18mm Zeiss Batis or 20mm Sony G Lens?

Landscape photography? Astrophotography? Interiors? What do all these have in common? Right! They all crave being shot with wide lenses! And when it comes to photography, there is no challenge like deciding between one optic or another. Therefore, guidance is always helpful.

Today we’ll be talking about some of the pros and cons of two very interesting lenses, the ZEISS Batis 18mm f/2.8 and the Sony 20mm 1.8 G. They are both nice and generous wide-angle lenses for Sony’s Full Frame Mirrorless cameras, and deserve a closer look!

Asides from the design, the price and the extra 1.3 stop of light, these two lenses have almost the same focal length. So, which one should you buy?

 ZEISS Batis 18mm f/2.8 Lens for Sony E-Mount$1,499.00

ZEISS lenses are famous for both their price tags and built-quality, and this one is no exception to the rule. It comes with a max aperture of f/2.8 which is pretty sweet for such a wide lens, and it goes all the way to f/22. It has a minimum focus distance of 0.25m and its autofocus motor is almost 100% silent. The lens weights 330g, which is no surprise since it has 11 optical elements. The overall weight of the setup compensates due to the mirrorless quality of Sony E mount cameras. 

What We Like About It

Traditionally, Batis lenses have always been very sharp, and this one is insanely sharp. The extreme sharpness of this lens is beyond belief, so if your photos require to be ultra crisp and detailed for commercial purposes, this lens should be considered as a wise investment.

It also comes with a quite innovative LED screen which shows you some interesting information about focusing distance and depth of field in a precise way. Of course, pretty much all prime lenses are famous for being more informative than zoom ones for that matter. If you have gone out shooting astrophotographs or landscapes during the night you’ll know how frustrating it is to measure distance with the analogue metering system, therefore this tiny screen comes out to be genius for us.

And What We Don’t Like About It

The weight could be of concern, which can be exhausting after a couple of hours hiking. Landscape photography requires walking a lot, therefore smaller lenses are always appreciated.

Sony Zeiss Batis 18mm

Sony 20mm f/1.8 G$899.00

Sony recently released this magnificent lens, frankly it took us by surprise given their 2019 releases which were mainly telephotos. Having such a fast aperture of f/1.8 on a 20mm lens is just insane! And even when it looks like an obvious choice given the difference in price, remember that it isn’t that cheap either.

Take into account that the minimum aperture value of this lens is f/16, which could not be sufficient for some landscape needs. The lens is a bit heavier than the ZEISS Batis 18mm f/2.8, but is way smaller. It has a 67mm thread like many other G series lenses, a convenient fact when interchanging filters among lenses of course. And it has a minimum focusing distance of 0.19m, which gives it a “macro” quality to it.

What We Like About It

That massive f/1.8 aperture makes it a versatile lens, allowing us to keep lower ISO values during nocturnal landscape photographs. The conveniently small size makes it perfect for vlogging too, so if that’s something you might be interested in having, then this lens might be the perfect solution for you. It is wide enough for handheld self-videos without being too wide to make you look funny. It is also an extremely sharp lens across its four corners!

And What We Don’t Like About It

In our humble opinion, there is no major downside on this lens beyond the minimum aperture of f/16.

Sony G Series 20mm

 To Master or not to Master?

Quick one on G and G Master series from Sony. If your photography business relies on huge prints, then you should look for G Master lenses, if not, G alone is fine. You are welcome.

 That Confusing Thing of Sony and Zeiss

Have you ever wondered why it seems to be that Zeiss lenses are better? Or why it feels like Sony lenses are made by Zeiss? Well, Sony and Zeiss have a somewhat weird relationship that makes it challenging to understand their lineups.

After being around for almost 175 years now, Zeiss has a strong legacy in the optical world. Zeiss is the commercial name of Carl Zeiss AG, one of the oldest existing optics manufacturers in the world. Sony and Zeiss have a joint venture, which is the fancy term used for a business relationship.

Therefore, Zeiss is a third-party lens manufacturer, which has also made some cameras before. They are just like Sigma or Tamron, but with a high-quality historical heritage. At the moment, most of their exclusive lenses are built for Sony mounts, but they also make lenses for Canon and Nikon cameras as well.

Wrapping-it up in short, ZEISS Batis 18mm f/2.8 should be considered only for exceptional high-quality requirements; and for the particular scenario of shooting in complete darkness. If that’s not the case, then the Sony 20mm f/1.8 G could be the best choice.

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