by Tim Fok | 9th September 2016
The Zeiss Milvus line up has been expanded with the introduction of three new primes – the 15mm f/2.8, 18mm f/2.8 and 135mm f/2.0. It was this time last year that Zeiss announced a new format for Canon EF and Nikon mount lenses: the Milvus range was to be built upon the foundations of the popular ZE and ZF lenses. For some of their focal lengths, a spruce up in improving the optics, coatings and build was in order. In other cases, the lens was rebuilt from the ground up. Last year we were told the original release were ‘just the 6 for now’ but, as promised, we are now seeing three new lenses to the Milvus line-up. The new Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 and 18mm f/2.8 complete the wide angle department, 21mm previously being the widest available Milvus lens. Both new wide angles are popular existing Zeiss focal lengths, previously found in the ZE, ZF and CP2 lines. Unlike the 18mm CP2, however, both new Milvus wide angles are suitable for up to full frame 24X36mm sensors. The 18mm f/2.8 Milvus is one of the lenses that has been completely rebuilt. It’s predecessor ZE/ZF version was 2/3 stop slower, as it used some older technology in its construction. The 15mm focal length is a fairly new development for Zeiss, and the 15mm Milvus uses existing technology to form the structure. The 135mm f/2.0 is a welcome addition to the Milvus family also, taking over from the 100m f/2 Macro as the longest available Milvus Lens. The Zeiss Milvus are a very robust stills lens line, with an all-metal housing and weather sealed with the signature Zeiss blue gasket. They’re also a good weight in the hand, and much heavier than their Canon L series counterparts. There is also a 50mm f/1.4 ZE lens for EF and Nikon cameras is also available to pre-order too. The Nikon mount versions have a manual aperture, and are reverse barrelled for focusing when compared to Cinema and Canon lenses. The Canon versions lose the manual aperture for electronic only, as unfortunately a Canon protocol prevents the lenses from having both (it’s frustrating to not have correctly rotating focus wheels and manual aperture!). You can check out the new Milvus lenses at IBC if you’re in Amsterdam for the weekend. They are also available to pre-order from CVP and B&H!Read more
by Tim Fok | 14th April 2016
Zeiss has announced the next instalment to their autofocus Batis line. Building on the immense popularity of the previous two, the Batis 18mm f/2.8 comes in as the third and widest most full frame E-mount lens. Introducing the Batis 18mm The Batis line by Zeiss was their first ever venture into auto focus lenses. Sure, many Sony Zeiss lenses are knocking about, but these are all Sony made under Zeiss specification; Batis were a first from pure Zeiss. They were cautious, we only saw a 25mm f/2 and an 85mm f/1.8 to start, but popularity for them has far exceeded expectations, and it’s frankly been a pain getting hold of them anywhere! Speaking with Zeiss at BVE, we knew that there were going to be a few new additions to this line-up in time. Enter the 18mm f/2.8. Like the previous two, the Zeiss Batis 18mm f/2.8 is an E-mount full frame lens with auto focus. The smooth rubber focus barrel continuously rotates (no hard stops) and an OLED screen on top gives focus distance readings in manual focus mode. The Batis 18mm f/2.8 naturally provides a very wide angle of view, while maintaining a fast aperture for out of focus detail. Here are the specs: Focal Length: 18mm Aperture Max/Min: f/2.8-22 Lens Mount: Sony E (Full-Frame) Angle of View 99° Minimum Focus Distance 9.84″ (25 cm) Maximum Reproduction Ratio 1:9.5 Elements/Groups 11/10 Filter Thread Front: 77 mm Dimensions (DxL) Approx. 3.94 x 3.15″ (100 x 80 mm) Weight 11.64 oz (330 g) Our partners B&H got an exclusive hands-on with the lens, you can check this out here and some images below. It took me around four months to get hold of my Batis 25mm f/2.0. Being an avid user of the Sony A7RII for photography, I was looking for a high-quality autofocus lens – the wait was absolutely worthwhile; I expect good things from the 18mm f/2.8. $200 separates all three Batis lenses, creeping up in price the wider you go. Click on the below link to pre-order the Batis 18mm f/2.8.Read more
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