Zeiss Milvus 50mm f/1.4 review

March 9, 2017

Overall Rating:


Zeiss Milvus 50mm f/1.4



Price as Reviewed:



Damien Demolder finds out whether the Zeiss Milvus 50mm f/1.4 is worth its near-four-figure price tag

Zeiss Milvus 50mm f/1.4 review: Introduction

If you’re happy with a maximum aperture of f/1.8, standard lenses for full-frame cameras are usually reasonably priced, of good quality and compact enough to avoid adding weight or bulk to your camera set-up. Recently, however, there has been a growing trend for faster standard primes that carry a premium in price, weight and size.

This Zeiss Milvus 50mm is one such 
lens – but it demands that premium and more. It’s a monster of a lens, with a vast forward element, a bulbous barrel and a weight that suggests it’s smuggling lead. For most of us these characteristics will be placed firmly on the negative side of the balance sheet, so a lens like this needs to offer something very special just to even out the scales, let alone 
put the unit in a positive light.

This 50mm is part of a new range of lenses from Zeiss. All manual focus and with a striking family resemblance, the range is designed for Nikon and Canon users, and they provide a covering circle extensive enough for full-frame sensors. While most of the Milvus family 
has been re-clothed and adapted from the previously existing Classic ZE/ZF.2 range, 
this 50mm f/1.4 and an 85mm f/1.4 are completely new optical designs. And the design of the 50mm f/1.4 needs to be pretty spectacular to make this lens worth the money.

diameter: 67mm
  • Lens elements: 10
  • Groups: 8
  • Aperture: f/1.4
  • Minimum focus: 45cm
  • Length: 94mm
  • Diameter: 82.9mm
  • Weight: 922g
  • Lens mount: Canon EF, Nikon F

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