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ZEISS Milvus 50mm 1.4

Incredible Shallow Depth of Field

ZEISS has launched a new line of lenses and we were fortunate to receive a sneak peak (read my article on ZEISS‘s Blog)! The Milvus 50mm 1.4 was just one of a few we were sent to preview and we are completely floored by this new lens! It looks like a mini Otus and performs much like its big brother as well. This fantastically fast lens is tack sharp and creates a creamy out-of-focus bokeliciousness thats sure to make your inner photog very, very happy.

At 50mm this lens is very practical for almost any purpose. Its ability to render a cinematic look with incredible color clarity and sharpness is very much desired. This new lens like its predecessor, is made of metal and built second to none. In addition to its rock solid build, its new design atheistic with blue ZEISS logos and trim to match give it a very high end look. Another welcomed feature is a weather seal ring making this a full time pro option.

At its $1199 USD price point, it’s a great option for high end wedding and commercial photographers. However, like all Canon/Nikon ZEISS lenses these share the same caveat: Manual Focus only. However, with a little practice this hurdle can be overcome. We tend to use this and the other manual focus lenses that we own with the aid of live view and digital zoom. This allows us to quickly achieve critical focus while ensuring we got the shot!

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Zeiss-Milvus-50mm-1
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Fast Glass + Superior Color Rendering

This lens was built to be used at every aperture. Even wide open at f1.4 this lens is insanely sharp in the center. It allows us as wedding photographers to create whimsical scenes with a dreamy overtone with relative ease. This fast speed creates insane depth of field and when combined with ZEISS color and contrast rendition, you are left with your jaw dropped.

ZEISS is constantly improving its special sauce and their latest iteration of T* Coating proves to be as advanced as ever! Flares and other lens anomalies are managed quite well, so much in fact that I had to point it directly into the sun to create much of any flare what-so-ever…

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In Use

Our real life experience of this lens was quite favorable. As a portrait photographer, this lens can be used without any hurdles at all. However, during some parts of a wedding day it’s difficult to keep pace with the action. We will typically supplement our manual focus lens with another auto-focus lens for days when fast-paced situations arise.

During the portrait session or shooting details this lens excels! With its extremely long focus ring throw it’s possible to get very precise focusing on stationary subjects. Videographers will naturally gravitate toward this lens and line-up in general for this reason. As photographers, we love the control and precision these lenses allow us!

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In Conclusion

We are thrilled to have another 50mm to aid in creating our art and this offering is a real gem! If you are in the market for a fast 50mm and image quality is of utmost importance, consider this lens and you will be rewarded. If you have the time to slow down and focus, this is the lens you want to be focusing.

For more information about the entire new Milvus line-up please read my article written for the ZEISS Milvus launch. Please feel free to leave comments or reach out to me on social media for more information!

*Past Love: We no longer carry this lens in our bag. While the sharpness and colors on this lens are sublime the manual focus nature made us think twice about using it on wedding day. We still own it, but no longer use it on wedding days.

More Resources

Are you interested in learning more about this lens? There are lots of great useful resources all of the web to help us photographers achieve our photographic dreams! We have included some of the articles and resources that were helpful for us when researching our own gear purchase.