In depth

The Zeiss Batis 40mm f2 CF is a brief customary prime lens designed to cowl full-frame sensors and accessible within the Sony E-mount solely. Introduced in September 2018, it’s the newest member within the Batis collection of 5 prime quality primes lenses from Zeiss starting from 18mm as much as 135mm focal size. A particular characteristic of this lens is its skill for shut focus all the way down to 0.24m (9.4in.) producing a magnification of 1:3.1. Thus the “CF” designation within the lens’ title.

On a full-frame digital camera the Zeiss Batis 40mm f2 CF delivers a field-of-view that’s 10 levels wider than the usual 50mm lens (57 vs 47 levels) and seven levels narrower than from a 35mm lens. It may nonetheless be thought-about a “regular” lens as its 40mm focal size is certainly nearer to the 43mm diagonal of a full-frame sensor than a 50mm lens is. So photos shot with this lens ought to produce a really pure and immersive perspective when considered from a normal distance (equal to the diagonal of the print or monitor/display). Apply it to a Sony Alpha physique with APS-C crop sensor and the Zeiss Batis 40mm f2 CF delivers a area of view that’s equal to a 60mm lens. Mixed with a vibrant f2.Zero focal ratio it’s well-suited for available-light use.

To seek out out whether or not the optical efficiency of the brand new Batis 40mm f2 CF makes it a worthy member of Zeiss’s Batis line I examined it on a 42MP Sony A7R II physique in opposition to the Sony 35mm f1.Four ZA and the Sony 35mm f2.Eight ZA, and likewise in contrast it to the Sigma 40mm f1.Four Artwork shot on the 46MP Nikon Z7.





Information from the catalog

As normal I’ll take a look on the technical knowledge of the Zeiss Batis 40mm f2.Zero CF first. I’ve rated the options with a [+] (or [++]), when it’s higher than common and even cutting-edge, a [0] if it’s customary or simply common, and [-] if there’s an obstacle. For comparability I exploit the Sony 35mm f1.Four ZA, The Sony 35mm f2.Eight ZA and the Sigma 40mm f1.Four Artwork (“Sigma Artwork” for brief).

Measurement (diameter x size): 81 x 87mm (3.2 x 3.4in.) which is sort of compact for an f2.Zero lens. The lens hood provides 40mm (1.6in.) and is 91mm in diameter. The Sony 35mm f1.Four ZA at 79 x 112mm plus 37mm for the lens hood (98mm diameter) is sort of lengthy compared. However the Sigma Artwork tops all of them at 88 x 157mm (3.5 x 6.2in.). The lens hood provides 50mm (2.0in.) and brings the whole size of the Sigma Artwork to a whopping 21cm (8.2in.) displaying its heritage as a DSLR design. The Sony 35mm f2.Eight ZA is the smallest various on this comparability at 61mm diameter and solely 48mm size together with lens hood. [+]

Weight: 362g (13 oz.) plus 32g for the lens hood. The Sony 35mm f1.Four ZA is 630g (22 oz.) plus 30g  lens hood, the Sigma Artwork is round 1270g (45 oz.)  plus 61g for the lens hood. Take into account that each lenses supply a one cease bigger focal ratio of f1.4. The smallest lens on this comparability, the Sony 35mm f2.Eight ZA, can be the lightest at 132g incl. lens hood. [+]

Optics: The lens options 9 components in Eight teams (together with 5 particular dispersion components and two aspherical components). The Sony 35mm f1.Four ZA has 12 components in Eight teams, the Sigma Artwork 16 components in 12 teams, and the Sony 35mm f2.Eight ZA 7 components in 5 teams. [+]



Closest focus distance is 0.24m (9.4in.) in guide focus leading to a magnification of 1:3.1. Working distance is 14cm when the lens hood is eliminated. A magnification of 1:10 is achieved at 0.52m distance. The opposite lenses don’t attain an analogous magnification: the Sony 35mm f1.Four ZA and the Sigma Artwork go all the way down to round 1:5.5 whereas the Sony 35mm f2.Eight ZA solely achieves 1:7.5. [+]

Filter-thread: 67mm. The Sony 35mm f1.Four ZA takes 72mm filters, the Sigma Artwork 82mm. The Sony 35mm f2.Eight ZA has a filter thread of 49mm on the lens or 40.5mm on the much less hood. [+]

Picture stabilization: No optical stabilization of the lens. The Sony A7 Mark II our bodies onwards present built-in sensor-shift stabilization. Identical with the opposite lenses on this comparability. [0]

Auto focus: Constructed-in AF drive. Guide-focus override is by merely turning the main focus ring. The main target ring has a non-linear gearing that permits for exact guide focus however makes clean focus pulling for videographers nearly unattainable. The Zeiss Batis additionally affords a novel show for focus distance and depth of area. Sadly the show is tough to learn underneath sunny situations (in my images of the lens you solely see the manufacturing facility sticker simulating the show). There’s additionally a spotlight limiter swap with three settings: full, infinity – 0.4m, 0.5m – 0.24m. Each Sony ZA lenses haven’t any distance or dof markings. Give attention to the Sigma Artwork works otherwise because it has a direct linear mechanical coupling between the main focus ring and the main focus motion. It additionally affords the gap and dof markings that usually include lenses designed for DSLRs. [+]

Covers full body/FX or smaller. Identical with the competitors. [+]

Worth: The lens at the moment sells for 1300 EUR (incl. 19% VAT) / 1300 USD. The Sony ZA is the costliest lens on this comparability at 1500 EUR/USD whereas the Sigma Artwork is 1200 EUR / 1400 USD and the Sony 35mm f2.Eight is the most affordable at  700 EUR / 750 USD. [0]

The Zeiss Batis lens is available in a pleasant bundle however has no pouch. The lens hood is included and is reversible for transport. The Sony 35mm f2.Eight ZA additionally comes with out pouch whereas the Sony 35mm f1.Four ZA has one. Solely the Sigma Artwork comes geared up with what’s becoming for lenses costing Four figures: a pleasant padded pouch plus strap and a lens hood that’s included and reversible for transport plus has a locking mechanism to forestall it from unintentionally falling off. [-]

Aperture ring: no, identical to the Sony 35mm f2.Eight ZA and the Sigma Artwork. Solely the Sony 35mm f1.Four ZA affords an aperture ring with 1/Three cease clicks which may be turned off for steady, clean, and noise-free operation. [0]

Sealing: sure, a rubber grommet on the lens-mount plus additional particular weather-sealing all through the development, identical to the Sigma Artwork. Each Sony ZA lenses are equally sealed inside however lack the rubber sealing on the lens-mount. [+]

The rating within the “features-department” is 1[-]/3[0]/8[+] exhibits that the Zeiss Batis 40mm f2.Zero CF is a horny providing: It’s small and light-weight for a chief lens with a big f2.Zero focal ratio, appears properly constructed, and affords the distinctive options of an OLED show for distance and dof plus the power to focus fairly shut. Its largest letdown is the lacking pouch which is a disappointing omission when contemplating the worth of this lens.


4 wide-angle prime lenses


Above from left to proper: Sony 35mm f2.Eight ZA, Sony 35mm f1.Four ZA, Zeiss Batis 40mm f2.0, Sigma 40mm f1.Four Artwork


Alternate options

If you’d like a 40mm lens with a big focal ratio and autofocus there is just one various from Sigma:

  • Sigma could have the 40mm f2.Zero Artwork accessible for E-mount quickly for 1200 EUR / 1400 USD. Its one cease sooner focal ratio is the most important benefit over the f2.Zero Batis. However The Sigma Artwork is big and heavy. See my Sigma 40mm f1.Four Artwork overview the place it earned a Extremely Really helpful.

Or that you must have a look at 35mm or guide focus lenses.

  • Sigma additionally affords the 35mm f1.Four Artwork for a comparatively low worth of 750 EUR / 900 USD. It’s an optical design from 2012 for DSLRs which can be accessible in E-mount since 2018. See my Sigma 35mm f1.Four Artwork overview the place it got here Extremely Really helpful when examined on a 36MP Nikon D800. At 755g the lens it’s a lot lighter than Sigma’s 40mm f1.Four Artwork.
  • From Sony there’s the 35mm f1.Four ZA (1500 EUR/USD) plus the diminutive 35mm f2.Eight ZA (700 EUR / 750 USD). Verify again quickly for my full Sony 35mm f1.Four ZA overview. And my 35mm f2.Eight ZA overview can be coming quickly.
  • Voigtländer affords the SL II Ultron 40mm f2.Zero from 2012 which is a really small and light-weight (63 x 25mm, 200g) pancake lens however guide focus solely. Its native mounts are Nikon F or Canon EF however it may be used through an EF to E-Mount adapter on a Sony A7 physique too. The lens  sells for 530 EUR / 420 USD. Plus there’s the Nokton 40mm f1.2 for E-Mount for 1100 EUR/USD. Once more, it’s guide focus solely.
  • Samyang/Rokinon/Walimex has a 35mm f1.Four AS UMC guide focus lens from 2011 that’s additionally accessible for Sony E-Mount (round 450 EUR / 400 USD). Plus there’s a more recent model from 2017 for E-mount solely that may autofocus (550 EUR / 530USD).


Should you’re uncertain of how huge the variations between 50mm, 40mm, 35mm and even 28mm focal size are, right here is the angle of view that the Zeiss Batis 40mm f2.Zero CF covers on a full-frame physique in comparison with the Sony 35mm f2.Eight ZA:


Above: Sony 35mm f2.Eight ZA (left), Zeiss Batis 40mm f2.Zero CF (proper)

Evaluate this to a 28mm and a 50mm lens:


Above: Zeiss Otus 28mm f1.Four left, Nikon Z 50mm f1.8S (proper)



Focus accuracy and repeatability is essential to constantly produce sharp photographs particularly with giant aperture lenses. Repeatability (the accuracy of give attention to the identical topic after repeated focus-acquisition) of this lens is superb (measured 98.6% in Reikan FoCal) with no outliers over a collection of 40 photographs. And there’s no focus variation whether or not the lens focuses from a better distance or from infinity.

The lens focuses in round 0.35 sec on a Sony A7R II from infinity to 0.52m (1:10 magnification), which could be very quick. Each Sony ZA lenses are slower at 0.5 sec and the Sigma Artwork takes the longest to focus at 0.7 sec (on a Nikon Z7 with FTZ adapter). The main target ring is 19mm extensive. It strikes very easily and may simply be operated with one finger. My solely gripe is that the main focus ring is fairly near the digital camera physique: I usually missed it on the primary attempt. Each Sony ZA lenses additionally supply very clean focus by wire operation.Solely the Sigma Artwork has a a lot stiffer mechanical coupling between the main focus ring and the main focus motion.

AF-operation of the Zeiss Batis is inaudible from the skin or if you happen to document video with the built-in microphone – as are each Sonys. Solely the Sigma Artwork produces an audible focus noise. As you pull focus, you’ll discover some focus respiratory: the picture of the Zeiss Batis turns into 6% extra magnified when I adjusted the main focus from infinity to 0.52m. This may very well be distracting when capturing movies however is par for the course: the opposite lenses on this comparability all enhance their magnification between 5% and 6%.


Subsequent try my high quality outcomes!

Verify costs on the Zeiss Batis 40mm f2 at Amazon, B&H, Adorama or WEX! Alternatively get your self a duplicate of my In Digital camera e-book or deal with me to a espresso! Thanks!

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