Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2 Review

August 4, 2015 | Mark Goldstein |

Conclusion

The Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2 is a superb wide-angle prime lens. You’d expect sharpness to be high across the frame from such a premium optic, and it doesn’t disappoint. Even with our A7R II test camera shooting 42-megapixle images at high ISOs, detail is exceptionally sharp. Shooting at the maximum f/2 aperture does reveal a minor reduction in sharpness, but this is resolved by f/2.8, and even at this aperture the lens is able to produce beautifully smooth bokeh.

The Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2 is also a pleasure to use, thanks to its superb build quality, smooth focusing ring and innovative OLED display. When manually focusing, together with the A7R II's excellent Peaking feature, the Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2 delivered a very high percentage of keepers, and it also proved to be very quick, quiet and accurate when auto-focusing. The 20cm minimum focusing distance also makes the lens versatile enough to shoot close subjects. Vignetting is apparent when shooting wide-open at f/2, but quickly disappears as you stop down, while chromatic aberrations, distortion and flare are all very well controlled, and bokeh is very appealing for such a wide-angle lens.

There's only one real drawback to the Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2 lens - the asking price. €1149 / $1299 / £979 is a lot of money to pay for a prime lens, on par with the more versatile Sony Vario-Tessar T* FE 16-35mm f/4 ZA OSS zoom, although obviously that's not as fast as the Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2, and vastly more expensive than Sony's own FE 28mm f/2. The Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2 is much smaller and lighter than the FE 16-35mm and offers a slightly wider angle-of view than the tiny FE 28mm, not to mention better build and image quality, so if you're sure that you only need to go as wide as 25mm, the Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2 is a must-have lens for full-frame E-Mount Sony owners.

5 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 5
Features 5
Ease-of-use 4.5
Image quality 5
Value for money 4.5