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Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8 Sonnar

Distortion for Zeiss Batis 85/1.8 Sonnar

Some pincushion distortion is typical for medium telephoto lenses, but this level of distortion when uncorrected will be very noticeable. By comparison, the Zeiss 85mm f/1.4 APO-Planar has distortion so close to zero it can be called distortion-free, and the Zeiss 85mm f/1.4 Planar has about 0.2% distortion—about 15X less than the Batis 85/1.8. All lens designs are compromises, so it seems that distortion was traded off for uniformly high sharpness and a smaller/lighter design, knowing that the camera can correct for it automatically (or the raw converter).

To my eye, pincushion distortion is visually troublesome compared to barrel distortion, and this 3% pincushion distortion is unacceptable for many purposes if not corrected: skylines, buildings, etc would bow upwards, and filling the frame with a face is not going to look flattering—so plan on enabling distortion correction for the 85/1.8 Sonnar. Problem is, correcting the pincushion distortion degrades sharpness and micro contrast, as the example demonstrates.

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Variants uncorrected,corrected available in full article
Distortion for Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8 Sonnar
Variants Uncorrected,Corrected available in full article
Distortion for Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8 Sonnar

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