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What is the sharpest medium to wide-angle (Canon DSLR) Zeiss Milvus or S...

  
 
billsamuels
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · What is the sharpest medium to wide-angle (Canon DSLR) Zeiss Milvus or Sigma Art?


I was looking seriously at the Zeiss Milvus 35mm F/2 for my Canon DSLR as I have several traditional Zeiss lenses and I thought it would be nice to have a modern version.Some said that the 35mm F/2 was kind of close to the Otus, but the more I read about taking landscape photography, the less positive feedback I found about long-distance sharpness. The 35mm F/1.4 is much more expensive, unless I can find one used, which then takes me back to the Sigma Art series? I like prime lenses and Sigma Art lenses are good.

I have a Canon 5DSR and 6D.

Any thought on which Milvus for Canon might be the sharpest, or is there a Sigma Art that's even sharper?
Thanks.
Bill



Feb 25, 2024 at 05:09 AM
jcolwell
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · What is the sharpest medium to wide-angle (Canon DSLR) Zeiss Milvus or Sigma Art?


What do you have in the way of 'traditional' Zeiss lenses? Are they older M42, QBM, Contax C/Y, and etc. mounts, or maybe the Classic lineup? If it's the Classic lineup, then you should know that many are the same optically as the Milvus versions. Of course, the newer ones have possibly-improved coatings and ballistic armour.


Feb 25, 2024 at 07:30 AM
MAubrey
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · What is the sharpest medium to wide-angle (Canon DSLR) Zeiss Milvus or Sigma Art?


If you can go a little wider or a little narrower, the Sigma 40mm and Sigma 28mm are incredible, with the 40mm being simply incredible.


Feb 25, 2024 at 08:34 AM
billsamuels
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · What is the sharpest medium to wide-angle (Canon DSLR) Zeiss Milvus or Sigma Art?


jcolwell wrote:
What do you have in the way of 'traditional' Zeiss lenses? Are they older M42, QBM, Contax C/Y, and etc. mounts, or maybe the Classic lineup? If it's the Classic lineup, then you should know that many are the same optically as the Milvus versions. Of course, the newer ones have possibly-improved coatings and ballistic armour.


I have the following "for Canon" or ZE classic Lenses:

- 21mm
- 28mm (my favorite lens to date)
- 100mm Makro (also a terrific lens!)
- 180mm (Oddly enough, this lens isn't as sharp as I thought it would be)
- 50mm F/1.7 (Contax C/Y w/Canon lens adapter)

Although the 28mm is my favorite (nice bright color), it doesn't have the high resolution you'd think it should have so if I take a photo and zoom in, the photo seems to pixelate. I don't get this with photos taken with my Canon L lenses so is this the lens? Remember, I'm using a 5DSR.
Thanks!



Feb 25, 2024 at 09:06 AM
Grenache
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · What is the sharpest medium to wide-angle (Canon DSLR) Zeiss Milvus or Sigma Art?


Some Milvus versions are new or tweaked optical designs, while others are just same lens as the ZE version in a new barrel. The Zeiss site at least used to be fairly clear about both types. If it talked about new design or redesign then those were updated. If it just talked about how great the lens is, then those were just older lens in new skin.

My favorite in the ZE line was the 35/1.4. It was sharp and gave beautiful images at any aperture. The 50/2 MP was also great for ant distance…great landscape lens, for instance. You have the amazing 21 and 28/2.

Milvus line updated the 35/1.4 to remove some minor fringing and CA in the original, but to me, the Milvus lost nearly all of the original’s magic. Milvus 85 supposedly improved the focus shift that plagued the original, but I never tried the Milvus. Same story for the 50/1.4 and its shift.

The 135/2 APO is a stellar lens, but it is rather insanely heavy and has quite a focus throw.

Jim



Feb 25, 2024 at 09:39 AM
ocean2059
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · What is the sharpest medium to wide-angle (Canon DSLR) Zeiss Milvus or Sigma Art?


I have used both Milvus 35/2 and 35/1.4. If your primary use of this lens is landscape, the Milvus 35/1.4 will be a better lens. Stepping down to f/4, the Milvus 35/2 doesn't have great resolving power at far distances (infinity). The downsides of the Milvus 35/1.4 are large, very heavy, and pricy. I also have the Sigma Art 35/4. Technically, it's a fine lens but the images it produces don't attract me that much. Particularly, the color and micro-contrast are not there at the Zeiss level.

One off-topic point, have you considered the Canon EF 35/1.4 (Mk2)? In mine own experience with 5DsR body, the Canon EF 35/1.4 (Mk2) is an excellent all-around lens, on-par with optical characters of Zeiss Milvus 35/1.4 in terms of color, resolution, and micro-contrast. It's also lighter than the Milvus 35/1.4 by quite a bit.



Feb 25, 2024 at 11:41 AM
RexGig0
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · What is the sharpest medium to wide-angle (Canon DSLR) Zeiss Milvus or Sigma Art?


The Canon EF 35mm f/2 IS, a non-L lens, is actually quite good, on the 5Ds R. I bought one, in early 2016, right after I bought my 5Ds R. Canon had posted a list of Canon lenses that were recommended for use on the 5Ds and 5Ds R. The 35mm IS was on that list. (If I recall correctly, the same was true of the 24mm IS and the 28mm IS, but, the original 35mm f/1.4L was not.)

My Zeiss SLR/DSLR lenses being the 85mm Otus and the 135mm APO Sonnar, I cannot be helpful, regarding wide-angle Zeiss lenses. I am interested in potentially acquiring 25mm and/or 35mm Milvus lenses, so, am following this discussion, for personal interest.



Feb 25, 2024 at 05:16 PM
philip_pj
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · What is the sharpest medium to wide-angle (Canon DSLR) Zeiss Milvus or Sigma Art?


The Milvus 35/1.4 will be the best lens you have, should you go that way. Not by a little either, and it has the trademark Zeiss microcolour and microcontrast, and 80% 40 lpmm at f4 at the wide edges, wow. It retains the traditional CZ soft wide open render for portraits (a design intention!), soft bokeh, etc. so it's versatile too.

Dustin Abbott compared it to the very good Canon 35/1.4 II and failed to see some of the obvious advantages the M35/1.4 offered: deeper DOF, colour gradation on another level. If only they made one at 500 grams, I'd be in like Flynn. More:

https://dustinabbott.net/tag/canon-eos-35mm-f1-4l-ii/

Agree re Sigma optics rendering p1. #6.

BTW, here is OL's review of the Canon 35/1.4 on the 5DSR, interesting reading (in your shoes, I'd stay well clear of that one):

https://photozone.de/canon_eos_ff/964-canon35f14mk2?start=1



Feb 25, 2024 at 10:43 PM
Grenache
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · What is the sharpest medium to wide-angle (Canon DSLR) Zeiss Milvus or Sigma Art?


Unlikely a fair comparison, as I owned the ZE 35/1.4 for several years, the ZF.2 version for 18 months or so and rented the Milvus version for only two weeks, but in my use of both, the original ZE had much more gusto and the Milvus was fairly flat.

Jim

ZE (many pages):
https://www.flickr.com/photos/only_to_be_kind/albums/72157629293846839/with/20576091563

I Hunger by Jim, on Flickr

Overtaken by Jim, on Flickr

Crash! by Jim, on Flickr

Milvus:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/only_to_be_kind/albums/72157691039606344/with/25660673928

Line up by Jim, on Flickr

Edited on Feb 26, 2024 at 02:29 PM · View previous versions



Feb 25, 2024 at 11:25 PM
Steve Spencer
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · What is the sharpest medium to wide-angle (Canon DSLR) Zeiss Milvus or Sigma Art?


I have had the ZE 21 f/2.8, the Milvus 25 f/1.4, the Otus 28 f/1.4, the ZE 35 f/1.4, the Milvus 35 f/1.4, and I now have the ZE 25 f/2 (and I also have the Canon EF 35 f/1.4 II) and honestly all of these are very sharp lenses and I don't think sharpness is the major differentiator between. The best lens for aberration control and yes, for sharpness is not surprisingly the Otus, but it is also the biggest. I prefer the Canon to either the ZE 35 f/1.4 or the Milvus 35 f/1.4, but the Zeiss lenses are both very good. The ZE 35 f/1.4 has a lot of aberration, quite a bit of axial CA and a lot of coma, but has really nice bokeh. The Milvus 35 f/1.4 has much better aberration control but is very large and I don't like its bokeh as much. I have found I am surprised at how well the Canon controls aberrations while still having quite nice bokeh.

My favorite in this range, however, is the ZE 25 f/2. It isn't perfect, but has a nice short MFD, nice bokeh, and pretty good aberration control. A bonus is that it is fairly small and you can get a used one fairly cheap.



Feb 26, 2024 at 06:18 AM
 


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RexGig0
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · What is the sharpest medium to wide-angle (Canon DSLR) Zeiss Milvus or Sigma Art?


The above post by @philip_pj reminded me that Dustin Abbott had posted a 35mm lens “shoot-out” in the past. There is no Milvus in that comparison, but, the Sigma Art, the Canon 35L II, and the Canon 35mm IS (Image Stabilization) are included.

https://dustinabbott.net/2016/01/35mm-shootout/

I no longer remember, correctly, whether Dustin Abbott’s 35mm “shoot-out” helped encourage me to buy my 35mm IS, or merely acted as an affirmation that I had made a wise/correct decision. I did buy my 35 IS in very early 2016.

About two years later, in early 2018, I added a Canon 35L II, and soon wondered why I had bothered. I have mostly used my 35L II on a 7D Mark II, only occasionally, while the 35mm IS gets to play on the 5Ds R and 5D IV.



Feb 26, 2024 at 07:04 AM
modlin
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · What is the sharpest medium to wide-angle (Canon DSLR) Zeiss Milvus or Sigma Art?


21 zeiss
25 zeiss classic
35 zeiss both classic and milvus




Feb 26, 2024 at 08:04 PM
Robin Smith
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · What is the sharpest medium to wide-angle (Canon DSLR) Zeiss Milvus or Sigma Art?


The Canon 35mm IS is indeed excellent. I enjoyed it very much when I had my EF system.


Feb 26, 2024 at 09:56 PM
billsamuels
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · What is the sharpest medium to wide-angle (Canon DSLR) Zeiss Milvus or Sigma Art?


RexGig0 wrote:
Theo, is actually quite good, on the 5Ds R. I bought one, in early 2016, right after I bought my 5Ds R. Canon had posted a list of Canon lenses that were recommended for use on the 5Ds and 5Ds R. The 35mm IS was on that list. (If I recall correctly, the same was true of the 24mm IS and the 28mm IS, but, the original 35mm f/1.4L was not.)

My Zeiss SLR/DSLR lenses being the 85mm Otus and the 135mm APO Sonnar, I cannot be helpful, regarding wide-angle Zeiss lenses. I am interested in potentially acquiring 25mm and/or 35mm
...Show more

Hey Rex(?),
Thanks for emailing me. I want to tell you that as I mentioned above, my favorite all-time lens thus far is the traditional Zeiss 25mm Distagon XE (for Canon) and it practically lives on my 5DSR! It's everything that Zeiss promises in a lens as far as being sharp and bright and just downright brilliant. The one I have now is my second lens. The first one I bought I got from Adorama used and it had some problems that were from abuse. I couldn't live w/o it so about 6 months late, I broke down and bought a NEW one from B&H and savored opening the box for the first time.

I under-use the Zeiss 21mm and I should get it out more! It's also a pretty amazing lens, but it's harder to focus because everything in the viewfinder looks so small, it's hard to see if you're in focus or not. On the other side, it's a 21mm so everything is in -focus all the time, mostly!

The other spectacular lens that is my #2 Zeiss is the 100mm Makro-Planar ZE. While it's not as practical as having the Canon 70-200mm, which comes in several different forms and I have this version as well, again it has the beauty of other Zeiss lenses in making bright sharp photos.

Given all of this, when Zeiss came out with the Milvus line, I was really concerned that the jump in price and the differences in the lenses, the one lens that seemingly everyone on FM would brag about both in sharpness and uniqueness was the traditional version of the 135mm APO Sonnar ZE (or alike). So I stretched for this and bought a new one from B&H. However, from the start, I could not get a sharp photo and it was very frustrating. I contacted Zeiss and sent them photos and they seemingly did everything they could to NOT let me send the lens to them so they could check it out and fix whatever was out of whack. After 5 months of game playing emails from Zeiss, I sent them an email bomb and they got it that I wasn't going to disappear, especially since the lens had a very long warranty and I have mostly manual lenses so I know how to focus a lens and a Zeiss! They did find something that was cracked and sent it back and I think it's okay now. I would say it's not as perfect as the other lenses I have, and it makes me feel that way as well. However, the other Zeiss lenses are fine and I really do have a lot of general confidence in them, more so than Canon and others.

As a side note, thanks for letting me know about the Canon EF 35mm f/2 IS, non-L lens. I'm not attached to "L" lenses or Zeiss or anything as long as they're a really good lens. I have the Canon 50mm F/1.4 (non L) and it's "was" a spectacular lens before I accidentally dropped it. I had it repaired at a local lens shop, but they did a lousy job so it's still not right. It's cheap enough that I've considered replacing it, but I also have a Canon 18-55mm F/3.5-5.6 IS STM. While it doesn't fit a full-frame camera, I use it for an SD1 as a back-up camera I travel with. There are areas of the lens that are razor sharp!!! Not all areas are this way, but when you use them on an APS-C camera, wow! I wonder if Canon has an equivelent for FF sensors?

I bought two Leica lenses several years ago that were very used that are also 50mm from different time-periods and both are absolute gem. One is from the early days of the "R" series that will fit a Canon DSLR with a lens adapter, and the second is from the last couple of years with a lot of improvements. Both take very different photos, but well worth it.

I hear the Zeiss 35mm F/2, but maybe I got the wrong information and it was actually the 35mm F/1.4(?) that is just as good as any Otus. Also, do you have an 85mm Otus? An Otus is on my radar screen, but they are way out of my price range for a single lens, so I'd have to find one that was outrageous and more affordable. Also, 85mm is not something I need. I guess it's like having a BMW - you can show it off and have a great time, but do you really need it and is it really that superior? Maybe!

I will check out the Canon 24 and 35mm IS and see what they offer. Also, I think Sigma offers a couple of lenses in their Art series that are around that area that are award winning lenses. My problem is that the 25mm is really wide still and I need something between these areas. If I find something, I'll email you and as I mentioned, the Art series from Sigma is spectacular, as are their Sport series, but they're a lot more money.

Bill Samuels








Feb 27, 2024 at 04:52 AM
billsamuels
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · What is the sharpest medium to wide-angle (Canon DSLR) Zeiss Milvus or Sigma Art?


Hi Robin,
I've heard that for a while.

Thanks.
Bill



Feb 27, 2024 at 05:28 AM
billsamuels
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · What is the sharpest medium to wide-angle (Canon DSLR) Zeiss Milvus or Sigma Art?


modlin wrote:
21 zeiss
25 zeiss classic
35 zeiss both classic and milvus



Do you think in this specific order? That' doesn't say much for either 35mm! The 25mm is also really sharp and mine appears to be sharper than the 21mm, but I guess results may be different between individual lenses?
Thanks.



Feb 27, 2024 at 05:30 AM
billsamuels
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · What is the sharpest medium to wide-angle (Canon DSLR) Zeiss Milvus or Sigma Art?


Are there any Leica "R" lenses that I should consider that might be worth trying instead of the ones noted above? I have a couple of them and they're really fine lenses, just some are very very expensive. I have the Leica 50mm (2 different generations) and the second-generation 28mm. I've been looking for years for a 19mm, but they are extremely hard to come by!


Feb 27, 2024 at 05:36 AM
jcolwell
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · What is the sharpest medium to wide-angle (Canon DSLR) Zeiss Milvus or Sigma Art?


billsamuels wrote:
I have the following "for Canon" or ZE classic Lenses:
...
- 180mm (Oddly enough, this lens isn't as sharp as I thought it would be)
...



If you want a sharp 180mm lens, and a Leica-R lens, then have a look at the Leica Apo-Telyt-R 180/3.4; otherwise (and especially if you like small), it could be the Voigtlander APO-Lanthar 180/4 SL.

Over the past year, I sold off my CZ EF wide lenses: 18/3.5, 21/2.8, 25/2, and 35/2. I'll probably buy another 25/2 ZE, somewhere down the road. All of these lenses are excellent (including the under-appreciated 18/3.5).




Feb 27, 2024 at 07:24 AM
modlin
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · What is the sharpest medium to wide-angle (Canon DSLR) Zeiss Milvus or Sigma Art?


billsamuels wrote:
Do you think in this specific order? That' doesn't say much for either 35mm! The 25mm is also really sharp and mine appears to be sharper than the 21mm, but I guess results may be different between individual lenses?
Thanks.


A subjective order…more like based on how often they are on my cameras
Yes 25 is super sharp
All zeiss lenses are super sharp (ze)
135 apo is magical….55 otus etc

Edited on Feb 27, 2024 at 11:55 AM · View previous versions



Feb 27, 2024 at 07:25 AM
RexGig0
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · What is the sharpest medium to wide-angle (Canon DSLR) Zeiss Milvus or Sigma Art?


billsamuels wrote:
Hey Rex(?),
Thanks for emailing me. I want to tell you that as I mentioned above, my favorite all-time lens thus far is the traditional Zeiss 25mm Distagon XE (for Canon) and it practically lives on my 5DSR! It's everything that Zeiss promises in a lens as far as being sharp and bright and just downright brilliant. The one I have now is my second lens. The first one I bought I got from Adorama used and it had some problems that were from abuse. I couldn't live w/o it so about 6 months late, I broke down and bought a
...Show more

Hey Bill!

I did not “e-mail” you. The forum automatically notifies you, if someone likes or quotes your post.

I am glad that Zeiss sorted-out your APO Sonnar 135. I liked my first APO Sonnar 135 so much, that I bought another, so that I would have both the ZE for Canon EF mount, and the ZF.2 for Nikon F mount. I bought both of them pre-owned, at Houston Camera Exchange, which is a short drive, enabling me to test-shoot when selecting lenses, and, of course, letting the first owners take the initial depreciation hit.

I like manually-focusing. My first mentor, with SLR camera usage, was my wife, who made sure I learned how to manually focus. I started using DSLRs in 2010, primarily to shoot macro and at very close-range, often in low-light, which meant that manually-focusing was often necessary, even with the best DSLRs of that time. Not until late 2014 did I have the 7D Mark II, with AF which worked MUCH better in low light, at close range, with my 100L Macro IS, than the AF in the original-version 7D. The 5Ds R further improved the AF situation.

One convenient thing about the Canon EF 35mm IS is that it has a VERY close Minimum Focusing Distance. This was very handy, one time, when I photographed a limo bus that had been shot-up, in either a road rage or gang-banger situation. Bullets had entered the vehicle, and passed through seats and other things. I was able to crawl between and under the seats, and using a Macro Ring Lite flash, shoot INTO the bullet holes, at those close distances, with the 35 IS and 100 Macro L IS, on my 5Ds R. This was the only crime scene that I shot, with the 5Ds R, because those huge files bogged-down the proprietary software that uploaded and stored the images, in the police computer. (I worked police patrol, with crime scene photography becoming an added duty, in late 2010, until I retired in early 2018.)

Rex G

(Yes, Rex. My parents named me after a dog. Well, actually, I think it was singer/song writer Rex Allen.)



Feb 27, 2024 at 08:43 AM
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