German optics manufacturer Zeiss has announced it has created a new range of lenses specifically for high-resolution DSLRs. The Zeiss Milvus family will comprise six lenses fitted for Canon EF and Nikon F cameras, including a pair of macro lenses. The company says that the advancing pixel count of modern DSLRs requires a new generation of lenses that can deliver enough detail to make the most of their capabilities, and Milvus is the Zeiss solution. The progression to 6K video is also cited as a reason for these lenses to exist, with the Nikon mount version offering a de-click option for the aperture ring.

The lenses are all manual focus only, but feature communication between lens and camera body. Thus, they support shutter priority and manual exposure mode as well as aperture priority, and the aperture used is recorded in the EXIF data of the image file.

Zeiss says it has made focusing rings with particularly long action to make precise focusing easier, and the optics are designed to produce even performance from corner to corner. Also with video in mind is the claimed consistent color rendition across the whole family of lenses, so that pictures will look uniform when footage from different focal lengths is run in sequence. The company claims the lenses produce high contrast imagery and have extensive coatings to protect against flare.

Pricing for the first six lenses will be:

Lens Euro + tax US + tax
 Zeiss Milvus 2.8/21 €1427.73  $1843
 Zeiss Milvus 2/35 €923.53  $1177
 Zeiss Milvus 1.4/50 €1007.56  $1199
 Zeiss Milvus 1.4/85 €1511.76  $1799
 Zeiss Milvus 2/50M €1007.56  $1283
 Zeiss Milvus 2/100M €1427.73  $1843

The 2/50M and 2/100M are both macro lenses with 1:2 image ratio at closest focus. Although the lenses are made only in Canon and Nikon mounts, Zeiss points out that they can also be used on Sony A7 cameras with an adapter.

The lenses will be available from October. For more detailed information on each of the lenses visit the Milvus pages of the Zeiss website.

Press release:

ZEISS Milvus
New ZEISS SLR Lens Family for ZE and ZF.2 Mounts

Six new focal lengths: manual focus lenses optimized for high-resolution cameras

OBERKOCHEN/Germany, 10/09/2015

The new ZEISS Milvus SLR lens family contains six focal lengths with ZE or ZF.2 mounts for DSLR cameras from Canon and Nikon. The ZEISS Milvus lens family with precise manual focus offers high and consistent image performance across all focal lengths. The new lenses are the ZEISS answer to the current trend toward sensors with increasingly high resolution which, in turn, require higher and higher image quality. They are therefore ideal for current DSLR cameras and also for mirrorless system cameras of the Sony a7 series via an adapter solution and offer the customer excellent value for the money for professional applications. An equally important benefit: their high contrast rendition and low level of stray light ensure that the lenses meet the latest video standards such as HDR (High Dynamic Range) and resolutions of 6K and more. For the user, they open up the field of professional video and cine applications. The ZEISS Milvus lenses will be delivered to dealers in October 2015.

Diversity of focal lengths for wide spectrum of applications
With its diversity of focal lengths, the ZEISS Milvus lens family covers many of the photographer's important fields of application where the benefits of manual focus lenses can be optimally utilized. "We want to provide users with the freedom to use the focus position as an artistic tool because it is one of the most important creative possibilities available to photographers," Christophe Casenave, Product Manager for ZEISS Camera Lenses, emphasizes. The ZEISS Milvus lenses are therefore targeted at all owners of a high-resolution DSLR camera, offering them considerable added value. They are also suitable for photographers who have specialized in applications which the six focal lengths optimally support, e.g. portrait, landscape and macro photography.

The ZEISS Milvus lens family will initially consist of the following six focal lengths: ZEISS Milvus 2.8/21, ZEISS Milvus 2/35, ZEISS Milvus 1.4/50, ZEISS Milvus 1.4/85 as well as the two macro lenses ZEISS Milvus 2/50M and ZEISS Milvus 2/100M. Further focal lengths will be added to the ZEISS Milvus lens family over the next few years. "With this diversity of extremely high-quality SLR lenses, we are underscoring that, with our Milvus lenses, we can supply the right focal length for almost any application or personal preference," Casenave says.

Modern product design
The ZEISS Milvus lenses continue the award-winning ZEISS product design already featured in the ZEISS Otus lenses. The advanced design ensures excellent image performance and outstanding ergonomic convenience. The easy-grip focus ring enables precise manual focusing for highly precise photography. The robust all-metal barrel of the ZEISS Milvus lenses guarantees many years of reliable use. They are protected against dust and spray water. The robust metal lens shade is an integral part of the overall product design and is a standard feature of all ZEISS Milvus lenses on delivery.

Fully compatible with DSLR cameras
The ZEISS Milvus lenses support all important operating modes of DSLR cameras (e.g. aperture priority, shutter priority and program modes, as well as manual time and exposure settings) The ZEISS Milvus lenses feature an interface that transmits the lens data to the camera (e.g. focal length, set aperture etc.). This information is saved to the photo's EXIF data.

Features for demanding users
"The excellent image performance of the ZEISS Milvus lenses, also in difficult light conditions, is sharply focused on the requirements of current and future high-performance digital cameras," says Casenave. The lenses offer a harmonious bokeh and excellent reflection reduction thanks to T*® anti-reflective coating from ZEISS. The further optimization of the lens coating reduces ghosting, flare and shading effects in critical light situations. All ZEISS Milvus lenses have a Floating Elements Design which compensates for aberrations at different distance settings. This is achieved by varying the axial distance between individual lens elements or groups. The adjustment of the distance between elements is coupled to the distance setting so that this always results in the right correction.

ZEISS Milvus lenses for video
The new ZEISS Milvus lenses enable high-quality film recordings with soft and cinematic bokeh. "With their extremely high contrast rendition, the lenses meet the latest 6K video standards and display uniform color characteristics," Casenave continues. All six ZEISS Milvus lenses have an exceptionally long rotation angles of the focus ring for precise focusing. The practical, rubber-covered focus ring features outstanding grip properties for optimal focusing. The 'de-click' function in the ZF.2 mount lenses allows filmmakers to adjust the aperture freely and smoothly, enabling professional results even in changing light conditions.

ZEISS Milvus 1.4/50
The newly designed ZEISS Milvus 1.4/50 lens has ten elements in eight groups. The new 50 mm lens features one aspherical optical surface and four elements made of special glass materials, and uses the ZEISS Distagon optical design. This makes it the second standard lens after the ZEISS Otus 1.4/55 to incorporate this high-performance optical design. The advanced ZEISS Distagon optical design enables very good image performance across the entire image field, even at full aperture, despite the high speed. The ZEISS Milvus 1.4/50 on a full-frame camera corresponds to the perspective of the human eye and can therefore be used for many different purposes.

ZEISS Milvus 1.4/85
The newly designed ZEISS Milvus 1.4/85 short tele lens has eleven elements in nine groups and features the ZEISS Planar optical design. The ZEISS Milvus 1.4/85 is suitable, above all, for portrait photography. This lens is an absolute must for compositions where the main subject is to be isolated and emphasized against a beautiful bokeh background. The purely spherical optical design generates a harmonious bokeh, and the use of special glass materials ensures extremely low chromatic aberration.