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Friday, 23 June 2017


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"*No it's not. It's the genus name of a group of medium-sized birds of prey that includes red kites and black kites.

**Just checking to see if you read the footnotes.

Yes, I do. And scrolled down to them immediately upon seeing the first asterisk. In this time when Watergate is repeating before our eyes, "Milhous" was as obvious as the back of my hand. :-)

Not just "milvus," but "milvus milvus."

Frankly I'm a lot more interested in that cute little Samyang AF 35mm f/2.8 FE for the Sony. With it's cute little price too.

Apparently glider pilots need special clothing http://www.milvus.aero/ but these guys sell nice Milvus hats and pilot's shorts with see through map pockets.

I look at this and think about my 35mm Summicron and the old 35mm Summilux M and think "why so big" and I wouldn't bother with it. It would make my Sony a7 into something gross and bloated. And pretty much the same on my D600.

Hopefully somebody will buy it, not me.

Probably a good alternative to medium format on a high rez Canon or Nikon on a tripod. For my sort of work, and probably most of us,not so much.

In my Nikon DSLR days I had the Zeiss 35mm f1.4 ZF2 and it was a beauty but experimentally I bought the much cheaper Sigma ART equivalent and that instantly relegated the Zeiss to the back of my lens cupboard from which it only re-emerged to be sold. Autofocus, an object of my disdain once upon a time, is now becoming essential to me as my middle-aged eyes are playing a few tricks.

These days I am a Sony A7R user and have the Zeiss 35mm f1.4 EF for that. Again a magnificent lens with good bokeh but just a bit too big to be carried around the whole time. Won't sell that in a hurry.

Leica will introduce a 35 Summicron (f2) for the SL, likely by early 2018. And I expect the price to be near double the Zeiss.

The problem nowadays is not finding a suitable fast 35 mm lens, the problem is finding a suitable compact 35 mm lens ;-)

Disclaimer: I do use the Sony 35/2.8 a lot, but it's certainly not perfect, character being the word.

If you are someone that spends $2,000 on a 35mm 1.4 lens in this day and age of super high ISO capable cameras, you had better care about bokeh. What else would you need this fast glass for?

Samyang and Rokinon make 35mm 1.4 lenses and there are also used 35mm 1.4 Nikkor AIs lenses out there. I wonder how they might stack up? Probably not as good but by how much?

From Oskar Ojala's post:
"The problem nowadays is not finding a suitable fast 35mm lens, the problem is finding a suitable compact 35mm lens."

I think the problem is finding a suitable Canon camera that can effectively use a manual focus lens. DSLR viewfinders are terrible for manual focus use to the point of "Why bother?"
Can anyone name a Canon DSLR that is reasonably priced with a user replaceable manual focus screen? Who does Zeiss expect the target audience is for this lens?
Don't we remember how good focusing a fast lens on a bright microprism screen can be?

People still shoot dslrs? I was at a function recently and saw a friend who makes his living in photography, carrying his Nikon and a zoom, flash and remote, was amazed at the physical size of the rig, never mind the weight. A one KILO lens? No thank you sir.

There's a downside, although it might not be a downside to those at whom the product is aimed: the newest Milvus is a bit of a brick at more than 41 ounces (1170 grams) for the EF version.

Whew! I'm glad I'm not one at whom the product is aimed. Not needing f/1.4, I'm happy with a little guy:




About "Milvus": Zeiss seems to like names of birds:



- Richard

Aha, yes, Bernard makes a keen point that video shooters must be the target market for these behemoths. (Of course that raises a new question: what are people doing with all these home movies? But that's for another day and venue. )

$2,000 for a 35 prime???!!! If I am going to get a manual focus Zeiss lens for my Nikon D700, it's going to be the 35 f/2 ZF for about $670 on Ebay. One extra stop is not worth $1,300. Better, yet, the Voigtlander 40 f/2 for about $375 on Ebay. I'll give the 5mm and the one stop for $1,600.

Re Zeiss Target Market for Otus / Milvus
I think first and foremost they are 'statement lenses' that reinforce and polish the Zeiss brand.
Zeiss sells tons of lenses that benefit from their reputation.
Second I believe has to be video, current Nikon & Canon lenses are electronic aperture, and very short throw for focusing.
That's the main reason behind the Cinema EOS lenses which have aperture rings, external gearing and are T-stopped
But as has already been pointed out modern focusing screens are more viewing screens that make small focus adjustments on short lenses very hard to see. Both Nikon & Canon offer focus confirmation but not Peaking.
I own a set of Canon's T/S lenses which are manual focus and I get great results but accurate focusing is slow, but because of their special function , worth it for me.
If you don't shoot video the Nikon & Canon 35's are already so good, that in my view, you have to have a special need to give up AutoFocus.

Aside from the focusing challenges with today's optical viewfinders, which are quite real, lenses such as the Zeiss Distagon Milvus 35mm f/1.4 illustrate the law of diminishing marginal returns: the cost and effort to produce a lens that produces superior optical performance at f/1.4 results in a lens that is also large, heavy, and expensive -- so much so that the market for it is marginal as well. In short, it's a boutique lens made for a "select" audience. Only a miniscule number of photographers are included in this selection or would want to be.

Bernd Reinhardt wrote:

If you are someone that spends $2,000 on a 35mm 1.4 lens in this day and age of super high ISO capable cameras, you had better care about bokeh. What else would you need this fast glass for?

As one data point, I own several f1.4 lenses (fortunately, they are all made by Sigma, so are not $2k lenses!) and I have never, not even once taken a photo at f1.4 (or at any aperture even close to that, actually.)

I own them because I'm 58-years-old and need their extra speed to compose and (roughly) focus my nighttime photos, which are taken with the aperture stopped down, using long exposures and with the camera very firmly mounted on a tripod.

The one or two stops of extra light compared to smaller and lighter lenses really does make a difference. Enough so that I grudgingly put up with the larger size and weight of these f1.4 behemoths as necessary evils. 8^(

It was Richard Milhous Nixon - not Milvus

[I know. Just joking. --Mike]

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