Finnish Sony Alpha photographer Toni Ahvenainen interviewed Dr. Michael Pollmann from ZEISS, who is a product manager for the Batis lens family. The full interview can be read at Lenspire. There are many interesting answers and I will report only three of them:
1) Batis production shortage:
We simply underestimated the need for the lenses. We had to increase our output several times before we were able to meet the demand. But this should now belong to the past. Recently our output had been significantly higher than the stable order income, allowing us to fulfill open orders.
2) Debunking the E-mount design flaw:
Due to the shorter distance from sensor to camera mount, the “common” design concepts used in lenses for DSLR cameras are no option. You have to start differently. And, of course, in the beginning you don’t know, whether it works out or not. Fortunately it did with the Batis 2.8/18.
3) About the weather sealing
For the water resistance tests we have our own environmental test lab on site, for the dust resistance we use an external test lab. Both tests are done in quite harsh tests. The lenses are directly exposed to water (simulating rain) and dust. The “dust” used in the test is so extremely fine – I’d not expected, that a lens would pass this test. A grain of sand is huge in comparison to this dust. It’s more like fine powder. The lens sits in the test chamber and the powder swirls around the lens for hours. After the test is shut off, the powder settles and at the end the lens is totally covered in powder. I cannot think of any real life situation, which comes close to this test. Maybe a sand storm, but that’s probably not the typical situation, when you expose a lens to the environment… Nevertheless Batis lenses passed all the tests.
Links to all current Batis and Loxia lenses:
Batis 18mm at Amazon, B&H, Adorama, eBay.
Batis 25mm at Amazon, B&H, Adorama, eBay.
Batis 85mm at Amazon, B&H, Adorama, eBay.
Loxia 21mm at Amazon, B&H, Adorama, eBay.
Loxia 35mm at Amazon, B&H, Adorama, eBay.
Loxia 50mm at Amazon, B&H, Adorama, eBay.
Loxia 85mm at Amazon, B&H, Adorama, eBay.