Zeiss Batis 18mm f2.8 Video Autofocus Test on the Sony a7R III and First Images

The Sony a7R III is quickly becoming my favorite camera of all time. Stills wise, the image quality is top shelf. Video is something that I am just starting to play around with, and I realized very quickly, that I needed an autofocus lens for video (at least for vlogging and casual stuff). I found a good deal on a used Batis 18mm locally, and I took a chance on it.

Here are some initial JPEGs straight out of camera – quite nice!

2018-05-14 Batis 18mm Test 17-59-292018-05-14 Batis 18mm Test 18-03-342018-05-14 Batis 18mm Test 18-06-132018-05-14 Batis 18mm Test 18-29-072018-05-14 Batis 18mm Test 18-36-32

For stills, the images are quite nice, but I can already tell that I prefer shooting with my Loxia lenses – they focus closer, I like the size of the Loxia lenses more than the bulbous Batis lenses, and the image quality of the Loxia lenses are stellar.

Video wise though, the Loxia’s don’t autofocus. Regarding the Batis 18mm, there’s really not a lot of videos on YouTube dedicated to showing video autofocus with this lens – particularly on the new Sony a7R III. This video below was shot in super 35 mode with the Batis 18mm f/2.8 on the Sony a7R III – face detect and standard profile were used. Sound was from a Rode VideoMic Pro Plus plugged right into the camera. I didn’t do any editing other than cutting the clips together. My initial impressions of the Batis 18mm for video is that this lens is quite well suited for the task, and I feel that my purchase was a good one.


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