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Zeiss Batis Distagon 18mm f/2.8 T* Review - Performance

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Zeiss Batis 18mm f/2.8 T* Performance

The lens has a generous image field of 43mm diameter, comfortably more than the full-frame needs. So it is little surprise that sharpness is very even across the whole of the image frame. Both centre and edge are excellent from f/2.8 to f/11. Thereafter, both are still very good at f/16 and even at f/22.

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Zeiss BATIS 18mm f/2.8 MTF Charts

How to read our MTF charts

The blue column represents readings from the centre of the picture frame at the various apertures and the green is from the edges.

The scale on the left side is an indication of actual image resolution and sharpness as LW/PH and is described in detail above. The taller the column, the better the lens performance.

For this review, the lens was tested on a Sony Alpha A7 III using Imatest. Want to know more about how we review lenses?

 

CA (Chromatic Aberration) is almost non-existent at the centre and still very highly corrected at the edges. Further correction could be made if needed, but for most applications, this will not be necessary.

 

Zeiss BATIS 18mm f/2.8 Chromatic Aberration Charts

How to read our CA charts

Chromatic aberration (CA) is the lens' inability to focus on the sensor or film all colours of visible light at the same point. Severe chromatic aberration gives a noticeable fringing or a halo effect around sharp edges within the picture. It can be cured in software.

Apochromatic lenses have special lens elements (aspheric, extra-low dispersion etc) to minimize the problem, hence they usually cost more.

For this review, the lens was tested on a Sony Alpha A7 III using Imatest.

 

There is -1.73% barrel distortion, relatively modest for this lens type, although it could be corrected further if required,

Bokeh is, of course, the quality and the smoothness of gradation of the out of focus areas in an image. Because ultra-wide lenses are usually used at smaller apertures to keep as much as possible in focus, the bokeh is not perhaps the main aim of such a lens. However, the effect when it is seen is reasonably smooth, but arguably not what we might expect from, say, an 85mm optic.

Flare is also very well controlled and the Zeiss T* coatings certainly do their job. Being such a wide lens, it is possible to induce some artefacts when the sun is on the edge of the frame, but that is an extreme situation and normal photography is flare-free.

Shots with blue skies show that there is some degree of vignetting, but this is not necessarily a bad thing. The figures are:

f/2.8 -1.9 stops
f/4 -1.4
f/5.6-f/11 -1.3
f/16-f/22 -1.2

In conclusion, this is a very fine lens indeed and worthy of the Zeiss name.

 

Zeiss BATIS 18mm f/2.8 Sample Photos

 

Zeiss BATIS 18mm f/2.8 Aperture range

You can view additional images in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.


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