The Batis 2/25 is a native E-Mount wide-angle lens designed and manufactured by Zeiss for the full-frame A7 cameras. It does of course capture images that are spectacularly sharp (as we have come to expect from the 1.8/85 and 2.8/18 lenses). It is a non-stabilised lens so, although ideal for the second generation A7 cameras with in-body stabilisation, you may want to re-think its usefulness as a low-light hand-held street lens on E-Mount cameras that predate ‘Steadyshot Inside’ (A6000, A6300 and first generation A7 cameras).
The 25 enjoys a wide f/2.0 aperture and is about the same weight (335 g / 0.74 lbs) as the 18mm Batis (although the 25 is a little smaller in size). I suspect it will not be the most popular Batis offered by Zeiss, as the 25mm focal length is covered by Sony’s FE1635F4ZA wide-angle zoom and ultra-sharp FE2470F28 G Master zoom lenses. Many landscape photographers, I feel, will naturally gravitate to the 18mm Batis but for those Alpha users who would prefer to purchase a lens with optimum IQ in a prime lens, rather than a larger zoom, this Batis will find an enthusiastic market. As it is a native E-Mount lens, your system will benefit from having ALL AF features available and you will enjoy a rapid-focussing lens (even in low-light).
It’s lens design and construction demonstrates Zeiss’s pursuit to achieve optimum Image Quality rather than low cost. It features four double-sided aspherical elements within a floating elements design help to control aberrations and distortions throughout the focusing range. It achieves edge-to-edge sharpness and its T* anti-reflective coating reduces flare and ghosting. It is both dust- and weather-sealed. Landscape and architectural photographers who like to use exceptionally low vantage points or include subjects very close to the lens to build depth into their images, will appreciate the 20cm / 7.9″ minimum focusing distance.
The Batis 25 has a nine-blade circular aperture (although not quite as rounded as Sony’s G Master lenses) and this provides good bokeh and the choice to use an odd number of blades ensures sun stars with lots of points (18).
The Batis 25 features an integrated OLED display on the top of the lens that shows the distance of the focal plane from the camera as well as the depth of field range (useful when working in low-light conditions or with a strong ND filter attached).
The lens has a 67mm filter thread (same as the 1.8/85). This filter thread does not feature in Sony’s E-Mount lens lineup so you may need to go shopping for a couple of ND filters if you haven’t purchased them already for the Batis 85.
The Batis 25 is a premium wide-angle lens with excellent optical performance – it does, however, have a little ‘native’ competition in that Sony offers a very respectable FE28F2 lens at a third of the price of the Batis 25, but if ‘best’ image quality is your goal then the Batis 25 is definitely worth a look. A 25mm prime will also sit nicely between the 18 and 35mm focal lengths for Alpha E-Mount owners who are avoiding the zooms.