Zeiss Milvus 15mm F2.8 review: the widest of a family of 11 lenses

The Zeiss Milvus 15mm F2.8 is the most wide-angle lens in the line-up of 11 Milvus prime lenses for Canon and Nikon DSLRs.

Zeiss Milvus 15mm F2.8
(Image: © Zeiss)

Digital Camera World Verdict

I feel that sometimes bigger really is better, and the Zeiss Milvus 15mm F2.8 certainly delivers in terms of an oversized viewing angle. I love the way it can shoehorn vast landscape vistas into the image frame and that it works similarly well for architectural interiors and even for astrophotography. Build quality, handling and performance are all exceptional but it lacks autofocus and comes at a very steep purchase price.


  • +

    Superb image quality

  • +

    Great build and handling

  • +

    Fast aperture

  • +

    Removable hood


  • -

    No autofocus

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    Large 95mm filter thread

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    Massively expensive

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The Zeiss Milvus 15mm f/2.8 follows suit with various other families of Zeiss lenses, like the Batis and Loxia (for Sony E-mount cameras), in that it’s named after a bird. This time around, instead of being a sub-Saharan flycatcher or a stocky finch, Milvus takes its name from the red kite, a bird of prey. That sounds like a more high-performance and impressive deal from the get-go. It’s worth bearing in mind though that, in my neck of the woods, the red kite went extinct for about 100 years before being so successfully being reintroduced to the UK. I have to wonder if the writing is also on the wall for DSLR lenses, with so much of the world going mirrorless. Either way, the Milvus 15mm ultra-wide-angle, full-frame compatible lens is still available in ZE and ZF.2 options, for Canon and Nikon DSLRs respectively. In fact, these manual-focus lenses arguably work even better on Canon and Nikon mirrorless cameras via the respective companies’ mount adapters, where focusing aids like magnified preview and focus peaking come into play.


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Mount optionsCanon EF, Nikon F
Lens construction15 elements in 12 groups
Angle of view110 degrees
Focus typeManual focus
Minimum aperturef/22
Minimum focus distance0.25m
Maximum magnification0.11x
Filter size95mm
Weight947g (EF) 880g (F)

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Matthew Richards

Matthew Richards is a photographer and journalist who has spent years using and reviewing all manner of photo gear. He is Digital Camera World's principal lens reviewer – and has tested more primes and zooms than most people have had hot dinners! 

His expertise with equipment doesn’t end there, though. He is also an encyclopedia  when it comes to all manner of cameras, camera holsters and bags, flashguns, tripods and heads, printers, papers and inks, and just about anything imaging-related. 

In an earlier life he was a broadcast engineer at the BBC, as well as a former editor of PC Guide.