Michael Topham pairs the Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8 by with the flagship Sony Alpha 7R II and puts its delight factor to the test
Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8 Review – Build and handling
The price of this lens indicates it’s a premium optic, for which you’ll receive excellent build quality. It’s diameter is the same as the Batis 25mm f/2 (78mm), and between the mount and front of the lens there’s a point where it gets slightly wider before you reach the rubberised manual focus ring. Just ahead of this is an OLED panel that electronically displays the focus distance and depth of field markings we’re typically used to seeing printed on the barrel. The idea is to provide better readability in low light or at night – which it does very effectively.
Towards the front, the barrel curves out slightly to ensure that when the lens hood clicks into place the lens’s flowing lines are maintained. Again, unlike a conventional autofocus lens, there’s not a single button or switch in sight. Instead users are required to switch between autofocus and manual focus via the camera.
The embossed Zeiss badges on both sides match the colour of the rubber seal at the rear of the mount, which is designed to prevent dust and moisture creeping between camera and lens. From behind the camera the lens feels very nicely balanced when coupled to Sony’s Alpha 7-series cameras. It doesn’t feel too heavy, and the barrel is long enough to rest your palm underneath to offer some additional support.