you.

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So, what about this new fangled OLED screen on the top of the lens? Honestly, I hardly noticed it was even there. It was cool to see the first few times that I used the lens, but once that newness wore off, I don’t think I even looked at it. But that is not a surprise to me, distance scales and DoF meters are not something that I look at while shooting normally.

That said, maybe if I get a stable of Batis lenses, I will pay attention to those things more. It was cool information to see, and really easy to read, I am just not used to it being there, so it wasn’t something that I have made use of.

What I like So Far

  1. Looks Great
  2. AF Fast and Accurate
  3. Great Build Quality

What I Am Not Sure About So Far

  1. OLED Screen
  2. Focus By Wire
  3. Price ($1299)

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I am looking forward to taking the lens out on some photo walks, maybe to one of the many waterfalls in my area for some better images to go into the final review. It has been a really fun lens to use over this last week or so, and I can see why demand for them is so high.

If you would like to get your hands on one, you can place your order over on B&H here. B&H expects to be able to ship more units out towards the beginning of February (next week).

Stay tuned for my official full review in a couple of weeks, but in the meantime, here are a few of the test shots I have taken with the lens.

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Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

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  1. Peter McWade

    I fully enjoy my 85 Batis and I can’t imagine the 25 being any worse. My only disappointment was the slow rollout. Many have decided to go with the Sony 35 FE. Shame that they did not rollout the 25 along with the 85. I still want one but have been on the fence between the Batis 25 or the Sony 35.

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