Official Update From Zeiss on Batis 40mm Minimum Focusing Behavior

Hugh Brownstone tweeted that he added a comment to his Zeiss Batis 40mm f/2 CF review with the following official update from Zeiss. At this time it’s just a comment so it’s getting pushed down the video, but maybe he will pin it soon.

ZEISS Batis 40mm f/2 CF: B&H Photo / Adorama

Press Release:
The ZEISS Batis 2/40 CF is our allrounder, it’s the perfect tool for ambitious photographers in a variety of situations. The versatility of the lens is also due to its close focus (CF): the ZEISS Batis 2/40 CF allows photographers to get incredibly close to the object they want to capture – the CF, i.e. the minimum distance between the object and camera sensor, measures just 24 centimeters.

To ensure exceptional image quality at close range, the lens automatically stops down when it’s a short distance from the object. This ensures the ZEISS lens delivers the high contrast and resolution across the entire focus range that users have come to expect. In the image, automatic closing of the aperture may become visible in highlights within a blurred background (bokeh). At times, these will not appear perfectly round when focusing at close range.

We are currently developing a software update that will allow us to work within a larger focus range with a wide-open aperture. The update will be available to download for free from the ZEISS website in early 2019. We will notify all registered customers via email.

What are the benefits of the software update?
Once you’ve installed the update, the ZEISS Batis 2/40 CF will only automatically stop down at preset aperture values between f/2 and f/2.5 at close range; in extreme cases (close focusing distance) to max. f/2.8. With a preset aperture value of f/2.8 and up, the aperture will remain unchanged across the entire focus range.

Will I be able to achieve circular highlights in my photos after the software update?
Automatic stopping down is required at short focus distances and with a wide-open aperture in order to meet the high ZEISS image quality standards while ensuring a compact and lightweight lens. The software update will mean highlights appear in an extended focus range round-shaped, fully up to close focusing distance is not possible.

Does the lens only automatically stop down at full aperture, or at other aperture values too?
How many f-stop intervals does this concern? Once you’ve installed the update, the ZEISS Batis 2/40 CF will only automatically stop down at preset aperture values between f/2 and f/2.5 at close range; in extreme cases (close focusing distance) to max. f/2.8. With a preset aperture value of f/2.8 and up, the aperture will remain unchanged across the entire focus range.

At what object distance will the ZEISS Batis 2/40 CF automatically stop down?
We are still developing the configuration of the software update. For this reason, we cannot provide any further details at the present time.

What does automatic stopping down mean for the exposure measurement and the EXIF data of my camera?
Will I get incorrect results? The camera performs exposure measurements correctly because the exposure time is calculated in line with the actual aperture. The exposure time is then saved to the photo’s EXIF data.

The camera saves the aperture value as per the manual setting to the EXIF data, e.g. with a setting of f/2 on the camera, the EXIF data will also show an aperture value of f/2 regardless of the focus distance.

When taking photographs at close range, will I be able to identify how open the aperture actually is?
We are still developing the configuration of the software update. For this reason, we cannot give you any further details at the present time.

I manually set the exposure (aperture, shutter speed, ISO). How can I achieve correct exposure in my photos at close range with the ZEISS Batis 2/40 CF?
If you manually adjust the exposure settings, please take test shots to check whether the exposure is right for you. In some cases, when focusing at close range it may be necessary to set the exposure time up to one exposure step (+ 1EV) higher than usual.

I use the ZEISS Batis 2/40 CF for filming. Will the aperture also close automatically in movie mode?
The ZEISS Batis 2/40 CF behaves in the same way in movie and photo mode.”

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