The ZEISS Milvus 1.4/35 is a 35mm f/1.4 lens designed for Canon and Nikon DSLRs, with an imaging circle that covers the full-frame sensors of both formats. Naturally, you can also use this on APS-C bodies, with an effective focal length of around 52mm depending on the exact camera.
As with other Milvuses (Milvi? Who knows) the lens is manual-focus-only, although its focusing ring is said to offer a rotation angle large enough for precise focusing.
The company reckons the lens is ideal for portraits, landscapes and architecture, and underlines the wide aperture as a particular asset for the former. Its minimum focusing distance of 30cm, however, doesn’t rule it out for relatively close-focus work too.
Its wide aperture also makes it a prime candidate for low-light work, although there’s no form of image stabilisation within the lens itself, which is worth bearing in mind considering that the bodies for which it’s designed do not offer this.
Another application ZEISS cites for the lens is video, for a number of reasons. First, follow focus is possible by partnering the lens with one of the Zeiss Lens Gear rings. The option to de-click the lens (on the Nikon version) also allows you to adjust the aperture smoothly, and ZEISS is also said to have matched colour characteristics across the whole Milvus line so that you can swap between lenses while you shoot and not worry about any inconsistencies.
Inside its all-metal housing, one that’s been primed with seals for dust and moisture resistance, the lens adheres to a Distagon (retrofocus) design but with a brand new optical construction.
This uses elements with aspheric and anomalous partial dispersive properties, together with a floating design to help keep aberrations at a constant level, regardless of focusing distance. T coatings are also employed to help boost light transmission and keep reflections low.
Naturally, a lens that’s crafted to these kinds of standards isn’t cheap, with a retail price of £1699/EUR1999 when it arrives next month.
If you’re keen to learn more about the new arrival, check out the video above or head over to the ZEISS website, which has sample images and some additional content you may find interesting.