Is Zeiss' Cheaper 85mm Batis Lens Worth It?

Zeiss is well known for making spectacularly sharp lenses, but with that high optical quality often comes a correspondingly large price tag. However, the Batis 85mm f/1.8 is much cheaper than some of its counterparts, making it an intriguing option for many photographers. This great video review takes a look at the lens to help you decide if it's right for you. 

Coming to you from Dustin Abbott, this helpful video review takes a look at the Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8 lens. The 85mm Batis has some nifty features. First, it has autofocus, which might not sound nifty, but remember that many Zeiss lenses do not. Second, it has an OLED screen on top that reads out focus distance and depth of field information. But of course, when it comes to a Zeiss lens, what you're probably most interested in is the image quality, specifically if a sub-$1,000 lens can hold its own against siblings like the Otus line, particularly since there isn't an 85mm Otus lens available for Sony shooters at the moment. You might be pleasantly surprised by the performance of the Batis (and by its relatively diminutive size that makes it great for carrying on the go). Check out the video above for the full rundown. 

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7 Comments

Eric Salas's picture

No because the FE 1.8 exists for less money and is just as good... not to mention the Sigma 85 1.4 Art is better at a few bucks more.

Usman Dawood's picture

I have to second that. I bought the Batis but only because the FE was out of stock. Compared both and the FE was identical in all areas except a slight difference in colours on occasions and lack of OSS (which has never been an issue).

Both lenses are great but the FE lens is such a great option.

Black Rock's picture

A beautiful lens that is light & fast AF

Rob Mitchell's picture

If it makes my job easier and my clients happier, it’s worth considering as ‘worth it’
Otherwise it’s probably just a nice thing to have to tell people you have it.

Ronald Stewart's picture

I love mine. Though, if sony had their 85 1.8 out when I was in the market, I can't say I would have gone for the Zeiss just on price. With that said, part of the reason I even made the switch to sony was because of the 55mm from Zeiss. At that time, it was either I was upgrading to the d800 or jumping to the original a7r. Having worked with the 55mm Otus, I couldn't pass up what was essentially a cheaper, AF version. So the move to Sony was made. Starting issues aside, I'm very happy with my decision and I'm loving the a7r3.

Gerald Bertram's picture

I have to say that Sony 85 1.8 has just been an incredible lens for me. I've tested much more expensive 85mm lenses and just don't see enough of a difference to justify the price.

Eric Robinson's picture

Excellent well presented review. Had I watched this three years ago and had those other lens options been available I may, at the time have made a different choice. I agree about the auto focus the Batis 85mm can often miss the mark even in a fairly semi static studio situation. The other main problem I have encountered is again autofocus related with it actually failing to lfind focus in certain studio situations. I agree regarding a firmware update, it’s something, given the focusing developments that have taken place is a bit overdue.