Luminous Landscape Forum

Equipment & Techniques => Cameras, Lenses and Shooting gear => Topic started by: sanvandur on June 29, 2018, 11:20:20 am

Title: Zeiss Milvus vs Nikkor
Post by: sanvandur on June 29, 2018, 11:20:20 am
Most Milvus vs Nikkor reviews Iíve read indicate the Milvus has the edge on image quality. Iím unsure how they stack up next to their Nikkor (primes) counterparts. Is the image quality so good that itís worth sacrificing AF and VR from the Nikkors? I primarily shoot landscape, street/travel, fashion and would be using a D850. Any thoughts? Thanks!
Title: Re: Zeiss Milvus vs Nikkor
Post by: henrikfoto on June 29, 2018, 04:39:39 pm
For landscape I think you will not miss af.

When shooting people and you use a small f.stopp, I would say the af is
almost crucial. A small increase in pc will be very easy to loose if the focus is just 95%
accurate. I use both, but for people I allways use af. (unless they are very still and I have much time).

Good AF is gold!
Title: Re: Zeiss Milvus vs Nikkor
Post by: BernardLanguillier on June 29, 2018, 05:52:48 pm
My view is that the Zeiss glass was clearly superior 5 years ago, but with recent releases such as the 105mm f1.4, 70-200 f2.8 E FL, 19mm T/S, 24mm f1.8, 28mm f1.4,... Nikon has caught up in technical qualities and is now overall ahead in terms of look.

I have only kept my Otus 55mm f1.4 and have sold my other Otus in favor of the Nikon equivalent. The Otus 28mm and 85mm were still a tiny bit better but the lack of AF, less rugged build, higher weight and bulk were far from compensating the slight advantage in image quality.

Cheers,
Bernard
Title: Re: Zeiss Milvus vs Nikkor
Post by: sanvandur on June 29, 2018, 06:25:03 pm
My view is that the Zeiss glass was clearly superior 5 years ago, but with recent releases such as the 105mm f1.4, 70-200 f2.8 E FL, 19mm T/S, 24mm f1.8, 28mm f1.4,... Nikon has caught up in technical qualities and is now overall ahead in terms of look.

I have only kept my Otus 55mm f1.4 and have sold my other Otus in favor of the Nikon equivalent. The Otus 28mm and 85mm were still a tiny bit better but the lack of AF, less rugged build, higher weight and bulk were far from compensating the slight advantage in image quality.

Cheers,
Bernard

This is very good to know. Thanks so much for your insight! One thing though... Iíve read that many of the new Nikkor primes are very plastic and have a cheap feel to them. True?
Title: Re: Zeiss Milvus vs Nikkor
Post by: kers on June 29, 2018, 08:06:53 pm
This is very good to know. Thanks so much for your insight! One thing though... I’ve read that many of the new Nikkor primes are very plastic and have a cheap feel to them. True?

i dropped my nikkor 24mm 1.4 lens 4m down on a concrete floor and the driafragma had to be repaired the lens itself was still perfect, even the alignment.
That said the 14-24mm nikkor is more complex and sensitive; if you drop that it the lens alignment is off and it will cost you ...

I can understand metal feels tougher than plastic, but then i think of the knights with their chain armor fighting against the Mongols that were dressed in silk shirts.
They could pull out the arrows with the shirt and were much faster...
Title: Re: Zeiss Milvus vs Nikkor
Post by: sanvandur on June 29, 2018, 09:21:09 pm
i dropped my nikkor 24mm 1.4 lens 4m down on a concrete floor and the driafragma had to be repaired the lens itself was still perfect, even the alignment.
That said the 14-24mm nikkor is more complex and sensitive; if you drop that it the lens alignment is off and it will cost you ...

I can understand metal feels tougher than plastic, but then i think of the knights with their chain armor fighting against the Mongols that were dressed in silk shirts.
They could pull out the arrows with the shirt and were much faster...

Good thing Iím not planning to fight any Mongols ;)
Title: Re: Zeiss Milvus vs Nikkor
Post by: BernardLanguillier on June 29, 2018, 10:46:49 pm
Most of my nikkors look like new after months or years while the soft rubber focusing ring of the Otus looked old after a few weeks of usage.

The D810 on which my Otus 55mm f1.4 was then mounted fell once from the top of a 40l backpack (a 50cm fall maybe) on a hard wood flooring and that cost me 800 US$ in repair...

Cheers,
Bernard
Title: Re: Zeiss Milvus vs Nikkor
Post by: sanvandur on June 30, 2018, 08:47:07 am
What do you think of the image quality of the Zeiss compared to the Nikkors?
Title: Re: Zeiss Milvus vs Nikkor
Post by: Two23 on June 30, 2018, 09:33:53 am
I shoot mostly landscape-type stuff, and have settled on the Sigma Art lenses for the most part.  These are sharper than their Nikon counterparts, sometimes considerably so.  Most testing websites (e.g. LensRental) suggest they match the Zeiss.  According to DxO the sharpest lens you can put on a Nikon is the Sigma 85mm f1.4.  That said, for landscapes my most used lens is the Nikon 24mm PC-E.  Just can't beat the versatility of that lens!  If I had the $$ I'd have the new Nikon 19mm PC-E instead.  That's my dream lens!  I can't imagine not owning a shift lens or two.


Kent in SD
Title: Re: Zeiss Milvus vs Nikkor
Post by: sanvandur on June 30, 2018, 10:21:46 am
Most of my nikkors look like new after months or years while the soft rubber focusing ring of the Otus looked old after a few weeks of usage.

The D810 on which my Otus 55mm f1.4 was then mounted fell once from the top of a 40l backpack (a 50cm fall maybe) on a hard wood flooring and that cost me 800 US$ in repair...

Cheers,
Bernard

Ouch! Live and learn ;)
Title: Re: Zeiss Milvus vs Nikkor
Post by: sanvandur on June 30, 2018, 10:31:00 am
I shoot mostly landscape-type stuff, and have settled on the Sigma Art lenses for the most part.  These are sharper than their Nikon counterparts, sometimes considerably so.  Most testing websites (e.g. LensRental) suggest they match the Zeiss.  According to DxO the sharpest lens you can put on a Nikon is the Sigma 85mm f1.4.  That said, for landscapes my most used lens is the Nikon 24mm PC-E.  Just can't beat the versatility of that lens!  If I had the $$ I'd have the new Nikon 19mm PC-E instead.  That's my dream lens!  I can't imagine not owning a shift lens or two.


Kent in SD

Didnít know that about the Sigma lenses. Good to know. From all Iíve read online, Iíve yet to come across a review that says the Nikkor image quality surpasses the Milvus. Price aside, Iím undecided whether or not im willing to sacrifice the Nikon AF for a MF Milvus. Iím transitioning from medium format (a P30+ and DF body I used for 10 years), so Iím accustomed to *pretend* AF. If anything, I shot MF most of the time. But reading all that the Nikon D850 AF is capable of, itís tempting to try a *real* AF system. On the flip side, coming from a Phase One system, image quality is paramount to me. Iím not an action shooter. Most of what I shoot is either very slow moving, or doesnít move at all. So if IQ between the Nikkor primes and Milvus is significant, Iíll go with the Milvus. If not, Iíll succumb to the AF Nikkors. Ahhhhh!!! Too much awesome gear out there!
Title: Re: Zeiss Milvus vs Nikkor
Post by: Two23 on June 30, 2018, 02:24:39 pm
Didnít know that about the Sigma lenses. Good to know. From all Iíve read online, Iíve yet to come across a review that says the Nikkor image quality surpasses the Milvus. Price aside, Iím undecided whether or not im willing to sacrifice the Nikon AF for a MF Milvus.


Since I shoot weddings and family portraits on weekends, I definitely was not willing to give up AF.  I researched it for months and tried several different lenses.  The Sigmas aren't just sharp, they are astounding.  I couldn't decide between the 35mm & 50mm f1.4 as both were so excellent, so I ended up keeping both! :)  They have the Zeiss performance and Nikon AF.  The top ones are the Sigmas 20mm f1.4, 35mm, 50, and 85mm.  On a DX camera no other lens comes close to their 18-35mm f1.8 & 50-100mm f1.8.

https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/sigma-85mm-f1-4-art-lens/5
https://www.sonyalpharumors.com/lensrentals-tests-best-50mm-lenses-sigma-50mm-art-whows-again/
https://www.dxomark.com/sigma-20mm-f-1-4-dg-hsm-a-canon-lens-review-picture-perfect/

https://www.dxomark.com/best-lenses-for-the-nikon-d810-part-ii-wildlife-and-landscape-primes-and-zooms/


My own "standard" bag is:
1. Nikon 24mm PC-E.  I can shift the lens sideways to make wide panos with it.
2. Sigma 50mm f1.4.  Extreme sharpness and f1.4.
3. Nikon 105mm f2.8 Micro.  Sharp mid-tele AND macro for fungus etc.
4. Nikon 300mm f4 PF.  Lightweight & sharp for wildlife.



Kent in SD


Title: Re: Zeiss Milvus vs Nikkor
Post by: kers on June 30, 2018, 07:04:15 pm
My own "standard" bag is:
1. Nikon 24mm PC-E.  I can shift the lens sideways to make wide panos with it.
2. Sigma 50mm f1.4.  Extreme sharpness and f1.4.
3. Nikon 105mm f2.8 Micro.  Sharp mid-tele AND macro for fungus etc.
4. Nikon 300mm f4 PF.  Lightweight & sharp for wildlife.
Kent in SD

I agree the 50mm sigma is a very fine lens; i also have the 85mm sigma 1.4 that has the same quality.
the 300 pf lens is one my favourites; handheld 1/30s sharp is possible with the d850 - but not with the two Sigma lenses!  amazing VR and rendering and very light.
Title: Re: Zeiss Milvus vs Nikkor
Post by: BernardLanguillier on June 30, 2018, 08:50:07 pm
Sigma makes very fine glass for sure. I currently still own the 35mm f1.4, but previsouly owned the 20mm f1.4 in Nikkor and Sigma mounts and the 85mm f1.4 in Sigma mount.

The 35mm is very sharp but I am not a big fan of its look. I find the Nikkor 35mm to be superior from that standpoint.

I sold the 20mm in favour of the Nikon 19mm T/S which is superior for landscape.

The 85mm is very nice for sure but I prefer the Nikon 105mm f1.4. Just as sharp but a nicer look IMHO.

Cheers,
Bernard
Title: Re: Zeiss Milvus vs Nikkor
Post by: sanvandur on June 30, 2018, 09:52:22 pm
Thanks to you guys, Iíve now read up on the Sigma Art lenses. The reviews are all pretty solid, except two things.
1. There seems to be less love for the Sigma Art 50mm 1.4. Iíve read several times people saying itís super sharp, well built, but has ďno characterĒ.
2. Apparently, many have needed to buy the Sigma usb dock to calibrate the AF on their new Art lenses. So, theyíre great, but as long as you calibrate the AF yourself with the Sigma dock? Shouldnít they leave the factory calibrated already? Are these isolated incidents or is this a common problem?
Title: Re: Zeiss Milvus vs Nikkor
Post by: Two23 on July 01, 2018, 12:43:39 am
Thanks to you guys, Iíve now read up on the Sigma Art lenses. The reviews are all pretty solid, except two things.
1. There seems to be less love for the Sigma Art 50mm 1.4. Iíve read several times people saying itís super sharp, well built, but has ďno characterĒ.
2. Apparently, many have needed to buy the Sigma usb dock to calibrate the AF on their new Art lenses. So, theyíre great, but as long as you calibrate the AF yourself with the Sigma dock? Shouldnít they leave the factory calibrated already? Are these isolated incidents or is this a common problem?


1. Highly subjective.  I like the look I get.
2. I've had to calibrate all my lenses to some degree, no matter the brand.  The D850 has a built in function for that.


Kent in SD
Title: Re: Zeiss Milvus vs Nikkor
Post by: sanvandur on July 01, 2018, 12:50:01 am

1. Highly subjective.  I like the look I get.
2. I've had to calibrate all my lenses to some degree, no matter the brand.  The D850 has a built in function for that.


Kent in SD

1. True
2. Will the D850ís built in function work on Sigmas, or only Nikon lenses?

Thanks!
Title: Re: Zeiss Milvus vs Nikkor
Post by: Two23 on July 03, 2018, 08:09:38 pm
1. True
2. Will the D850ís built in function work on Sigmas, or only Nikon lenses?

Thanks!


Don't have the D850--waiting for the price of used ones dropping below $2,000.  So, can't comment.  Have had no trouble calibrating with D800E or D810 though.


Just stumbled across this thread:
http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1513352


Kent in SD
Title: Re: Zeiss Milvus vs Nikkor
Post by: scrane on July 05, 2018, 08:53:34 am
I find the Nikon 28/2.8 AIs and Zeiss 35/2 ZF comparable in IQ. I also find the Nikon 105/2.5 AI or AIs comparable to the Zeiss 100/2 ZF. I believe both these ZF lenses are the same design as their Milvus counterparts. I give the edge to Zeiss in color and contrast. The Nikons are considerably lighter and more compact.
Title: Re: Zeiss Milvus vs Nikkor
Post by: kers on July 05, 2018, 01:37:57 pm
1. True
2. Will the D850ís built in function work on Sigmas, or only Nikon lenses?

Thanks!

1 like the look of the sigma 50...
2 yes you can calibrate the sigma with the nikon body..
the dock has the ability to calibrate on three distances... so i prefer that method. I get tack sharp images at f1.4 - 46MP


in general
infinity is usually the most difficult thing for AF precision especially with wide angle lenses
Title: Re: Zeiss Milvus vs Nikkor
Post by: sanvandur on July 06, 2018, 11:51:38 am
Does the focus stacking feature in the D850 work with non-Nikon lenses?
Title: Re: Zeiss Milvus vs Nikkor
Post by: sanvandur on July 06, 2018, 11:56:20 am

Don't have the D850--waiting for the price of used ones dropping below $2,000.  So, can't comment.  Have had no trouble calibrating with D800E or D810 though.


Just stumbled across this thread:
http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1513352


Kent in SD

Thanks for the link. Loads of useful insights in there :)
Title: Re: Zeiss Milvus vs Nikkor
Post by: D Fuller on July 15, 2018, 12:09:51 pm
Does the focus stacking feature in the D850 work with non-Nikon lenses?

Not with manual ones like the Milvus.
Title: Re: Zeiss Milvus vs Nikkor
Post by: sanvandur on July 21, 2018, 12:13:23 pm
As a show of appreciation to all of your advice, I figured I'd post here what I finally settled on. Here's the list:
-Nikon D850
-Sigma ART lenses: 24mm f1.4, 50mm f1.4, 135mm f1.8
-Sigma USB Lens Dock

I've only started to do some casual shooting, so I can't give a thorough review of the kit yet. But so far, I am extremely happy with the setup. I've spent a lot of time learning all of the D850 features, custom settings, etc. I watched a bunch of youtube tutorials and Steve Perry's youtube channel (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChUi5Gm8w-S_d6dS31cFCnQ) was the clear winner for me. He knows the nikon system inside out, and explains complicated concepts in a very intuitive and clear way. Highly recommended. One thing I was mildly dreading about going from Phase One to Nikon was Nikon's (or Canon) endless menu system. Yes, it is vast and overwhelming. However, Nikon has something really great called "My Menu", where you can create your own little menu with the features you frequently use, so you don't have to search for the feature you need when you need it. I assigned "My Menu" to one of the fn buttons for quick access, and it works brilliantly. Image quality of the D850 -IMO- equals or surpasses the P30+. Color rendering is so good, I barely have to do any adjustments at all in Capture One. The Sigma Art lenses. WOW. Thanks to a few here on LL who mentioned them when I was asking about the Zeiss Milvus as an alternative to the Nikkors! The Sigma Art is a joy to use. IQ is beautiful. Bokeh, sublime. AF, fast, near silent, and accurate. And now... the Sigma USB Dock. I must say, now that I've calibrated my lenses with it, I can't see why any AF user would not use this. I'd rather shoot MF than with a non-calibrated AF lens. Out of the box, my ART lenses focused -apparenlty- very well. After calibration, auto-focused images are razor sharp, precisely where I need them to be. The only downside to the dock is that it took me a while to figure out the calibration process. Sigma has a few instructional videos on youtube, but for someone who is new to calibrating lenses, it lacks instruction (or maybe I'm just not that smart). But once I got the hang of it, the results sliced through my eyeballs like a lightsaber on Tatooine. Highly recommended.
I first acquired the Phase One P30+ kit because at the time (+/- 10 years ago), it was the only camera that would give me the IQ for my subject matter. Now, the P30+ is still a magnificent piece of gear, but much too big, too heavy, and too expensive to upgrade from. The D850 has the IQ, ergonomics, weather sealed, compact, and won't require a selling a kidney to upgrade. I'm so happy. My only "problem" now is that my camera bags (formally used for my Phase kit) are too big ;)
Thanks again for all your advice!