Zeiss to announce a new Milvus 1.4/25 ZF.2 lens


Zeiss will soon announce a new Milvus 25mm f/1.4 (1.4/25) full frame DSLR lens for Nikon F-mount (ZF.2):

  • Mount: ZE (for Canon), ZF.2 (for Nikon)
  • Shortest shooting distance: 25 cm
  • Maximum magnification: 1:4.6
  • Filter diameter: 82mm
  • Weight: 1225g (ZE), 1171g (ZF.2)

Zeiss is currently offering 10 different Milvus ZF.2 lenses for Nikon F-mount.

Additional pictures of the Milvus 1.4/25 lens:


Source: Nokishita, via PhotoRumors

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  • br0xibear

    Couldn’t they just have “played the game” and called it a 24mm ? lol

    • Ed Hassell

      Zeiss has always done 21 and 25mm instead of 20 and 24mm. It’s Canikon who are the oddballs.

      • Are you saying this is because the 20mm’s and 24mm’s are *ACTUALLY* 21mm and 25mm, or is it just that Zeiss is trying to be different?

        Because honestly, if you want to be different just for the sake of being different, I’d MUCH rather have a 19mm and a 23mm! 😛

        • Erick Tessier

          Sure but Zeiss already have a 18mm too. (And a 15mm)

        • El Aura

          Leica is also offering 21 mm (instead of 20 mm) lenses. But they do have 24 mm lenses. And for its SLR R-line, they offered 19 mm (& 21 mm) lenses as well as a 15 mm lens, while for the M system, they offer 18 mm & 21 mm lenses. Leica also always offered 280 mm instead of 300 mm lenses.

          But some of the peculiarities exist with Japanese manufacturers as well. Nikon and Sigma offer 105 mm lenses, everybody else offers 100 mm lenses (incl. Zeiss and Leica). Except for zoom lenses where many have xx-105 mm lenses, except for Nikon which currently only has a xx-120 mm lens (though they had in the past xx-105 mm lenses).

        • silmasan

          Indeed you have a point, for both 19mm and 23mm are True Primes, as I have elaborated in the other post. Glad to see someone who gets it.

          • Let us not forget the Pentax 31, 43, and 77mm Limited Primes. 😉

            (Oh, I see you already mentioned them, and 77 is not a prime number. My bad!)

      • silmasan

        They’ve all been mostly oddballs — I’ve long said that “primes” should always come in prime numbers, such as
        17mm, 19mm, 23mm, 29mm, 31mm, 37mm, 41mm, 43mm, 47mm, 53mm, 59mm, 61mm, 67mm, 71mm, 73mm, 79mm, 83mm, 89mm and so on.

        A few examples of true primes are:
        Nikon 19mm f/4E PC Tilt-Shift
        Pentax SMC FA 31mm f/1.8 Limited
        Pentax SMC FA 43mm f/1.9 Limited

        Most so-called “primes” are #notactuallyprimes #truestorybro

      • Color Crush

        Zeiss did a 24/2 on Sony A mount.

    • fjfjjj

      Spot on.

    • Spy Black
      • Allan

        The above picture is for old farts. 🙂

        • Spy Black

          So is that lens.

      • This was EXACTLY my response when Canon announced the 11-24mm.

  • Allen_Wentz

    Does this rumored fine-looking lens have a rumored price?

    • Not yet

    • Tecumseh

      …but we can expect “too much $” ;-P

    • Curtis

      $85 or 699 Euro. There.. that was easy. Rumor started

    • Dino Brusco

      Easy. Considering the 35/1.4 is around 2/2.1k€ and 18/2.8 is 2.2k€ I expect the 25/1.4 being around 2.2/2.5 k€ no less

    • Mistral75

      £1,999 / €2,399.

  • Is it M/F, if so why in this day and age

    • Aldo

      Photography is too easy for some… they like to make it more challenging and get an extra 2mp in return.

    • fanboy fagz

      at 1.4 mf? thats just crazy. and the pricing is also outrageous. I would just get the sigma 24 art and be done with it.

      • br0xibear

        So is there any place left for manual focusing?
        here’s a guide/faq/explanation from Zeiss…

        https://www.zeiss.co.uk/camera-lenses/photography/content/manual-focusing-with-af-camera-systems.html

        • doge

          The answer is no.

        • El Aura

          Some still photographers (from landscape to studio) do clearly prefer MF lenses (focussing with magnified Life View) because off-sensor PDAF isn’t accurate enough (CDAF mostly is but not always).

          • I agree but you should have af with the ability to switch to MF if you want to.

            • El Aura

              Almost all AF lenses are harder to manual focus than MF lenses because the focussing ring has too little resistance, some play and too short a throw. There is a market for MF lenses, whether you like it or not.

            • Jacob C

              This is the other interesting reason to buy manual glass, and I’m glad El Aura pointed it out. Manual focus with a Nikon 85 1.8/G wide open is just a nightmare even compared to the stupidly cheap rokinon 85 1.4 manual focus lens, because as El Aura pointed out, the throw is too short and there is some plasticky play in the focus ring. However, there are shots I will get with that Rokinon that I just can’t with the Nikon. After twilight, the AF becomes too jumpy and inconsistent even on an 810. It’s my favorite time to shoot portraits though, and if you can learn to autofocus and good handholding technique to consistently shoot at about 1/15 of a second, an 85 1.4 manual focus lens is a gem, and I just can’t make my AF lens nail it without using a flashlight to light up my subject which always screws up the person you’re trying to take a photo of when you’re shining a light into their eyes the whole time.

        • TurtleCat

          Well, they ignore that they’ve done AF lenses for Fuji and Sony… Other than that it’s kind of a “we can’t do it for Canon and Nikon so we’ll find a way to make it seem like a feature.”

        • Lance Feagan

          I prefer MF when stitching & stacking. For the few AF lenses I have, I typically turn it off. Even then, I like a stiff MF lens, so I know the focus hasn’t changed from shot-to-shot when I change ND filters. However, 25mm is not a common focal length for me to use when shooting landscapes. I am not sure this lens is targeting landscape photographers.

          • “Lance Feagan br0xibear • 7 hours ago
            I prefer MF when stitching & stacking. For the few AF lenses I have,

            That is just my point YOU can chose, I would buy NO lens that does not have AF with MF as a choice

            • ITN

              Manual focus on almost all AF lenses is very imprecise and frustrating. The construction is usually loose as well, to facilitate AF. For precision work, I prefer manual focus lenses.

        • fanboy fagz

          well they would say that about manual focus. what are they going to say that AF is better? or shooting in partly dimmed lighting is still great. MF sucks ass in every way. ive had the 85 1.4 AIS and was a pita to MF. I was just in the beginning of my photography and wanted to experience everything and compromises didnt bother me so long as I was “learning and photographing” today, Its photographing and making money. I learned my lesson with MF lesnes. they suck.

          • Color Crush

            For your shooting style, they probably do.

        • Jacob C

          Three reasons to shoot manual lenses. First, for weddings. Yup. I said it. For example, I often use a Samyang 135 f2 while shooting weddings, despite having the Tamron 70-200 on a second body. Last wedding, I decided to rent the Sigma 135 1.8, and guess what? I missed way more shots and was super bummed about it. Why? Because it’s just a crazy shallow depth of field, and when I use manual glass for portraits, I take 3-6 photos at a time while slightly adjusting the focus. One of them always nails it. Well, the Sigma, when it actually found the person’s eye, takes great photos. It’s sharper by some infinitely small amount than the cheap Samyang, but on a d810 it’s still is sharper than all of my G glass wide open. Anyway, the problem with autofocus in this scenario is that, all that has to happen is either you or the person you’re shooting rock forwards or backwards about an inch (in a wedding, stupidly easy to do) and suddenly what you thought was tracking their eye is now tracking their cheek, and their eye is blurry at 100%. Yes, I use spot focusing, I can use focus tracking, I can use all Nikon’s fancy tricks. Start shooting half your portraits with manual wide aperture lenses and you’ll get to be very good at tracking moving subjects. Now, sure, I don’t need f/1.8 on a 135 all the time. But why am I carrying that weight if I’m not going to use it that way? I have an AI’D Nikkor 135 3.5 that kicks the snot out of even my 70-200… Reason #2. For me, I also shoot film, so being able to use a voigtlander 58 1.4 interchangeably between my f3HP and a d750 when it’s such a tiny lens, it’s invaluable. And my favorite reason to have MF lenses, is reason #3. When I was traveling through Europe this year, I brought a fuji x-t20 (I know, this is nikon rumors, but I used almost all nikon glass) with a focal reducing lens adapter and a standard adapter, and 3 manual nikon lenses (20/3.5, 58/1.4, 135/3.5; and one pancake fuji 27, each of the nikons essentially become two lenses each because of the different adapters). The whole package weighs under 3 pounds, I can carry it all day, I have every focal length I could need from 20mm through 210, and a wide aperture f/1.4 that works as a 58 or an 87. With the focal reducer, the 135 gains a stop and basically becomes a 135 f/2.8, or without it’s a 210 f/3.5 for about 13OZ. Guess how much it cost? $40. How much does a Nikon 70-200 f/4 weigh or cost? Additionally, traveling with small manual primes is ideal because, if you’re hiking, you can just put one lens on the camera and cary it around your neck all day without bringing the others (or put a second on in your pocket). Bring a Nikon FG with some Ilford HP5 while you’re at it and you could have both a film and digital camera with a 20 / 50 lens combo for 2lb. You really can’t be more versatile while traveling than with 3 or 4 very small primes because you will actually bring several of them to the top of a mountain… And that comes to my third reason part B. I used to carry 15 pounds of shit when shooting a wedding between two leather bags for 16 hours. All that large aperture AF glass is heavy AF.

      • Dino Brusco

        Not the same thing. Some people enjoy also the time they take pictures. They aren’t on a rush and working on an image appearing from blur on your viewfinder is a fine pleasure for some and your photos worth twice as much.

      • Color Crush

        Buy Sigma, when you don’t understand nothing but price.

        • fanboy fagz

          Buy zeiss when youre a sucker for that price

          • Color Crush

            Clearly you haven’t owned anything Zeiss to make that statement. Keep shooting with spray and pray Sigma glass.

            • fanboy fagz

              you wish bitch. try focusing at 1.4 in dim lighting. good luck with that sucka!

    • Preedee Kanjanapongkul

      MF lenses still have their role in astrophotography, in which focusing accuracy is critical.

      Many AF lenses have short focus throw and no hard infinity stop which are difficult to use. It’s also impossibile to focus accurately with AF in the dark sky.

      • Yes but “I” want to CHOSE if I use MF or AF not be dictated to by the manufacturer and only have MF,

        • Preedee Kanjanapongkul

          I see your point. Zeiss should make AF lenses for DSLRs just like they make those Batis for Sony.

          • Jacob C

            I think the problem here isn’t that Zeiss wouldn’t make AF lenses for nikon. Nikon doesn’t license their lens mount, so every third party manufacturer has to reverse engineer it. Sigma and Tamron make very good glass these days, but their AF is still inferior to Nikon’s for this reason. Zeiss isn’t willing to compromise their quality to pursue a crappy AF hack. Besides, if you are making enough money as a photographer to buy a bunch of Zeiss lenses, and you have a reason to spend a magnitude of order more money than is necessary to get a very narrow edge in performance, then you’re probably not the kind of person who is hindered by manual focus lenses. But you are the kind of person who would return a sigma 135mm art lens because it has a 20% autofocus miss rate.

        • El Aura

          You can choose to either buy an MF or an AF lens. If manufacturers followed your wishes and only produced AF lenses, those preferring MF lenses for their superior manual focussing abilities wouldn’t be able to choose.

        • ITN

          For AF, you can choose from a variety of autofocus lenses. Same with MF. There are almost no lenses that offer both well implemented.

    • Color Crush

      My best work came from MF lenses, using them during event work. Take less, more purposeful images in a setting where other photogs tend to spray and pray with AF. I have a good mix of AF lens, but when it’s time to create something special, I reach for the manual glass every time.

      • Jacob C

        I think that learning to shoot film has really done this for me. At about $0.80 a frame, not only do you have the added time of taking the photo because everything’s manual, but you can’t afford to waste time. You start thinking about positioning yourself to get the composition and light you need. If I go through all my favorite photos, not one of them was shot with a 70-200. Is my tamron optically superior? Maybe except for light transmission which is difficult to judge. But when I’m doing that standard spray-and-pray, just like you said, I end up with 100 mediocre but very sharp photos instead of 3 or 4 I really give a shit about, or that anyone else will look at a second time. Now I sort of resent my fancy pants AF lenses because none of them have aperture rings, so I can’t effectively use them with my film cameras.

    • j j

      Anyone who can’t focus a lens of less than 35mm really needs to go see an eye doctor. Seriously, think about it.

  • decentrist

    it looks like a 105

    • Aldo

      Will you do a review on this one?

    • ninpou_kobanashi

      That’s just the hood talking.

  • fjfjjj

    The first retrofocus ultrawide to perform as well as a non-retrofocus. Just so you can put a reflex mirror behind it, in 2017.

    • Captain Megaton

      C’est la vie!

      • silmasan

        So ist dast Leben!

        • Michiel953

          That’s life.

  • 2.7 POUNDS? Seriously, who would be willing to drag that around?

    • Captain Megaton

      That’s pretty much typical for high-end primes these days.

      (no, I’m not happy about it, but people want f/1.4 at all focal lengths, while retaining sharpness when viewed on 50 MP sensors, so…)

      • Well, the Nikon 24mm f/1.4 is HALF that weight and I can’t imagine it’s a slouch on the D850. I can get my mind around that. Anyway, if that’s what “high end” primes are weighing in at these days, OK. But, not in my bag.

        • Start imagining!

          There is still hope, however. Even the Nikon 24mm f/1.8 is roughly as sharp as the Sigma 24 1.4 Art, when stopped down to a reasonable aperture.

          In short, if you don’t ABSOLUTELY need to shoot wide open a LOT of the time, then a gigantic prime is totally unnecessary.

          Oh and for Sony, there’s also Loxia and Batsi, since we’re talking Zeiss. Both incredibly sharp offerings.

          • Color Crush

            If you buy a 1.4 lens, or even a 1.8 lens, you shoot it wide open. If it’s not sharp wide open, it’s a waste of money, and a zoom is a better option.

            • Michiel953

              Nonsense.

            • And yes, the Nikon 24 1.4 is not that great. It’s good, but not that good at 36+ MP.

            • Michiel953

              @Astro: It’s fine. I’ve used it on all D8xx’s.

            • Color Crush

              It’s not nonsense. Fast aperture lenses tend to have low microcontrast, so to create dimension from the background, it’s best to shoot wide open, it will render flat if shot at smaller apertures. A waste of money if stepped down. Zeiss tends to defy this in a few of their lenses, but it very difficult to pull off, thus the very high price tags most fast aperture lenses from Canon, Nikon, Zeiss and Sony. Sigma only cares about sharpness so that’s why their lenses render flat with lost tonal information and AF issues.

            • Michiel953

              It’s nonsense because all my 1.4G primes perform admirably stopped down slightly or a bit more (they have character), and aren’t all that good wide open. Why would I want razor thin dof anyway.

              Btw: my 50/1.2 AiS gives a really dreamy look wide open on 400 ISO b&w. Beautiful.

            • Color Crush

              Do you shoot full frame? The purpose of shooting FF is for shallow DOF and fine details. If you’re shooting stepped down, you’re losing the advantage of FF. My crop body can turn out the same image at that point. FF 1.4, my D500 can’t touch that. FF F4-8, my D500 can match that easily at a much cheaper cost.

            • Michiel953

              Yes, ff, D850 now. You really are clueless, aren’t you?

            • ITN

              No, it can’t. There is no 45 MP DX body, so images have less detail. PC wide angles are wasted on DX as only a small fraction of the image circle would be used. The rest just flares and reduces contrast.

              There are many other reasons to shoot full frame.

            • ITN

              I disagree. Nikon’s f/1.4 nano coated lenses are exceptionally good stopped down a bit, and render beautiful images.

            • That about sums it up. People who buy 1.4 or 1.2 lenses just to shoot them at 2.8 or 4.0 are very often just elitist idiots. Sure, a few actually know what they’re looking for and put that lens’ full sharpness to good use, but most of them just say “I prefer the bokeh” or something silly like that.

            • Color Crush

              lol, right. I just don’t understand how people pay $1500-2000 for a 1.4 and shoot it at F4. Just buy a 2.8 zoom for more value. But primes are shaper than…..not at F4-8, the quality of zooms these days it’s all the same.

            • ITN

              The primes are smaller, and there is often more beautiful rendering. Finally you may want some images at f/4 and some at f/1,4 without changing lenses.

        • Michiel953

          All my Nikkor 1.4G primes weigh 600 grs, and perform well on the 850. And they have AF! They balance well.

          The Milvus line might outperform them optically though, at a price.

          • A price in dollars AND weight. Glad YOUR “imagination” is better than others.

  • FountainHead

    A new lens, or a recase of the 25?
    (Which is seemingly Zeissheads’ least favourite lens…)

    • Mistral75

      The 25mm from the ‘Classic’ line is f/2, not f/1.4.

  • bgbs

    Beautiful lens but not so attractive price.

  • Color Crush

    My head just exploded. The lens I’ve been waiting for since the Milvus line was announced….and it’s 1.4. I’m complete.

  • Reilly Diefenbach

    Another three pound monstrosity. Will this plague of wafer thin depth of field photography never end?

    • Jacob C

      Sometimes you just want to shoot at 64 ISO without having to use a time-stopping device for your subjects, 4 high sync flashes, and noon day sun. 🙂 Then, the wafter thin depth of field is a consequence of those rich, rich blacks and skin tones in your RAW files… I guess the astrophotography guys swear they need wide apertures too, and of course us wedding photographers have to carry around lenses with font elements that are bigger than our heads just so the client feels good about not shooting their entire wedding with an iphone. 🙂

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