Review Milvus 2/35 ZF.2 (Zeiss Distagon 2/35 T *)

According provided by Milvus 2/35 ZF.2 lens (Zeiss Distagon 2/35 T *) many thanks the store ProFotoSalewhere you can find many new and used lenses for different systems, including similar lens Carl Zeiss.

Milvus 2/35 ZF.2 (Zeiss Distagon 2/35 T *)

Milvus 2/35 ZF.2 (Zeiss Distagon 2/35 T *). increase.

Browse Navigation

  1. In short
  2. History
  3. All Zeiss Milvus Lenses
  4. Main Specifications
  5. Assembly and management
  6. Focusing
  7. Image quality
  8. Sample photos with source
  9. My experience
  10. Prices
  11. Results
  12. User Comments
  13. Add your review / comment or question on the lens

Please note that Milvus 2/35 (Zeiss Distagon 2/35 T *) exists in two versions for Nikon and Canon systems. This review shows the ZF.2 version for Nikon cameras. At the same time, there are versions for Canon (ZE), which looks slightly different. In this review, I will refer to the Milvus 2/35 ZF.2 Zeiss Distagon 2/35 T * lens for short - Zeiss Milvus 35/2.

Milvus 2/35 ZF.2 (Zeiss Distagon 2/35 T *)

Milvus 2/35 ZF.2 (Zeiss Distagon 2/35 T *)

In short

Zeiss Milvus 35/2 is a moderate-wide-angle lens for full-frame SLR cameras, only manual focus is available.

Belongs to the Zeiss Milvus range, which includes only high-quality lenses.

The main feature is the excellent assembly and convenient manual focus. Zeiss Milvus 35/2 Optically Good. The lens has almost no obvious flaws.

Unlike conventional manual lenses, Zeiss Milvus 35/2 has microprocessor contacts, the diaphragm can be controlled from the camera.

Milvus 2/35 ZF.2 (Zeiss Distagon 2/35 T *)

Milvus 2/35 ZF.2 (Zeiss Distagon 2/35 T *)


In total there are several similar models that were released in versions for Nikon (ZF, ZF.2), Canon (ZE), Pentax (ZK) and ZS for M42.

  1. Carl Zeiss Distagon 2/35 ZF T * for Nikon F, s October 1 2006, with bunny ears, no CPU contacts
  2. Carl Zeiss Distagon 2/35 ZK T * for Pentax K, with CPU contacts, discontinued in 2010
  3. Carl Zeiss Distagon 2/35 ZF.2 T * for Nikon F, s November 16, 2009with CPU contacts
  4. Carl Zeiss Distagon 2/35 ZE T * for Canon EF, with November 2, 2009, with CPU contacts, looks slightly different from ZF / ZF. 2
  5. Carl Zeiss Distagon 2/35 ZS T * for cameras with M42 mounting thread, without CPU contacts
  6. Milvus 2/35 ZF.2 Zeiss Distagon 2/35 T * for Nikon F, s 10 September 2015with CPU contacts
  7. Milvus 2/35 ZE Zeiss Distagon 2/35 T * for Canon EF, with 10 September 2015with CPU contacts

The lens options for Nikon / Canon / Pentax have the direction of rotation of the focus ring that is typical for a particular system.

It's important: all of these lenses are built on the same 9/7 optical design, but Milvus 2/35 versions use 1 element (the second on the front lens side) with anomalous partial dispersion. Almost all lenses from the list are the same. The same is confirmed by MTF charts for these lenses.

Important 2: No special elements are highlighted in the illustration, which is part of the design of the Zeiss Milvus 35/2 box in which this lens is supplied. Most likely the optics of the versions 'Classic 2/35' and 'Milvus 2/35' are identical.

Milvus 2/35 ZF.2 (Zeiss Distagon 2/35 T *)

Milvus 2/35 ZF.2 (Zeiss Distagon 2/35 T *)

Milvus line

The Zeiss Milvus range includes the following models:

  1. Milvus 2.8/15 || Zeiss Distagon 2.8 / 15 T *
  2. Milvus 2.8/18 || Zeiss Distagon 2.8 / 18 T *
  3. Milvus 2.8/21 || Zeiss Distagon 2.8 / 21 T *
  4. Milvus 1.4/25 || Zeiss Distagon 1.4 / 25 T *
  5. Milvus 1.4/35 || Zeiss Distagon 1.4 / 35 T *
  6. Milvus 2/35 || Zeiss Distagon 2/35 T * (lens from this review)
  7. Milvus 1.4/50 || Zeiss Distagon 1.4 / 50 T *
  8. Milvus 2 / 50M || Zeiss Macro Planar 2 / 50 T *
  9. Milvus 1.4/85 || Zeiss planar 1.4 / 85 T *
  10. Milvus 2 / 100M || Zeiss Macro Planar 2 / 100 T *
  11. Milvus 2/135 || Zeiss Apo sonnar 2 / 135 T *

All these lenses are available in two versions: ZE for Canon EOS SLR cameras with EF mount and ZF.2 for Nikon SLR cameras with F mount. Of course, they can be used through the corresponding adapters on mirrorless cameras. The ZE / ZF.2 versions are slightly different in design. First of all, the differences relate to the presence of the aperture control ring in the ZF.2 version.

Milvus 2/35 ZF.2 (Zeiss Distagon 2/35 T *)

Milvus 2/35 ZF.2 (Zeiss Distagon 2/35 T *)

Main technical characteristics of Milvus 2/35 Zeiss Distagon 2/35 T *:

Review Instance Name near the front of the lens: 'Zeiss Distagon 2/35 Ø58 T *'

on the case: ”Milvus 2/35 ZF.2 Made in Japan '

Basic properties
  • ZF.2 - version for cameras with Nikon F mount
  • lens designed for full-frame cameras
  • manual focus only
  • automatic iris control from the camera
  • T* - special enlightenment of Carl Zeiss T * optics
  • built-in microprocessor simulating the operation of original lenses
  • the presence of the aperture control ring (analog Nikon Non-g)
  • the lens does not transmit the focus distance (analog Non-d)
  • metal case
  • protected construction
  • Important: a lens from a third-party manufacturer, which imposes some restrictions on its practical use
Front Filter Diameter 58 mm, metal thread for filters
Focal length 35 mm

Zoom ratio 1 x
Designed by for digital cameras with a frame size of 24 x 36

There is a version for Canon EF mount, which instead of 'ZF.2' in the name is written 'ZE'

Number of aperture blades 9 petals, form a fairly regular polygon
  • focus distance scale in meters and feet plotted on the focus ring
  • depth of field scale for F / 4, 8, 16, 22 (explicit) + 5.6 and 11 (not explicit)
  • labels for installing the hood
  • infrared label
  • aperture value
  • no bayonet mount tag
Diaphragm F / 2 to F / 22

On the aperture ring there are values ​​F / 2, 2.8, 4, 5.6, 8, 11, 16, 22. You can set one intermediate value between each pair of numbers (except between F / 16 and F / 22)

MDF 0.3 m, maximum magnification ratio 1: 5.3
The weight
  • 649 grams claimed
  • 554 grams (measured, only the lens itself)
  • 636 grams (measured, hood, front roof)
Optical design 9 elements in 7 groups, including 1 element with anomalously low partial dispersion

Optical design Milvus 2/35 Zeiss Distagon 2/35 T *

Lens hood Bayonet type, metal
Manufacturer country Made in Japan (lens made in Japan)
Period From 10 September to 2015
Price Prices for this model can be see here

Unfortunately, despite the presence of a microprocessor, the Zeiss Milvus 35/2 version does not work in the focus trap mode (when the shutter is only allowed with precise focus). Only a green dot in the viewfinder indicates sharp focus. It is advisable to use the Live View mode with the lens. On the camera, the lens is recognized as autofocus, but switched to manual focus mode.

The iris automation on the manual lens significantly adds convenience in work and post-processing (you can always see with what settings the photo was taken).

It's important: Zeiss Milvus 35/2 on cameras Nikon D3400, D3500 can only work in 'M' mode. These cameras simply do not support NON-G type lenses (which have an aperture control ring). On all other cameras, the Zeiss Milvus 35/2 will work like any other original lens with autofocus disabled. All camera modes will be available.

Milvus 2/35 ZF.2 (Zeiss Distagon 2/35 T *)

Milvus 2/35 ZF.2 (Zeiss Distagon 2/35 T *)

Assembly and management

The lens is made very high quality. Design your own, matching the rest of the Zeiss Milvus line of lenses. The body has a significant thickening near the front lens, this thickening smoothly flows into a wide lens hood, which is why the lens with the lens hood installed seems monolithic.

Almost the entire body is made of metal, focus rings and apertures have a rubberized insert. It is very rare to find that the aperture control ring is rubberized. A trifle, but very nice. Inserts have dark gray color and differ from the glossy black color in which the rest of the lens is made.

Zeiss Milvus 35/2 is a protected lens. Including rubber compressor lens mounts. The sealant is blue.

The Zeiss Milvus 35/2 comes with a robust metal bayonet hood. On the inside, the hood has special coating, reminiscent of velvet, which adds a sense of premium things. The hood can be installed in the reverse position for transportation. In this position, access to the focus ring is a little difficult.

The retractable frame of the body (trunk) consists of one metal part. The trunk lengthens by about a centimeter.

The diameter of the filter is 58 mm.

Zeiss Milvus 35/2 has a manual aperture ring. To be able to control the value aperture from camera or for automatic installation aperture on modern digital cameras, you need to turn the control ring to the value F / 22, after which it is automatically fixed by a small special button-lock, which is located to the left of the marks aperture. If this is not done, then the display will show an error - 'fEE' (ring is not installed aperture) Some cameras having diaphragm rheostatallow you to control the aperture using the ring aperturebut only in metering modes exposure 'M' and 'A'. You can read more about this issue in the section on Non-G Lenses. Ring aperture rotates with clicks, the values ​​F / 2, 2.8, 4, 5.6, 8, 11, 16, 22 (full stops) are plotted on it; You can set one intermediate value between pairs of numbers (except between F / 16 and F / 22). Other intermediate values ​​can only be set via the camera itself.

Milvus 2/35 ZF.2 (Zeiss Distagon 2/35 T *)

Milvus 2/35 ZF.2 (Zeiss Distagon 2/35 T *)


Zeiss Milvus 35/2 may use manual focus only.

The focus ring is wide enough, rubberized. In fact, you can focus not only due to the rubberized focus ring, but also due to the entire front of the lens. The ring rotates on 120 degrees... Focusing is smooth and pleasant. When the extreme positions are reached, the focusing ring rests and cannot be rotated further, while a characteristic metallic ringing knock is heard. The direction of rotation of the focus ring is the same as that of original Nikon lenses such as the Nikon 35 / 1.8G.

The focus ring is poorly 'stretched' in the range from a meter to infinity, which is why it is not always convenient to focus in this range of distances.

Used floating focus, something like the original Nikon CRC technology (for example, as in the manual Nikon Nikkor 35mm 1: 1.4 AI-S) This technology is designed to receive high-quality images at all focusing distances. During focusing, the thread under the front filter doesn't spin.

On the focus ring there is a scale with the focusing distance in meters and feet, there is also a depth of field scale and a mark for working in the infrared spectrum.

The minimum focusing distance is 30 cm (the distance from the camera’s sensor to the subject). With such an MDF, the maximum magnification ratio is 1: 5.3.

There is a very small effect of 'Focus Breathing' (changing the viewing angle during focusing). During focusing towards the MDF, the viewing angle decreases.

Focus Shift (shift focus, changing the focus distance due to iris) is missing.

The Zeiss Milvus 35/2 has a hard stop (hard infinity mechanical stop) for quick and accurate aiming at infinity under any temperature operating conditions.

When used on cameras Nikon D3200, D40, D700, D5600, D7200 the green dot, confirming the correct focusing, works correctly.

Important: despite the fact that the lens has microprocessor contacts, it does not transmit the distance to the subject into the camera and is an analog of NON-D lenses. This can sometimes affect accurate metering. exposure, especially when using flash.

Milvus 2/35 ZF.2 (Zeiss Distagon 2/35 T *)

Milvus 2/35 ZF.2 (Zeiss Distagon 2/35 T *)

Image quality

Zeiss Milvus 35/2 was introduced in 2015, when cameras with a high pixel density already existed. It is stated that the Zeiss Milvus 35/2 was designed to work well (show high resolution) on future generations of cameras with even more megapixels.

All in all, the Zeiss Milvus 35/2 is good or very good. It creates a very sharp image in the center of the frame already with F / 2. Other optical characteristics are also at a high level. The main disadvantages are similar to other high-quality similar lenses.


  • high sharpness in the center of the frame is already at f / 2
  • very high resolution over the entire field of the frame at F / 4-F / 8
  • slight drop in resolution at the corners of the image
  • good sharpness in the corners of the frame becomes in the area of ​​F / 4


  • there is a slight pincushion distortion
  • the nature of distortion is unified, easily corrected in the editor


  • vignetting is at a level typical for such high-quality lenses
  • on f / 2 vignetting is in the 1st stage
  • vignetting almost disappears at values ​​after f / 2.8
  • vignetting is easily fixable in the editor


  • the strongest chromatic aberration visible at the edges and corners of the image
  • the amount of chromatic aberration is at the level of other similar quality lenses


  • lens tolerates side and back light
  • aperture blades form a regular octagon on any hidden aperture values
  • on closed diaphragms you can get a pronounced effect of a 18-ray star

Zeiss Milvus 35/2 has a profile in most popular RAW converters, for example, ACR and Lightroom.

Milvus 2/35 ZF.2 (Zeiss Distagon 2/35 T *)

Milvus 2/35 ZF.2 (Zeiss Distagon 2/35 T *)

Sample photos on Nikon D700

Sample photos with RAW source files helped prepare the photographer Natalya Romanenko (500px). Convert RAW source files with Nikon D700 the original Nikon Capture NX-D v 1.4.6 utility.

Download RAW c source photos Nikon D700 can at this link (20 files, 300 MB).

Sample photos on Nikon D40

I love contrast kits from a cheap camera and expensive lens. Examples without processing. All images were taken using a polarizing filter. HOYA 58mm PL-CIR. Convert source RAW files (12-bit) with the original Nikon Capture NX-D v 1.4.6 utility.

RAW source photos can be download from this link (15 photos, 100 MB).

Sample photos on Nikon D5600

Converting original RAW files (14-bit) with the original Nikon Capture NX-D v 1.4.6 utility.

  • Picture Control Mode: SD (Standard with default settings 3, 1, 0, 0, 0, 0)
  • White balance: Auto (with default offset)
  • Active D-lighting: Auto
  • Vignette Control: OFF
  • Under. noise for long Exposure: OFF
  • Under. noise for high. ISO .: OFF
  • Auth. distortion control: OFF

Nikon D5600 has a very high pixel density, even higher than the Nikon D850 and Nikon Z7, and its RAW files are well suited to evaluate the capabilities of this lens. In addition, it does not have an AA filter. RAW source photos (14-bit '.NEF') can be downloaded at this link (15 files, 400 MB).

Sample photos on Sony a3500

All photos below are shown without processing. Camera used Sony a3500. All photos are on-camera JPEG. Picture Control Mode 'Standard 0/1/1' (approx. 50/50). Functions' Corr. ob .: Shading ',' Corr. ob .: Chrome. aberr. ' and 'Corr. Rev .: Distortion 'were disabled.

Download jpeg source photos c Sony a3500 can at this link (17 files, 70 MB). On this camera I used a lens with a conventional adapter Nikon F -> Sony NEX / Alpha.


Zeiss Milvus 35/2 is the most affordable lens in the entire Zeiss Milvus line, its price tag is at the level of $ 1.100. Prices for modern Zeiss Milvus manual lenses can be see here.

Milvus 2/35 ZF.2 (Zeiss Distagon 2/35 T *)

Milvus 2/35 ZF.2 (Zeiss Distagon 2/35 T *)

My experience

I rarely write about design, but the new Zeiss Milvus line looks much less appealing to me than the old 'Classic' line. The rubberized insert for the focusing ring has no streaks / texture, and fine dust sticks to it and makes it tactilely not as pleasant and comfortable as classic solutions with ribs or texture. The expansion of the case in the front also seems strange to me, it only pays for itself when using a hood. I do not like the silver labels on certification, recycling, etc. Usually Sony lenses have a similar sticker or similar silvery writing in the same place. For a premium lens, I think such prominent lettering is unacceptable.

Nowadays, Nikon still produces the original classic manual lens. Nikon Nikkor 35mm 1: 1.4 AI-S, the cost of which is identical to the cost of Zeiss Milvus 35/2 and is about 1.100 dollars. I would prefer the original and lighter Nikon Nikkor 35mm 1: 1.4 AI-S.

Zeiss Milvus 35/2 uses a circuit from an older Carl Zeiss Distagon 2/35 ZF.2 T *, and therefore I do not see much sense in Zeiss Milvus 35/2. Only a new design and all-weather protection for some photographers will have a decisive role during the choice between the new and the old version.

I shot quite a lot on Zeiss Milvus 35/2 for a month, but I didn’t feel any special love for him. I could not find in his picture something special that attracted attention. Just a good picture, without any visually memorable features. This is my personal experience and it may not be connected in any way with the real state of affairs.

Milvus 2/35 ZF.2 (Zeiss Distagon 2/35 T *)

Milvus 2/35 ZF.2 (Zeiss Distagon 2/35 T *)


The Zeiss Milvus 35/2 is a very high quality lens, both in terms of build and image quality. Whether it is worth looking at alternatives is a difficult question. In any case, with the Zeiss Milvus 35/2, you can always be sure of a stable result.

10 main advantages:

  1. full metal housing, metal hood included
  2. protected lens with rubber seals in its design, including with rubber mount bayonet
  3. unusual design
  4. front lens does not rotate while focusing
  5. floating focus system, provides high image quality at all focusing distances
  6. nine aperture blades
  7. all the necessary tags are present: focusing distance, depth of field, infrared spectrum tag
  8. T * enlightenment, which makes the lens glare-resistant and provides good color reproduction
  9. microprocessor contacts for correct operation with EXIF and for convenient work with the lens
  10. good optical performance, high resolution in the center of the frame already with F / 2.0

10 main disadvantages:

  1. high cost (more expensive than autofocus and brighter Tamron 35 / 1.4, Sigma 35 / 1.4)
  2. Optical design not updated, used from older Carl Zeiss Distagon 2/35 T * 2006 'Classic' line
  3. lenses from other third-party manufacturers can offer much more functionality: automatic focusing of the internal type, image stabilizer and higher apertureFor example, Tamron SP 35mm F / 1.8 Di VC USD
  4. focus ring poorly 'stretched' from infinity
  5. no way to customize focus trap (when shutter release is possible only when accurate focus is achieved)
  6. focus is not internal
  7. quite a lot of weight (636 grams with a hood and a front cover)
  8. the lens does not transmit the focus distance to the camera (Non-d lens type, important for accurate metering exposure)
  9. silver markers spoil the overall rigorous design and lens experience
  10. minor optical imperfections, such as slight vignetting and a slight drop in sharpness at the corners of the frame

According provided by Milvus 2/35 ZF.2 lens (Zeiss Distagon 2/35 T *) many thanks the store ProFotoSalewhere you can find many new and used lenses for different systems, including similar lens Carl Zeiss.

Comments on this post do not require registration. Anyone can leave a comment. Many different photographic equipment can be found on AliExpress.

Material prepared Arkady Shapoval. Training/Consultations | Youtube | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Telegram

Add a comment:



Comments: 13, on the topic: Review Milvus 2/35 ZF.2 (Zeiss Distagon 2/35 T *)

  • Eugen

    I agree about the design only in that part that any garbage sticks to the focus ring. Otherwise, I really like him. Currently I own two Milvus lenses and plan to replenish the collection later. For example, the new Milvus 1.4 / 35 should be even more interesting.
    By the way, were 1.4 / 85 and 1/4/50 on the review?

  • Ry

    Sad and ugly crap from the Chinese.

    • Maximum

      Do the Chinese? Monsieur, you are tenacious.

    • Gregor

      And in the trash stubbornness

  • B. + R. + P.

    Thanks for the review.

  • Boris

    Another interesting Zeiss, thanks! I immediately wanted to download the raves and compare with the 28mm Zeiss from a recent review. IMHO 28mm is better in the center and 35mm is better in the corners. The full-frame Nikkor 35 1.8G ED also has weaker angles than this Zeiss. As for the color, I liked the d5600 more than the d3200.

    • Neo

      The color d40 is the smoothest, but there, apparently, the polar explorer played a role.

      • Roman

        I'm sorry, but could you please define what color smoothness is? Is it somewhere near “sound transparency”?

      • .

        I liked it better with the D5600 (it seems to me that the white balance is better there), but with the D40 less, the meat is over there.

Add a comment

Copyright © Blog author - Photographer in Kiev Arkady Shapoval. 2009-2023

English-version of this article

Versión en español de este artículo