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
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
Samyang / Rokinon has announced another lens to its affordable manual focus lens line. The 100mm Macro will become available immanently in both Standard and Cine form, the latter sporting a de-clicked aperture, lens gears and T stop value. These family of lenses are known as the many-brands, Bower, Vivitar, Rokinon, Walimex and first and foremost Samyang to name a few are companies to share the same spec of lenses, only the name changes. Rokinon and Samyang seem to share new lens releases, with the rest following suit shortly after. In typical many-brand fashion, the lens spec replicates that of Canons L Series line; 100mm Macro f/2.8 (or T3.1 on the Cine version). The 100mm Macro is built up of 15 glass elements in 12 groups, it has a 9 round-bladed aperture diaphragm and viewing angle of 24.8° on full-frame. Yes, this lens is compatible on both full frame and APS-C cameras. As expected for a dedicated macro lens, the Maximum Reproduction Ratio is 1:1. Speaking on the Cine version, as per all Rokinon/Samyang cine lenses, the 100mm Macro has a de-clicked aperture ring, permanent lens gear for follow focus/aperture units and a T stop rating. Unlike other true cine lenses, Rokinon/Samyang retain the same physical shape and size of their respective stills versions. The 100mm Macro T3.1 is therefore the same as the 100mm Macro f/2.8 at 1.58 lbs (720 g) and Approx. 2.85 x 4.85″ (72.5 x 123.1 mm) in dimension. This means that Rokinons Cine lenses are a small and compact as they can be (great for shooters using small cameras setups), but do change in length therefore not optimised for seamless mattebox setups. Unbeknown to some however, both lens gears are designed to match up throughout the line, providing consistency when switching out focal lengths but keeping your follow focus unit unchanged. As with any Rokinon/Samyang Lens, the Rokinon 100mm Macro offers a huge price saving over the Canon L series counterpart. The big differentiator (as per usual) being the lack of auto focus. The difference is perhaps at it’s most critical in this comparison. At a 1:1 ratio pinpoint focus for photography is often very reliant on autofocus; you have no option for it here if you’re a dabbler of both video and photo, or are a fan of the recent influx of video-able auto focus systems now available in video cameras. The 100mm Macro is a very effective focal length. As an owner of the Canon 100mm Macro f/2.8 IS L I can vouch for its broad use outside of dedicated macro work. Due to 1:1 magnification ratio, and close minimum focus distance, it can operate as a compact close range tele focal length lens; achieving angles a 70-200mm would very much struggle with due to it’s longer minimum focal length and/or larger physical size. Available in Canon EF, Sony E, Nikon F, Fuji, MFT, Pentax, Sony A, and Samsung mount, the Rokinon 100mm Macro T3.1 and standard F/2.8 version can be pre-ordered now, full release expected mid April.Read more
Hardware Image stabilization is undeniably convenient when shooting handheld. Canon’s new EF 24mm f2.8 IS USM and EF 28mm f2.8 IS USM offer that convenience in two full frame, wide angle prime lenses. The lenses are available for pre-order and B&H expects them at June 17th.Read more
This information has been floating around, but it’s a lens so impressive it deserves our attention. A 15mm ultra wide angle lens that covers a full frame sensor. That alone is an impressive perspective. But usually such wide angle glass is prone to distortion and poor image quality due to the extreme field of view. Apperently not the Distagon 15mm t2.8. This fine lens from the Zeiss labs has some special, “abnormal” glass that will control distortion “extremely well” and allegedly even at wide open aperture the nasty chromatic abberation is “virtually not there“. They had me convinced until I saw the pricetag of $2950. Urgh. That’s a lot for a photo lens, but then again this surely isn’t an ordinary one. As usual it’s available as Distagon 15mm ZF for Nikon and Distagon 15mm ZE for Canon.Read more
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