Zeiss Milvus 25mm f/1.4 (1.4/25) full frame DSLR lens for Nikon F-mount announced

The previously rumored Zeiss Milvus 25mm f/1.4 (1.4/25) full frame DSLR lens for Nikon F-mount is now officially announced:

Additional coverage after the break:

Technical data for the Zeiss Milvus 1.4/25 lens:

Focal length 25 mm
Aperture range f/1.4 – f/16
Lens elements / Groups 15 / 13
Focusing range 0,252 m (9.93’’) - ∞
Free working distance 0,093 m (3.66’’) - ∞
Angular field (diag. / horiz. / vert.) 81,2° / 70,8° / 50,4°
Diameter of image field 43 mm (1.69″)
Flange focal distance ZF.2: 46,50 mm (1.83″)
ZE: 44,00 mm (1.73″)
Coverage at close range (MOD) 170,7 mm x 112,1 mm (6.72‘‘ x 4.41‘‘)
Image ratio at MOD 1 : 4.6
Entrance pupil position ( in front of image plane) 127,0 mm (5.00’’)
Rotation angle of focusing ring (inf – MOD) 172°
Diameter max. ZF.2: 95,2 mm (3.75‘‘)
ZE: 95,2 mm (3.75‘‘)
Diameter of focusing ring ZF.2: 82,5 mm (3.25‘‘)
ZE: 82,5 mm (3.25‘‘)
Length (without lens caps) ZF.2: 123,3 mm (4.85‘‘)
ZE: 122,5 mm (4.82‘‘)
Length (with lens caps) ZF.2: 138,0 mm (5.43‘‘)
ZE: 140,2 mm (5.52‘‘)
Weight ZF.2: 1171 g (41.3 oz)
ZE: 1225 g (43.2 oz)

Additional pictures:

Here is the full line of Zeiss Milvus lenses:

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  • Wouldn’t touch it, I have w/a lenses, IF I wanted another i would be one that has AF as well as MF why would anyone want to pay silly money for MF only

    Sample images mean nothing, in magazines or on line, take the same shot with ten cameras and similar lenses, unless enlarged to A1 no one could see any difference in premium quality lenses.

    MTF charts and other “lab” works mean nothing in the real world. I don’t take photographs in a lab

    • Aldo

      You know I don’t care much for MF lenses but that doesn’t mean there isn’t application for them. Let me give you an example. Macro work couldn’t give a damn about AF, actually AF could be detrimental to serious macro work. I know this is not a macro lens, but Imagine you are trying to get the sharpest or best possible quality landscape and you have all day to shoot. Again AF wouldn’t really help much there, and if MF means I’ll get a better picture, I’ll take the MF any day over the AF. Just my 2 cents.

      • Color Crush

        Thank you for being reasonable.

      • Just Me

        You could manually focus an autofocus lens. :-/

        • Aldo

          You could… but it wont be a zeiss =)

          • Just Me


          • Steven Choi

            I don’t think any photographers are buying this lens. Correctors are the most customers i believe with paying ridiculous price.

          • Big deal

        • at last common sense thank you Just Me that is what I said

        • Not the same thing with the short throw of AF lenses. The fact is , for applications where you need precision and have time, MF is preferred over AF. Now if the price zeiss asks for their lenses are sensible or not is another matter.

          • Just Me

            MF being preferred isn’t relevant. Having a longer throw for it is. You’re right.

      • fanboy fagz

        yes, but an af lens can mf as well and how much of the times will you really need mf? I shoot weddings. I used to own the 105VR. used to do the ring shots in af and some closeup here and there, in AF. it did it well, mostly.ive since sold it as I dont use the lens often enough to juystify carrying it around.

        now I use the 85mm 1.8d and extension tubes. I use MF and it fine for the 5 pictures I use MF with it for. and the rest of the day im shooting mf and nailing a lot of images that NO WAY IN HELL id get should I be using MF. and I had the 85 1.4 AIS which had great MF. its very difficult to use on people standing together and talking. and you waste a lot of time racking the focus to adjust minutely back and forth. its just a pita.

        AF, lock, shoot, capture the moment.

        • PhilK

          While you make some relevant points, there’s no point in expecting everyone to have the same priorities about how they shoot and what equipment suits them.

          For many or even most landscape photographers, AF is probably largely superfluous, for example.

          My issue with these lenses is the value – are they worth the premium in price, size, weight and lack of AF over similar Nikkor? Just as with typical Leica users, the way a person answers that question probably has a lot to do with how wealthy they are. 😉

          The comparitive Nikon lens to this 25mm Milvus is the 24/1.4 Nikkor, which has a wider FOV, 30% smaller, 50% lighter, $400 cheaper (in the US) and has USM AF.

        • Aldo

          You are absolutely right… thing is not everyone has the same needs

          • fanboy fagz

            yes, but an af lens has both. try mf in even barely darkish situations. youre just shooting with hopes of nailing focus.

            • +1, I find it amazing that people are pointing out that some only need MF when as has been stated you simply flick a switch between MF and AF and any manufacturer dumb enough not to offer AF is killing their own market.

              It is like having two hotels next to each other, one takes credit cards and cash, the other JUST cash, I know which one will go bust.

            • El Aura

              I find it amazing that you can keep pretending not hearing the arguments about the relative difficulties of manual focussing AF lenses.

            • The cash one accepts money in all notes and coins and cash/card one accepts many cards but cash only in exact amounts.

        • I shoot everything from sports to wildlife, I would no more buy a MF ONLY note I said ONLY lens that have a video camera that shoots tape.

          Speed, convenience and when you may rarely need MF switch to MF

          • fanboy fagz

            thats it exactly. when you may need it, you can mf. like using extension tubes for macro. other then that AF is what ill use almost always. look at the zeiss snobs trying to downplay how bad MF really is. I was there. I owned the 85 1.4 AIS. its a ridiculous amount of effort and wasting time and a lot of missed focus. its terrible. lets not forget that ridiculous price tag. compare it vs the sigma 24 1.4 ART. I think the difference is negligible.

      • Steven Choi

        just let you know that mordern AF lenses also work as manual focus!

        • Aldo

          Just to let you know zeiss nikon are MF

          • Then I will never buy a Zeiss Nikon fit lens

        • El Aura

          Just let you know that manual focussing AF lenses sucks because of too little resistance, too much play and too short a throw.

        • Matt Comerford

          none of my AF lenses have hard infinity stops 🙁

      • I never said MF is bad just that it is POINTLESS to have JUST MF, lenses should offer both MF and AF and allow the USER to chose

        • El Aura

          And talking to you also seems pointless as you keep pretending that manual focus on a AF lens is as precise and easy as on an MF lens.

    • Color Crush

      That’s a lot of “means nothing”. I wonder what matters in your photography, probably “oh boy the out of focus areas are smooth.”

      • fanboy fagz

        or, I can be a snob and pay an absurd amount of money for a manual focus lens and say to my friends look its a zeiss, but I cant show you amazing pictures from it because theyre all out of focus .it was too dark for me to focus properly although my camera could focus if it had an af nikon lens..

        • Matt Comerford

          someone call the waaaaaaambulance!

          • fanboy fagz

            ahh, you got me good..youre right. lets all buy the zeiss and manual focus our way to bliss. although we wont have images to show for as most wont be in focus.

            • Matt Comerford

              cuz landscape photogs really need autofocus amirite?

        • Color Crush

          If you’re worrying about your friends while shooting, it’s not for you.

          • fanboy fagz

            hell yea its not for me. its for suckers like you.

        • Clap clap Clap +1

      • Just Me

        The final image matters. Photos taken with Zeiss lenses aren’t appreciably better than lenses costing half as much.

        • Color Crush

          Zeiss is for that extra bit of special. It’s not worlds better. But some of us appreciate the extra character. If it’s all the same to you, then it’s not for you. But if cost is everything, then you’re missing out on very special glass from many different brands. Rent and try some of the glass you think isn’t worth it, your opinion may change.

          • Just Me

            To me, seeing it with your eyes is special. Everything else is a lesser imitation.

            One of the problems with photography is, you can never capture the entire experience. The initial pleasure of seeing a scene worth capturing; things occurring before and after the capture; attendant smells and sounds; the thoughts all these things conjure in you. Nothing can capture that.

            All that to say, knowing you have a particular lens can have that same effect. When you put that Zeiss lens on your camera, you just know it’s gonna be an “extra bit of special” and so, for you, it is.

            For me…meh. ¯_(ツ)_/¯

        • C**p, I have put this to the test on seven occasions with people who believe that.

          In two clubs we shot similar bodies and focal lengths, I did it as way back as slide and as recently as three months ago.

          Five members shot three Canon and two Nikon FF camera bodies, 720, D4s, 5D etc, all fitted with either Sigma art, my 14-24 Nikkor, a Zeiss Milvus 50mm, a Canon 16-35 and a 12-24 (I think) NO ONE even the camera owners when they were all printed to A3+ could say which camera lens combo took which

          Real world is NOT a lab

          • Just Me

            I think you replied to the wrong comment. I agree with you!

            • POOP sorry, I know, wrong place in the thread

            • Just Me

              “POOP”!? 🙂

        • You see appreciable difference jumping from low to high level. From high to higher, it’s the land of diminishing returns. You pay a lot more to get little bit more. Some may find that little bit significant and some may not. They may be buying because they are snobs or maybe they actually are enlightened. Who are we to judge?

          • Just Me

            I got so tired of writing “in my opinion” or “to me…”, I don’t do it anymore. Instead, my moniker is intended to convey that.

            • True. But you wrote it here. And without that caveat.

            • Just Me


    • Matt Comerford

      Cool story!

    • tjholowaychuk

      You really don’t need AF for wide angles, honestly try it it’s so trivial.

  • saywhatuwill

    $2300+ for a manual focus lens. What do they think we use, Leica M bodies?

  • Photoman

    I have the Milvus 50mm F1.4 and I love the images from the lens. When I was looking for a high end 50 it was between the Milvus and Sigma Art lens and I chose the Milvus because I preferred the colors and bokeh. The MF will put most people off I understand.

    • Color Crush

      I call it my Paint Brush lens. Gives images the character of a painting.

      • Max


      • ZoetMB

        So does reducing resolution and color depth. Very easy to do in Photoshop.

        • Color Crush

          I like to get it right in camera. Software will never replace lens character. It’s like saying the iPhone portrait mode has better bokeh than DSLRs.

          • Just Me

            Ummm… No. Apples and oranges.

    • RayEames

      I have it too and shooting old empty structures and houses against vast landscapes… incredible detail and color. The prints have received rave reviews.

  • Aldo

    Not sure why people like the aesthetics of the Zeiss glass so much. I must be either too old or too young to appreciate.

    • Matt Comerford

      I use my zeiss glass for the performance (15mm f2.8) not aesthetics.

    • Sebako

      The current design of Zeiss lenses (it’s not always been that way, remember Zeiss has been at this for a while) was actually created by a dedicated industrial design firm, who are so proud of it that they’ve made a web site about it:


      The idea is apparently to evoke the idea of a “light funnel” (whatever that may be – their words). In my personal opinion the Milvus lenses look better on Canon bodies who tend to be as smooth, plain, and elegantly curved as them. Nikon bodies are more structured, angled, instrument-like.

      • PhilK

        Yes, the Canon’s have continuous curves, as well as annoying non-differentiated control-surfaces that feel lousy on your fingers. 😉

        As for a Canon DSLR’s ‘elegance’ – whoever was in charge of elegance must have been on vacation when they designed that horribly ugly 1DX II pentaprism housing. 😉

    • If you’re talking about the aesthetics of the images produced, I suggest you rent one and see for yourself. Having seen a few images you’ve posted here it seems you’re after a “look” that’s different from what I’m after. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/bd13b257b6d01cb9cc6b1620343443126dbde5236cf69d09cd2310aba0759d69.jpg If Contax had continued as a company and produced a digital version of the G2, I would be shooting that and not Nikon. Wouldn’t have to give it ANY thought if they’d come back with one. I’d sell all my Nikon gear and buy a into that system. Attached is an image made using the Contax G2 with 45mm Planar shot at f/8 (I know YOU like f/11, but some of us know how to focus and can use wider apertures). Anyway, I used Ilford FP4 film developed in Edwal FG-7 1:20. I made the exposure in 1996. Recently I used a 55mm f/3.5 Micro-Nikko on my Df to copy the negative, then used a combo of Silver FX Pro and Lightroom to work up what you see here. It probably looks like any other photo as much is lost by the time it gets on the Web, but you’ll get the idea.

      • Aldo

        Just the physical aspect of the lens… Im sure the optical qualities are great like all who swear by them say.

  • sickheadache

    Zeiss Proud! Does it come with turbo charge? A Sunroof?

    • Derryck

      No need for turbo charger seems to use some LOX propellant, but for the price that sunroof ..

    • Power seats, that’s for sure. Needs a hoist to mount it though.

  • sickheadache


  • decentrist

    15 pieces of glass in this over corrected beast. It looks like a 105.

  • Merijn van Dyck

    That’s a lot of “means nothing”. I wonder what matters in your photography, probably “oh boy the out of focus areas are smooth.”

    • Roger S

      Duplicate of a Color Crush post from a couple of hours earlier. Sorry, I don’t know how to flag this to the admin but maybe this post will get his attention.

      • PhilK

        Good point. Perhaps down-voting?

        I note that the poster account’s profile is also marked ‘private’.

      • Matt Comerford

        click the little down arrow to the right of the post, then “flag as inappropriate”

      • I already flagged it. Use down arrow in the side to find options to flag.

  • Steven Choi

    Who is buying this sort of manual focus junky? Why are they keep making manual focus lense?

    • nicolaie

      Nikon and Canon won’t allow them to make Af lenses, only Sony

      • Henning

        It’s probably the other way around. Sony does not allow Zeiss to make AF Lenses for other brands than Sony.

    • Michiel953

      When were you born?

  • dabug91

    I love how this untidy picture also serves to make the lens look pretty meh. =]

    • ToastyFlake

      That does look like poo.

  • PhilippeC

    Well saying that AF lens can also work as MF lens is not exactly right:
    – Nearly all modern AF lens have a very short focus stroke, especially for wide angle lenses.
    – Beside this operating an AF lens in MF often does not give you a smooth motion of the focus ring (nothing to do with my old Nikkor AI or Pentax 67 lenses!), which can be quite uncomfortable at close distances.
    So I would believe this type of manual lenses are only meaningful for specific photo applications e.g. landscape, studio … or for video.
    Then the Zeiss price is another story …

  • Adam Fo

    OK, I went and had a look. The MTF of the G-Master at 24mm is exceptionally good. Zeiss designers excelled themselves.

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