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The New Zeiss Milvus 25mm f/1.4 | Milvus Lineup Spreads Wings With A Wide Angle Prime

By Justin Heyes on October 19th 2017

The genus’s namesake has inspired the line of the Zeiss Milvus lenses, the new ZEISS Milvus 25mm f/1.4 is the eleventh in the line, and the fourth to feature a f/1.4 aperture, continuing to emulate the power and elegance of the avian.

Building upon a vast history of precise manual focus, unparalleled optical performance, and excellent ergonomics, when Zeiss announces new glass photographers tend to pay attention. The completely redesigned ZEISS Milvus  25mm f/1.4 blurs the lines between the Otus and Milvus lines with Zeiss boasting outstanding edge-to-edge quality, all-metal sealed body, and minimal color fringing are the wides apertures.

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The completely new optical design ensures superior performance across the entire image field,” says Christophe Casenave, Product Manager at ZEISS. “This results in high-contrast photos and a harmonious bokeh.” Cazenave continues “Even at full aperture, there are hardly any color fringes. The finest details can be reproduced in high definition and contrast all the way into the corners.

Specs:

Focal Length: 25mm
Aperture Range: f/1.4-16
Lens Elements/Groups: 15/13
Minimum Focus: 0.252 m (9.93″)
Full Frame 35 FOV (diag):  81.2°
Focusing ring rotation: 172°
Weight: ZF.2: 1171 g (41.3 oz) ZE: 1225 g (43.2 oz)

Keeping in line with Zeiss Milvi, the new 25mm f/1.4  has enhancements including color-matching throughout the entire line, consistent performance throughout focusing distances, improved coating to further control ghosting and flare, and exceptional resolving power due to the floating elements design.

The ZF mount (Nikon) has the ability to de-click the apertures using an included key,  well suited to video shooting; while the ZE (Canon) has an electronic-only aperture.

Marketed toward landscape and architectural photographer, the Zeiss Milvus 25mm f/1.4 will be available starting in early November with pre-orders now live at B&H for $2399.

 

Photo by Tim Allrich. Courtesy of ZEISS

Photo by Ralph Koch. Courtesy of ZEISS

Photo by Ralph Koch. Courtesy of ZEISS

You can find the press release below:

ZEISS Unveils High-Speed DSLR Lens: ZEISS Milvus 1.4/25

With its new wide-angle focal length, the ZEISS Milvus family now boasts eleven lenses for single-lens reflex cameras, including four focal lengths with a maximum aperture of 1.4, which are perfect for videographers too.

OBERKOCHEN/Germany, 2017-10-18.

The ZEISS Milvus 1.4/25 is the latest focal length to be added to ZEISS’s largest range of lenses for full-frame single-lens reflex cameras. The lens, which was developed for the DSLR systems from Canon and Nikon is suitable primarily for landscape and architecture photography, and for journalistic shots and videos. “The completely new optical design ensures superior performance across the entire image field,” says Christophe Casenave, Product Manager at ZEISS. “This results in high-contrast photos and a harmonious bokeh.”

High-speed wide-angle lens

Thanks to a maximum aperture of 1.4, this lens can even capture exceptional images in poor light. “Even at full aperture, there are hardly any color fringes,” says Casenave. “The finest details can be reproduced in high definition and contrast all the way into the corners.” The metal housing is what makes the lens robust, and its dirt and dust protection even makes the ZEISS Milvus 1.4/25 ready for action in adverse weather. The large 172-degree focus rotation angle enables precise manual focusing for adding creative touches to photos and videos.

The largest ZEISS lens family yet

Featuring eleven focal lengths ranging from 15 to 135 millimeters, including two macros, the ZEISS Milvus family covers a host of applications, such as portrait, landscape, architecture and street photography. “We can offer every photographer just the right lens,” says Casenave.

Perfect for videographers too

The four ZEISS Milvus focal lengths 25, 35, 50 and 85 millimeters with an aperture of 1.4 are just perfect for filming. Thanks to their high speed, they are suitable primarily for interviews and documentaries where the videographer can utilize natural light. Thanks to the de-click function in the version for the Nikon-Mount the aperture can be adjusted continuously. ZEISS Lens Gears in a range of sizes permit the use of follow-focus systems.

Price and availability

The ZEISS Milvus 1.4/25 retails for 2,400 Euros including 19 percent sales tax (RRP) or $2,400 USD and will be available starting November 2nd 2017 at dealers and from the ZEISS online shop.

 

 

About

Justin Heyes wants to live in a world where we have near misses and absolute hits; great love and small disasters. Starting his career as a gaffer, he has done work for QVC and The Rachel Ray Show, but quickly fell in love with photography. When he’s not building arcade machines, you can find him at local flea markets or attending car shows.

Explore his photographic endeavors here.

Website: Justin Heyes
Instagram: @jheyesphoto

Q&A Discussions

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  1. adam sanford

    24-ish f/1.4 lenses are for:  reportage, environmental portraiture and astro.  You could argue interiors as well, but there are other other options for that these days.

    But who still uses a wide prime for landscapes?  I need someone to explain the reason why you’d lug a 2.7 lb f/1.4 lens around when you’ll only be shooting it around f/8 – f/11.

    Further, at landscape apertures, a prime’s sharpness upside over a zoom is nearly lost.  My 16-35 f/4L IS will likely be just as sharp at those apertures, it’s half the weight, it zooms if the ridge / vista / lookout / shore I’m on doesn’t allow me to move my feet, and has IS for off-tripod / low-light handheld shooting.  Why on earth would I choose this Milvus over that?

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    • Matthew Saville

      Yup. You gotta be an idiot to lug such a massive lens around only to shot it stopped down more than 2-3 stops. Otherwise, there are much lighter, smaller, and more affordable primes that are INSANELY sharp by f/5.6-11. Literally any Rokinon prime is just eye-poppingly high-resolution at f/8, especially the 24mm f/1.4 and the 16mm f/2 for APS-C.

      Having said that, astro-landscape photography is VERY popular now, and cinema shooters can never get enough aperture power too it seems. So I think that while this lens is indeed a bit too heavy and expensive for the average astro shooter or cinema shooter, it’s still going to be a decent seller for the more well-off crowd who is engaging in either of those genres of photography.

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    • adam sanford

      Sure on astro, but Zeiss hasn’t exactly showered themselves with accolades on the coma front:  Batis 25 f/2, Otus 28 f/1.4 are outperformed by the RokiBowYangs of the world.

      So without a track record of great coma-control, I see this turning into  a pricey 24L II without autofocus.  It’ll be overweight for landscapers and not ideal for astro.  So some famous reportage ace at NYT or NatGeo will lick their chops at this, but how big is that market?

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