Another price drop on the Zeiss Classic DSLR lenses for Nikon F-mount (only a few models left)

After Zeiss officially discontinued their Classic line of full-frame DSLR lenses, we got another price drop on the last few pieces available for Nikon F-mount:

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  • Has anyone seen any comparisons between the old Classic and new Milvus lenses? I think the optical formula remained the same – they only changed the housing. Is that correct?

    • TurtleCat

      I believe that is true for a couple of them but not for all of them.

      • Thanks, maybe they changed/added coating to adjust performance to the latest digital cameras.

    • rex360hype

      I believe their coatings also changed (better?)… Although I could be wrong. Some had few modifications to optimize performance but a number of them only had the housing changed (like what you said). Definitely the weather sealing was the change they implemented. I have an order for the Milvus 2.8/15 (backordered) but this is seriously making me think again. However the one you have listed is the classic with built in lens hood. The one without is still more expensive.

      • Thanks!

      • Ed Hassell

        I think the version of the 15/2.8 without the built-in hood is ZF/ZF.2 (Nikon F-mount) only and was created such that 95mm slim filters could be used. I’m not absolutely positive about that.

    • Ed Hassell

      I read somewhere that they had also updated the coating process on some of the older “classic” designs. That might make a tiny difference in flare and/or reflectance; but it would hardly be significant compared to the savings. I’ve ordered the 15 and the 135. The 18 and the 35 don’t interest me. I already have the 21, the 85 and the 100 macro — all purchased at “close-out” prices after the Milvus versions became available. I really can’t tell the difference in the optics and I actually prefer the look of the older lenses.

      • Thanks, that’s what I thought – probably just the coating.

  • hussey

    the 135mm sold out immediately, which makes sense.

    • a5m

      That was a great price. I paid $200 less for a used import model :s

  • Matt Comerford


  • That 15mm is about as good as wide angle primes get.

    • Matt Comerford

      Confirmed. I’ll have the Milvus 25mm on Wednesday, should compliment the old 15mm well.

      • There’s just something about the “look” of the images from Zeiss glass. They’re sharp, but it’s a lot more than that. The color and contrast are just great. I have a 28mm f/2 ZF and love it. I think I’m going for a 50 and an 85 this year. I’ve had great luck in the used market and will pick up those lenses that way.

        • I agree – same with Leica lenses.

          • Yes, for sure. I shot with an R4s for a few years. I’ve gone back to the B&W negatives I made with it and copied them with my Df and a 55 Micro-Nikkor. Amazingly, much of the original Leica feel comes through. I’d love to shoot with an M10 but I just can’t afford it.

        • Matt Comerford

          Agree 100%. I received the HEAVY Milvus 1.4 25mm a few days ago, it’s amazing! Lots of distortion though, which really shocked me, more than the 15mm f2.8. Need to do some more testing.

          • I get the feeling that the current trend in lens design is to let the distortion be there and concentrate on color correction, acutance and coma (and other aberrations). The distortion can always be dialed out in post. It gives the designers some freedom and let’s them accomplish these things without resorting to more elements, expensive glass and so on. Enjoy that 25mm!

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