Today Zeiss announced the third lens in the all-new Batis lineup, the Batis 18mm f/2.8 for the Sony E-mount. Like the others in the Batis lineup, this autofocus lens features an OLED display for focus and depth of field information, and a clean, modern-looking angular design.
This new Zeiss lens works for both cropped sensor (E) and full frame sensor (FE) models, providing a very wide angle for the latter and a moderate wide angle for the former. As usual, Zeiss published test charts produced from a working copy of the lens—most manufacturers publish only “theoretical” MTF and other charts—which would seem to indicate that this an excellent lens optically.
As with the other Batis lenses, the 18mm is dust and weather sealed. First shipments should begin in May, and the lens is US$1499.
Meanwhile, Meyer Optik has taken a different approach, introducing an old Trioplan lens in various mounts via Kickstarter. The 50mm f/2.9 will cost US$449 and will be available in Fujifilm X, m4/3, Leica M, and Sony FE-mounts (also in Canon EF and Nikon F mounts).
This is a dirt simple lens: three separated elements (no groups), the classic Cooke Triplet design. The big claim to fame of this design was the so-called “soap bubble” bokeh, where out of focus highlights were near-exact circles with a small bit of rim artifact. A second aspect of the lens was a floating front element that can shift forward in close up shooting to achieve a 1:4 magnification ratio. That was “near macro” back when the lens was first in production. Today, it’s run-of-the-mill for a basic prime. The design is unique, however, in that this front element shift is not achieved with the focus ring, but independent.
Estimated delivery for the Trioplan 50mm is January 2017.