Zeiss to announce a new Milvus 35mm f/1.4 ZF.2 lens for Nikon DSLR cameras

Zeiss is rumored to soon announce a new Milvus 1.4/35 ZF.2 full frame lens for Nikon DSLR cameras.

Additional pictures:

Via Nokishita, PhotoRumors

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  • Eric Calabros

    Are these Made in Japan? How a Japanese blog could get the press images otherwise?

    • Even if they are not made in Japan, they will be announced in Japan. This site always gets the images a few days before the official announcement – they must have a connection in one of the press outlets or in one of the major shops in Japan.

    • saywhatuwill

      Carl Zeiss is made in Japan? I thought they were made in Germany?

      • hunahunahuna

        The vast majority of non-cine zeiss lenses are produced in japan. It’s due to the cost of production of glass in Germany.

        Similar to Apple’s “Designed in California, Made in China”

      • Michiel953

        Cosina makes them. A well publicized fact.

  • Eric Calabros

    $8000 for special paint D5, perhaps. I’m sure there are people who will pay that. But what they gonna do with that? Its not a decorative thing after all.

    • ninpou_kobanashi

      Paint it white so it don’t overheat (^_^)

      • sickheadache

        Nikons don’t over heat…that is fry bacon Sony.

        • ninpou_kobanashi

          Wow, you figured that out all by yourself (^_^)

          • HotDuckZ

            This is my first time that I want to kickboxing with Japanese, did you know Buakaw? Some mirrorless is very easy to heat in 3-7 minutes like a Ultraman. You just turn-on, setup and it already died!!

      • vriesk

        Actually, black is the best color for radiating heat off.

        • ninpou_kobanashi

          But white is the best for reflecting external heat πŸ˜‰

          • HotDuckZ

            Polar bear is best sample.

            • ninpou_kobanashi

              I thought that was just a costume to catch baby seals?

    • sickheadache

      Whore Red.

  • nek4life

    Alright Nikon, everyone has an updated 35mm 1.4 where is yours πŸ˜€

    • Matt Comerford

      The Nikon 35mm f1.4G is still an awesome lens

      • Hans J

        Yep yep, still my favorite lens of all time. That Nikon 35mm has a look the sigma lens can only dream of.

        • amacfly

          I have found completely the opposite to be true. The 35-f1.4 is simply in another whole universe of quality. Tested the one I got on Amazon ( easy returns) against my Nikkor 35-f1.4, and was stunned by the difference, especially corner sharpness at f2. The Nikkor was on EBay the following day, and I’ve exactly the same experience with both the 50-f1.4 and the 85-f1.4 Art lenses.

          • Michiel953

            What’s so important about corner sharpness at f2.0? Do you photograph brick walls and frame filling groups in low light?

            • Someone

              HAHA!! Loved your comment!

            • Michiel953

              I once viewed a very large (wall filling) group photo at Leyden University, probably made with a large format film camera. The persons on the edges of the image were laughably unsharp and deformed. So I can see the relevance, but at f2.0???

            • ITN

              For a group photo, one would typically need to stop down to f/4 or f/5.6 at the very least.

              Anyway the Nikon 35/1.4 is a little too much on the sharp side according to its designer, who seems to prefer the 58/1,4 (optimization of the transition from in to out of focus was the primary goal with that). He was certainly looking at something other than the highest sharpness when designing these lenses. However, it appears that pixel peepers now get their way with the latest 105/1,4 being wicked sharp. It will be interesting to see where the new28/1.4 Nikkor falls.

            • Michiel953

              Yes, I read that too about the 58 which I’ve had for over three and a half years now. It’s phenomenal, and sharp in its own way, but never obtrusively so.

              It’s very enlightening to read the thoughts of the designer of a particular lens, and you don’t often get that opportunity.

        • Michiel953

          Sigma lenses don’t dream, they just register. Sharply it seems.

        • Stefano Ulisse

          I sold my Nikon AF.S 35mm f, 14 and bought the Sigma Art … very very happy about the change.

          • Hans J

            Hmm wow I did not like the sigma at all, way to sharp way to much contrast right off the back. The Nikon is hands down a better lens. The Sigma with like driving around in a Subaru WRX fun when you’re a teenager. But the Nikon is like a BMW M3 fast great looking AND you can pick up classier girls.

            • Stefano Ulisse

              I did not rate my lenses as if they were cars … I love my BMW but my Nikon AF-S 35mm f1.4 used between f1,4 and 2,8 has a really horrible edge … Sigma is a “Ferrari” instead !! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

            • Stefano Ulisse

              Anyway the world is nice because it’s different …. You love the 35 Nikon … I did not really feel right … and I bought it new !!

            • Hans J

              haha the sigma is nice but no Ferrari sir, Auto focus always off on bad copies, no weather sealing etc. Again a good lens like a WRX but surely no “Ferrari”

            • While the Leica 35mm 1.4 Aspheric is the Koenigsegg of lenses. My favorite lens of all time.

            • Carla Mahl Kelly

              Maybe classier, but not as much fun. Here’s the “classy girl” who grew old, kept her manual primes, and bought herself a WRX because it makes the back roads more fun and baffles everybody but me. c:

            • Hans J

              ha! good thing we have choices!! I would never part with my Nikon 35.

      • anti color

        so is the 35 1.4 AIS! My favourite (of course it has to stop down a bit)!

        • amaas

          The AIS is so full of character that it’s brilliant. It’s a superb do-everything lens from f2.8-on, and a brilliant character/street lens at wide apertures.

          The AF-S on the other hand underwhelms. It’s quite good, but both the Art and the regular ZF.2 smack it silly (and then there’s the Otus…). heck, at the same apertures the FX 1.8G is at least as good.

          • Dino Brusco

            hem.. the Otus not yet… but I bet it will be the next one..

  • Br3ncon1

    I find it interesting that Zeiss is suing Nikon yet still releasing lenses with them.

    • Piooof

      You don’t need a Nikon to use that Zeiss lens. So they’re not helping Nikon significantly. But their product directly competes with a Nikon product. So it’s definitively not them being nice to Nikon.
      Besides, business is business, there are no feelings involved, and money is the primary objective. If your company’s sales depend on another, then you have converging interests, whatever the possible conflicts on intellectual property.

  • saywhatuwill

    Yay! Awesome! A million dollar lens that has no autofocus. Just fantastic. But it does have an aperture ring and a real depth of field scale.

    • Manuth Chek

      I don’t think it’s going to be more $1500, the Milvus 50mm f/1.4 is $1200 after all. The Nikkor 35mm f/1.4G is also $1500 and it’s been there for several years now.

      • preston

        These milvus lenses are for the most part just the cosmetic updates of the distagon series and is therefore priced nearly the same. For example the 35 f/2 distagon and 35 f/2 milvus have the exact same list price of $1117. So you can expect the 35 f/1.4 milvus to be right around the $1800 that the 35 f/1.4 distagon is.

      • saywhatuwill

        I’m sure you got the price right. My point is that it still expensive without AF.

  • bobgrant

    After comparing results from Zeiss and Sigma Art, I’ve come to the personal conclusion that todays Zeiss is MOSTLY a vanity product. A well tuned Sigma ART is every bit as “exotic” in it’s subtle nature and….it can Auto Focus for gods sake.

    • hunahunahuna

      I couldn’t disagree more. Zeiss’s classic line may not have the best ‘standard’ benchmarks on things like chromatic aberration, but it makes up for it in micro-contrast. Their newer lines like the Otus truly are some of the best made glass available today. I’m not saying Sigma’s ART series is bad, it’s just not the same.

      And I’d choose an amazing focusing ring to a sub-par autofocus motor any day.

      • bobgrant

        Totally fine that you don’t agree, but micro contrast and smooth manual focus is not what makes great photos. Without going into details, I’ve met with some great shooters and none of them are the least bit concerned with such things. I shoot commercial still-life and I sure don’t care about such things, too subtle to matter in anyone’s eyes but (perhaps) my own. I’ve owned Zeiss and I own Sigma Art. The differences are so small as to not matter and I could make a valid case that the Sigma is superior in several respects. If the Sigma optics were placed in a Zeiss barrel, we’d here how wonderful those specific strengths were. 15 years ago Zeiss had CLEARLY superior optics. This is just not the case anymore. That’s my opinion and the opinion of virtually every working shooter I know, except the retired ones!

        • Hans J

          100% right, 15 years ago there was a difference not today.

          • bobgrant

            Yup. And let me put into clear context. If Tiffany can’t tell the difference (They can’t!), then buying Zeiss is rather silly. I don’t want to get into a war. Zeiss users defend what they paid for. I know that because I did it for years. It ended when I borrowed the Sigma 35 ART and put it on a Nikon D810. The Sigma shot the Zeiss right through the heart. And then I calibrated the Sigma and it delivered a headshot to the Zeiss. Look, the Zeiss is a lovely lens, but technology has caught up and even surpassed them optically. If you love Zeiss and it does what you want, great. But todays Zeiss owner has to hunt for tiny differences and claim it’s “better” when it’s really only different…and I tend to think Sigma is STILL superior and AF too. Zeiss is just exotic anymore except for the price.

        • hunahunahuna

          The thought that you and other commercial photographers you know don’t shoot Zeiss is anecdotal. I personally shoot commercial lifestyle and beauty, and I only shoot Zeiss. I know many others that only shoot Zeiss.

          If we were to get into motion, I can’t name a single DP that isn’t using Zeiss or Cooke.

          But at the end of the day if the client is happy it doesn’t matter, right? πŸ˜‰

        • Captain Megaton

          “but micro contrast and smooth manual focus is not what makes great photos”

          No one needs a Sigma or a Zeiss to take great photos.

          • Even the AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G can shoot great pics for a budget lens (but not always, it depends on the distance to the background to make the bokeh look less busy or simply smooth enough).

          • bobgrant

            Again, this is just my opinion, but in general those who worry about micro contrast and tiny differences DON’T take great or even good photos. Without causing a fight for one of the most renowned portrait shooters alive, he shoots with old lenses and could care less about Zeiss or Sigma. Real talent doesn’t care about micro contrast, nor do high end clients I’ve handled. Gear heads hate this talk and obviously the lines between good and great gear has been blurred. But that’s the point. You SERIOUSLY have to delude yourself into claiming any substantive advantage for Zeiss these days, unless you like manual focus. I own top level glass and also zooms like the 24-85vr. The cheap zoom can provide results, within the limits of the optical formula, that are 100% professional.

            • John Albino

              I certainly agree with you about the 24-85. I have the older, non-VR version, which is essentially the same optically as the newer VR-lens, and except for the variable aperture it’s a fine lens, even on a D800. It’s nice and light to carry around, perfect for walking and hiking with minimum extra weight.

            • bobgrant

              Let’s put it this way. I was shooting jewelry on large forms (dummies) using a Zeiss lens. This was the day the focus binded, right in the middle of a three thousand dollar day. I quietly switched to the 24-85 vr zoom. Not only did the worlkflow speed up, but there wasn’t an ounce of notable IQ difference. This is a different era in lenses, but Zeiss rests on their legend and hopes few will notice. So far as primes go, there are equally great lenses (Like the Sigma ART line) that are in the same league, have good AF, great build and cost a LOT less. So unless you’re in love with the feel of a Zeiss, there are better tools for making images out there in general.

            • raziel28

              I couldn’t agree more. My Zeiss “worship” greatly decreased when I saw Samyang lenses. A few hundred $ 35 1.4 lens has easily outperformed expensive 35 Distagon.
              After that, Sigma ART was announced…
              Not to mention the new Canon 35L, Nikon 105 and some Sony and Fuji lenses.

        • Brett Monroe

          To be fair, what makes great photos has almost nothing to do with the gear and almost everything to do with who’s using the gear. Just saying.

    • Piooof

      People often shooting video may prefer a manual focus lens, with a refined focusing ring feel. But probably not on a Nikon body.

      Other than that, I’ve always been amazed by people spending lots of cash on lab-ultrasharp MF lenses and finally getting softer images because of (inevitable) focusing errors… OK micro-contrast is great if you don’t shoot at f/1.4 or f/2, but then, what’s the point of buying an expensive (bulky, heavy) fast lens?

      • bobgrant

        There ARE certain shooters out there who love the feel of a Zeiss lens. They ARE beautifully built lenses to be sure. And they sit at a VERY high level of optical excellence. The problems are as follows: 1) They no longer rank as the “best” when it comes to optics. 2) Lack of AF is just stupid in this day and age. I’m 54 and I own some MF lenses that I like, but I know they’re dinosaurs. The Sigma ART lenses are a slap in the face for Zeiss as they provide optical excellence and AF. Zeiss no longer has anything to “trade” for that lack of tech. 3) Zeiss continues to charge VERY high prices for lenses that matched or bested by less expensive ones. Though some pros still use Zeiss, they are not a professional standard. Professionals MOSTLY use AF .

    • Isn’t the bokeh and the transition into the blur a speciality of the Zeiss lenses? Even more than on the Sigma maybe if you have a busy background?

      • Ehh, if you have a “busy” background and are that obsessed with the look of your bokeh, you’re probably still using a 1st-gen Canon 1.2 or 1.4 prime. πŸ˜‰ The rest of us just carefully frame our shots to avoid chain link fences and nasty twigs. πŸ˜›

        • Busy background is easy to achieve. It could be for example being out in the nature and having trees in the background.

          • Which is why framing is so important. Since I spent much of my career using off-brand lenses on crop-sensor cameras, I learned that especially out in nature, you have to line up your background, frame your shot to maximize the shallow depth, so that you avoid that “busy” look when appropriate.

            I’d rather have an eye for composition and framing, than a lens that is “less prone to busy bokeh”…

    • …Until your precious Art prime literally falls apart in your hands, and you realize that all the heft and impressive looks don’t make up for truly superb engineering and workmanship.

      An Otus / Milvus is indeed partly a fashion statement / status symbol, I don’t dispute that, but make no mistake, they’re damn good products that put even the “solid” new Art stuff to absolute shame when it comes to actual quality.

      • bobgrant

        Total nonsense. Why do people make stuff like this up? The ONLY lenses I’ve had fail were a Zeiss and two Nikons. My Nikon 14-24 needed service, while my far more battered Tokina 16-28 2.8 keen going and going. My Zeiss 50 focus minded, but to their credit fixed quickly and they even paid shipping. The Sigma Art lenses are very well built and have reaches the highest levels of current optical design. I’m sorry, but this rendered my Zeiss gear as hilariously overpriced vanity lenses. I sold them and bought better glass. The Zeiss legend is well earned, but companies like Sigma have hurt them for good reason beyond just a lower price and AF.

    • Comparing what results?

  • S Cargill

    Ok. I am still confused over the Zeiss drunk punch. I will join in and get some slack. Some one out there… any one… point me to a link of actual photos that show me the difference in the quality of Zeiss versus a high quality Sigma, Nikon or Canon lens. Actual photos not lab crap or paid off review crap. Show me a link of some actual photos of why someone would pay a premium for a manual focus Zeiss over the Sigma, Nikon, or Canon lenses. Please help my confused mind over the Zeiss drunk punch lenses.

    • Hans J

      Dude I’m right there with you.

    • It’s easy to rent one and see for yourself. Why trust something you read on the Internet over your own first-hand experience?

    • Captain Megaton

      They are good lenses. Everything above that is all about what you like and how much it’s worth to you.

      If you like the look of those ART Sigmas, more power to you. I don’t care for them. Zeiss on the other hand, just do it for me. It’s a look. Sharp, deeply saturated, clean contrast, honest bokeh. That said I’m into the older ZF series, which are still quite modestly priced vs. a comparable Nikkor or Sigma so far from feeling ripped off I think I’m on the good deal end of the spectrum.

    • Lance Feagan

      I recommend checking out the videos from Dustin Abbott for real-world comparisons of Zeiss Milvus vs Sigma ART.
      Channel Link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrmU_ja6Ea7G1RYGfy3zeVA

    • Dino Brusco

      I like Zeiss handling and color rendition more than anyone else. I had Nikon, Sigma, Tamron, Voigtlaender but Zeiss seems to have an edge overall on the look of the image. More “transparency” and true to life colours especially for portraits, I think skin hues are depicted much more faithfully than usual “Nikon pink” (which often has a little bit of yellow as well) that seems common to every Nikon lens I had since 2006. For portraiture, despite very expensive lenses sold today, my favourite Nikon is still the 105/2.5 AI (long throw for maximum focus accuracy) and I had 85/1.4, 105/2, 105/2.8 VR, 70-200 VR plus Tamron 90/2.8 (the only real contender for portraiture aside Zeiss). Probably Sigma has today an edge about sheer lens resolution but there’s more than resolution alone and I like the way Zeiss lenses draw images.

    • raziel28
  • Spy Black

    Crickets, expensive crickets…

  • EnPassant

    As soon as a new Zeiss manual SLR lens shifts owner from shop to buyer the value of the lens is reduced by almost 50%.

  • Dino Brusco

    Wait, this is a MILVUS not an OTUS. I will be interesting to see how it performs, though.

  • Thank you for posting this. This is why I hate DxO Mark and other “reviewers”. It’s all about numbers at the expense of testing lenses in the manner in which they are meant to be used. Manufacturers fall into line because they want to sell their product. We all suffer as a consequence. I’m not sure I’d agree with everything presented here, but much of it I do. They forgot about Leitz lenses. They have outstanding micro contrast. The best lenses I’ve ever used were those made by Zeiss for the Contax G cameras. Absolutely stunning, limpid images. My 85mm f/1.8D has qualities similar to Zeiss.

    • Thom Hogan

      I really need to do an article on definitions. Acuity is indeed an attribute mostly defined by a lens. Resolution is mostly an attribute defined by the sensor. You can have resolution without acuity, as the Sony RX100 easily proves.

      Likewise, you can’t have what people call micro contrast without contrast. You don’t see lenses with low MTF values being called great at micro contrast.

      • I think people usually confuse “micro contrast” with an accidental bump of Clarity or Dehaze that they forgot they set as the new default for their Lightroom import. πŸ˜›


      • MTF essentially combines resolution and contrast into a single number, so it’s very useful. It needs to be remembered that it’s the combination of qualities that is inherent in the lens. Adding contrast in post to an image created by a high resolution lens that doesn’t have good edge acuity doesn’t get you there.

        • MB

          Microcontrast is essentially the ability to take two small (micro) areas of slightly different luminance and distinguish the boundary of one from the other (contrast), that is why it is called Micro Contrast …
          MTF is essentially a method of measurement of this lens characteristic …
          And the article at http://www.dslrbodies.com/lenses/lens-articles/what-is-micro-contrast.html is essentially rubbish …

  • DSP~

    Sooooo, does it have AF and IS?
    Oh wait – its a Zeiss – awkward…

  • I won’t hold my breath,

  • Viktor

    Zeiss!!!!!!! Guys, please I am waiting for 25/2 MILVUS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Tell us it is already also in the queue and to be announced πŸ™‚

    I have already 35/1.4 Sigma Art and I do not want to change anything about it………. πŸ˜‰

    • Viktor

      Actually Nikkor 35/1.4 is also a great lens…… I do not understand Zeiss jumping into this competition with a manual focus lens…..

      Go wider, eg. that 25/2 is already quite OK for ManF and the competition? S.Art or Nikkor are still beatable on that field πŸ˜‰

      • FromTheNorth

        Jumping in? The Classic series 35/1.4 has been on the market since 2010.

        As someone who still shoots a few hundred rolls of film per year I have a very different POV to the whole Zeiss vs whoever argument. From my perspective Zeiss is the only company still supporting users who shoot with MF equipment and want modern optical design. I dont take that stuff with me when Im shooting events, but for my personal work I would not trade them for anything. YMMV.

        • Viktor

          “Jumping in” with a upgraded 35mm, yes I know the Classic series is here for a few years πŸ˜‰

          I do agree with you about the MF/HQ optics and yes I do also like them for the possibility to use the lenses on FM2 camera. The thing is I am waiting for 25/2 and they have come out with a thing that I would not expect to have such a success as 25/2….. I suppose πŸ™‚

          I have had the 35/1.4 Classic in my hands for a few time and I did not like the Chroma Abr it makes. That was the reason for me to go for Sigma….

          • FromTheNorth

            Gotcha πŸ™‚ I own the Classic 25/2 btw. Its not perfect by any means, but that doesent stop me from being perfectly happy with it πŸ™‚

            If the 35/1.4 is a new optical design I might get tempted..

            • Viktor

              I was thinking about 25 Classic many times, but I have hoped since Milvus appeared they will rebuilt this one πŸ˜€ If I knew it will take so long I would have gone for 25Classic πŸ˜‰
              I think I have written it somewhere else on this portal – 28 below Manual Focus and 35mm up I do use AF…. just my rule nothing else πŸ˜€ And that is why I went for S.Art with 35 πŸ˜‰

    • Dino Brusco

      Viktor, I can easily imagine your excitement. Actually I find the 25/2 being at least as good and sharp as the 50/2 Makro ( I have both the ZF2, plus the 100/2, the 35/2 and had the 18, going to get the new 18 and the 135 asap), which is even better than the 100/2 (mtf wise); the 100/2 is just a tad more delicate on skin tones; the 25 mm is truly a stellar lens, plenty of detail and with great color rendition.

      • Viktor

        Yeah, the new 18 is really good πŸ˜‰ The 135 was great even in Classic line, had worked with it for a while….. love on first touch πŸ˜€
        And those are exactly those reasons why I am waiting for the new Milvus 25/2 as I do believe they are rebuilding that one and it will be a great one too πŸ˜‰ The Classic one is good, but the new one could be better…. πŸ˜‰

  • nwcs

    I wish Nikon would ease up and license the specs to the F mount. An AF Zeiss would be great. Even AF Samyangs would be a great alternative. And presumably the other third party F mount makers would license. It’s a win-win-win: Nikon makes licensing money, consumers get reliable third party options with AF, third parties can focus on making great products and not reverse engineering (or not proving AF).

    • ToastyFlake

      Why can sigma, tamron, and others make nikon AF lenses and not zeiss. What is it about the licensing that makes these different?

      • nwcs

        They don’t license, they reverse engineer. And people have stated (speculated?) that the legal environment in Japan is different for things like AF than for companies outside of Japan.

      • Henning

        Some say that ZEISS has a contract with Sony, which allows Zeiss to produce autofocus lenses only and exclusively for Sony. I am not sure if it’s true or not…

        • nwcs

          Not. They also made AF for Fuji. They licensed the E mount so the protocols are easy. Samyang has done the same thing for Sony.

  • FountainHead

    New design, or recasing of an old ZF.2?
    Some of the initial line had new optics, some not so much.

    • FromTheNorth

      Im curious about this too.

    • Benjamin Brosdau

      I read on their blog that they had no plans to do a Milvus dress up of the old 35 / 1.4 formula so this will be a new design. The f2 version which I own is the old design in a new case + coatings. Still awesome though.

  • nwcs

    Micro contrast… I asked Thom Hogan about it after another blog went the rounds. He replied and wrote a bigger article: http://www.dslrbodies.com/lenses/lens-articles/what-is-micro-contrast.html

    TLDR: Micro contrast is more about how you process — all lenses give you micro contrast.

  • Thom Hogan

    If you believe that article I have some land in Florida I’m selling…

  • eric

    I’ll stick with my pancake lenses…looks too big for a prime

    • Michiel953

      Do you have many f1.4 full frame pancake lenses (primes) of excellent quality? I’d be interested.

      • eric

        I was kind of joking but I don’t really need f1.4 that much, i shoot mainly when it’s sunny out. I just wish they made smaller lenses. Part of the reason I’ve been switching from nikon to leica over the past year. Big difference in size.

        • Michiel953

          It’s all a (predictable) choice. Speed and AF, full frame, ends up at 600 grs, give or take a gram. F2.8 and manual focus, a less complicated design? 300? It’s not rocket science. Sorry I didn’t see the joke.

          • Captain Megaton

            The joke … well if you have to explain it it isn’t funny anymore, but it does seem nearly all new releases these days are 1 kg monsters. Which to me completely subverts the main point of using a prime lens in the first place, namely convenience. Β―_(ツ)_/Β―

            By the way you aren’t even remotely correct on your rocket science: the AF35/2D is 200g.

            • Michiel953

              I was talking f1.4.

            • Michiel953

              I was talking speed = f1.4.

  • I am not familiar with Zeiss optics. What is the difference between the Milvus, Otus and Apo Sonnar series?

    • You forgot a few…. Milvus,Otus, Batis, Loxia, Touit, Distagon, Biogon, Arri, Sonnar, Planar, Tessar, …I might have still missed some. πŸ˜›

    • But, to answer your question without being snarky,

      Otus is the heaviest and most expensive, and usually the best image quality.

      Milvus is like the little brother to Otus- still heavy and expensive, and still great image quality, but just slightly less so.

      Batis and Loxia are for mirrorless cameras only; both offer good image quality but Batis offers autofocus and Loxia does not.

      Sonnar and most of the other names are old names from yesteryear. Probably still quite sharp and expensive, but all the newer designs are going to have better corners. Aside from the older designs that were originally intended for landscapes in the first place, those are still insanely sharp to this day.

      • Thanks for the explanation. Do i really need a Zeiss or does a Sigma Art or high-end Nikkor lens basically deliver enough image quality on a D810? I am not into collecting luxury items and 2.000 Euro is my pain threshold price for any lens (i would rather buy used ones than to pay even more for a new one as a enthusiast photographer).

        • It depends entirely on your line of work, and how much of a gear-head you are. The Sigma Art lenses are incredibly sharp, but they require calibration, possibly even with the USB dock for near-far calibration, and they are NOT as strong and sturdy as they seem when you first pick them up. They are, however, still a far better overall value for a D810 if you take good care of them. Really, the only reason to buy a Milvus, let alone an Otus, is if you want BOTH the incredible image quality, AND the status symbol / fashion statement. If you only want one or the other, there are better options that don’t break your bank, or your back.

          • Thanks. That sounds like healthy common sense.

          • Brubabs

            The Zeiss lenses are manual focus only; Sigma lenses have autofocus capability. So when you say the Sigma lenses require calibration you are referring to the fine tuning of a feature that doesn’t exist on the Zeiss lenses. Nikon lenses also have autofocus capability and also can be calibrated.

    • Jorge, I’m sure there are rental lenses in Germany, so look into that and see what they have to rent. Zeiss lenses are sharp, but it’s a lot more than that. They have very good contrast as well. The gradation of the tones is very smooth and articulated. That just means the tones (proper word is values) are more numerous with a fine lens. In other words, between pure black and pure white, there are more discernible variations than with an inferior lens. There are a lot of other subtle things to look for. It’s a fun journey to learn. But it’s best to just try them instead of reading a bunch of stuff on the Internet.

  • Reilly Diefenbach

    Yannickkhong, LOL!

  • RIT

    How much will anyone give for my right leg? One careful owner…
    Will throw in shirt off back for good measure.

  • Dino Brusco

    On a side note, am I the only one seeing a resemblance with the Loxia 85/2.4 in terms of lens look?

  • jimmy

    Has anyone got info on the optical formula? Is it just an updated version of the ZF/ZE one from the last few years?

    One of the greatest 35mm lenses ever made was the Zeiss Contax/Rollei 35/1.4. Sadly it’s impossible to adapt for Nikon and over the years has been one of the few lenses to sometimes make me jealous of Canon shooters. It’s the lens that has an unusual medium format look to it, wide angle but with a sudden drop off in focus.

    For years people have been pleading with Zeiss to make a modern lens with that formula – the ZF/ZE ones were completely different with a beautful softer rendering but lacking the sharp fall off in focus.

    Fingers crossed they have decided to resurrect the old design – they sell for a small fortune on ebay so I am sure Zeiss would sell no end of them.

    • Michiel953

      I had that 35/1.4 on a Contax RTSIII; beautiful combination. Sold it when the RTSIII died.

      • jimmy

        These days of course you can still use them on Canon and now Sony mirrorless cameras. Just something so unique about the rendering of that lens – just hope Zeiss have been paying attention. The ebay prices tell the story. This lens actually looks a bit thinner than the Zf/ZE one so maybe we are in luck!

    • Tadao_Isogai

      If you mean the lens described here:

      Then, likely no. Latest rumor shows Milvus 35/1.4 ZF.2 with 14 elements in 11 groups, weighing 1,174 grams. See blog post, updated a short time ago in Japan, here:

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