Crazy Comparison! Zeiss Batis 85 f/1.8 vs Mitakon Speedmaster 85 1.2!

Crazy Comparison! Zeiss Batis 85 f/1.8 vs Mitakon Speedmaster 85 1.2!

So check this out guys…

The Zeiss Batis 25 and 85 lenses for Sony FE mount have arrived for testing and they are BEAUTIFUL. I will not tell a lie, the 25 is the one I adore the most so far as it’s size is nice. FAT but short and squat. Looks fantastic on the Sony A7II. The 85 is a tad larger but still not so bad, much more manageable than I expected.

I am SO excited that Zeiss has not only released the fine LOXIA lenses for Sony but now we have the Batis line, which is an AF line of lenses for Sony FE (A7 series). There are so many fine lenses for the Sony A7 system these days and with the new A7RII on the way, look out..these Zeiss lenses may be just what the Dr. Ordered! THEY ARE FANTASTIC and I have only had them a day.


Many have asked me to do a side by side “Crazy Comparison” between the Batis 85 1.8 and the Speedmaster 85 1.2 I recently reviewed (see that HERE)  – and while I assumed it would be a test showing the clear superiority of the Zeiss, well, it does but the Speedmaster hangs in there fairly well!

The Zeiss of course is a Zeiss. It is Auto Focus (and speedy on my A7II), it is shorter, smaller and MUCH lighter than the Mitakon, but for IQ..take a look:

CLICK IMAGES for larger and MUCH better versions. You will not see these as they were intended unless you click on them!

1st one, the Zeiss 85 at f/1.8 (thought I set it to f/2 but was wide open). The color has that Zeiss POP over the Mitakon but sharpness, not really any better here. Color and Pop goes to Zeiss though for sure.




More that shows the COLOR pop of the Batis 85. Again, the Batis was at 1.8 as I thought I had it set to f/2, so the image is mislabeled. Still, you can see the crispness, and 3D color pop of the Zeiss here. Even so, the Mitakon is holding its own though the color is muted as is the contrast.



The Zeiss is a fantastic lens and I only shot with it for a day so far. Love the digital focus display, love the size and feel and look. The AF is fast and accurate and my full review of both should be up within 10 days or so.

Here are a few more from the 25 and 85..

OOC JPEG with the 25 at f/2 – click it for larger


OOC JPEG with the 25 at f/2


Zeiss 25 f/2 from RAW with Alien Skin slide filter applied,  A7II


Zeiss 85 Batis with crop


The color, detail and rendering of the 85 is GORGEOUS. 



You can order the Zeiss Batis lenses from B&H Photo HERE or HERE. Full review soon with video and LOADS of samples!



    • The Mitakon will easily beat the Canon FD 85mm 1.2. Much sharper wide open and CA is a LOT more controlled wide open as well. Basically the only thing will be which rendering you prefer but I will take the Mitakon any day personally since both are manual.

  1. Comparison: Zeiss Batis 85 f/1.8 vs Mitakon Speedmaster 85 1.2.
    I prefer Zeiss Batis 85 f/1.8 with Auto focus with Image stabilizer for portrait or event people shooting. Although price ZB price is $1199 > $799 (Mitakon). Mitakon is faster and smooth bokeh (but seem too flat).

    Samyang 85 mm f1.4 cheap but not so sharp below F4. For portrait with good bokeh is out although low price.

    How compare to Rokinon 135 mm F 2.0 ($549) ? Steve, What is your view ? base on portrait or people event shooting occasionally.
    Here the review from Lens tips and conclusion, they claim it as good as Zeiss Apo Sonnar 135/2 :-

    ” When Samyang raised the prices of their newest lenses plenty of people said that they’ve become too big for their boots. Still the performance of the Samyang 135 mm f/2.0 ED UMC proves the move wasn’t so completely pointless. The new lens is better than the much-acclaimed Canon 135L and doesn’t have any particular problems to compete on equal terms with the Zeiss Apo Sonnar 2/135. Yes, the same Zeiss which costs over 7,000 PLN, a device recognized by us as one of the best out of almost four hundred instruments tested so far. ”

    • The Samyang is a Beast! I dont consider them the same when it comes to portraits as the 135mm will allow you closer shots while keeping facial distortions more controlled than trying to do a close headshot with the 85mm…although I will use a much longer lens for headshots but what I am saying is that in my book, they both have a place.
      In my bag though I carry the FE 55mm and jump all the way to the 135mm. Still debating if an 85mm can fit somewhere.

  2. Nice comparison I own the Mikaton 85 1.2 and Lomography Petzval. Batis is not in the cards right now as just became a dad July 1st.

  3. Hi, Steve, some people would make the comparison between the Batis and the Otus as they are all so awesome. Since the price point is so different, I would not expect them to be too comparable. I personally more concern about the green and purple fringing. The otus control this problem so well. What comment would you make about this problem on the batis 85?

    Thank You

  4. Actually an even crazier comparison would be with the Nikon 32 1.2 for the Nikon 1 System. I’ve been waiting for the A7r2 in order to jump to that system, but I so love this lens that it will be hard for me to give it up.

    Anyone, what lens in the FE system will give me that warm portrait feel of this lens?

  5. Hi Steve, do you have any insight on when Zeiss is going to release the lens to the public? Is it going to start trickling out soon or is there a blanket hold until Mid-July?

  6. Hi Steve!

    As you are a wide open shooter I was really hoping to see them compared at their largest aperture. Because you know, what’s the point of getting a F1.2 lens if you only shoot it at F2.0? Of course it is sharp stopped down 1 1/2 stops, just like every lens out there!

    And that’s the point of most Zeiss lenses. They are designed to be used at their largest aperture with no or just very little compromises in terms of IQ.

    So what we want to know is: Is the F1.2 lens and the downside of manual focus worth it in terms of bokeh, sharpness etc or is it not usable wide open or the additional background blur or bokeh quality not significant?

    Thanks Steve!

    • The Zeiss is not an f/1.2 lens, it is an f/1.8. The Mitakon, you can see more of that in my review of that lens including stopped down and wide open shots. These lenses are optimized for wide open shooting, the Batis lenses just as Leica lenses are. That is where the character lies. If shooting at f/5.6, any 25 or 85 will do the trick.

  7. The Batis 25 looks terrific, but the FE 16-35 is awfully good at that focal length, and it is so much more versatile. That is a “crazy comparison” that I would like to see.

  8. Both look great. The 85 is a no brainer – but the 25 vs the FE 35/1.4 is a tougher choice – especially with the A7RII and its crop mode having so many MP. Hmmm….

  9. The 85 mm Batis is looking very good. I`d also be interested in comparison shots between the 25 Batis and the Sony 28.

  10. Just nit-picking, but doesn’t anyone use depth-of-field scales anymore? I use them all the time with my manual focus lenses. Even the Leica Q lens has the scale, and it’s an AF lens, so it can be done. For pro applications, the scales in many circumstances are a godsend.

  11. I love these crazy comparos! And really, they’re not so crazy — if you’ve got an idea in your head for a picture, most likely you’re going to make it with the equipment you HAVE, not necessarily the equipment that might be considered IDEAL… so it’s fun to see what the difference might be (if any.)

  12. Could you add a comparison to the legendary Canon 85mm 1.2L (even better if its the FD version)
    Those still sell for quite a bit of money but newer lenses make me question if the Mitakon or even a Rokinon will be a better purchase IQ wise.
    Also would love to see a comparison of the Mitakon at 1.2 vs the Batis at 1.8 to see how the Bokeh, DOF compare.
    Thanks for the article!

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