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  Previous versions of DavidBM's message #14050555 « Reduced: Zeiss Batis 135mm f/2.8 APO ($1,899) »


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Re: Pre-order: Zeiss Batis 135mm f/2.8 APO ($1,999)

Fred Miranda wrote:
DavidBM wrote:
Fred Miranda wrote:
DavidBM wrote:
chez wrote:
I find the bokeh of the f2 image much more pleasing. The bokeh in the Batis image next to the right elbow is very busy and somewhat distracting. Looks like a great travel lens if you need this reach but I'd think there are better lenses for portraits.

Yes; but the actual structure of the bokeh is *remarkably* similar.

The differences are down to two factors:

(a) The size of the OOF elements - that's purely a function of aperture, and nothing can be done.
(b) The Batis is in fact even higher in contrast than the Apo Sonnar, and this affects the bokeh. But just lowering the contrast of the background in post evens this out.

So, is it a keeper David? I'm sure you played with it for a while now. What are your personal impressions?

Yes I think it's a keeper.
Technically it's as good a lens as I've used of any FL; better LoCA correction even than 2/135, normal Zeiss levels of mechanical vignette (I think B 85 may have had slightly more than normal), sharp as one can distinguish wide open from close focus to infinity.

So it's lovely. But even if it's maybe one of a tiny handful of optically best lenses for the 135 format ever, which I think it is, the big question is the handling advantages against current (Sigma, ZF) and future (maybe ZM) fast 135s, which are also optically superb and if worse, not really noticeably worse in images.

My feeling so far is that the advantage is enough; I took a weekend wandering round Sydney with it, just on camera with a wide strap, with a 35 in my pocket. I would never have done that with my 2/135 APO Sonnar (or a 2.8/70-200 if I had one). I'm doing a month of travel for work starting in a few weeks and I'll take it along - I've also never taken the APO Sonnar on long travel. That'll be the acid test. On the A7rii, by the way, it does depend on PDAF points - when your af point is one of the CDAF only points on the periphery AF-C doesn't work. Also the AF can hunt a little if you start with deep defocus; but this is just the fast tele problem on A7rii. I'd expect much better performance on A9 and future - and the AF is mostly great, and eye AF magic.

I'm preparing a long report with images that I'll link to when it's done

Sounds great David. Your insight is always very valuable. We usually agree on how lenses perform. I'm still on the fence.

Yes I can see why you'd be on the fence Fred. For one thing it's a lot of cash to splash if you aren't a big medium tele user. But the main thing is whether it does the Golidilocks thing - the perfect tradeoff between performance speed and portability - well, and that's intensely personal. It depends more on your habits and preferences that optical qualities. What they seem to have done is not compromised optically, and then gone for a tradeoff between speed and size consistent with no compromise optically. That makes it a lot bigger than a compactness optimised lens would be, but still a lot less heavy than a speed optimised one. That's *exactly* what I want at at most focal lengths. And I think it's what I want here - but I just need to see if it stays in the hotel safe on travel. If so, may as well just keep the big F2 for use around here. If not, it's a long term keeper.

May 26, 2017 at 02:05 AM

  Previous versions of DavidBM's message #14050555 « Reduced: Zeiss Batis 135mm f/2.8 APO ($1,899) »