Now that I’ve introduced the essential improvements regarding the new firmwire-update, you might wonder what I’ve been doing with my Batis 2/40 CF after I finished this blog for the first time couple of months ago. Or to put it in another way, you might wonder how I feel about the lens after using it for couple of months on my own. Well, there comes a certain ‘release-phase’ when one ends a project like this, which means that suddenly I don’t need to create new images or contemplate on what to write (and how to write) on a daily basis. Getting into ‘the release-phase’ changes the perspective and you really start to use (and think) in your own personal context. I’m not so concerned anymore about the ‘sharpness’ or the ‘lack of chromatic aberrations’ – instead I naturally slide to think more what I will do with the lens and how it will fit into my shooting process in practice. So, looking at the Batis 2/40 CF from a bit different perspective, has it changed my feelings? Has the novelty worn off?
Being such a versatile normal field of view lens I have to say that I’ve used the Batis 2/40 CF a lot more than the Batis 2/25 or Batis 1.8/85. Of course there’s a bit of novelty still there, but many times it is also the lens that I choose to take with me where ever I go. For example, during the winter it was often pretty much all I used, except for some special cases where I would be after a special kind of image. What I’m trying to say is that the Batis 2/40 CF is, for me, like a very versatile top-performer athletic. Not a strictly defined professional for some specific task or discipline, but the one who is at home at many different fields – and the best part is that I can always expect top results.
I believe that putting 'the versatility' in the center of this concept was ultimately a right choice for ZEISS (although I originally thought it is a bit of a gamble or a way to differentiate ZEISS from other manufacturers). But now that I've used it for a while, I can't imagine that a wide-angle lens or a telephoto lens could be based on versatility in a same way that a lens with a normal field of view can be. So, if there is an ambition for a versatile lens, a natural choice is to pick some focal length within the normal field of view because this maximizes the versatility aspect of the lens. And choosing 40mm, which is perfectly in-between 35mm and 50mm, presents a very rational choice.
So, if anything, I’ve really come to appreciate this versatility which is pieced together with the very high optical performance and good rendering. I can take it to so different kind of shooting scenarios that it sometimes feels like I have multiple lenses with me. From my point of view, ZEISS has made an excellent decision to make it a 40mm instead of 35mm or 50mm. It has also made me wonder: do many of us prefer to 35mm or 50mm only because these are the categories we have taught to think in the past? Or to put it into other words, do 35mm and 50mm present ‘the natural field of view’ or ‘just right’ because there has not been so much alternatives for these focal lengths? I can’t argue that I have a definitive answer, but I can say that I’ve come to appreciate the 40mm focal length.
And finally there's a bit of uniqueness as well because the 40mm focal length comes with a certain feeling of specialty. I feel this unique focal length kind of ‘marks’ my images and differentiates their field of view from the 35mm and 50mm in a good way. Every image that I shoot is composed a little bit differently that what I would do with the 35mm or 50mm – and this is a very refreshing experience. So, in way mixing versatility and uniqueness together makes the Batis 2/40 CF a very nice lens to shoot with and definitely a reason why continue to take it with me where ever I go – and very often it is the only lens that I take with me.