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Monday, May 23, 2016

Zeiss Batis 18mm F2.8


Dale Matson

Click On Photographs To Enlarge



Yes, I admit that I am both a Zeiss and Sony E-Mount fan boy. The combination means lightweight quality gear with dependable results. Although I have the Sony Zeiss 24-70 f4 as a walk around lens, my mountain landscape lenses are all Zeiss primes. This means this old guy can still get over the 12,000’ plus Sierra Nevada passes to the next alpine basin.

I am not here to offer an in depth review which can be found on numerous discussion threads and YouTube. This will be an example of my week spent with the lens on my Sony A7R2. I have included photographs from our home and yard in Fresno and from our cabin site near Shaver Lake. We have had to take down several dead pines recently because of the ongoing California drought combined with the native Pine Borers. This has been a disaster of epic proportions for California with an estimate of over 20 million dead pines thus far. We had professional loggers drop the dead trees and I am in the process of cutting the limbs off the trunks. We will later rent a chipper and broadcast the chips on the ground. All of my photographs are as they came from the camera except the cropped shots.

I am pleased with the ultra wide shots and look forward to being back in the mountains this summer. The autofocus is fast and the shots remain sharp when increased to “actual size”. The minimum focus distance is small and I have included a few cropped shots to illustrate how sharp this lens is. This lens is fat but small and light. I previously owned both the Zeiss 21mm 2.8 and 18mm 3.5. They are both much bigger and heavier, especially when including the adapters. I realize this is subjective but I believe it is sharper that the Sony Zeiss 16-35 f4 lens at 18mm. I traded this lens in on the 18mm f2.8 and am happy to have done it. There is a big smile on my face but you don’t need another example, having already seen a selfie under my hard hat. Yes, I am that old!

My final shot was taken yesterday 5-31-16. I hiked into a place near Kaiser Pass around 9,500' in elevation. The Sierra Nevada Mountains and Edison Lake are too far away for the lens but I thought I would include the shot.   


f 2.8 1/80
 F4.5 1/100
Crop Of Above
 f 5.6 1/125
Crop Of Above
 f4 1/60
Crop Of Above
f 10 1/160
 f9 1/125
I Had To Crop Out Lens Flare On This Shot
f10 1/200
f6.3 1/100
Central Sierra Nevada-Whitebark-Near Kaiser Pass
F10 1/200
Balsam Forebay
F10 1/160

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