I got the brand new Zeiss 35mm f1.4 Milvus lens in and I’ve had it for probably less than eight hours from my publishing this post. But within these few hours that I’ve spent with it, it’s easily becoming one of my favorite 35mm lenses ever made. I really like the Sigma 35mm f1.4, the Canon 35mm f1.4 and the Sony 35mm f1.4, but there’s something about a Zeiss lens that produces absolute magic. Perhaps it’s the fact that one needs to manually focus and then put extra work into actually creating and paying attention to a photo before putting it out there in the world.
The Zeiss 35mm f1.4 Milvus lens was just announced yesterday though and here are a few image samples I’ve done thus far on the Canon 6D.
So what am I liking about this lens? Honestly everything, but autofocus would have absolutely put it over the top. However, I think $1,999 is a fair price for something like this. Not only are you getting Zeiss image quality but the exterior is all metal with the rubber focusing ring. On top of that, it’s lighter than the original Zeiss 35mm f1.4–or at least it seems that way thus far when my buddy Simon dropped by to compare his to the current lens. Of course, Zeiss lenses are difficult to use for most people.
What I’m really surprised about though is how much they’re keeping distortion down. Zeiss is targeting the Zeiss 35mm f1.4 Milvus lens at portrait photographers–which is pretty ballsy as the focal length isn’t really recommended for portrait shooting, but in recent years the lenses have become more popular for that genre. Some of the portraits in this post were shot with the Canon 6D and edited with Capture One Film Styles to give off that really specific look.
I’ve got the lens in for two weeks and I’m specifically tailoring the upcoming review for portraits. I plan on testing it with film, and for our La Noir Image subscribers, there’s going to be some special non-sponsored content created just for you folks with this lens. Next month we’re featuring Urban Geometry as the theme, so I’m taking the lens out and shooting some Fujifilm Acros 100 with it. The results are bound to be good.
Anyway, here are the sample images.