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Zeiss launches the luxury Batis 2.8/135, a high-end portrait prime for Sony E Mount

Why it matters to you

Sone E Mount shooters just gained another option for portraits and events with the Zeiss Batis 2.8/135, the first 135 prime that's not only a manual focus lens.

The Sony a7 series has its first autofocus 135mm lens. On April 5, Zeiss International announced the new Zeiss Batis 2.8/135 lens.

The latest lens from Zeiss is the first E-Mount 135 prime with autofocus that’s compatible with the Sony Alpha 7 system. According to the company, the lens uses an autofocus system that’s both fast and precise, and that also incorporates several high-end elements from the Batis family into its optics.

The wide f/2.8 aperture and telephoto length makes the latest lens a good option for portraits and weddings, Zeiss says. The lens uses an OLED to display both the focus distance and the depth of field on the side of the lens.

Despite the longer focal length and an optical image stabilization system that’s built-in, the Batis 135 remains relatively compact, to maintain the portability of the mirrorless bodies the lens was designed for. The lens weighs 1.4 pounds and measures about 5.2 inches with the lens caps on. The lens’ metal housing undoubtedly contributes to the weight but adds dust and dirt sealing.

“The advantage of Sony’s mirrorless full-frame system is that despite its compact size, it delivers exceptional image quality,” said Michael Pollmann, Zeiss product manager. “It was important to build a comparably handy lens — in spite of the rather long focal length. We made a conscious decision to strike a balance between compactness, weight, and light intensity.”

Pollman added that by experimenting with special types of glass, Zeiss was able to correct chromatic aberration — or that purple or blue fringing in high contrast areas — for a lens that has “virtually no image errors.”

The lens is expected to ship in May 2017. Zeiss International lists a price of 1,999 euros including sales tax, which roughly translates to about $2,500.