Antonio Azzurro is photographer and cinematographer. He works in different fields of video and photo productions. For us he wanted to test the latest addition to the ZEISS Milvus lens family – Milvus 1.4/35
So, let’s talk about my first impression. The lens is relatively compact especially when taking the front diameter due to the aperture of f/1.4 into consideration. The focus throw is perfect for this focal length. You can go from 0.30 meter to 1 meter in a 180° smooth rotation. This is very helpful expecially when working at close range. In a shooting situation like this you can create amazing images at fast aperture without any distortion and a super nice bokeh.
Another techincal plus is not only the focus rotation angle but also the smoothness of the focus mechanism. It is a pleasure to use it for photography applications but also for video shoots. The construction quality is excellent, allowing effortless turning of the focus ring to its presice position.
ZEISS Milvus lenses have the quality of a cinema lens and the size of photographic lenses. This aspect is very important for people like me who jump between photography and videography sometimes in the same project.
An organic look
First, I took some pictures in a boutique hotel. I was there to cover a dance event. I started to take some picture with my Canon EOS-1D X Mark II DSLR Camera inside the hotel. I found some interesting light bulbs and flowers. The pictures are amazing, really sharp and at the same time really organic look. No chromatic aberration in general or really well controlled in extreme situations as backlights and not always, just sometimes.
Perfect for Portraits
Then I had the chance to take some portrait pictures inside the beautiful dancer named Bosco di Capodimonte. 35mm to me is the perfect focal length for portraits. You can see consistency in the images. Again the lens creates a very organic impression and sharp images from the center to the corners across all apertures.
This lens is also very interesting for food photography or still life setup. Of course it not a macro or even a close focus lens but the effects that you can create with this lens is really appreciated by my clients.
© Antonio Azzurro, Canon EOS-1D X Mark II, ZEISS Milvus 1.4/35, f/1.4, 1/125 sec., ISO 100
Finally – The Video Stress Test
A couple week later, we mounted the 1.4/35 on RED Camera, in a very difficult lighting situation. It was just the light of the city of Napoli on a beautiful plaza called San Martino Castle. I had the chance to work with the beautiful dancer Ivana Perfetto. Ivana performed ballet under the city light. It was a mix of tungsten and LED light sources in different colors and intensity. Overall, challenging conditions for shooting. So we have my Red Raven in 4k at 800 ISO and ZEISS Milvus 1.4/35. The results are amazing. During the shooting we were working between f/1.4 and f/2.8 , without ever having to change the ISO. Another level to this stress test has been shooting in slow motion. Ivana was performing and we were shooting at 120 fps. The lens was set at f/1.4 and ISO to around 1200. You will see the results soon as we realease the video.
This lens unlock as the entire ZEISS Milvus line, a lot of creative stuff, this is why every videomaker who can’t afford cinema lens need to have the line in the bag. Coming soon a video shot with Red Epic-w 8k. This lenses covers without problem the 8k cameras. You will see as we realease the video soon.
Just for my friends and collegues photographers, who usually work with autofocus, do not fear the manual focus Milvus lenses. You need to train with manual focus, but as you begin to use it, you are in full control of your picture and your creativity. Explore the world with pictures and videos through ZEISS Milvus lenses. It’s worth it. Check it out my gallery, on Instagram or Facebook page.
Thanks to the crew
Chiara Pisani – Photographer and Editor (Still life specialist)
Carlo Alessandro Argenzio – Cinematographer
Francesco Morra – Cinematographer
Valeria Gaudino – Director
Marika Nutty Romano – Director Assistant
Nunzio Striano – Production Assistant
Salvatore Duca Gargiulo – Dancer Manager
Ivana Perfetto – Dancer
Riccardo Mangiarotti – Technincal Support – Italian Dealer ZEISS
Marco Auricchio – ZEISS Manager