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Fast Aperture Blur (Zeiss Milvus 135mm f/2)

As this was written, both the older ZF.2 and ZE versions of the 135/2 APO-Sonnar are available at a deep discount. The optical formula is identical except for one lens element with a slightly improved coating with the Milvus version.

See review of the Zeiss 135mm f/2 APO-Sonnar and overview of the new Milvus version in Zeiss DSLR Lenses.

Zeiss Milvus 135mm f/2

The Zeiss Milvus 135mm f/2* at f/2 has a lot to offer: crisp detail along with a high level of color correction can work very well to make something beautiful come together. The problem with a lens that isn’t sharp wide open is that stopping down for better results means more depth of field which can wreck the balance of sharp vs unsharp.

What I like about the Zeiss 135/2 APO-Sonnar is that it maintains its high resolving power over its entire focusing range and goes to 1:4 for near macro shooting (which is not the case with the Sigma 135mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art). This is at about 1:5.5.

Presented in Zeiss DSLR Lenses:

Zeiss Milvus 135mm f/2 Aperture Series: Cala Lillies (Nikon D810)

Includes images up to full resolution from f/2.8 through f/11.

* I am not a fan of Zeiss omitting the lens design family (Sonnar), or the APO designation from the product name. Dumping such a tradition makes no sense to me, but alas, that train has left the station.

f2 @ 1/25 sec, ISO 64; 2017-05-14 17:46:02
NIKON D810 + Zeiss Milvus 135mm f/2

[low-res image for bot]
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