The Zeiss Milvus 85mm f/1.4 fast 85mm lens occupies a magical place in the hearts of many for its perspective and capacity for shallow depth of field. But what does the new Zeiss Milvus add? Damien Demolder finds out
With its short telephoto perspective that’s ideal for portraits, 85mm is a popular focal length, and Zeiss has plenty of competition. Samyang has a pleasingly low-cost manual-focus 85mm f/1.4 model for those who don’t mind doing some of the work themselves, while Sigma offers a rather nice 85mm f/1.4 for those who prefer AF.
Canon and Nikon both have two, with budget f/1.8 options complemented by more exotic faster versions. Canon’s f/1.2 L lens in particular is legendary for its ability to render backgrounds out of focus, but some think the extra width of the maximum aperture costs too much in edge image quality – and money.
The Zeiss lens here costs about £200 more than Canon’s f/1.2 L lens and doesn’t open quite as wide, but going from previous experience that extra money might well be accounted for.