I couldn't find a great deal about this lens online, so I thought I would film a review with a of mixture of test shots and looking at how I have used the lens in my own portfolio. Here are my thoughts.
From a Canon shooters point of view, the Carl Zeiss Milvis f.2m Macros lens is a more expensive offering than the own brand's pro line. It doesn't have as many features due to a lack of true 1:1 marco, autofocus, and image stabilization. So, this lens is certainly not a versatile tool. However, it does offer a lot for a certain type of photographer.
For me, the lens offers incredible details as well as a beautifully rendered image, especially when wide open. The lens gives the image a look that can't be achieved with the Canon offerings, partially due to the f/2 aperture, but also due to the way that Zeiss constructs their lenses.
Although the test shots don't show any huge gains over something like a Canon USM or L lens, when put to practical use, the rendering, colors, and build quality are superb. What is really impressive is how sharp the lens is wide open and the way that the lens can control highlights. It wasn't something that I noticed until I shot the same scene with some Canon lenses and realized that it was the lens causing the highlight to blow out in a rather unpleasing way.
In this video, I go over some test shots with Larry the Pineapple at various f-stops under rather poor lighting before going through my portfolio and looking at how it can be used in the real world.
The stand-out features of this lens are the build quality and image rendering, as well as the rather beautiful aesthetic. This lens won't be for everyone, but those who manually focus or who shoot still life from a tripod like myself, this lens is a real game-changer.
Would you spend the extra money for the lack of features?