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Reader Question for Sony A7R III: Zeiss Loxia 25mm f/2.4 or Zeiss Milvus 25mm f/1.4 Adapted?

See my Zeiss DSLR lens wish list and Sony mirrorless wish list and get Zeiss Loxia and Zeiss Milvus at B&H Photo.

Danny B writes:

Do you plan a comparison of Milvus 25/1.4 vs Loxia 25/2.4?

I've been planning to get the Milvus sometime soon (for exclusive use on A7R3), but the Loxia put that on hold. For landscape use (say f/5.6 - 11), judging purely from optical quality (ignoring size and cost), would you say that the Loxia is as good as the Milvus?

DIGLLOYD: I don’t think that any such comparison is relevant in any practical usability sense—too many other factors come to bear that are more relevant. I’ve stopped adapting lenses to Sony with the possible exception of the Coastal Optics 60mm f/4 UV-VIS-IR APO macro, since it is one of a kind and not very large. In general there are few good reasons to adapt lenses here in 2018, a few specialty uses aside.

For starters, the idea of carrying the much larger and heavier Zeiss Milvus 25mm f/1.4 for landscape makes little sense to me unless it stands head and shoulders above any other option. While that is true for the Zeiss Milvus 25mm f/1.4 for DSLR cameras (it is my all time favorite 24/25mm lens now, for DSLR), the new Zeiss Loxia 25mm f/2.4 is far smaller and lighter and needs no adapter. And it gives up little to its faster sibling other than lens speed. The Zeiss Loxia 25mm f/2.4 is a gem. I consider it a must have for anyone looking for a 24/25mm lens.

Also, I see no reason to take the unacceptable risk of swinging around a heavy lens on a lens adapter almost certainly to put it off-planarity at least slightly, and sooner or later to nicely warp the lens mount with a modest whack (lever arm torque). Not to mention the huge usability hassle and much higher vibration risk.

So—if the new examples I’ve added here don’t float your boat, I don’t know what will.

Zeiss Loxia 25mm f/2.4 Examples: Night Shots

Includes images up to full camera resolution.

The striking thing about the Loxia 25/2.4, having recently shot the Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 8-18mm f/2.8-4 ASPH on the Olympus E-M1 Mark II, is that at f/2.4 and on full frame (!), I’d rate the Loxia 25/2.4 as superior to that lens at any aperture. You get what you pay for, and it’s why I have long preferred Zeiss optics. The promise of compact high performance optics is delivered by the Loxia line on Sony mirrorless; it is delivered by the pound on micro four thirds, with a few (only a few ) stunning exceptions.

f6.3 @ 30.0 sec, ISO 800; 2018-03-12 18:39:20
Sony A7R III + ZEISS Loxia 2.4/25

[low-res image for bot]
Zeiss Loxia Lens Lineup
$5987 SAVE $1839 = 23.0% ZEISS Loxia 5-Lens Bundle in Lenses: Mirrorless
$1169 SAVE $130 = 10.0% ZEISS 25mm f/2.4 Loxia in Lenses: Mirrorless
$1169 SAVE $130 = 10.0% ZEISS 35mm f/2 Loxia in Lenses: Mirrorless
$849 SAVE $100 = 10.0% ZEISS 50mm f/2 Loxia in Lenses: Mirrorless
$1259 SAVE $140 = 10.0% ZEISS 85mm f/2.4 Loxia in Lenses: Mirrorless

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