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Carl ZEISS Batis Wide-Angle Lens for Sony E-Mount – 25mm – F/2.0 [Review]

Introduction

There are currently three focal lengths for the Zeiss Batis lenses, those are the 85mm f/1.8, 18mm f/2.8 and the 25mm f/2.0.

I almost purchased the Carl Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8 last year, however I could not get hold of one as the Zeiss Batis lenses were in high demand with low supply.

The Carl Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2.0 however, did not fall on my radar. The wide focal length did not entice me as typically when I shoot wide angle, I’m photographing a landscape which requires me to be on a tripod and stopped down to around f/8.

So with that in mind, I had other lenses which could cover this focal length with my aperture needs. In addition, I knew of the Sony 28mm f/2.0 lens which I have since purchased at a fraction of the cost for this Carl Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2.0.

So as you can see, from the get go, I was not 100% sold on the Carl Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2.0.

However, I did always want to give it a try and luckily I had the opportunity to have the lens for a weekend.

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Unboxing

When I first opened the box, the experience of the unboxing was reminiscent of the Carl Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1/4. A white box with tightly packed foam doesn’t sound exciting, but compared to standard cardboard box with a lens stuffed in its pouch and wrapped in a plastic bag, the Carl Zeiss lenses do feel more premium as you open the box.

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The lens comes with a lens hood which has been designed with great consideration. Unlike most other lens hoods, this lens hood feels apart of the lens design and creates a sleek smooth look to the lens when attached.

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The lens actually surprised me with its size, as I expected it to be larger. I have seen other reviews online and the lens looks to be very big. The lens is far from being a small one, but for me, it was definitely smaller than expected.
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Technical Specifications

Focal length 25 mm
Aperture range f/2 – f/22
Focusing range 0,2 m (7.9 ″) – ∞
Number of elements/groups 10/8
Angular field, diag./horiz./vert. 82° / 72° / 51°
Coverage at close range 124 x 187 mm (4.9 x 7.4″)
Filter thread M67 x 0,75
Dimensions (with caps) 92 mm (3.6″)
Diameter of focusing ring 78 mm (3.1″)
Weight 335 g (0.74 lbs)
Camera mounts E-Mount

https://www.zeiss.co.uk/camera-lenses/en_gb/camera_lenses/batis/batis225.html

Features 

Lenses generally don’t have too many features, except in some cases you have the aperture ring, focus hold buttons and image stabilisation. This lens has none of those features!

Instead it has something more unique and it has an OLED screen on top to showcase focusing details.

You can review the focus scale in an easy to read digital display which does look great, but for me personally, it’s not very useful at all.

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I shoot with auto-focus and never refer to that information, so although it is attractive, modern tech etc. for me personally it serves no purpose. I’m sure there are shooters out there who enjoy it, however for me, it’s not very useful at all.

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The lens is weather sealed, so if you’re pairing it with the Sony A7RII, you should be ok to handle some wet weather, although I would always avoid getting my camera wet at all.

Image Quality

The image quality of this lens is simply stunning. There is something I can’t quite explain, but I feel the colors look more vibrant with a lot of contrast. The sharpness of this lens even wide open at f/2.0 is stunning.

However, the biggest point which I am drawn to the most is the minimum focusing distance of 20cm.

Why do I refer to the focusing distance under image quality?

Well it allows me to produce images I otherwise could not and with the focusing distance being shorter than most lenses, coupled together with the f/2.0 aperture, you are able to achieve amazingly creamy bokeh!

Carl Zeiss 25mm f/2.0 Batis vs. Sony 28mm f/2.0 FE @ Minimum Focusing Distance

Center Sharpness on both lenses at f/8 are close! However I would give it to the Batis as I feel the extra contrast the lens has helps definte the finer details a little better. Sharpness on the edges however are significantly different. That’s not to say the Sony 28mm is a bad performer, but the Batis definitely wins this round!

The Zeiss Batis is just incredibly sharp from corner to corner.

However, when it comes to vignetting, the Batis does suffer from it quite a bit!

The Sony 28mm f/2.0 also suffers from Vignetting wide open, as do all lenses (especially fast apertues lenses), but by f/8 the corners brighten up significantly.

However, the 25mm f/2.0 Batis lens does improve, but not by much. At f/8 when it comes to vignetting, it is reduced, but in the far corners its still definitely visible.

Image Samples

Sony A7R II with Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2.0 @ f/2.0, ISO400, 1/200sec

Sony A7R II with Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2.0 @ f/2.0, ISO400, 1/200sec

Sony A7R II with Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2.0 @ f/2.0, ISO400, 1/125sec

Sony A7R II with Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2.0 @ f/2.0, ISO400, 1/125sec

Sony A7R II with Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2.0 @ f/2.0, ISO400, 1/4sec

Sony A7R II with Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2.0 @ f/2.0, ISO400, 1/4sec

Sony A7R II with Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2.0 @ f/2.0, ISO5000, 1/60sec

Sony A7R II with Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2.0 @ f/2.0, ISO5000, 1/60sec

Sony A7R II with Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2.0 @ f/2.0, ISO3200, 1/50sec

Sony A7R II with Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2.0 @ f/2.0, ISO3200, 1/50sec

Sony A7R II with Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2.0 @ f/2.0, ISO3200, 1/50sec

Sony A7R II with Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2.0 @ f/2.0, ISO3200, 1/50sec

Sony A7R II with Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2.0 @ f/2.0, ISO3200, 1/50sec

Sony A7R II with Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2.0 @ f/2.0, ISO3200, 1/50sec

Conclusion

Overall the Carl Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2.0 is a stunning lens which has great contrast and is sharp corner to corner. The lens is light and balances well with the full frame Sony Alpha Mirrorless camera systems. The minimum focusing distance for me is great as I love getting up close to my subjects when shooting casually, likewise it offers a unique perspective not many other lenses can offer and produces stunning creamy bokeh!

However, when you factor in the cost and the lens brand new is £999GBP, it’s a little too steep for me personally.

If you’re seriously considering this lens, I’m pretty certain you already have the budget for it and can appreciate the extra contrast and sharpness that this lens offers. So if this is your current situation, grab it quick!

However, if you’re just a fellow G.A.S. sufferer, then I would encourage you save your money and look into the Sony 28mm f/2.0 instead.

Of course, without a doubt Carl Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2.0 is a stunning lens in general, but also smokes the Sony 28mm f/2.0 in almost every way exc. vignetting. But £ for £ and overall value, the Sony 28mm f/2.0 will offer you most of the frills at a fraction of the cost.

Disclaimer

This above advice is basically me telling you not to buy the Aston Martin and instead get a BMW 3series as it’s more practical.

But know if I had the funds, I would definitely like to own this lens!

YouTube Reviews

Jason Vong

DigitalRev

John Sison

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6 Responses

  1. Izzy says:

    Another great review, love the shots you took with this lens!

    Let’s try some Astro with it 😜

  2. Jason Vong says:

    Glad to hear you enjoyed the lens but I can see why you’re saying the 28mm is the best bang for the buck. However, the more I use my buddy’s, the more I am in love the image quality of the batis. I really wanna get one of my own but like you, can’t justify the cost.

    P.S. Thanks for the feature!

    • Leo Hoang says:

      Had to feature your video! You did a great job with your review. The pressure you must feel to top that must be immense lol! – I’m sure you’ll smash it though 😉

      But yeah, luckily I didn’t have long to play with the lens… Any longer I may have not given it back lol…

      Definitely 28mm f/2.0 is the cheap alternative…

      I’m sure very soon you’ll find a way to justify the cost if your recent purchasing history is anything to go by lol…

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment…

  3. Ricky says:

    Great review of the lens. Fair play with the price tag. That led does look quite sexy though. Keep up with the good work!

    • Leo Hoang says:

      LED was very sexy looking indeed! Just not the most practical for me… I’m sure in the future all lenses will have the LED display!

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment 🙂

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