July 21, 2018, 04:08:48 AM

Author Topic: Zeiss Milvus 35mm f/1.4 Distagon T* Specifications  (Read 5464 times)

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Zeiss Milvus 35mm f/1.4 Distagon T* Specifications
« on: June 20, 2017, 05:51:52 PM »
Zeiss Milvus 35mm f/1.4 Distagon T* Specifications:

  • Mount: Canon EF (ZE), Nikon F (ZF.2)
  • Lens construction: 11 groups 14 pieces
  • Shortest shooting distance: 0.3 m
  • Maximum shooting magnification: 1: 4.6
  • Filter diameter: 72 mm
  • Maximum diameter × length: 84.8 mm × 124.8 mm
  • Weight: 1174 g

This lens is expected to be officially announced this week.

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Zeiss Milvus 35mm f/1.4 Distagon T* Specifications
« on: June 20, 2017, 05:51:52 PM »

mjg79

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Re: Zeiss Milvus 35mm f/1.4 Distagon T* Specifications
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2017, 09:01:12 PM »

Looks like it's going to be a beast of a lens then in terms of size, weight, complexity and - it's a fair guess - price.

It's clearly an all new optical formula, different from the ZE/ZF 35/1.4 and they haven't decided, sadly in my view, to resurrect the old Contax/Rollei formula.

It's a fair guess they are going to go after near Otus like levels of perfection with this lens, especially after the ZE/ZF lenses were criticised for lacking wide open contrast and sharpness.

If it's announced this week, how long do they normally take from announcement to us getting some samples and availability?

LostBoyNZ

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Re: Zeiss Milvus 35mm f/1.4 Distagon T* Specifications
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2017, 05:20:26 AM »
Just announced :)

1,999 Euro, and available starting next month.

Some impressions, including a comparison by Llyod against the Canon 35mm f/1.4 II, and the older Zeiss 35mm f/1.4 here: https://www.zeiss.com/camera-lenses/int/photography/products/milvus-lenses/milvus-1435.html#stories

mjg79

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Re: Zeiss Milvus 35mm f/1.4 Distagon T* Specifications
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2017, 05:36:06 AM »
Just announced :)

1,999 Euro, and available starting next month.

Some impressions, including a comparison by Llyod against the Canon 35mm f/1.4 II, and the older Zeiss 35mm f/1.4 here: https://www.zeiss.com/camera-lenses/int/photography/products/milvus-lenses/milvus-1435.html#stories

The Lloyd Chambers link is actually quite good as he has a 1.4 comparison of the ZE, the Minus and Canon's 35L II.

The Milvus is a bit sharper than the ZE though the bokeh isn't quite as pleasingly soft (the ZE's real strength). I think the problem will be that the Milvus isn't all that much different from Canons 35L II - it has a bit nicer bokeh but whether that will be enough to put up with the weight and lack of AF I don't know. Still wish Zeiss would simply give us an updated version of the Contax 35/1.4!

Khalai

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Re: Zeiss Milvus 35mm f/1.4 Distagon T* Specifications
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2017, 06:42:32 AM »
Just announced :)

1,999 Euro, and available starting next month.

Some impressions, including a comparison by Llyod against the Canon 35mm f/1.4 II, and the older Zeiss 35mm f/1.4 here: https://www.zeiss.com/camera-lenses/int/photography/products/milvus-lenses/milvus-1435.html#stories

The Lloyd Chambers link is actually quite good as he has a 1.4 comparison of the ZE, the Minus and Canon's 35L II.

The Milvus is a bit sharper than the ZE though the bokeh isn't quite as pleasingly soft (the ZE's real strength). I think the problem will be that the Milvus isn't all that much different from Canons 35L II - it has a bit nicer bokeh but whether that will be enough to put up with the weight and lack of AF I don't know. Still wish Zeiss would simply give us an updated version of the Contax 35/1.4!

As much as I like Zeiss lenses (Loxia line-up is constantly luring me over to Sony A7 camp) and still prefer Classic lens aesthethics over Milvus line-up, that pricetag looks quite prohibitive to me, especially compared to excellent, lighter and cheaper Canon 35/1.4L II. Maybe some rich videographers will find a liking in this lens.

But knowing Zeiss and their loyal customers, this lens should be succesful successor to the original Distagon 1.4/35 T* lens :)
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mjg79

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Re: Zeiss Milvus 35mm f/1.4 Distagon T* Specifications
« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2017, 06:56:09 AM »

As much as I like Zeiss lenses (Loxia line-up is constantly luring me over to Sony A7 camp) and still prefer Classic lens aesthethics over Milvus line-up, that pricetag looks quite prohibitive to me, especially compared to excellent, lighter and cheaper Canon 35/1.4L II. Maybe some rich videographers will find a liking in this lens.

But knowing Zeiss and their loyal customers, this lens should be succesful successor to the original Distagon 1.4/35 T* lens :)

I think the comparison with the 35L II is interesting. We have to be careful drawing too many conclusion from a few samples but it appears to me that Zeiss has taken a very similar approach to Canon - going for sharpness and being happy to have a slightly compromised bokeh (compared to the ZE) but still aiming for an improved bokeh rendering but lacking the dramatic fall off(compared to the Contax) - a more refined and sharper version of the ZE if you like. When the 35L II was reviewed by Dustin on this site he remarked that it was what one would expect an Otus 35mm to be like.

So I am a bit surprised Zeiss has taken that approach so similar to Canon as it is heavier, more expensive and lacking AF compared to the 35L II. As you say, they will sell but I think they might have done more to differentiate it.

With some of their iconic designs Zeiss appears to be willing to keep appealing to the "artistic" side. The 21/2.8 is technically great and has now gone from Contax to ZE to Milvus. The 28/2 went from Contax to ZE and the 50/1.4 made the same path. I would say in terms of being "iconic" of those old Zeiss lenses, the Contax 35/1.4 is second only to the 21/2.8 yet Zeiss has refused now to give a modern version of it yet again. I admit I find it mystifying and a bit frustrating. The Contax 35/1.4 is sharp, well corrected and has that unique dramatic look and wasn't even that big or heavy - the only real downside being the bokeh being not the smoothest. I think Zeiss would sell so many if they made a modern version (the prices the Contax ones go for on eBay are very high) but they seem determined to stay away from the classic design.

StudentOfLight

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Re: Zeiss Milvus 35mm f/1.4 Distagon T* Specifications
« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2017, 12:14:22 PM »

As much as I like Zeiss lenses (Loxia line-up is constantly luring me over to Sony A7 camp) and still prefer Classic lens aesthethics over Milvus line-up, that pricetag looks quite prohibitive to me, especially compared to excellent, lighter and cheaper Canon 35/1.4L II. Maybe some rich videographers will find a liking in this lens.

But knowing Zeiss and their loyal customers, this lens should be succesful successor to the original Distagon 1.4/35 T* lens :)

I think the comparison with the 35L II is interesting. We have to be careful drawing too many conclusion from a few samples but it appears to me that Zeiss has taken a very similar approach to Canon - going for sharpness and being happy to have a slightly compromised bokeh (compared to the ZE) but still aiming for an improved bokeh rendering but lacking the dramatic fall off(compared to the Contax) - a more refined and sharper version of the ZE if you like. When the 35L II was reviewed by Dustin on this site he remarked that it was what one would expect an Otus 35mm to be like.

So I am a bit surprised Zeiss has taken that approach so similar to Canon as it is heavier, more expensive and lacking AF compared to the 35L II. As you say, they will sell but I think they might have done more to differentiate it.

With some of their iconic designs Zeiss appears to be willing to keep appealing to the "artistic" side. The 21/2.8 is technically great and has now gone from Contax to ZE to Milvus. The 28/2 went from Contax to ZE and the 50/1.4 made the same path. I would say in terms of being "iconic" of those old Zeiss lenses, the Contax 35/1.4 is second only to the 21/2.8 yet Zeiss has refused now to give a modern version of it yet again. I admit I find it mystifying and a bit frustrating. The Contax 35/1.4 is sharp, well corrected and has that unique dramatic look and wasn't even that big or heavy - the only real downside being the bokeh being not the smoothest. I think Zeiss would sell so many if they made a modern version (the prices the Contax ones go for on eBay are very high) but they seem determined to stay away from the classic design.
In What way is the Bokeh compromised vs the ZE?

Also, could I bother you for a link to some high-res Contax sample images, so I can get a sense of what you're describing?
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Re: Zeiss Milvus 35mm f/1.4 Distagon T* Specifications
« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2017, 12:14:22 PM »

mjg79

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Re: Zeiss Milvus 35mm f/1.4 Distagon T* Specifications
« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2017, 04:24:28 PM »

In What way is the Bokeh compromised vs the ZE?

Also, could I bother you for a link to some high-res Contax sample images, so I can get a sense of what you're describing?

The best place to start if you want to understand the obsession many have with the old Rollei/Contax rendering is probably this very long thread on FM:

http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/839374/123

When I said about the bokeh being compromised I know we're talking about tiny degrees of difference here - in the comparison shots Lloyd Chambers posted with the crops showing the out of focus rendering the ZE looked the smoothest. It's often that way though - for example Sigma's 35/1.4, Canon's 35L II and the original Contax/Rollei 35/1.4 all put a priority on sharpness wide open and the correction involved often seems to result in a less smooth bokeh. The Milvus 35/1.4 looks to be somewhere in between - so I only meant compromised in the sense of in optical design making one thing better makes another thing either worse or harder.

The ZE was a lens I didn't like but do appreciate others did - it had a gentle rendering, was great for landscapes and had beautiful bokeh. They appeared to get that beautiful bokeh by not making the lens highly corrected at f/1.4 and when it first came out a lot of people complained about wide open performance before gradually realising the lens had other strengths. It appears Zeiss has worked to try to address that issue with the Milvus lens and it does look much better controlled at f/1.4 with a bokeh that is only very marginally less buttery smooth compared to the ZE.

I am disappointed they didn't take the chance to give us a modern version of the Contax Zeiss but still this lens looks appealing.

StudentOfLight

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Re: Zeiss Milvus 35mm f/1.4 Distagon T* Specifications
« Reply #8 on: June 21, 2017, 06:28:18 PM »
I don't agree with your assessment. To me the Milvus looks to smoothest. You should note that the focus is different in the images so the softness in certain parts of the image is going to be misleading.

(See these crops  where I've marked the plane-of-focus with yellow.)

You'll see that the Distagon is more front focused than the other lenses so foliage will appear softer, but if the other lenses were focused identically then they would blur the mid-ground and background more so the result will be different.

Personally I like the Distagon and 35L-II from a 3D-rendering perspective. (The Distagon has LoCA while the Canon is neutral) As I seriously dislike longitudinal chromatic aberration my overall preference is for the 35L-II but I can see why people might opt for the Distagon for it's chroma halos, or the Milvus for the smoother out of focus areas.

Tangent: The Canon appears much sharper at f/1.4 but as noted previously the Milvus is focused further back...
« Last Edit: June 21, 2017, 07:48:25 PM by StudentOfLight »
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mjg79

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Re: Zeiss Milvus 35mm f/1.4 Distagon T* Specifications
« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2017, 08:39:53 PM »
I don't agree with your assessment. To me the Milvus looks to smoothest. You should note that the focus is different in the images so the softness in certain parts of the image is going to be misleading.

(See these crops  where I've marked the plane-of-focus with yellow.)

You'll see that the Distagon is more front focused than the other lenses so foliage will appear softer, but if the other lenses were focused identically then they would blur the mid-ground and background more so the result will be different.

Personally I like the Distagon and 35L-II from a 3D-rendering perspective. (The Distagon has LoCA while the Canon is neutral) As I seriously dislike longitudinal chromatic aberration my overall preference is for the 35L-II but I can see why people might opt for the Distagon for it's chroma halos, or the Milvus for the smoother out of focus areas.

Tangent: The Canon appears much sharper at f/1.4 but as noted previously the Milvus is focused further back...


You're quite right, I hadn't noticed the different focus - normally Chambers is quite good about that sort of thing so I hadn't carefully checked. (It can actually be hard to focus the ZE lens at f1.4 as different colours aren't as well corrected - when it came out someone posted a good test on here with a row of crayons of different colours all identical distances from the camera - when one colour looked in perfect focus another wasn't.)

Having said that, the area I would draw attention to is the top of the frame, dead centre, there are trees in the distance and a small part where a gap in them forms a circle. In that spot the bokeh of the ZE looks smoother and less contrasty but really that could easily be down to the lack of consistent focus.

I'm not even really wishing to defend the ZE lens! I tried it and didn't like it that much and have just kept my Contax lens and now use a 35L II most of the time and agree with you it's wonderful and doing it all with AF means I think Zeiss has their work cut out. It's just that I must concede there is something nice about the bokeh in many ZE shots I have seen but these examples aren't consistent enough to draw any conclusions.

If you haven't already then check out this gallery of Milvus 35/1.4 shots:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/carlzeisslenses/albums/72157684900304146

They are mainly shot at f/2.0 but it looks very promising, seeming to be a genuine attempt to combine wide open sharpness and pop with an otherwise relatively "gentle" rendering - I think it gives a refined look to the photos.

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Re: Zeiss Milvus 35mm f/1.4 Distagon T* Specifications
« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2017, 08:39:53 PM »