Zeiss Otus 28mm f/1.4: Nice, but Niche

An earlier draft of this article ran to almost 1800 words. It’s always like that with gear that’s actually good but that doesn’t suit me. I go through draft after draft, trying to write away the ambivalence that has little to do with the gear and – almost – everything with me.

But it’s not about me, it’s about the gear. And Zeiss didn’t make this Otus for me, or for people like me.

If you’re reading this, you’re probably interested in this lens. So, here’s the gist:

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Zeiss Introduces Milvus Manual Focus DSLR Lens Line

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Shortly after the launch of its Batis lenses for the Sony full-frame E-mount, Carl Zeiss is rolling out yet another lens line, this time a series of manual focus lenses for Canon and Nikon DSLR cameras, called Milvus.

The Milvus series will initially consist of the following focal lengths:

  • 21mm f/2.8
  • 35mm f/2
  • 50mm f/1.4
  • 85mm f/1.4
  • 50mm f/2 Macro
  • 100mm f/2 Macro

Prices range from a little over $1,100 for the 35mm to $1,843 for the 21mm and the 100mm. They’re expected to ship mid-October.

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Zeiss Batis Lenses Add Value to Sony A7 Series

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The problem with reviewing Carl Zeiss lenses is that in the end there’s often little to say.

Yes, I could repeat the press release or the articles published at the time of the announcement, which would tell you that Zeiss introduced a new line of autofocus lenses for the Sony full-frame E-mount, called Batis.

And that the first two lenses in this series are a 25mm f/2 and an 85mm f/1.8. That the 85mm is stabilized. That they’re both weather sealed. That the 85mm sets you back $1,200, while the 25mm goes for $1,300.

I could share with you the layout and the optical elements, dimensions and other things that one can put into a lens review to flesh it out and increase the chances that the search engines will find the fruits of the writer’s efforts.

But I’m not going to do that. I’m just going to tell you that these are some fine lenses and that they would be a worthwhile addition to your Sony kit if you can spare the money, are interested in these focal lengths and have the patience to wait for them, as they are in extremely short supply.

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Quick Comparison: Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2 vs Sony 28mm f/2 and…

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Just before I headed to Europe at the beginning of the summer, I bought the Sony 28mm f/2 wide angle lens. It’s only $450, cheap for the Sony lenses that go with the A7-series full-frame mirrorless cameras. I also picked up a used Sony A7 II, so I had a camera to shoot in low light at high ISOs where my regular Olympus micro four-thirds kit doesn’t deliver the image quality I want.

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Zeiss Loxia Lenses Score for Manual Lens Aficionados

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A few months ago, Zeiss announced its Loxia line of lenses designed for the Sony FE mount and full frame sensors. Two lenses joined in the introduction, a 50mm f/2 Planar and a 35mm f/2 Biogon. The Planar is already shipping, the Biogon is apparently a bit delayed.

Zeiss lent me both lenses for a review a few weeks back and I’ve been using them a fair bit, alongside my Olympus gear with the new 40-150mm lens which I’m also trying out (and the Canon 7D Mark II, which I covered yesterday).

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