I was one of the lucky six or seven photographers from Romania to get his hands on the first batch of Zeiss Batis 85 mm f/1.8 delivered to Romania.
I was in Heaven, now I’m in Hell. Long story short, I’m returning it.
Let me tell you my story with the Batis 85 mm f/1.8
It is the first lens ever (or actually first photography gear) I buy without prior testing it. The moment I heard about it and learned it’s features and specs, I knew I’ll buy this gem. I even went the route of creating a stock alert at F64, my local camera gear shop, and as soon as it was available I placed an order and had it on my hands the next day, thanks to the great people there.
This is the moment we work for
It arrived on a very busy period of mine, with lot of image processing to deliver to clients and almost zero time for shooting this baby, so I turned to couple of shots with my “old” and trusty model, my daughter Andreea.
Bad weather, bad light but lots of willingness to discover the power inside the Batis. Cold autumn days, rain and cloudy skies was something common.
Even my wife didn’t escape my field of view. I really loved the images I saw in the EVF and on the LCD of my A7s (see my review here)
All was fine until I’ve downloaded the images to my computer and my retina was scratched by this cursed mo-fo leaf.
Watch it closely
What the hell is that doubling on the leaf? From now on, I couldn’t neglect the Bokeh of this lens and I’ve started to watch it closely and more and more my mind was set to not like it :(.
It is not a Zeiss premium bokeh, or at least not in my lens 🙁 Look at the letters below …
I went even further to try it on my a6000 (read my worldwide renowned review here) too and also on video.
Of course, the situations are rare when you see this doubling, but my brain being set like this, I couldn’t go further and ignore this issue.
The good about the Batis 85 mm f/1.8
I’ve canceled two times my return order. I was looking at images like this below and I couldn’t accept the fact that the same lens is behaving so bad in some situations.
The OLED screen is nice at the first glance, but I cannot see myself utilizing it. Maybe after you get really used with the lens you’ll need it more for the hyperfocal focusing. During a trip to a job I had, while returning, I took some landscape shots with the Batis 85 and also a 4k timelapse but used autofocus and then locked it to the first shot.
This is how images renders at different aperture values
An interesting lens, with character, bold looks but strange behaviours. Oh Batis how I love and hate you at the same time:
Love and hate situation again: focus is so bad on moving subjects and medium to low light. It was impossible to have perfect focused images. The bright side is you’ll get all 179 focus PDAF points working on the a6000 so tracking might be better in good light with this camera compared to the A7s.
Crazy and chaotic lens review, right?! Well, this is the lens.
I will miss you dear Batis, but we cannot live together right now!