Photography News Issue 71

First test

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PRICE: £1150

ZEISS.CO.UK

Impressive optical performance and high- quality build may make this pricey lens a worthwhile investment for some Zeiss Batis 40mm f/2 CF

LEFT Fit the supplied lens hood and you get a great-looking lens that handles really well and is also a leading optical performer

SPECS

›  Prices £1150 ›  Format Full-frame APS-C ›  Mount Sony E ›  Autofocus Yes ›  Construction 9 elements in 8 groups

length for the 35mm format so this lens is ideal for general use. I tried the lens on two Sony cameras, the full-frame A7R III and the APS-C A6300 – on the latter camera, with its 1.5x crop factor, it’s effectively a 60mm. If you like your optics to look smart, you’re going to love this Batis. Its smooth, curvy, weather-proofed body is a delight to the eye and to the touch. Fit it on to a camera and start using it and the feeling that you’re using something special is reinforced with almost silent, fast autofocus

ZEISS’S BATIS RANGE comprises five prime lenses, an 18mm f/2.8, 25mm f/2, 85mm f/1.8, 135mm f/2.8 and this 40mm f/2, the latest arrival. All are pro-level, autofocus optics designed for Sony E-mount full-frame mirrorless cameras. Lenses from 35mm to 50mm are usually generically known as standard lenses for the full-frame format because of the natural perspective you get. The 40mm focal length is less common but it’s closer to the theoretical 43mm standard focal

›  Special lens elements Four anomalous partial dispersion, two with aspherical surface, one aspheric with special glass ›  Coatings T* coating ›  Filter size 67mm ›  Aperture range F/2-22 ›  Diaphragm Not known ›  Internal focus Yes ›  Manual focus Yes ›  Minimum focus 24cm ›  Focus limiter No ›  Maximummagnification 1:3.3 ›  Distance scale Yes – OLED display ›  Depth-of-field scale Yes – OLED display ›  Image stabilizer No ›  Tripod collar No ›  Lens hood Yes ›  Weather-sealed Dust and water resistant ›  Dimensions 93x91mm ›  Weight 361g

three settings – full, infinity down to 40cm and 50cm down to the lens’s minimum focus distance of 24cm. The CF in the lens’s name stands for Close Focus and this lens gets you as close as 24cm which gives a really practical magnification of 1:3.1. A free firmware update helps ensure optimum image quality when you’re shooting close up between 24cm and 65cm at f/2. Here, the lens automatically stops down at preset values up to f/2.8 to maintain the best possible image quality. As you might expect, the Batis 40mm f/2 produced an impressive optical performance. Wide open, the centre was crisp although the edges were less sharp and stopping down to f/4 was needed before the edges caught up with the centre. By the time you get to f/5.6 and f/8, the resolution of fine detail was hugely impressive and only softened slightly with diffraction at f/22. WC

and the neat distance/depth-of-field OLED readout. There is no physical scale but behind a dark panel there’s an excellent OLED readout. It’s very clear and to get an accurate distance readout of the depth-of-field is really handy. Adjust the aperture and you get real-time distance readout changes too. Manual focus is handled by the smooth running rubber coated barrel, and there’s a focus limiting switch on the lens’s side. This has ITS SMOOTH, CURVY, WEATHER- PROOFED BODY IS A DELIGHT TO THE EYE AND TO THE TOUCH

ON TEST

10mm

Verdict The Zeiss Batis 40mm f/2 is a lovely, very capable lens and a really useful focal length too. Being Zeiss, though, means it’s an expensive lens but given its performance and build quality it’s well worth considering if ultimate image quality is your goal. PROS Optical quality, OLED distance/depth- of-field scale, build, handling CONS It’s large for an f/2 standard lens

F/2

F/2

F/2.8

F/2.8

F/4

F/4

F/5.6

F/5.6

F/8

F/8

F/11

F/11

F/16

F/16

F/22

F/22

Our test shots were taken with the Batis 40mm f/2 fitted to a Sony A7R III. The combination was mounted on a Benro carbon-fibre tripod. Raws were processed in Lightroomwith default sharpening added.

ABOVE The lens has a focus limiting switch on the side with three settings

50 Photography News | Issue 71

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