Zeiss introduces new Batis line of FE-mount lenses with autofocus and OLED screen
posted Wednesday, April 22, 2015 at 12:11 PM EDT
Zeiss and Sony have had a long history of association; with the two companies collaborating on their 'ZA' line of A-mount and now E-mount lenses, and which carry both Sony and Zeiss branding. Zeiss, of course, also designs and manufactures its own dedicated line of lenses, including those for mirrorless systems -- the Loxia line for full-frame E-mount cameras, and the Touit line for APS-C E-mount cameras (and Fuji X-mount, too).
Now, they've added a third series of dedicated Zeiss lenses for Sony full-frame E-mount cameras: the Batis line. The new Zeiss Batis 2/25 and Zeiss Batis 1.8/85 lenses are rather unique in that they are the first full-frame autofocus lenses for Sony's E-mount system designed and manufactured exclusively by Zeiss.
What's more, the Zeiss Batis lenses eschew the traditional mechanical focus distance scale, and instead use a neat OLED screen to display focus distance as well as depth of field information. It's not yet known whether the manual focus system is mechanically coupled or an electronic fly-by-wire system like their Sony/Zeiss FE-mount siblings, but given the OLED focus screen, our guess is that it's electronic. Autofocus operation itself, however, is driven by linear motors, which should provide both fast and quiet AF performance.
Aesthetically, the new Zeiss Batis lenses share a lot in common with the Touit and Otus series of lenses, with a smooth, matte black finish and a soft, rubberized manual focusing ring. While particulars about barrel construction have not yet been specified, Zeiss does indicate that the two Batis lenses have dust and weather sealing.
As for the optical construction, the Zeiss Batis 2/25 wide-angle lens uses 10 lens elements situated in eight groups and uses Zeiss' Distagon optical design. Four of the elements are dual-sided aspheric designs, while five elements are of a special optical glass. The 25mm lens has a minimum focusing distance of 0.2m (just shy of eight inches), which should allow for some great close-up, wide-angle shots.
The Zeiss Batis 1.8/85, on the other hand, uses 11 total elements in eight groups and follows the Sonnar optical design. While not explicitly specified, the 85mm lens also uses 'special types of glass' for excellent optical quality. The Batis 85mm lens also features optical image stabilization, which will help not only in low-light shooting but with video recording as well. Both the 85mm and 25mm Batis lenses use a 67mm filter thread.
Set to begin shipping in July 2015, the Zeiss Batis 2/25 has a retail price of US$1,299 and the Zeiss Batis 1.8/85 will go for US$1,199.
For more information on the Zeiss Batis lenses, or if you're ready to get in line for your pre-order, head over to one of our trusted IR affiliate retailers. Your pre-order for these lenses, or any other product, helps support this site!
(via The Phoblographer)