Zeiss have added another lens to the Batis family for Sony E-mount cameras. The Zeiss Batis 135mm f/2.8 offers full frame coverage and autofocus compatibility at a longer focal distance than the other Batis lenses. It’s also compatible with Sony cameras with APS-C sized sensors, in which case the effective focal length will be around 200mm.
The lens is dust and moisture sealed and has Zeiss optical image stabilisation built in – combined with the Optical Steady Shot image stabilisation technology built into the latest a7 bodies, the IS should be effective at video-friendly shutter speeds (1/50 sec or 1/60 sec for most regular shooting scenarios). Close focus starts at 87cm and it weighs 614g.
The body is metal and the lens itself is composed of 14 lenses in 11 groups. The 135mm also continues the Batis design cue of having a small OLED screen mounted in the top of the lens to show a live update of your depth-of-field as the aperture opens or closes. Wide open at f/2.8 I think there’s just enough space for it to read ‘not much.’
Batis: AF-friendly E-mount
The Batis range of lenses are attractive because they offer the Zeiss look but with the convenience of AF – the ZE and ZF ranges for Canon and Nikon do communicate electronically with the cameras they’re mounted to, but don’t autofocus. The Batis range now features an an f/2.8 18mm, an f/2 25mm, an f/1.8 85mm and now an f/2.8 135mm too. So not quite a full shooting kit yet, but that might give you time to save for the next Batis to be released if you’re looking to build a matched set of primes.
The trade-off for AF compatibility in stills is fly-by-wire focussing in manual mode – we’ve not tested the lens ourselves but if that sounds like a turn off to you for video use you might want to look for another way to spend nearly two grand…
Zeiss Batis 135mm f/2.8 Price and Availability
The Batis 135mm f/2.8 will be available from May with a recommended retail price of £1,749.99.