Zeiss Batis 18mm f/2.8 Review

August 16, 2016 | Jack Baker |

Sharpness at 18mm

Our sharpness tests were conducted using a Sony A7R body mounted on a tripod. The camera's shutter release was also set on a timer-delay to avoid any possible camera shake. The test subject was shot using ambient lighting, hence some colour and contrast variation is to be expected between apertures.

The full frame at 85mmThe full frame at 18mm

Zeiss lenses have a reputation for being very sharp, and the Batis 18mm is no exception. Although testing on a 36.3MP Sony A7R body brings out the best in most lenses, the Batis 18mm is incredibly sharp across almost the entirety of the image frame.

Sharpness wide open at f/2.8 isn’t quite as high as other apertures, but it’s not far off. Stop down to f/4 and you’re already in the sweet spot, and this level of sharpness is maintained right through to f/16. Only at f/22 does diffraction soften things slightly.

Pixel-peep in the very corners of frame and you’ll notice a drop in sharpness at all apertures, which is inevitable for any lens. The Batis 18mm still puts in a decent performance though, in spite of some fairly obvious vignetting which makes image corners appear softer than they really are.

Aperture Centre Crop Edge Crop
f/2.8 Zeiss_Batis_18mm-sharpness-f2_8-centre_crop.jpg Zeiss_Batis_18mm-sharpness-f2_8-edge_crop.jpg
f/4 Zeiss_Batis_18mm-sharpness-f4-centre_crop.jpg Zeiss_Batis_18mm-sharpness-f4-edge_crop.jpg
f/5.6 Zeiss_Batis_18mm-sharpness-f5_6-centre_crop.jpg Zeiss_Batis_18mm-sharpness-f5_6-edge_crop.jpg
f/8 Zeiss_Batis_18mm-sharpness-f8-centre_crop.jpg Zeiss_Batis_18mm-sharpness-f8-edge_crop.jpg
f/11 Zeiss_Batis_18mm-sharpness-f11-centre_crop.jpg Zeiss_Batis_18mm-sharpness-f11-edge_crop.jpg
f/16 Zeiss_Batis_18mm-sharpness-f16-centre_crop.jpg Zeiss_Batis_18mm-sharpness-f16-edge_crop.jpg
f/22 Zeiss_Batis_18mm-sharpness-f22-centre_crop.jpg Zeiss_Batis_18mm-sharpness-f22-edge_crop.jpg