ZEISS Milvus 50mm f/2M ZE Macro Lens for Canon EF

ZEISS Milvus 50mm f/2M ZE Macro Lens for Canon EF

ZEISS Milvus 50mm f/2M ZE Macro Lens for Canon EF

B&H # ZE502MZE MFR # 2096-559
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Product Highlights

  • EF-Mount Lens/Full-Frame Format
  • Aperture Range: f/2 to f/22
  • Planar Optical Design
  • ZEISS T* Anti-Reflective Coating
  • Floating Elements System
  • 1:2 Magnification, 9.4" Min. Focus
  • Manual Focus Design, Rubber Focus Ring
  • Weather-Sealed Construction
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Lens Mount: Canon EF

Canon EF Nikon F
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ZEISS 50mm f/2.0 overview

  • 1Description

Pairing a normal-length perspective with an impressive 1:2 maximum magnification ratio, the Canon EF-mount Milvus 50mm f/2M ZE from ZEISS features a floating elements design to ensure consistent image quality when working with both close and distant subjects. Inspired by the classic symmetrical Planar optical design, this lens is capable of achieving well-corrected imagery with controlled aberrations and distortions. An enhanced ZEISS T* anti-reflective coating has also been applied to significantly reduce ghosting and flaring for improved contrast and color fidelity when working in difficult lighting conditions.

The manual focus design is complemented by a rubberized focus ring for fine-tuned, precise control over your focus position. Additionally, Milvus-series lenses also feature an equally aesthetic and durable frosted, anodized metal lens-barrel surface along with a weather-sealed construction to protect against dust and moisture.

Normal-length prime is designed for full-frame Canon EF-mount cameras, however can also be used with APS-C models where it provides an 80mm equivalent focal length.
Ideal for macro shooting, this lens offers a half life-size 1:2 maximum magnification along with a minimum focusing distance of 9.4" to suit working with close-up subjects.
Bright f/2 aperture helps to achieve a more compact, portable form factor while also remaining versatile for use in a variety of lighting conditions.
Planar optical design affords high sharpness and consistent performance throughout the focusing range to suit photographing at a wide range of imaging scales.
ZEISS T* anti-reflective coating has been applied to each lens surface to help minimize reflections and provide greater contrast and color fidelity.
Floating elements system helps to maintain consistent image quality throughout the entire focusing range.
Manual focus design is benefitted by focusing and depth of field scales along with hard stops at both infinity and minimum focusing positions.
Weather-resistant construction includes internal seals to guard against dust and moisture as well as a blue sealing ring at the lens mount to protect the lens-camera interface.
All-metal lens barrel has a frosted, anodized surface along with a rubberized focusing ring for both durability and improved tactile control.

ZEISS 50mm f/2.0 specs

Focal Length 50mm
Aperture Maximum: f/2
Minimum: f/22
Camera Mount Type Canon EF
Format Compatibility 35mm Film / Full-Frame Digital Sensor
Angle of View 45°
Minimum Focus Distance 9.45" / 24 cm
Magnification 0.5x
Maximum Reproduction Ratio 1:2
Optical Design 8 Elements in 6 Groups
Autofocus No
Filter Thread Front: 67 mm
Dimensions (DxL) 3.19 x 2.95" / 81 x 75 mm
Weight 1.61 lb / 730 g
Packaging Info
Package Weight 2.6 lb
Box Dimensions (LxWxH) 10.0 x 5.4 x 4.7"

ZEISS 50mm f/2.0 reviews

Milvus 50mm f/2M ZE Lens for Canon EF is rated 4.6 out of 5 by 7.
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A versatile beauty I had used the classic version of this lens years ago after borrowing it from a friend and was very impressed with the quality and character of the resulting images. I recently purchased this Milvus version (after renting it first) and could not be happier with how it performs on my Sony A7r, A7II and recently rented 5Dsr. I'm not a huge fan of the 50mm focal length, but I feel that it's a necessary tool to have in my bag and it has not let me down in this regard. It has proven to be a very versatile lens. To me it is like a Swiss-Army knife in its ability to solve many problems in various shooting situations, whether it's general photography, macro, landscape, multi-row panoramas, portrait...it just works beautifully. It is built like no other lens I have used (though I have not tried any Otus lens) and the focusing is buttery smooth while having just the right amount of friction. The focus throw is also quite long which allows for achieving critical focus easily, though maybe not quickly. Optically, it is superb and has the wonderful micro-contrast and color that Zeiss is known for. I can't ever imagine parting with it...this could be my desert island lens.
Date published: 2016-08-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Spectacular Sharpness As a macro photographer there are times the 100mm and 180mm focal lengths magnify too much and don't allow the full object in the image. This lens fills that gap and yet doubles as an extremely sharp 50mm prime. While expensive, the sharpness in full frame cameras (Canon 5Ds) is extraordinary. As a part of a new generation of lenses designed to more fully utilize/complement the high megapixel full frame camera, this lens excels. Extraordinary sharpness all the way to the edge. Given the sharpness, I look forward to trying it with a multi-row pano. Anticipate it will yield unprecedented sharpness. Focus is extremely sharp/accurate (manual only) and requires a long throw, yet it is this long arc that allows for maximum focal accuracy. Quality of construction is excellent. Heavy, solid, but as a result of the caliber of glass and the metal housing. Even the lens hood (also metal) clicks on with a satisfying click. I sense precision, extreme durability and toughness. Zeiss is proud of this family of lenses and you will pay for that. I am, however, quite impressed with the sharpness of images produced. My images with Canon L lenses at other focal lengths are excellent and I cannot yet justify replacement with purchase of other Zeiss prime focal lengths as of yet. I am impressed. Excellent lens.
Date published: 2016-01-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Extraordinarily Sharp I bought this at the same time as the Canon 5ds r. It performs better than I could have imagined. I'll be getting the 100m macro next year as well. You need the resolution of this beautiful lens to capture the 50megapixels of this wonderful camera. I use it for studio work, so I prefer the manual focus. I wouldn't recommend it for hand held, and I always use a tripod. The long focus throw gives you the ability to get perfect focus, but any movement, literally a millimeter, will put you into blur territory. Using the 5ds r in live view and magnified, I get a sharp focus beyond anything any of my Canon lenses can hope for. Of course, focus is just one aspect of a great lens. The color and resolution are amazing. On most of my shots, I am only cropping. The color, sharpness, detail and saturation are that good. I'm so used to post production work in Lightroom and PhotoShop that I keep expecting to do something, but just don't need it, or not much. The work flow improvement is huge, along with the low frustration level. Just don't take focus for granted, you have to take the time and do it right, that can't be fixed. There is no noticeable lens distortion, though some vignetting at wide open aperture. I'm using strobes, so generally try to stay in the 5.6 range. If you work from a tripod and like manual focus, you will not likely find a better lens for this price. It oozes quality, from the box it's packaged in to the smooth and extremely long focus throw. Auto focus and handheld photographers: find another lens, you will not be happy with this one. Too precise and unforgiving for that kind of work.
Date published: 2015-12-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Great 50mm Macro I've got my eye on this lens, but decided to rent one for a few days prior to purchase. The is a great lens, as everyone else here will say. What seems to go unsaid is the primary specialty of a 50mm macro: flat field optics. Unlike longer focal length macro lenses, which are optimized for miniature 3-D objects, the design objective of a 50mm macro is optimized to do copy photography of flat objects such as paintings, documents, and old photographs. What does flat field mean? Simply that, unlike conventional lenses, the zone of sharp focus is not the arc of a radius, like the line drawn by a compass. Instead, the corners and edges of the frame with a true flat field macro are actually a different distance than the distance of the perpendicular line from the image plane to the center of a flat object being photographed. Copy photography has always been a specialty, but back in the day it was about the only option for quality reproduction. Today, there are myriad different scanners available for digitizing materials, and you might ask yourself what need there might be for a true flat field macro lens such as this Zeiss Milvus 50mm. Unlike cheap consumer flatbed scanners, this macro is able to work with oversized originals that even an expensive large format graphic arts scanner costing several thousands would not be able to handle. Not only that, but considering many works of art or other types of large format works may be framed and perhaps fragile and difficult to handle make photographic copy work more advantageous. My own use of this lens was precipitated by an emergency - an old late 1800s Texas school house had become a privately funded rural community museum, but unfortunately the contents are to be sold in an estate dispersal sale, and the real estate sold. With no time to spare, we had to capture and document a great many original historical documents that are important to a great many people. I've done this type of copy photography for almost 40 years using several major brands of purpose built flat field macro lenses. I have never done this work with a lens that acquitted itself better, or for which I had more confidence. Shooting with my Canon 5D Mk III, using a Zacuto Z-Finder for critical focus at 10x zoom on the rear screen, gave no indication of the image quality rendered by this lens. I shot many engraved documents such as marriage licenses and real estate deeds, and this lens rendered individual lines with spectacular sharpness. In fact, every nuance of the documents was captured down to individual halftone dots in printed materials and ink deposits on individual paper fibers in handwritten signatures. It is a pity that nobody on YouTube has addressed flat field photography and why the 50mm macro is such an important lens with special optical characteristics apart from all other lenses, even other dedicated macros. And by saying specialized, I do not mean to take away anything from other reviewers here who have noted that this is a wonderful general purpose lens. Any review of this Zeiss Milvus series lens would be incomplete without noting the superb mechanical build quality and the essential long-throw focus. This is absolutely crucial to critical focus of a lens of this quality in order to fully realize the optical performance this lens is capable of delivering. The lens has full depth of field markings and magnification ratios, though as for the latter ratios seem a little less relevant considering digital sensor cameras. Nevertheless, these are the hallmark of thoroughly competent lens design and manufacture. I really can't say enough good about this lens. Anybody engaged in digital archiving should own one. I only wish I could have kept the rental, and acknowledge that this lens would only be better if paired with the latest high resolution cameras such as the Canon 5Ds.
Date published: 2016-02-15
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Let Down??? I copy and reproduce art. When I upgraded to the Canon EOS 5Dsr, I chose this lens to compliment the high resolution sensor. When I did my test, I had some curvature (distortion) on the top (of art)horizontal straight line. On all my test. Yes, sharp lens, but if not true flat field lens, it's of not much use for digital captures. At $1,300, this lens should be perfect.
Date published: 2016-05-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This lens is incredible! I can't wait to update all of my glass to zeiss. The only thing I will say about this glass is that they should have made the focus ring ribbed so that you can turn it easier. Other then that this is well worth the money!
Date published: 2017-09-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from First time user excellent! exceed my expectations
Date published: 2017-04-03
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