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: Resolution, shading and curvilinear distortion
There is no word for the resolution of this lens other than ‘exceptional’. It performs as well wide open as most do closed to their optimal apertures, and at its own optimal aperture it is astonishing. Best at f/5.6, it is also excellent right through the aperture range. Rarely do we see fine-detail corner resolution matching centre resolution at all, let alone at a middle aperture like f/5.6.
Vignetting is dramatic at f/1.4, with 1.5 stops fall-off in illumination at the corners of the frame. It decreases slightly at f/2, but is for all intents and purposes gone by f/2.8 – or by f/4 for the particularly fussy. Again, this is an exceptional performance characteristic of a first-class lens.
For most of us there is no curvilinear distortion to talk about here. The amount of barrelling that exists is so small that only scientific users will need to take it into account, and the rest of us may not have fine enough increments in our correction software to remove it without introducing pincushion.