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ZEISS Milvus 21mm f/2.8 ZF.2 Lens for Nikon F

BH #ZE2128MZF2 • MFR #2096-548
ZEISS Milvus 21mm f/2.8 ZF.2 Lens for Nikon F
Key Features
  • F-Mount Lens/FX Format
  • Aperture Range: f/2.8 to f/22
  • Five Low Dispersion Elements
  • Distagon Optical Design
An expansive wide-angle for Nikon F-mount cameras, the Milvus 21mm f/2.8 ZF.2 from ZEISS features a sophisticated optical design to control distortion and produce sharp, clean imagery with a dynamic perspective. A Distagon concept, along with a floating elements system, is employed for consistent performance throughout the focusing range and five anomalous partial dispersion elements are featured to control chromatic aberrations for increased clarity and color accuracy. For minimizing flare and ghosting, an enhanced ZEISS T* anti-reflective coating has been applied to benefit working in difficult lighting conditions.
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ZEISS Milvus 21mm f/2.8 Overview

An expansive wide-angle for Nikon F-mount cameras, the Milvus 21mm f/2.8 ZF.2 from ZEISS features a sophisticated optical design to control distortion and produce sharp, clean imagery with a dynamic perspective. A Distagon concept, along with a floating elements system, is employed for consistent performance throughout the focusing range and five anomalous partial dispersion elements are featured to control chromatic aberrations for increased clarity and color accuracy. For minimizing flare and ghosting, an enhanced ZEISS T* anti-reflective coating has been applied to benefit 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.

Wide-angle prime is designed for FX-format Nikon F-mount cameras, however can also be used with DX models where it provides a 31.5mm equivalent focal length
Bright f/2.8 maximum aperture suits working in available-light conditions and is also well-suited for astrophotography use.
Distagon optical concept affords high sharpness, well-corrected image quality from edge-to-edge, and very low field curvature.
Five anomalous partial dispersion elements are used to significantly reduce color fringing and chromatic aberrations for increased clarity and color fidelity.
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, from 8.7" to infinity.
Manual focus design is benefitted by focusing and depth of field scales along with hard stops at both infinity and minimum focusing positions.
Manual aperture ring has clicked indicators throughout aperture range. Using the included De-Click Tool, this ring can be mechanically 'de-clicked' for smooth, silent rotation throughout the aperture range; making it ideal for video applications.
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 Milvus 21mm f/2.8 Specs

Focal Length21mm
Maximum Aperturef/2.8
Minimum Aperturef/22
Lens MountNikon F
Lens Format CoverageFull-Frame
Angle of View90°
Minimum Focus Distance8.66" / 22 cm
Maximum Magnification0.2x
Optical Design16 Elements in 13 Groups
Focus TypeManual Focus
Image StabilizationNo
Filter Size82 mm (Front)
Dimensions (ø x L)3.74 x 3.66" / 95 x 93 mm
Weight1.62 lb / 735 g
Packaging Info
Package Weight3.055 lb
Box Dimensions (LxWxH)11.6 x 6.75 x 5.5"

ZEISS Milvus 21mm f/2.8 Reviews

Superb Landscape Lens

By Anton
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2022-05-30

This lens balances very nicely on my D850, and looks surprisingly at home on it as well. If you can afford it, and also bear the physical weight, this makes a superb landscape lens. I have taken it on a mountain hike with no problem. The build quality leads me to believe this will be a tool that will serve me for as long as I can still lift a camera to my eye. Image quality is different from Nikon glass. This Zeiss has such vivid color reproduction that it's already apparent on the back of the camera LCD. Sharp, contrasty imaging separates fine details with vivid acuity, and the distinct reproduction of tones all help to deliver that 3D Zeiss look. All the reviews I have read over the years praising the optical quality of this lens are fully justified IMO. My copy of the lens appears to be perfectly centered, with virtually no CA and no deterioration of quality in the image corners, which implies it casts a large enough image circle. At f2.8 image quality is already sharp and contrasty over most of the image frame, with good sharpness towards the edges. And close-up images maintain superb quality as well. One other big difference from Nikon lenses, especially the newer Z-series zooms, is that this lens appears to do a much better job of fighting diffraction. I have never seen a lens this sharp at F11, and even at F16 it's quite acceptable, whereas my Nikon zooms are getting mushy on a 45mp sensor. Compared with my Nikon 20mm f/1.8G, it's a much closer battle. That lens, is definitely the equal in terms of microcontrast, but the Milvus maintains slightly cleaner image quality out towards the edges, especially at wider apertures. The 20mm f1.8G, seems to have a slight veiling of image contrast towards the edges of the frame in comparison, and out of the box a slightly less vivid color rendition. However, it will remain in my camera bag when overall weight is an issue. Back to the Milvus, the lens does exhibit some mild field curvature, which only affects the outer edge of the frame, and curves towards the viewer. This can be seen as helpful in improving sharpness in the foreground of a traditional landscape composition. So if you are looking for the best quality in a landscape lens and really like this focal length (as I do), I highly recommend the Milvus.

go for it!

By Jungran
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2020-03-30

solid construcction, great design, smoot focus, and an amazing image, go for it!

Great lens

By Jordan
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2020-02-23

So many people stress about having to manually focus these lenses. Let me say that is not a concern in the least! Very fast to lock on a focus especially compared to my Milvus 85mm which I will also add is my favorite lens in my bag. My only complaint with this Milvus 21mm is it has way more vingetting open at 2.8 than I would think a lens at this price point would have. It is easily corrected in lightroom with a click of a button but still. I shoot on Canon 1Dx bodies and have many top shelf Canon L lenses and these Milvus lenses are so much sharper and have much better color rendering than the canon lenses. One thing with these manual focus lenses is you really need to make sure your diopter is focused to your eye. The way I do so is set the camera to live view and lock the absolute focus then go back to veiwfinder view and set the diopters focus to that focus and away you go.!

Don't try this lens - you won't want to use any other brand

By Judit
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2020-01-23

I rented the 25 mm f/1.4 Zeiss Milvus lens for a trip and I absolutely fell in love with it, so I decided to buy the 21 mm f/2.8 (this focal length suits my needs better). The build, feel and image quality of this lens is great! My eyes are not very good anymore, but I have no problem focusing this lens manually, it just really pops into focus. This is my first prime lens other than a cheap 50 mm one, and I was amazed with the depth of field I get even at f/5.6. Unless you have something REALLLY close in the foreground and you are at f/2.8, you can pretty much set focus to infinity, and everything will be in focus.

Excellent lens

By michael
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2019-04-05

What an excellent lens. Its more useful to me than my 15mm Zeiss and is getting nearly as much use as my Milvus 50mm.

Beautiful Lens

By Francis
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2019-03-02

Just a first sight review as the weather has been so bad and work gets in the way that I haven’t been able to get out with this sweet beast of a lens. BIG SHOUT OUT TO B&H You ROCK!! Their shipping is on point... I’ve ordered many times here and never a glitch. Your checkout online is the best I’ve used. Don’t change anything in this app. The Zeiss Milvus 21mm is a beautiful lens. It is in the Milvus style so it looks the same as other Milvus lenses except BIGGER. The focus ring is butter smooth. Swiss Advant-Garde FILTERS APPLICATION... I have a NiSi S5 System and just received a adapter ring ... it won’t work with the NiSi Wide Angle adapter and I need to explore other options ... NISI V5 100mm being one option. More later. Again... B&H ... job well done and I hope to be able to stop into the main store one day soon.

A Very Good Sturdy Wide Angle

By John
Rated 4 out of 5
Date: 2022-03-08

Bought this lens for night sky astrophotography of the Milky Way. Overcoming coma was my objective and it performs better than any other general-purpose lens I own. But it is not perfect. Which you can see from the attached 1200 pixel square from the corner of a random bit of sky taken at f/5.6, 6 minutes, 400 iso with a tracker. The coma here is present but fixable by cropping (from my 5792x8688 file,) or by content-aware filling the outer 10% or so with the other stars. Coma is lessened by using f/8, but noise becomes an issue. Also, this is after Photoshop has applied its Zeiss profile in raw. Chromatic aberration is 99% absent too. The coma/CA with my other lenses is like a technicolor stingray instead of a star. Keep in mind there is no stabilization or autofocus. But, by the way, if you manually put the focus at the infinity lock, the stars are sharp. As opposed to other lenses with no definitive infinity stop that must be visually focused.

Wowza

By M E
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2021-05-24

Have had a zeiss 21 classic for 8 years now from B&H. Landscape and cityscapes. Extremely sharp. People comment about the quality color and sharpness. I used it with canon 5d ii, iii, iv. 1 shot sharp front to back with ii, iii. 3 shot focus stack with mkiv. I have a canon 24 mm tiltshift which is a touch sharper, but much harder to focus than zeiss and not weather sealed do I sold it. Shooting the grand prismatic springs at yellowstone, my wife dropped my 21 and tilt shift and both were damaged. Rented the otus 28 and milvus 21. Milvus has even better color and sharpness than classic. Otus has much more heavy handed contrast and slightly better resolution. 28 is not wide enough for grand scenic so I'm ordering the milvus 21 now. FYI. I have the milvus 25. The 21 is just as good even though a 30 plus year old design. I never leave home without it.

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question

How does this Milvus 21mm compare to the Contax Zeiss 21mm? Trying to decide if I want to buy the Milvus or buy the Contax Zeiss 21mm.
Asked by: Tony Y.
Other than the focal length similarity, both lenses are nearly the same size and weight, with a minimum focus distance of 3' (0.9 m). The depth of field scale and aperture setting can only be read from the front of the Biogon lens. Both lenses render beautifully, while the Biogon lens seems to have higher contrast, and the Contax has somewhat better resolution, and less contrast. The results with either lens are outstanding and mostly matter of personal choice.
Answered by: Andrea O.
Date published: 2021-04-08

Is this lens made in Germany? Or Japan?

Is this lens made in Germany? Or Japan?
Asked by: Scot
The following lens is made in japan.
Answered by: hectorm
Date published: 2021-08-15

question

How many blades does the diaphram have? Are they rounded?
Asked by: Fred
The lens has 9-blade circular aperture.
Answered by: Robert K.
Date published: 2021-05-21

will this work on an older f series camera like ...

will this work on an older f series camera like an f3?
Asked by: Brian and Tisha
Yes this lens can work on a Nikon SLR body like an F3.
Answered by: Kirk
Date published: 2021-09-13

question

How does the Milvus compare to the Contax Zeiss 21mm?
Asked by: Tony Y.
While also a manual focus lens like a Contax Zeiss Distagon T* 21mm, the Milvus offers an electronically controlled aperture on Canon EOS bodies, improved lens coatings and a weather sealed design.
Answered by: Kirk R.
Date published: 2021-05-21

question

How does the Milvus version of this 21mm lens compare to the older Distagon version?
Asked by: jeb
Used the older model a few years ago. The Milvus is more ergonomic, with more subtle shape. I believe this model has more weatherproofing. Beautiful, smooth lens. What a pleasure to use.
Answered by: Robert W.
Date published: 2019-12-26

question

I see aperture ring and numbers in the product image. If this was used on D7200, does the camera recognize the aperture selected on the ring? And how do the 1/3 aperture stops work?
Asked by: Anonymous
The aperture selection on the ZEISS Milvus ZF.2 lenses can be done using the ring on the lens barrel, or via the sub-command dial on the camera. This choice needs to be made in the set-up menu on the camera (refer to the D7200 user manual for more information). When the aperture ring on the lens is chosen, the aperture is changed in 1/2 stop increments. When the aperture is controlled via the camera using the sub-command dial, then the aperture can be controlled in 1/3 stop increments. When using this method, the aperture on the lens should be set to the lowest level until it clicks into place. Otherwise you will see EE readings in the camera menu.
Answered by: ZEISS Zeiss Expert
Date published: 2021-04-08

question

Would it work with aparture priority, automatic ISO and shutter priority modes of Canon 5DSR? Also, does this camera correct for distortion and fringing as it does for Canon lenses?
Asked by: Anonymous
Aperture Priority - Yes. Aperture is controlled in the lens by the camera body.Shutter Priority - Yes. Shutter speed is wholly a camera body function and is not affected by choice of lens.Automatic ISO - Yes. ISO is wholly a camera body function and is not affected by choice of lens.The in-camera lens correction for in-camera JPEG images only works with Canon lenses.
Answered by: michael b.
Date published: 2018-08-26
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