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Understanding the Zeiss Strategy on DSLR Lenses for Nikon and Canon

Six Zeiss Milvus lenses in Zeiss lens case

Get Zeiss Milvus at B&H Photo.

The Zeiss DSLR lenses (ZF.2 and ZE) are reviewed in depth in Guide to Zeiss, including the new Zeiss Milvus lineup.

With the introduction of the Zeiss Milvus line, there has been some confusion even on my part of which Zeiss DSLR lenses are discontinued. So I checked with Christopher Casanave of Zeiss.

  • Discontinued lenses are the ZF.2 / ZE 21/2.8 Distagon, 35/2 Distagon, 50/2 Makro-Planar and 100/2 Makro-Planar. These are replaced by the Zeiss Milvus equivalents.
  • The recent Cosina discontinuation announcement is for the original ZF version (the Nikon mount version without CPU chip). The ZF.2 and ZE lines continue as before, except as noted in the previous point.
  • Lenses such as the ZF.2 / ZE 28mm f/2 Distagon (and others) remain in the classic line for now. Zeiss has not said whether the existing design or new designs will be introduced into the Milvus lineup.
  • A listing of classic ZF.2 / ZE lenses is found on the Zeiss web page— all the lenses on that page are not discontinued and are available as classic lenses.
  • Note that the Zeiss 25mm f/2.8 Distagon never was offered in Canon (ZE) mount but that it remains available as always in ZF.2 (Nikon F-mount). It can be used on Canon with a lens adapter.

Note also that all Zeiss DSLR lenses are usable with adapter on mirrorless cameras (such as the Novoflex lens adapter), and are well suited for mirrorless use, since all DSLR lenses have digital-friendly ray angles.

UPDATE: the optional hard case will become available for purchase “by late November”, according to Zeiss USA.

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