As a busy Vermont wedding photographer, any product I can buy that helps minimize the weight and size of my kit (without sacrificing quality), is worth every penny. Let’s be honest: Hauling around a bag full of gear all day can get a little tiring. As soon as the Zeiss Batis 1.8/85 lens arrived, I noticed that the lens is compact, lightweight (only weighing in at one pound), and short in length. Before even taking a photograph with the lens, I knew it would be a great fit in my gear bag on wedding days.
(Spoiler alert: Turns out this lens is a great fit in my gear bag on any day!) Here are a handful of reasons that the Zeiss Batis 1.8/85 is worth adding to your kit, too!
1. It’s just the right size.
This past September, I was in a rollover car accident that left me with sensitive neck and back muscles (right in the middle of a busy wedding season). I am on the road to a full recovery, but trusting that I can carry a lightweight, high quality product without further straining my healing muscles is incredibly reassuring.
Lately, the more I can do to lighten the load, the better – for both my short-term recovery and my long-term health. As you can see in the images below, this lens is about as big as a medium latte at your local coffee shop – if that’s not easy to carry and super portable, I don’t know what is!
2. The Zeiss Batis 1.8/85 is the epitome of reliability.
Aside from the benefits of the lens being so lightweight and compact with great build quality, the Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8 lens is just plain reliable – even when shooting subjects wide open at f/1.8. Actually, I’m not sure my aperture even left f/1.8 the entire time I had the Zeiss rental, even when shooting in backlighting.
The lens is quick to autofocus when paired with my Sony a7 III camera and rarely skips a beat when moving focus points and while tracking moving subjects. This hasn’t always been the case with other 85mm lenses I have used over the years.
Culling through images post-session is a dream. The images are in focus, which allows you to pay attention to your client and your art and simply choose the best images in the set, instead of worrying whether your favorite shot just barely missed focus or not.
And, as you may know, photographing weddings is no joke – you have to constantly be thinking one step ahead of your clients, and having a lens that autofocuses quickly and accurately is an absolute must. Showing up on a wedding day with a lens that is this reliable leaves me with one less thing to worry about in my day – so thank you, Zeiss!
3. It’s so easy to use.
Unlike some high-quality lenses, the Zeiss Batis 1.8/85 is easy to pick up and start creating beautiful imagery with right away. There is no learning curve! This lens is a quick way to level up your photography at a great price. A lens rendering images this beautiful at a price under $1,000? Sign me up!
4. It produces beautiful flare.
The flare on the Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8 is beautiful. Like, really beautiful. It has a creamy glow when photographing during golden hour. For many photographers, flare is sort of a personal preference. You should know that I am a big fan, and love to embrace some glowy golden hour flare into my engagement, elopement and wedding portrait sessions whenever I can.
Living in Vermont, we’re often “blessed” with half a year of cloudy winter days, so I love that this lens enables me to really embrace the sun as much as I can in my imagery on the days the sun decides to show up to the party.
Aside from the gorgeous Zeiss “pop,” the creamy flare quality on this lens is the main reason that I’m planning to trade in my current 85 – it’s just so pretty, has a glowy golden hue and blends into the image so well, with almost a painterly vibe.
5. It’s just overall awesome.
In summary, the Zeiss Batis 1.8/85 has sharp image quality, great in-camera contrast and is quick to focus. The rumors about the “Zeiss pop” are true, my friends – the images SOOC are beautiful. The colors are rich, the images are super sharp and seem to “pop” right off of the screen with a sort of 3D glow to them.
I don’t write reviews unless I love a product, and let me tell you – I’ve already started working to sell my current 85 and will be swapping for the Zeiss within the next month or two. Do yourself a favor and rent or buy a Zeiss lens! You won’t regret it.
Photos by Jenna Brisson
This is a sponsored post but opinions are those of the author.