Zeiss has just introduced a brand new full-frame lens family called Milvus, that takes design cues from Otus, but optically builds on the most recent ZE/ZF all-manual still lenses.
The old ZF and ZE lenses will be called Zeiss Classic, and while they will continue to sell certain lenses, it's pretty clear that this optical and physical design is meant to replace those lenses. Besides a $1,283 50mm f/2 and $1,843 100mm f/2 Macro, the new Milvus full-frame lens line will contain a $1,843 21mm f/2.8, $1,117 35mm f/2, $1,200 50mm f/1.4, and $1,800 85mm f/1.4.
Matthew Duclos just wrote about these lenses, and says they are able to resolve 50MP (which is a little over 8K), so these should work with anything out there. He also mentioned which lenses were getting cancelled:
So what happens to the “Classic” Zeiss ZF.2 and ZE primes? Well, they’re still great lenses and they’ll continue to be. The 50mm f/1.4 Classic and the 85mm f/1.4 Classic will be available in tandem with the newer, better Milvus primes but the Classic 21mm f/2.8, 35mm f/2.0, 50mm f/2.0 Makro, and 100mm f/2.0 Makro will be discontinued. All the other Classic focal lengths will continue to be available as well.
And more from his post:
Don’t expect Otus performance out of the new 50mm and 85mm Milvus – but do expect an improvement over the older, Classic versions. The 50mm features an all new design consisting of 10 elements in 9 groups – 4 elements using low dispersion glass and 1 aspheric element. The 85mm is also a brand new design comprised of 11 elements in 9 groups – 7 low dispersion elements.
These lenses are all manual focus just like the predecessors, and apparently have a longer focus throw. Another interesting feature is something they've got with some of their other models, which is a de-click feature on the Nikon F-Mount that lets you make the iris smooth by just using a small tool:
Here is more from Zeiss on the Milvus line:
The new ZEISS Milvus lenses enable high-quality film recordings with soft and cinematic bokeh. "With their extremely high contrast rendition, the lenses meet the latest 6K video standards and display uniform color characteristics," Casenave continues. All six ZEISS Milvus lenses have an exceptionally long rotation angles of the focus ring for precise focusing. The practical, rubber-covered focus ring features outstanding grip properties for optimal focusing. The 'de-click' function in the ZF.2 mount lenses allows filmmakers to adjust the aperture freely and smoothly, enabling professional results even in changing light conditions.
We've got two video samples so far, the first from Jared Abrams at Wide Open Camera, and the second from David Clifford:
- EF Mount Lens/Full-Frame Format
- Planar Optical Design
- Floating Elements System
- Zeiss T* Anti-Reflective Coating
- Manual Focus Design
- Anodized Metal Barrel, Rubber Focus Ring
- Weather-Sealed Construction
From B&H, here is a more detailed look at the specs for these lenses:
Here is a still image by Mathew Irving Photography taken with the 100mm f/2 (you can see the original here):
These lenses look incredibly sharp, and they will certainly be a step up from the previous all-manual lenses. Whether you'll really be able to see the difference between the versions of these Zeiss lenses is another story, but the differences will certainly become clearer as you shoot higher-resolution video like 4K. Like anything Zeiss, these aren't going to be cheap, as a complete set will run you just over $7,800 (a bit more if you bought all of them). There is no question, however, that they will be built well and will perform optically.
You can find links to pre-order these lenses, which should be out in October.