With the Zeiss 55mm being one of the sharpest and highly rated AF lenses, this is saying a lot for the new Zeiss Batis 85mm. In fact, pretty much most real world reviews on the Batis has found it to be very sharp right from thef/1.8. I’m sure once Photozone.de gets around to reviewing more Sony lenses, they will verify our current findings. In the meantime, here are some of our quick & dirty impressions.
iLHP will be attending the PhotoPlus Expo in New York City where we will explore 225 of the world’s top camera & optics companies, discover their latest products, and bring back the latest in industry news.
Importantly, we have a private meeting with Zeiss USA to learn about their latest range of products, from the modern classic Loxia primes to their latest Batis range of mirrorless AF lenses. Because you are an integral part of this community, we thought it would be a great opportunity for us to pass along your questions to the head honchos at Zeiss! And they have already graciously agreed!
So from now until Saturday October 24, simply leave us a comment, email us your questions, post on our Facebook wall, or our tweet at our twitter account, and we will try to get your questions answered! We will even include your name and link to your website when we publish the answers. Is there an AF 50mm f/1.4 in the works? Will Zeiss put out a f/2.8 zoom in the 24-70mm or 70-200mm range? We will do our best to get your questions answered.
For a sneak peak at what the expo is going to be like, check out the intro video above. If you are in the NY area and will be attending the expo, drop us a line, we’d love to meet fellow readers and photographers as well!
Here is our sneak preview at two exciting Sony lenses. Zeiss announced two exciting new lenses for the Sony FE mount today: (1) the Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8 Sonnar and (2) the Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2 Sonnar. While the 25mm focal length will be one of the widest primes available for the Sony after the newly released Sony FE 28mm f/2, the 85mm f/1.8 is what really interests us. Here is a teaser video from Zeiss.
OLED Display Distance Scale
Following the shape and ultra-modern designs of the Otus series and the Sony/Zeiss lenses, Zeiss does something original here by incorporating the world’s first OLED display for the distance scale in place of a traditional plastic window. I’ve previously complained that the perhaps the only drawback of the beautifully designed Sony/Zeiss 55mm f/1.8 is its complete lack of distance or depth-of-field scales on the lens. This OLED screen is an elegant solution to the design issue.
We don’t always do gear tests at iLHP but when we do, we go all out. This lens shootout will feature a Blackbird spy plane, two beautiful models on Melrose Ave., and the Space Shuttle Endeavour.
The 35mm is an ideal focal length for street photographers. Wide enough to capture subject within close proximity, not so wide that distortion becomes an issue or too many distractions are in the frame. Leica has long had their famous range of 35mm Summiluxes and Summicrons for street photogs. However, the 35mm is also a secret weapon for fashion/portrait photographers like Terry Richardson or Annie Leibovitz.
The German optical systems manufacturer, Carl Zeiss, has had a 168 year legacy in creating some of the world’s best lenses. In 2011, H.H. Nasse wrote a series of technical papers for Carl Zeiss detailing their modern lens history and genealogy. In his three part series, he discussed 5 lens designed that changed the world. They are the Planar, the Tessar, the Biogon, the Distagon, and the Hologon (click on these links to download the original PDF files).
While very detailed and technical, it is a difficult read for your average Joe. That’s why, we have repackaged the information in a more reader friendly format and filled in some holes with our cited research (such as adding the missing Sonnar lens). That being said, I still recommend you read Nasse’s original papers after you read this article. They are filled with interesting tidbits about optics and engineering.
Zeiss Normal and Telephoto Designs
A normal/standard lens means its focal length is about the diagonal length of the image capturing area. For 35mm film and Full Frame cameras, that translates to 24x36mm with a diagonal of 43.3mm. This means, lenses with focal lengths near 43.3mm can be considered normal lenses. We usually consider lenses between 35mm – 60mm as normal lenses.
This legendary Zeiss design trademarked Planar (also known as Biotar or Biometar in E. Germany’s Carl Zeiss Jena) is derived from, and suggests, a “plane/flat” field curvature. Most of the world’s fastest lenses today are derivatives of the Planar design, including: