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: 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.

Zeiss Milvus 50mm MTF chart


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.

Zeiss Milvus 50mm f/1.4 - Shading chart

Curvilinear distortion

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.

Zeiss Milvus 50mm f/1.4 - Distortion chart

SMIA TV = -1.1E%

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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