I use it on A7 so OSS is also a very nice feature (I don’t know if in-body stabilisation helps with shaking in viewfinder when you enlarge a part of view to manually focus but if not then it’s also an advantage for newer bodies). Latest posts by David Braddon-Mitchell (see all), Guide to Classic Olympus OM Zuiko lenses on film and Sony Full Frame, Manual Photographers Part 5: David Braddon-Mitchell, Sony FE lenses: A comprehensive and independent guide, Guide to Macro Lenses for the Sony a7 series, Beginner’s Guide to Manual Lenses on the Sony a7, Guide to Adapters for Manual Lenses on the Sony a7 series, The Guide to Canon FD lenses on the Sony a7 series, The rated List of Minolta MD/MC Lenses on the Sony a7, Guest Review: Pentax SMC FA 31mm f1.8 Limited, Guide to Ultra Wideangle lenses for the Sony A7 Series V1.3. I’ve sometimes used it as a rough indication of focus distance when focussing manually before putting the camera to my eye. This is a nice MTF set, no massive astigmatism-like separation in the sagittal and tangential, staying elevated out to the edge of the image. But the B85 is always lurking in the shadows in the back of my mind. The extreme corners are good wide open, though improvement is noticeable at f2.8 and reaches its best at f4. The lens has OSS – optical image stabilisation. You can see the cat’s eye effect (as per the technical image above). This is not huge, but a little more than most short tele lenses, without being eggregious. And here is the very slight swirl you get in the background at certain distances because of it at full aperture. Outstanding is just more of this goodness: it looks a bit better when you pixel peep at 1:1/42MP. I can confirm that the focus ring is easy to use with gloves on (though it’s rarely necessary since the AF is very good), but the smooth surface makes lens changing harder than for example with the Apo-Lanthar 65. This performance suggests that excellent results could be achieved using extension tubes if closer focus is desired (if performance is already a bit weak at MOD without extension tubes, it tends to fall apart if the lens is forced to focus closer with tubes). On the one hand we like to review lenses that are best in class: the absolute top resolution, or absolute most circular bokeh balls, or the most glorious precise mechanical construction with creamy brass helicoids, or perfectly apochromatic glass that makes us laugh at those lenses that Leica calls APO but still show spherochromatism. One correction: Benjamin Franklin was not an American President, just one of the “founding fathers” of the country. Your email address will not be published. It has much the same attributes as the Zeiss – nine-blade circular aperture blades, high-quality lens coatings, and efficient autofocusing, plus it’s nearly half the price. This is no worse than any other 1.8/85 I know, but of course a faster lens stopped down to f 1.8 would do better (and the GM 1.4/85 does better wide open – that is the best thing about that lens, at the price of a bit of contrast). For someone who likes manual focus portrait work, the Zeiss Classic 1.4/85 has a distinctive look many find attractive. FD is manual only, and the adapted AF (or indeed original AF) is very slow on the EF models. And the review is really helpful in uncovering what the Batis does better. This lens is fast, sharp, delivers that ZEISS pop, has an … As a portrait shooting enthusiast, having owned the Canon 85mm f1.8, the Carl Zeiss 85mm f1.4, the Leica Summicron 90mm f2, the Voigtlander 65mm f2, and the Canon 100mm macro f2.8L I found no real reason to get another 85mm portrait lens (although I would love to get the B85). This is perhaps average to slightly higher than average performance for a lens like this. The increase in vignetting relative to this at wider apertures is usually another effect of the optical vignetting we discussed above. The Batis focuses a lot faster. Correcting distortion optically can lower sharpness. If you are wondering about the superb and inexpensive Sony 1.8/85, it’s hard to compare real world results taken in different conditions. Thus, let’s see what this lens can produce and see if the attributes are worth buying into. The issue is acceptably reduced by f/2.8 and good from f/4 onward. I prefer not to correct in camera, as in many situations the vignetting looks good, and correction will create more noise in the corners. Some people seek out old designs that have huge amounts of optical vignetting to achieve this swirl (such as the Helios 44-2). This lenses focusing is so precise in AF mode that it makes this the best prime lens in my bag. The lens provides very good images, with the level of quality you would expect from a Zeiss lens. Second stopped down to f2.8: again left is centre, right is rule of thirds intersection. So there are pairs of samples out there which support this view. It also has a lovely SA-induced feel in the out of focus range. The idea here is for the Batis to link up to Sony’s internal workings seamlessly and offer things like autofocus and optical image stabilization. You mentioned the Canon 85mm 1.8 lens. The very solid lens body is smooth and featureless. Zeiss, for example, seems to target a certain amount of optical vignetting wide open regardless of lens speed. The differences will be mainly seen in the Bokeh of the lens but that may not be as noticeable as you’d expect. Again, a little stopping down to f/2.8 clears things up nicely or this can be removed in software. One good thing about the the Batis is in this comparison is how evenly illuminated the bokeh balls are. Inside the lens are nine rounded diaphragm blades, which should produce some pleasing bokeh. Let’s break it down: Our unbiased reviews, industry news, and opinion pieces are designed to inform and inspire the next generation of great photographers. If you don’t have the 90mm and don’t do macro work then the Batis is a clear choice. Your review of that little beastie tipped the balance. There’s no visible lateral chromatic aberration (LaCA) though presumably there is at least some which is corrected via the mandatory profile in Lightroom or C1. Wide open the aperture is of course smooth, but we are seeing noticeable cats eyes in both the corner and mid. For possibly the post correction sharpness is as good as the sharpness would have been in the alternative low distortion (same size and cost) designs. I won’t show an image which is designed to show what this much distortion looks like; one image is in any case misleading (and many of you know already). It’s very small and light, great when you are taking days of food with you. 85mm is a classic focal length for portraiture, while on an APS-C body, the lens becomes a 128mm equivalent, making it a useful general-purpose telephoto. Bokeh wide open is said to be quite good, though with rather a lot of swirl from cat’s eyes. The Sony is a good choice: but the Batis is just a bit better for contrast and resolution and build. But that’s a personal choice. Of course correction is optional: the distortion levels are nowhere near high enough to distort facial features or make a landscape visibly different. The first thing that strikes you about the Zeiss Batis 85/1.8 is the design. Read honest and unbiased product reviews … The review agrees with that too: it just says that for an overall, lightweight, do it all lens the Batis is my choice. As a general all-rounder, this lens is a great performer, but there is also a step above in quality in the Sony FE 85mm f/1.4 GM lens. Very useful for things like weddings and wonderful portraiture. Looking at the table above you might wonder: does he recommend the lens? High-performance linear motors do the heavy lifting for the autofocus system, with no rotation of the front element. I found this lens to be terribly overrated. If the production costs of a lens are kept fixed, it may well be that the post correction sharpness of a slightly higher distortion lens, may be sharper than the uncorrected sharpness of the lens if it had been designed to have lower distortion without extra cost. Lenses which are super affordable, and yet still very high in quality – like the obvious competition here, the Sony 1.8/85 (or in a different focal length, the 7A 1.4/28). And finally, here is a perhaps unflattering image produced as a “scary Halloween” photo, which I use to show how the bokeh balls look wide open look in close portraits. Why have quite reasonable people thought there was little difference? I’d choose, of these two, the GM as the bokeh wide open matters a lot to me. Instead I have focused on bank notes, which we also often use for MOD (minimum object distance) tests. Here’s the usual infinity resolution image. Batis design is “new Zeiss” and has the same design language as Milvus lenses. Has a similar look wide open to the Batis, with a lot of contrast. Instead play with lightroom and add a little pincushion distortion (between -2 and -3 on the distortion slider – not much) to a range of images – that will help you visualise it! But probably neither really make sense to adapt and use unless you have them already. The mew GM 1.8/135 is even be a little bit better, and faster, but of course you would almost certainly *not* take it everywhere with you even though it’s lighter than the Sigma (and you would likely never see it’s little bit betterness in final images). Since lateral CA correction is essentially losslessly correctable, there’s no point is using a niche converter (or taping the contacts) to reveal the underlying LaCA. Vignetting in this sense is a lack of even illumination across the image field. But it wasn’t that long ago that manufacturer would have called this level of colour correction APO. It’s extremely big and heavy – much more so even than the GM and almost three times the weight of the Batis! And if I just wanted sharp and contrasty for other purposes, I’d save weight and size with the Batis. After purchasing the Zeiss Batis 18mm f/2.8, it quickly became my favorite and most used lens. It takes beautiful photos, limited only by my own failings. Read our Zeiss Batis 135mm f/2.8 review to find out if it's worth the £1749 / … You can get it at: B&H Photo or from Amazon.com or eBay.com I’d choose the GM if I wanted a big f1.4 portrait specialist. What matters here is not so much even resolution across the frame, but that the eye of your subject, at whatever place you put it in the frame, is sharp when you focus on it. If you want just one solidly made 85mm lens, and aren’t interested in pairs of them (eg. Required fields are marked *. Again, I’d go either for the Batis for a lighter, general purpose short tele, or the GM for that lovely swirl free bokeh. non-Linear MF: some people like it, many do not. While the Sony is very fine, the Batis is even better, both in the centre and off axis. Left is centre, right rule of thirds intersection. The lens balances very well when attached to a mirrorless body and weighs in at a respectable 475g. Visit Squarespace for a free trial and 10% off your first purchase: http://squarespace.com/kai ZEISS BATIS LENS GIVEAWAY Follow These … We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. It’s advisable to give this lens a test drive with a rented model before you purchase the lens. Maybe we need an article about how we use evaluative language for resolution one day. Again this is divisive; some love it (because you can quickly make a big change in focus, and then fine tune), others hate it (because they find it unpredictable and hard to control). I generally only do it in architectural images, and this is not a lens I use often for that kind of purpose. The Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8 follows an old Zeiss tradition - very high vignetting. Comment document.getElementById("comment").setAttribute( "id", "ac681ac7ff81d00794b43d3efa529b09" );document.getElementById("a15d7834e0").setAttribute( "id", "comment" ); David Braddon-Mitchell is a keen landscape and environmental portrait photographer. The Loxia doesn’t have AF. One point I’d like to make is that Zeiss tends to produce well made lenses and their service where I live is good, whereas other brands have not in the past reached quite the same standard. An interesting option, though the variation and reliability question mark which always hovers over Samyang might raise doubts. As usual recently, I have taken to moving the camera so as to get the same subject in each location, to make comparison easier. Natural vignetting is the residual vignetting which is not reduced by stopping down. Mitakon make an 85mm f1.2 which is said not to be bad; and the Samyang Premium XP 1.2/85 might be interesting too, but none of us has tried it. Currently class leading lenses have absurdly high reoslution, higher than outstanding, and which can only be distinguished at 1:1/42MP. All in all, I pretty much agree with your assessment. With the raw sun in the frame there is remarkably little veiling, and very little in the way of artefacts. Fully wide open at f/1.8, the bokeh is pleasing with smooth transitions of color and although you can spend a lot more on an f/1.4 lens, the total weight, image quality and the addition of the autofocus and image stabilization make this lens far more practical for real world use. Thanks! It’s time consuming to correct without bad side effects, and even that may be imperfect, so it’s important to keep an eye on it. As for overall image quality, this lens provides rich detail and, as we stated at the beginning, that little extra quality of rendition which you always seem to get from a Zeiss lens. The Sony is a great choice too and cheaper. First the corner, where the effect might be expected to be most significant: And now at the rule of third intersection: The effect is fairly subtle, and takes close comparison to see it. Thanks Victor! And some copies of the Sony are as good as the Batis (as we can see from the Lensrentals variation charts). 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