ZEISS Milvus Distagon T* 18mm F/2.8 ZE / ZF.2

Ultra-wide angle prime lens • Digital era

T* The multi-layer coating is applied to the surface of lens elements. It boosts light transmission, ensures sharp and high contrast images, minimizes ghosting and flares.
ZE The lens is designed for Canon EOS 35mm full-frame SLR cameras but can be also used on APS-C SLR cameras.
ZF.2 The lens is designed for Nikon 35mm full-frame SLR cameras but can be also used on APS-C SLR cameras. The lens features a built-in CPU which is used to transfer metering data from the lens to the camera.

Model history

Designed for

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Features highlight

Extreme AoV
Fast
T*
2 ASPH
4 AD
F.E.
Auto
9 blades
MF
DP/WR

Specification

Production details
Announced:September 2016
Production status:In production
Production type:Mass production
Original name:ZEISS Distagon 2.8/18 T*
Optical design
Focal length:18mm
Speed:F/2.8
Maximum format:35mm full frame
Mount:Canon EF
Nikon F
Flange focal distance:44mm (Canon EF)
46.5mm (Nikon F)
Diagonal angle of view:100.5° (35mm full frame)
87.3° (Canon EF APS-H)
76.3° (Nikon F APS-C)
Lens construction:14 elements - 12 groups
2 ASPH, 4 AD
Floating element system
Diaphragm mechanism
Diaphragm type:Automatic
Number of blades:9
Focusing
Closest focusing distance:0.25m
Maximum magnification ratio:1:7.4 at the closest focusing distance
Focusing method:<No information>
Focusing modes:Manual focus only
Manual focus control:Focusing ring
Physical characteristics
Weight:721g (Canon EF)
675g (Nikon F)
Maximum diameter x Length:⌀90×93mm (Canon EF)
⌀90×92mm (Nikon F)
Weather sealing:Dust-proof and water-resistant barrel
Fluorine coating:-
Accessories
Filters:Screw-type 77mm
Lens hood:Bayonet-type 2144-505 (petal-shaped)

*) Sources of data: Manufacturer's technical data ● ZEISS lenses for SLR cameras booklet (PUB. EN_10_025_0020II).

Manufacturer description #1

Three new lenses for the ZEISS Milvus family

The lens family with manual focusing for DSLR cameras is now also available with focal lengths of 15, 18 and 135 millimeters

OBERKOCHEN/Germany, 2016-09-08.

Two super-wide angle lenses, the ZEISS Milvus 2.8/15 and ZEISS Milvus 2.8/18, and the telephoto lens ZEISS Milvus 2/135 have expanded this family of manual focus lenses for DSLR cameras, bringing the total number of ZEISS Milvus focal lengths to nine. “The ZEISS Milvus family of lenses is an invaluable investment for the future due to its excellent imaging quality and its large range, which now covers 15 to 135 millimeters,” says Christophe Casenave, product manager at ZEISS Camera Lenses. Delivery of the new ZEISS Milvus lenses begins at the end of October 2016.

For high-end DSLR cameras

“The ZEISS Milvus lenses have been designed in particular to fulfill the requirements of today’s powerful digital cameras and those of the future thanks to their high imaging performance, even in difficult lighting situations,” says Casenave. The new lenses are characterized by a harmonious bokeh and very high degree of flare control due to the T*® anti-reflective coating from ZEISS. Further optimization of the lens coating has also ensured less likelihood than ever of ghosting, flare or shading effects, even in critical lighting situations. And all ZEISS Milvus lenses come with a floating elements design, which compensates imaging errors at different distance settings.

ZEISS Milvus for video

The new ZEISS Milvus lenses also allow the user to create high-quality film shoots with a pleasing cinematic bokeh. “Due to their extremely high contrast rendition, the lenses fulfill the most modern video standards of 6K and higher, and have uniform color characteristics,” said Casenave. All ZEISS Milvus lenses have a focus ring with a very large rotation angle to enable precise focusing, and are made of comfortable rubber to ensure a good grip while focusing. The De-Click function on lenses with a ZF.2 mount lets cinematographers set the aperture in a soft and infinitely variable way so they can work professionally in changing lighting conditions. The ZEISS Milvus lenses’ robust full-metal barrel ensures long and reliable usage. In addition, the lenses are protected against dust and spray water. The robust metal lens shade is an integral part of the overall product design and included with all ZEISS Milvus lenses.

The new focal lengths of the ZEISS Milvus family are also compatible with the ZEISS Lens Gears, providing filmmakers with additional value-add. The ZEISS Lens Gears, which are made of high-quality aluminum with a hardened surface coating, slide into the respective lens and are attached to the focus ring by turning two counter-rotating rings through a simple mounting procedure.

ZEISS Milvus 2.8/18:

This compact super-wide angle lens with a newly calculated ZEISS Distagon optical design has 14 lens elements in 12 groups, including two aspheric elements. The ZEISS Milvus 2.8/18 has a short close-up distance of 0.25 meters and internal focusing. With an angular field of 99.9 degrees, this lens is the ideal companion for landscape and architectural photography, as it allows creative shots to be taken using unusual perspectives. The filter thread has a diameter of 77 millimeters. The ZEISS Milvus 2.8/18 delivers outstanding imaging performance and very good distortion correction.

Manufacturer description #2

Be it stylish interiors, majestic landscapes or tumbling waterfalls, the super wide-angle ZEISS Milvus 2.8/18 lens loves to capture dramatic vistas. Just like you.

This compact super wide-angle lens is perfect for capturing majestic landscapes and architectural marvels. Its unique visual field offers you plenty of scope for creativity when composing your images. Get up real close and create the feeling that you are at the heart of the action. Expand the depth of field of your image or make an object really stand out. The high-performance ZEISS Milvus 2.8/18 ensures impressive image quality across the entire image field and enables you to capture unique shots wherever you go.

Typical application

landscapes, interiors, buildings, cityscapes, travel

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35mm full frame

43.27 24 36
  • Dimensions: 36 × 24mm
  • Aspect ratio: 3:2
  • Diagonal: 43.27mm

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Note

Among autofocus lenses designed for 35mm full-frame mirrorless cameras only. Speed of standard and telephoto lenses is taken into account.

Professional lens

One of the best ultra-wide angle prime lenses

According to lens-db.com; among lenses designed for the same maximum format and mount.

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Unique Zeiss Look

Zeiss lenses are one-of-a-kind optical masterpieces that are impressive because of their unique Zeiss Look. This is ensured through exceptional optical design combined with selected materials and the highest quality standards.

Image stabilizer

A technology used for reducing or even eliminating the effects of camera shake. Gyro sensors inside the lens detect camera shake and pass the data to a microcomputer. Then an image stabilization group of elements controlled by the microcomputer moves inside the lens and compensates camera shake in order to keep the image static on the imaging sensor or film.

The technology allows to increase the shutter speed by several stops and shoot handheld in such lighting conditions and at such focal lengths where without image stabilizer you have to use tripod, decrease the shutter speed and/or increase the ISO setting which can lead to blurry and noisy images.

MF

Sorry, no additional information is available.

MF

Sorry, no additional information is available.

Aspherical elements

Aspherical elements (ASPH, XA, XGM) are used in wide-angle lenses for correction of distortion and in large-aperture lenses for correction of spherical aberration, astigmatism and coma, thus ensuring excellent sharpness and contrast even at fully open aperture. The effect of the aspherical element is determined by its position within the optical formula: the more the aspherical element moves away from the aperture stop, the more it influences distortion; close to the aperture stop it can be particularly used to correct spherical aberration. Aspherical element can substitute one or several regular spherical elements to achieve similar or better optical results, which allows to develop more compact and lightweight lenses.

Use of aspherical elements has its downsides: it leads to non-uniform rendering of out-of-focus highlights. This effect usually appears as "onion-like" texture of concentric rings or "wooly-like" texture and is caused by very slight defects in the surface of aspherical element. It is difficult to predict such effect, but usually it occurs when the highlights are small enough and far enough out of focus.

Low dispersion elements

Low dispersion elements (ED, LD, SD, UD etc) minimize chromatic aberrations and ensure excellent sharpness and contrast even at fully open aperture. This type of glass exhibits low refractive index, low dispersion, and exceptional partial dispersion characteristics compared to standard optical glass. Two lenses made of low dispersion glass offer almost the same performance as one fluorite lens.

Low dispersion elements

Low dispersion elements (ED, LD, SD, UD etc) minimize chromatic aberrations and ensure excellent sharpness and contrast even at fully open aperture. This type of glass exhibits low refractive index, low dispersion, and exceptional partial dispersion characteristics compared to standard optical glass. Two lenses made of low dispersion glass offer almost the same performance as one fluorite lens.

Canon's Super UD, Nikon's Super ED, Pentax' Super ED, Sigma's FLD ("F" Low Dispersion), Sony' Super ED and Tamron's XLD glasses are the highest level low dispersion glasses available with extremely high light transmission. These optical glasses have a performance equal to fluorite glass.

High-refraction low-dispersion elements

High-refraction low-dispersion elements (HLD) minimize chromatic aberrations and ensure excellent sharpness and contrast even at fully open aperture.

High Index, High Dispersion elements

High Index, High Dispersion elements (HID) minimize chromatic aberrations and ensure excellent sharpness and contrast even at fully open aperture.

Anomalous partial dispersion elements

Anomalous partial dispersion elements (AD) minimize chromatic aberrations and ensure excellent sharpness and contrast even at fully open aperture.

Fluorite elements

Synthetic fluorite elements (FL) minimize chromatic aberrations and ensure excellent sharpness and contrast even at fully open aperture. Compared with optical glass, fluorite lenses have a considerably lower refraction index, low dispersion and extraordinary partial dispersion, and high transmission of infrared and ultraviolet light. They are also significantly lighter than optical glass.

According to Nikon, fluorite easily cracks and is sensitive to temperature changes that can adversely affect focusing by altering the lens' refractive index. To avoid this, Canon, as the manufacturer most widely using fluorite in its telephoto lenses, never uses fluorite in the front and rear lens elements, and the white coating is applied to the lens barrels to reflect light and prevent the lens from overheating.

Short-wavelength refractive elements

High and specialized-dispersion elements (SR) refract light with wavelengths shorter than that of blue to achieve highly precise chromatic aberration compensation. This technology also results in smaller and lighter lenses.

Blue Spectrum Refractive Optics

Organic Blue Spectrum Refractive Optics material (BR Optics) placed between convex and concave elements made from conventional optical glass provides more efficient correction of longitudinal chromatic aberrations in comparison with conventional technology.

Diffraction elements

Diffraction elements (DO, PF) cancel chromatic aberrations at various wavelengths. This technology results in smaller and lighter lenses in comparison with traditional designs with no compromise in image quality.

High refractive index elements

High refractive index elements (HR, HRI, XR etc) minimize field curvature and spherical aberration. High refractive index element can substitute one or several regular elements to achieve similar or better optical results, which allows to develop more compact and lightweight lenses.

Apodization element

Apodization element (APD) is in fact a radial gradient filter. It practically does not change the characteristics of light beam passing through its central part but absorbs the light at the periphery. It sort of softens the edges of the aperture making the transition from foreground to background zone very smooth and results in very attractive, natural looking and silky smooth bokeh.

Original name

Lens name as indicated on the lens barrel (usually on the front ring). With lenses from film era, may vary slightly from batch to batch.

Format

Format refers to the shape and size of film or image sensor.

35mm is the common name of the 36x24mm film format or image sensor format. It has an aspect ratio of 3:2, and a diagonal measurement of approximately 43mm. The name originates with the total width of the 135 film which was the primary medium of the format prior to the invention of the full frame digital SLR. Historically the 35mm format was sometimes called small format to distinguish it from the medium and large formats.

APS-C is an image sensor format approximately equivalent in size to the film negatives of 25.1x16.7mm with an aspect ratio of 3:2.

Medium format is a film format or image sensor format larger than 36x24mm (35mm) but smaller than 4x5in (large format).

Angle of view

Angle of view describes the angular extent of a given scene that is imaged by a camera. It is used interchangeably with the more general term field of view.

As the focal length changes, the angle of view also changes. The shorter the focal length (eg 18mm), the wider the angle of view. Conversely, the longer the focal length (eg 55mm), the smaller the angle of view.

A camera's angle of view depends not only on the lens, but also on the sensor. Imaging sensors are sometimes smaller than 35mm film frame, and this causes the lens to have a narrower angle of view than with 35mm film, by a certain factor for each sensor (called the crop factor).

This website does not use the angles of view provided by lens manufacturers, but calculates them automatically by the following formula: 114.6 * arctan (21.622 / CF * FL),

where:

CF – crop-factor of a sensor,
FL – focal length of a lens.

Mount

A lens mount is an interface — mechanical and often also electrical — between a camera body and a lens.

A lens mount may be a screw-threaded type, a bayonet-type, or a breech-lock type. Modern camera lens mounts are of the bayonet type, because the bayonet mechanism precisely aligns mechanical and electrical features between lens and body, unlike screw-threaded mounts.

Lens mounts of competing manufacturers (Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sony etc.) are always incompatible. In addition to the mechanical and electrical interface variations, the flange focal distance from the lens mount to the film or sensor can also be different.

Lens construction

Lens construction – a specific arrangement of elements and groups that make up the optical design, including type and size of elements, type of used materials etc.

Element - an individual piece of glass which makes up one component of a photographic lens. Photographic lenses are nearly always built up of multiple such elements.

Group – a cemented together pieces of glass which form a single unit or an individual piece of glass. The advantage is that there is no glass-air surfaces between cemented together pieces of glass, which reduces reflections.

Flange focal distance

The flange focal distance (FFD), sometimes called the "flange back", is the distance from the mechanical rear end surface of the lens mount to the focal plane.

Focal length

The focal length is the factor that determines the size of the image reproduced on the focal plane, picture angle which covers the area of the subject to be photographed, depth of field, etc.

Speed

The largest opening or stop at which a lens can be used is referred to as the speed of the lens. The larger the maximum aperture is, the faster the lens is considered to be. Lenses that offer a large maximum aperture are commonly referred to as fast lenses, and lenses with smaller maximum aperture are regarded as slow.

In low-light situations, having a wider maximum aperture means that you can shoot at a faster shutter speed or work at a lower ISO, or both.

Floating element system

Provides correction of aberrations and ensures constantly high image quality at the entire range of focusing distances from infinity down to the closest focusing distance. It is particularly effective for the correction of field curvature that tends to occur with large-aperture, wide-angle lenses when shooting at close ranges.

Closest focusing distance

The minimum distance from the focal plane (film or sensor) to the subject where the lens is still able to focus.

Closest working distance

The distance from the front edge of the lens to the subject at the maximum magnification.

Magnification ratio

Determines how large the subject will appear in the final image. For example, a magnification ratio of 1:1 means that the image of the subject formed on the film or sensor will be the same size as the subject in real life. For this reason, a 1:1 ratio is often called "life-size".

Electromagnetic diaphragm control system

Provides highly accurate diaphragm control and stable auto exposure performance during continuous shooting.

Convex protruding front element

The convex front element protrudes from the lens barrel, making it impossible to use filters.

Manual diaphragm

The diaphragm must be stopped down manually by rotating the detent aperture ring.

Preset diaphragm

The lens has two rings, one is for pre-setting, while the other is for normal diaphragm adjustment. The first ring must be set at the desired aperture, the second ring then should be fully opened for focusing, and turned back for stop down to the pre-set value.

Semi-automatic diaphragm

The lens features spring mechanism in the diaphragm, triggered by the shutter release, which stops down the diaphragm to the pre-set value. The spring needs to be reset manually after each exposure to re-open diaphragm to its maximum value.

Automatic diaphragm

The camera automatically closes the diaphragm down during the shutter operation. On completion of the exposure, the diaphragm re-opens to its maximum value.

Number of blades

As a general rule, the more blades that are used to create the aperture opening in the lens, the rounder the out-of-focus highlights will be.

Some lenses are designed with curved diaphragm blades, so the roundness of the aperture comes not from the number of blades, but from their shape. However, the fewer blades the diaphragm has, the more difficult it is to form a circle, regardless of rounded edges.

At maximum aperture, the opening will be circular regardless of the number of blades.

Weight

Excluding case or pouch, caps and other detachable accessories (lens hood, close-up adapter, tripod adapter etc.).

Maximum diameter x Length

Excluding case or pouch, caps and other detachable accessories (lens hood, close-up adapter, tripod adapter etc.).

For lenses with collapsible design, the length is indicated for the working (retracted) state.

Weather sealing

A rubber material which is inserted in between each externally exposed part (manual focus and zoom rings, buttons, switch panels etc.) to ensure it is properly sealed against dust and moisture.

Lenses that accept front mounted filters typically do not have gaskets behind the filter mount. It is recommended to use a filter for complete weather resistance when desired.

Fluorine coating

Helps keep lenses clean by reducing the possibility of dust and dirt adhering to the lens and by facilitating cleaning should the need arise. Applied to the outer surface of the front and/or rear lens elements over multi-coatings.

Filters

Lens filters are accessories that can protect lenses from dirt and damage, enhance colors, minimize glare and reflections, and add creative effects to images.

Lens hood

A lens hood or lens shade is a device used on the end of a lens to block the sun or other light source in order to prevent glare and lens flare. Flare occurs when stray light strikes the front element of a lens and then bounces around within the lens. This stray light often comes from very bright light sources, such as the sun, bright studio lights, or a bright white background.

The geometry of the lens hood can vary from a plain cylindrical or conical section to a more complex shape, sometimes called a petal, tulip, or flower hood. This allows the lens hood to block stray light with the higher portions of the lens hood, while allowing more light into the corners of the image through the lowered portions of the hood.

Lens hoods are more prominent in long focus lenses because they have a smaller viewing angle than that of wide-angle lenses. For wide angle lenses, the length of the hood cannot be as long as those for telephoto lenses, as a longer hood would enter the wider field of view of the lens.

Lens hoods are often designed to fit onto the matching lens facing either forward, for normal use, or backwards, so that the hood may be stored with the lens without occupying much additional space. In addition, lens hoods can offer some degree of physical protection for the lens due to the hood extending farther than the lens itself.