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LensRentals: MTF Tests for Batis 18mm and 135mm f/2.8 Le...
  
 
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · LensRentals: MTF Tests for Batis 18mm and 135mm f/2.8 Lenses


LensRentals: MTF Tests  for Batis 18mm and 135mm f/2.8 Lenses
@RCicala at LensRentals just posted MTF and Variance Testing for the Batis 18mm f/2.8 and 135mm f/2.8 lenses.

Here is an except from Roger's test:

"The Batis are generally excellent lenses, reasonably small to carry around, and, by FE mount standards not ridiculously high in price. So I finally got around to testing both of them and thought Iíd just combine things into a single post."

Read entire review.

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Update: Currently, B&H Photo and Adorama are selling the Batis 135/2.8 and Batis 18/2.8 at a discount.

Batis 135/2.8 APO:

B&H Photo | Adorama

Batis 18mm f/2.8:

B&H Photo | Adorama







Oct 02, 2017 at 05:43 PM
Messier77
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · LensRentals: MTF Tests for Batis 18mm and 135mm f/2.8 Lenses


Glad to see the excellent copy variation for the Batis (I'm sure everyone knows from my other posts that Sony variation/QC is a sore spot for me).

I've personally used two copies of the Batis 18mm and both were excellent, well-centered and sharp across the frame. They definitely reflected Roger's findings.

Hopefully we'll see Zeiss extend the Batis line to 14mm and challenge Sigma's 14mm f/1.4 (or at least have it relatively sharp at f/2.8).



Oct 02, 2017 at 06:06 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · LensRentals: MTF Tests for Batis 18mm and 135mm f/2.8 Lenses


Messier77 wrote:
Glad to see the excellent copy variation for the Batis (I'm sure everyone knows from my other posts that Sony variation/QC is a sore spot for me).

I've personally used two copies of the Batis 18mm and both were excellent, well-centered and sharp across the frame. They definitely reflected Roger's findings.

Hopefully we'll see Zeiss extend the Batis line to 14mm and challenge Sigma's 14mm f/1.4 (or at least have it relatively sharp at f/2.8).


Yeap, no surprises here. The Batis 18 and 135mm are amazing optics. I wish Roger had tested the Batis 18 against the Loxia 21 (instead of the Zeiss classic). I believe the Loxia would perform even better.



Oct 02, 2017 at 09:12 PM
DavidBM
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · LensRentals: MTF Tests for Batis 18mm and 135mm f/2.8 Lenses


it's worth bearing in mind that the comparisons between the 18 and 25 on the one hand, and the 85 and 135 on the other, are at different apertures: the 25 is at f2 and the 18 at f2.8. At the long end it is 1.8 for the 85 and 2.8 for the 135.

I do think the later ones are slightly better (especially the 135, and especially in terms of colour correction) but I don't think there is a huge resolution difference. We'd need to see the faster lenses tested down a stop to confirm (if your own images aren't enough)



Oct 02, 2017 at 10:00 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · LensRentals: MTF Tests for Batis 18mm and 135mm f/2.8 Lenses


DavidBM wrote:
it's worth bearing in mind that the comparisons between the 18 and 25 on the one hand, and the 85 and 135 on the other, are at different apertures: the 25 is at f2 and the 18 at f2.8. At the long end it is 1.8 for the 85 and 2.8 for the 135.

I do think the later ones are slightly better (especially the 135, and especially in terms of colour correction) but I don't think there is a huge resolution difference. We'd need to see the faster lenses tested down a stop to confirm (if your own images aren't
...Show more

Still, I don't think the Batis 25/2 @f/2.8 catches up to the Batis 18 wide open "at center". The Batis 25 is more about flat-field, even performance off-axis.

The Batis 85/1.8 @f/2.8 on the other hand would perform similarly to the Batis 135mm f/2.8 'at center' with resolution equalizing towards the corners at f/4. (At least that's what I see with my copies)



Oct 02, 2017 at 10:08 PM
DavidBM
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · LensRentals: MTF Tests for Batis 18mm and 135mm f/2.8 Lenses


Fred Miranda wrote:
Still, I don't think the Batis 25/2 @f/2.8 catches up to the Batis 18 wide open "at center". The Batis 25 is more about flat-field, even performance off-axis.

The Batis 85/1.8 @f/2.8 on the other hand would perform similarly to the Batis 135mm f/2.8 'at center' with resolution equalizing towards the corners at f/4. (At least that's what I see with my copies)


Agreed.

My point was just that the differences were not as great as someone might think who glanced at those charts without looking closely...



Oct 02, 2017 at 10:13 PM
philip_pj
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · LensRentals: MTF Tests for Batis 18mm and 135mm f/2.8 Lenses


'the 25 is at f2 and the 18 at f2.8. At the long end it is 1.8 for the 85 and 2.8 for the 135.'

A major flaw that seriously devalues the results, maybe there is a reason (not enough time?). Playing fields cannot have a ten degree slope, and we disregard tail wind sprint times for good reason. Once past the narrow case of 'best wide open' trophy winner (surprise, surprise: it went to the slower lens), what else can be imputed?

Lloyd Chambers has published 'all aperture' Zeiss lens MTF in the past, but he now hides it behind his pay wall. What buyers need to know is how each lens changes its (MTF-indicated) characteristics with each advancing aperture on stop down. I don't much care how fast my car goes at redline RPM - in first gear.

FWIW, here are Lloyd's series for the 25mm and 85mm Batises, so you can (kind of) compare these with Zeiss data sheets for the other two at two (WO and best overall) published apertures at least, or buy into LC. Every picture tells a story, but you need the full story.

https://diglloyd.com/blog/2015/20150429_0952-ZeissBatis-25f2-MTF.html
https://diglloyd.com/blog/2015/20150429_1044-ZeissBatis-85f1_8-MTF.html



Oct 02, 2017 at 10:20 PM
DavidBM
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · LensRentals: MTF Tests for Batis 18mm and 135mm f/2.8 Lenses


philip_pj wrote:
'the 25 is at f2 and the 18 at f2.8. At the long end it is 1.8 for the 85 and 2.8 for the 135.'

A major flaw that seriously devalues the results, maybe there is a reason (not enough time?). Playing fields cannot have a ten degree slope, and we disregard tail wind sprint times for good reason. Once past the narrow case of 'best wide open' trophy winner (surprise, surprise: it went to the slower lens), what else can be imputed?

Lloyd Chambers has published 'all aperture' Zeiss lens MTF in the past, but he now hides it behind his
...Show more

Yes I wish Zeiss published the full aperture series of MTF results.

Anyhow one can see that the difference between f2 and f2.8 is pretty dramatic on the 25mm.
The MTF 40 at centre for instance goes up almost 20% from just over 50% to just under 70%.
Which makes for most, but not quite all as @Fred Miranda has pointed out, the difference with the phenomenal 18.

Zeiss own data show that the 18 is centrally about 10% (MTF 40 again) ahead of the 25 both at f2.8, and it stays that way as you stop then both down; the truly remarkable thing about the 18 which we can't tell from a one aperture test is that according to Zeiss data (and my copy is similar) it is basically unchanged as you stop down. It's pretty much diffraction limited from wide open. For an 18mm??



Oct 02, 2017 at 10:31 PM
RCicala
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · LensRentals: MTF Tests for Batis 18mm and 135mm f/2.8 Lenses


philip_pj wrote:
'the 25 is at f2 and the 18 at f2.8. At the long end it is 1.8 for the 85 and 2.8 for the 135.'

A major flaw that seriously devalues the results, maybe there is a reason (not enough time?).
https://diglloyd.com/blog/2015/20150429_1044-ZeissBatis-85f1_8-MTF.html


That's it exactly. Even a prime series takes about 5 hours of MTF bench time. The financial reality is I can either do 10 copies wide open where flaws and variance show up. Or I can do one copy at various apertures. But not both.

Since everyone else tests one copy, my thinking has always been the 10-copy set is the more useful thing I can contribute given the resources.



Oct 02, 2017 at 11:12 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · LensRentals: MTF Tests for Batis 18mm and 135mm f/2.8 Lenses


RCicala wrote:
That's it exactly. Even a prime series takes about 5 hours of MTF bench time. The financial reality is I can either do 10 copies wide open where flaws and variance show up. Or I can do one copy at various apertures. But not both.

Since everyone else tests one copy, my thinking has always been the 10-copy set is the more useful thing I can contribute given the resources.


I, for one, prefer seeing the wide open performance of a lens knowing its performance will most likely improve when stopping down one or two stops. So, the testing is perfect for me.



Oct 03, 2017 at 04:30 PM
 

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Blakehfreeman
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · LensRentals: MTF Tests for Batis 18mm and 135mm f/2.8 Lenses


How much will it cost me to convince you to test the Nikon 28mm 1.4E? 😬💰

Also, was looking to add the 135mm 2.8 because I assumed it was a small lens but was shocked by its size! (Sold off my 55mm 1.8 and 35mm 2.8 a while ago but still have an A7r laying around somewhere!) Guess you can't always beat physics 😡

RCicala wrote:
That's it exactly. Even a prime series takes about 5 hours of MTF bench time. The financial reality is I can either do 10 copies wide open where flaws and variance show up. Or I can do one copy at various apertures. But not both.

Since everyone else tests one copy, my thinking has always been the 10-copy set is the more useful thing I can contribute given the resources.




Oct 03, 2017 at 05:08 PM
RCicala
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · LensRentals: MTF Tests for Batis 18mm and 135mm f/2.8 Lenses


Blakehfreeman wrote:
How much will it cost me to convince you to test the Nikon 28mm 1.4E? 😬💰



I'd do it for free, but I don't have enough copies. Lensrentals just hasn't had much demand for it.



Oct 03, 2017 at 09:39 PM
Brandon Dube
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · LensRentals: MTF Tests for Batis 18mm and 135mm f/2.8 Lenses


RCicala wrote:
I'd do it for free, but I don't have enough copies. Lensrentals just hasn't had much demand for it.


And you wonder why Olaf isn't very profitable :P



Oct 03, 2017 at 09:45 PM
Justin Stone
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · LensRentals: MTF Tests for Batis 18mm and 135mm f/2.8 Lenses


Really pleased with these tests Roger. Thank you as always. I sold my Batis 18 because the performance on my 12-24 was so good and I donít have much occasion for the 2.8 faster aperture, but the Batis lenses are the reason I got into the a7 series cameras. Iím waiting to see what Sony can do with a 135 variant to decide if grab a Batis or the rumored Sony. Knowing the Batis is this good even with the cost penalty for a relatively slow 2.8, seems you canít go wrong if you like the focal length.


Oct 03, 2017 at 09:47 PM
Blakehfreeman
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · LensRentals: MTF Tests for Batis 18mm and 135mm f/2.8 Lenses


I know 😞, but just as when I was a kid, If you ask the question more than once sometimes you get the answer you want! Besides you don't have to test ten copies for me, just one 😇.

In all seriousness Roger, your work is the most consistent I've witnessed over the years, and I along with others on here appreciate the effort!

RCicala wrote:
I'd do it for free, but I don't have enough copies. Lensrentals just hasn't had much demand for it.




Oct 03, 2017 at 10:13 PM
Phillip Reeve
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · LensRentals: MTF Tests for Batis 18mm and 135mm f/2.8 Lenses


Brandon Dube wrote:
And you wonder why Olaf isn't very profitable :P

I though it was because Roger buys too many fancy machines on your recommendation


Edited on Oct 09, 2017 at 01:28 PM · View previous versions



Oct 09, 2017 at 08:46 AM
RCicala
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · LensRentals: MTF Tests for Batis 18mm and 135mm f/2.8 Lenses


Phillip Reeve wrote:
I though it was because Roger buys to many fancy machines on your recommendation


Phillip has seen through to the heart of the matter.



Oct 09, 2017 at 01:17 PM
trstahly
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · LensRentals: MTF Tests for Batis 18mm and 135mm f/2.8 Lenses


I concur I sold my Batis 85 first, with the 85GM that was a no brainer. I sold my Batis 18 when I started using the Loxia 21 and picked up a Voigtlander CV15, then when I got the 12-24 & 16-35GM those two lenses went bye bye along with the Batis 25. It really comes down to why carry two lenses when you can carry one that not only is better but offers you much more flexibility being a zoom for me. Others may differ.

The Batis 135 however is not going anywhere I love the lens it is super sharp and even comparing the MTF charts with the other three so a clearly super lens.

I originally thought it would be a temporary solution until the Sony 135 1.8 GM comes out but I don't think so now. I cannot imagine anything beating the IQ of the Batis and I have no plans on carrying a not that often used FL that weights 40pz vs 20oz. The bokeh is great with the Batis and with a A7rII & A9 I can go to ISO 400 and the A7rIII or A9R will be even better at ISO 400.

The long throw makes MF a breeze and it has great balance on my cameras think of it as a 90 Macro only a half an inch shorter. If Sony somehow blows it away IQ wise I would have to do some head scratching but I think the Batis 135 is about he sharpest lens I own and I have them all.



Oct 09, 2017 at 03:19 PM
Messier77
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · LensRentals: MTF Tests for Batis 18mm and 135mm f/2.8 Lenses


trstahly wrote:
I concur I sold my Batis 85 first, with the 85GM that was a no brainer. I sold my Batis 18 when I started using the Loxia 21 and picked up a Voigtlander CV15, then when I got the 12-24 & 16-35GM those two lenses went bye bye along with the Batis 25. It really comes down to why carry two lenses when you can carry one that not only is better but offers you much more flexibility being a zoom for me. Others may differ.

The Batis 135 however is not going anywhere I love the lens it is super
...Show more

One good thing about the Batis line is the excellent copy variation/QC as indicated by Roger in his testing.

Unfortunately copy variation/QC on the 12-24 and 16-35 GM Is very poor. Otherwise it would be a no brainer. So far Iíve been 0/4 on the 12-24 and 16-35 and 2/2 on the Batis 18 for good copies.

Iíd prefer having the flexibility of a zoom as well, but itís damn tough to get a good copy of either lens. Also, the 16-35 GM should theoretically beat the Batis 18mm in IQ even at 16mm, assuming you can get a good copy.



Oct 09, 2017 at 03:47 PM







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