Help us keep the lights on:
Join this years fundraising campaign and get a limited edition supporter's cap.
Read more about our plans and needs for 2024 and beyond.


Sign up Login
Home Forums Articles Galleries Members Galleries Master Your Vision Galleries 5Contest Categories 5Winners Galleries 5ANPAT Galleries 5 The Winners Editor's Choice Portfolios Recent Photos Search Contest Info Help News Newsletter Join us Renew Membership About us Retrieve password Contact us Contests Vouchers Wiki Apps THE NIKONIAN™ For the press Fundraising Search Help!

Lens Reviews

Zeiss Milvus 1.4/25

Bo Stahlbrandt (bgs)

Keywords: zeiss, mf, distagon, milvus, 25mm

The new, completely redesigned Zeiss Milvus 25mm/1.4 wide-angle lens is for all of us who love great optics, manual focus operation and don't mind to carry a bit more weight to achieve crisp, excellent edge-to-edge results. The lens has 15 elements arranged in 13 groups with Zeiss T* coating and is based upon Zeiss' Distagon technology, a "retro-focus" element design resulting in very good correction out in the corners combined with very low field curvature. Even wide-open you get sharp results with very few flaws.

Zeiss Milvus 1.4/25

Zeiss Milvus 1.4/25
At ca 1200g / 41oz and $2 per gram, or ca $100 per mm, this is a hefty 25mm lens.

Without AF and no image stabilization this lens might not be for all of us. Since many Nikonians Community members are landscape shooters though, this might be a lens you will consider when upgrading your arsenal. For obvious reasons (landscapes do not tend to run away from us), MF lends itself very well to this photography discipline.

Zeiss Milvus 1.4/25mm

Classic aperture ring is good to have, and a no-brainer to include at this price.


Zeiss built quality and optics are well known to be excellent. The price point definitely reflects this fact, with a street price around $2 400 USD. Zeiss offers this lens with two mounts, our dear Nikon F mount (called "ZF.2") and a Canon mount (called "ZE").

The sharpness and resolution of this lens is excellent throughout the aperture range with a small improvement, as so often, around f/8. If you are interested in discussing this lens, maybe thinking about buying your own, then please join the other members in our MF forum.

Download the technical specifications incl MTF from Zeiss (PDF)


Technical specifications

Focal length 25 mm
Aperture range f/1.4 –f/16
Camera mount The Nikon F-Mount is called "ZF.2"
Format compatibility Full Frame
Focusing range 0,25 m (9.93") - ∞
Free working distance 0,09 m (3.66") - ∞
Angular field (diag. / horiz. / vert.) 81° / 71° / 50°
Diameter of image field 43 mm (1.69")
Coverage at close range (MOD) 171 x 112 mm (6.72 x 4.41")
Image ratio at minimum object distance 1 : 4.6
Lens elements | groups 15 / 13
Flange focal distance 46 mm (1.83")
Entrance pupil position (front of image plane) 127 mm (5.00")
Filter thread M82 x 0.75
Rotation angle of focusing ring 172°
Diameter max. 95 mm (3.75")
Diameter of focusing ring 83 mm (3.25")
Length (with lens caps) 138 mm (5.43")
Length (without lens caps) 123 mm (4.85")
Weight 1171 g (41.30 oz)



(6 Votes )

Originally written on October 26, 2017

Last updated on December 22, 2020

More articles that might interest you


Tom Egel (tegel) on November 2, 2017

Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Winner of the Best of Nikonians 2018 Annual Photo Contest Awarded for winning in The Best of Nikonians 2019 Photo Contest Winner of the Best of Nikonians Photo Contest 2020 This member has gone beyond technical knowledge to show mastery of the art and science of photo

I like to photograph when I travel where size/weight is always at a premium. As a result, I've settled on using Nikon MF AIS lenses with my Df as a way to get fast glass in a small package without compromising IQ. My go-to set to carry around consists of 20/2.8, 28/2.8, 35/2 and 50/1.2 which all fit nicely in a small shoulder bag. I have a few others as well, but this set seem to meet my needs for most situations. I prefer MF because it makes me feel like I'm more part of the photographic process (plus, that is how I started in photography). There's a certain amount of satisfaction that occurs knowing that I was in total control to get the shot. While I love AF for action and wildlife, MF is the way to go for me in most other situations. I find the quality of the AIS lenses to be excellent and I have never had a need to "move up" to Zeiss.

Ravi Subrahmanyan (nikonzen) on October 27, 2017

I would agree with the statement that MF has a quality all its own. Don't get me wrong, I am all for the convenience of AF, but I can't help but observe that some of my sharpest pictures were taken when I focused manually, on my trusty film Nikon, several decades ago. And it wasn't only for landscapes, but also for action! MF brings a zen-like quality to the process by forcing me to slow down, think about what I am doing and then focus precisely where I want to - instead of chasing a small blinking red box in the viewfinder, cursing when it invariably goes somewhere other than where I want it to :-).

Albrecht Granzow (GiantTristan) on October 26, 2017

I own five Zeiss zf lenses. During the past few years, after I got a D800 high resolution camera, I have done nearly all my photography with the Zeiss MF lenses. Only with these lenses I can fully realize the IQ the camera can deliver. As for the Zeiss Milvus 25/1.4 - I have the Zeiss 25/2 which arguably is the best lens currently on the market in this FL range. I cannot justify the higher price and twice the weight for the f/1.4 version.

Bruno Chalifour (bchalifour) on October 26, 2017

I'd like to mention or remind the members there is a far cheaper (cost not quality) alternative: the Rokinon/Samyang 24 mm f 1.4 for something like $500 instead of the $2400 for the Zeiss. I love Zeiss glass but let us be reasonable ! ;o)