Zeiss Batis 135mm f/2.8 on Sony A9


I got my hands on the Zeiss Batis 135mm f/2.8 one day before I’ve received to much acclaimed Sony A9 for tests too. In case you haven’t seen my review about the Sony A9, check it here.

How is the Batis 135mm?

After the not so good experience with the previous Batis, the 85mm f/1.8 (I have returned it, see here why), I didn’t have high hopes for this new lens from the series. But oh boy, how wrong was I!

The construction is very similar to all Batis lenses with its unique flat texture on body and rubbers. In my opinion it’s not the best choice, it looks nice out of the box but then the rubber attracts a lot of dusts and fibre particles, more or less like a sticky pad we use in our cars to hold the phones and glasses in place. This aside, I couldn’t find anything else I didn’t like about this lens 😀

Here are some specs in case you don’t know them already:

  • Focal lenght: 135mm
  • Max aperture: f/2.8
  • Min aperture: f/22
  • 14 elements in 11 groups
  • Optical image stabilisation
  • Min focus distance: 0,87m
  • Length: 120mm
  • Weigth: 614g

Both camera and lens attracted a lot of attention during an international bloggers event to promote Bucharest called #ExperienceBucharest, and plenty of participants asked me to try the combo. Here is amazing vlogger Siya Zarrabi testing it:

The Batis 135mm f/2.8 is an amazing performer and it has a distinct look on how it renders the images. Focused subjects pop out of the image and the background renders so smooth and creamy, so creamy that it makes me wanna eat it. I know it sounds stupid, but this is the exact feeling I have 🙂

Wide open, the Batis is amazingly sharp corner to corner, and I only had to close down the aperture for the bigger DoF in order to get all my subject in focus. Here are two series at different apertures:

I’ve shot this graffiti wall at F2.8 especially to check sharpness corner-to-corner. Below is the image with various 100% crops

Here is another example of an image shot at F4. I wasn’t perfectly parallel to the object so what is a little blurred is because of the shallow DoF and not because the lens isn’t sharp. You saw the case above

But the best thing I loved about the new Batis 135mm was something that plenty might consider a defect: it’s flare!

It’s something beyond anything I’ve ever seen on any lens. When the sun it’s just outside of the frame, you will get a cinematic look hard to reproduce with resulting photos that won’t need any editing, like these ones

The focus on the lens is fast (especially helped by the Sony A9 incredible AF system) and it rarely hunted for focus. It even manage to keep pace with the fast burst rate on the A9.

I’m waiting for Sony to take it’s step on the 135mm focal length (it’s a rumour it will be here this year) and then decide which one will get it’s place inside my bag!

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Image gallery shot with the Batis 135mm f/2.8

Author: Alin Popescu

Inginer ca formare, grafician ca meserie, fotograf ca mod de viata, Alin este pasionat de tot ce inseamna tehnologie si scrie articole detaliate pe intelesul tuturor.

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