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Batis look in non-Batis lenses

  
 
Ummon
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Batis look in non-Batis lenses


It seems I like the Batis lenses´ rendering/character/look - mostly the 85mm which I re-bought after trying other 85mm options and later the 135mm. Looking at a day´s pictures (of people), I imagine noticing when I switched to one of those for the nice presence and colors. Of course I can fool myself and surely lack the experience with lenses to really describe what it is I like. But I know that a 85 GM really is not for me where a Batis 85 is.
So I wonder which other AF lenses in the range of 35-135mm show similar characteristics, without really regarding the usual metrics like resolution and aberrations which I can read of more than enough in tests. I lack subjective information.
Are there any suggestions ?





Sep 21, 2022 at 03:27 AM
dieterson
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Batis look in non-Batis lenses


FE35f1.8 and FE 55f1.8 ZA (sharpness and contrast)


Sep 21, 2022 at 06:21 AM
j4nu
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Batis look in non-Batis lenses


You'll need to define the "Batis" look first.
For example, here:
https://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1774286/2#16048678

I don't see anything unique to Batis, but in general I agree they have their own "tonality" .



Sep 21, 2022 at 06:44 AM
chiron
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Batis look in non-Batis lenses


Ummon wrote:
It seems I like the Batis lenses´ rendering/character/look - mostly the 85mm which I re-bought after trying other 85mm options and later the 135mm. Looking at a day´s pictures (of people), I imagine noticing when I switched to one of those for the nice presence and colors. Of course I can fool myself and surely lack the experience with lenses to really describe what it is I like. But I know that a 85 GM really is not for me where a Batis 85 is.
So I wonder which other AF lenses in the range of 35-135mm show similar characteristics,
...Show more

I think that the look that you like from Batis lenses is a characteristic of many (but not all) Zeiss lenses. It is a combination of the colors produced by the lens and its coatings, the degree and type of contrast, and what Zeiss calls "rounded sharpness," which to me looks like a smoothness of the color and contrast transitions at edges. Often, I also find there is a more luminous quality to images taken with these lenses, possibly a result of Zeiss's proprietary lens coatings (T* coatings). All of this results in a look that is just slightly painterly. The lenses also tend to be high resolution with an evenness to their resolution so that the sharpness of the center extends well toward the edges. I think this evenness contributes to the smoothness of the images produced by these lenses. They also tend to feature smooth transition zones, which is important to the visual effect made by their rendering.

Of the lenses that I am familiar with, the ones that to me most share the Batis look are the Zeiss Loxia (manual focus) lenses, and the Sony Zeiss Planar 50mm 1.4 ZA and the Sony Zeiss Distagon 35mm 1.4 ZA. I also find that the Sigma i series 45mm 2.8 and the Sigma i series 65mm 2.0 produce a rendering that reminds me of the Zeiss look. And the Sigma i series 35mm 2.0, which I have shot less, may do this also and is a very fine lens. I am sure there are others that I am not familiar with. But you would probably be happy just getting more Batis lenses. While their retail price is still quite high, they are available used at good prices. The Batis 40mm and Batis 135mm are excellent lenses that are in the range you are looking for and that would pair well with your Batis 85mm. There are a few for sale now in the Buy-Sell Forum.



Sep 21, 2022 at 08:12 AM
rob_ww
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Batis look in non-Batis lenses


What a great description @chiron. As a new Sony user I have just come across Batis lenses and purchased a 25mm for the reasons you describe. Like @Ummon I am exploring elsewhere in the range, first with a Batis 18mm and then possibly the Batis 85mm.

It is strange that the pictures look different when working with them on your own monitor and yet it is so hard to describe. Really, I knew as soon as I mounted the Batis 25 and looked through the viewfinder that I was going to like this lens, even before I saw the output. In print, this reads as if I am suffering from confirmation bias. Yet enough of us agree about it. And I would rather discover otherwise: I am by no means pleased at the idea of changing out some of my initial lens purchases for the Batis equivalents. I have been taking photos for over 40 years with very good equipment, so while I am not a gifted photographer, I know what a good photo can look like and I am always very pleased when I use a lens which excels.

Edited on Sep 21, 2022 at 10:56 AM · View previous versions



Sep 21, 2022 at 10:50 AM
rob_ww
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Batis look in non-Batis lenses


PS I agree on your rating of the Sigma 45/2.8 which I own in Sony E mount. The designers talked about their choices and trade-offs, but for most of the formulaic web reviews it does not pass their "sharpness" tests. Tell that to people using it as their main lens on £5000 Leica SL cameras.


Sep 21, 2022 at 10:53 AM
akashyap
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Batis look in non-Batis lenses


Agree 100%, I was going to say the same.

In addition to the ZA’s, Sigma I’s, and Loxias, I like the Samyang 85 for its rendering (smooth) and resolution (not overly sharp), but the colors are overly warm vs Zeiss (similar to how I think Sigma is close to Zeiss in resolution and rendering but much cooler in image colors)

The Sony 24 GM might as well be a Zeiss lens IMO - it’s got the colors, rendering, and contrast.

Voigtlanders have similar rending, resolution, and great colors. I find the Voigtlanders to be (much?) lower contrast than Zeiss lenses, and it makes for people pictures to be very pleasing

chiron wrote:
I think that the look that you like from Batis lenses is a characteristic of many (but not all) Zeiss lenses. It is a combination of the colors produced by the lens and its coatings, the degree and type of contrast, and what Zeiss calls "rounded sharpness," which to me looks like a smoothness of the color and contrast transitions at edges. Often, I also find there is a more luminous quality to images taken with these lenses, possibly a result of Zeiss's proprietary lens coatings (T* coatings). All of this results in a look that is just slightly painterly.
...Show more



Sep 21, 2022 at 12:07 PM
guyharrison
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Batis look in non-Batis lenses


I would add the Zony 35mm 2.8. Also has the benefit of being a great very lightweight walk-around lens.

I have all of the Batis. They are all superb and the "gapping" is pretty much perfect. Because I shoot a lot in the "normal" range I am going to add the Zony 55 1.8 which gives 18-25-40-55-85-135 spacing.

Most of all (never happen, I know) I would like to see revised 16-35 and 24-70 Zeiss zooms. Although the Voigts are wonderful, they lack AF, which is an important benefit for me (along with weather sealing and, for the 85 and 135 IS).



Sep 21, 2022 at 01:52 PM
 


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philip_pj
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Batis look in non-Batis lenses


As seen aleady, a large number of candidates are put forward. I feel the Batis look is quite distinctive, as are most of the other lenses proposed. The design philosophy bears this out, Batis and for example, Loxia, are like chalk and cheese if you check out their data sheets.

Batis lenses bear little to no resemblance to classic Zeiss lenses such as Milvus, 'Classic' and Contax Yashica. They are a thoroughly modern series, custom built for Sony a7 series cameras. Vive la difference!



Sep 21, 2022 at 04:09 PM
PaulMoorePhoto
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Batis look in non-Batis lenses


I have not shot any Batis lenses but I did have a Loxia, CY, and a few ZM lenses in the past. I think the Fuji X system also has very Zeiss-like colors and micro contrast but I don’t know if that’s processing and color profiles or the lenses. I thought it was great at first but ultimately, I decided I didn’t like that look. For lack of a better term, it looked too crunchy or over-processed to me, and that’s why I switched to Sony. I have several Sigma I-series primes now and I’ve never thought they were very Zeiss-like. They are very sharp but they have a warmer and smoother look that is more realistic to my eye. Just my 2 cents. It’s very subjective and I can’t back up any of this with facts. 🤓



Sep 21, 2022 at 04:36 PM
Erichimedes
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Batis look in non-Batis lenses


I don't feel as though I have an answer to OP's question. But I'm following this thread for input from others! Someone mentioned the FE 35/1.8 and I'm curious if anyone else feels this way. I've seen several photos from that lens in low light that had something very Zeiss-like in their contrast.

I love the look from Zeiss lenses. There's a particular quality, that I hesitate to call microcontrast (since we can't all agree what that is), but it's something my eye sees in certain photos, and when it's there, it's quite obvious. The best I could try to describe it would be that there are somehow more shades of contrast, giving the subject a very "real" appearance.

In trying to sniff this quality in other lenses out, here's what I have found can contribute to this look:
-Very often a Zeiss lens. I think this has more to do with their coatings than maybe anything else.
-A retrofocus optical design i.e. Distagon. I barely ever see it in Sonnars and only sometimes in Double Gauss.
-Shooting in low light.
-Typically an aperture value of 2.8 to 4 or maybe sometimes 5.6

But maybe it's silly to try describing something that ultimately only I can see



Sep 21, 2022 at 05:24 PM
Ummon
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Batis look in non-Batis lenses


When trying to compare lenses, I more often than not find that in the particular setting, I cannot distinguish any differences. And still, at the end of the day, images with my Batis lenses more often please me than others, which of course can be biased in all kinds of ways. I guess more experienced or better-viewing people can say more on the matter, as in the really good description by chiron.
So for my part, I see this as a highly subjective discussion - but after reading endless amounts of objective tests that in the end did not tell me which lenses I would like, this still seems valuable. Thank you all for your contributions so far.

I did not want to delve into the (in my view, and I seem to agree here with Arichimedes) Zeiss-look and micro-contrast discussion which often lead nowhere - but now that this topic and mostly other Sony/Zeiss lenses are mentioned, is the modern Batis-look really a typical Zeiss-look?

When looking at flickr, I also get the impression that I can find a similar feeling mostly with Voigtländer and Sigma lenses. Thank you very much for the interesting suggestions (although Voigtländer as MF lenses are not for me). Given this, I wonder if there are experiences on the longer end - for example with the Sigma 85 1.4 DN or the 90 2.8.

Looking at the Batis 40 is of course a no-brainer, and I am on the lookout for a cheap used one as I learned this summer that 35mm is a bit wide for me on the short end of a two-lens convention setup. Wonder if I will miss the 1.4 though ....



Sep 22, 2022 at 04:41 AM
rob_ww
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Batis look in non-Batis lenses


Ummon wrote:
When trying to compare lenses, I more often than not find that in the particular setting, I cannot distinguish any differences. And still, at the end of the day, images with my Batis lenses more often please me than others, which of course can be biased in all kinds of ways. I guess more experienced or better-viewing people can say more on the matter, as in the really good description by chiron.
So for my part, I see this as a highly subjective discussion - but after reading endless amounts of objective tests that in the end did not tell
...Show more
I could not agree more. It is important to realise that designers make trade-offs to achieve the look they want. An example is the discussion by the Sigma designer of the choices made for the 45/2.8. It is frustrating that we can all see there are differences but do not have the language to describe them and, for the most part, reviewers don't seem to distinguish either. If I were a lens designer today I would be maximising sharpness at the periphery, bokeh balls, focus breathing and a bunch of other typical aspects on which the reviewers all concentrate.

Yet, after all this, the real differences between lenses are not articulated. It reminds me of the era in hi-fi when reviewers concentrated on channel separation and frequency range when these performed so far beyond any reasonable requirement, but they had no language for the fact that some equipment did not sound right while other equipment did.

In the end, I do wonder if any of the reviews are very helpful, even in deciding what to test for yourself.



Sep 22, 2022 at 10:43 AM
nehemiahphoto
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Batis look in non-Batis lenses


rob_ww wrote:
I could not agree more. It is important to realise that designers make trade-offs to achieve the look they want. An example is the discussion by the Sigma designer of the choices made for the 45/2.8. It is frustrating that we can all see there are differences but do not have the language to describe them and, for the most part, reviewers don't seem to distinguish either. If I were a lens designer today I would be maximising sharpness at the periphery, bokeh balls, focus breathing and a bunch of other typical aspects on which the reviewers all concentrate.

Yet,
...Show more

This is why I reference particular technical aspects that I like to know, but reviews don't really inform if I'll like or keep a lens. Combined with specs, my own history with a brand (Zeiss gets a huge benefit of the doubt, Samy is the opposite), then I decide to buy to try.

My favorite reviews discuss both the technical aspects, but also the "soft" aspects of the lens--color rendition, contrast, dimensionality, etc.



Sep 22, 2022 at 05:10 PM
Majestictone
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Batis look in non-Batis lenses


rob_ww wrote:
I could not agree more. It is important to realise that designers make trade-offs to achieve the look they want. An example is the discussion by the Sigma designer of the choices made for the 45/2.8. It is frustrating that we can all see there are differences but do not have the language to describe them and, for the most part, reviewers don't seem to distinguish either. If I were a lens designer today I would be maximising sharpness at the periphery, bokeh balls, focus breathing and a bunch of other typical aspects on which the reviewers all concentrate.

Yet,
...Show more


You had me at Hi Fi….. I know that spectrum all too well and got caught up in it way too much and spent a lot of funds on that area of everything aural and had to stop the obsession. It can be downright maddening just like lens have become my new obsession….🤗🤗🤗



Sep 22, 2022 at 07:04 PM







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