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Goodbye Dials: These Zeiss Camera Lenses Have Displays Built In

Zeiss

A pair of new camera lenses from Zeiss dispense with the traditional labeled lens ring for adjusting focus and aperture, instead opting for a built-in screen to show that info. There is still a ring, but it's smooth and unnoticeable, unlike the knurled, clicky rings of yesteryear. The Batis 25mm F/2 and 85mm F/1.8 lenses are for Sony's E-mount mirrorless cameras, specifically the full-frame Alphas — a series that has routinely opted for futuristic styling and interfaces in a time when many camera makers are going retro. These smooth, modern-looking lenses will look great against the backdrop of an a7R— and the specs suggest they'll be quite capable at capturing images, as well.

The OLED screen on top shows focal distance and the current aperture, but may of course be tweaked to show more later if Sony or Zeiss decides to add something new. That's not particularly easy to do with lenses where all the settings are etched on. Zeiss lenses command a premium, however, and these are nice ones even for that lineup. The 85mm will cost $1,199 and the 25mm $1,299 — here's hoping Zeiss brings the styling and screen down to a more affordable price point so the rest of us can give them a try.

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