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5 Days Ago   #1
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Zeiss Milvus 18mm f2.8 on the K1

I posted bits of this elsewhere here but thought it might be more useful as a standalone thread.

Some pics taken with a phone (S7):





I bought the Nikon version (about GBP 1800) and got it modified by David Llado in Spain

Nikon and Zeiss ZF lenses for Pentax cameras

for about €120.

A quick test today. These are screenshots from Lightroom:

Original image


After correction in LR6 with the actual lens profile


I reckon the vignetting is not fully corrected above. Sliding the vignetting skider 100% to the right (max) fixes that.

1:1 centre


The LR profile for this lens is attached It works in both LR6.5 and LR3.6 under winXP.

The only thing is that the focus confirmation beep (and focusing generally) does not work when the lens is stopped down. This is a fully manual lens and when you stop it down to say F16, you get a great depth of field which makes accurate focusing impossible. You have to focus at f2.8 and then stop it down to the required f number. In the absence of other constraints one might use f5.6 or f8 since most lenses are sharpest there. Then point the camera (in M mode) at the subject and press the green button on the camera to auto-set the shutter speed. Take the pic.

The dirt seen on the inside of the lens hood is just stuff which gets caught up in the "hairy" surface which Zeiss use to combat reflections. I doubt one can do anything about it.

The camera needs to be configured to Custom Options / #26 / using Aperture Ring / Enable (option 2). It now asks for the lens focal length at every power-up.


Last edited by peterh337; 5 Days Ago at 02:18 PM.
5 Days Ago   #2
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Very nice- thanks for sharing the results!

QuoteOriginally posted by peterh337 Quote
This is a fully manual lens and when you stop it down to say F16, you get a great depth of field which makes accurate focusing impossible.
So the diaphragm is fully manual with no aperture lever? If so, you can just put the camera in Av mode, just like with a Takumar, without having to use the green button at all.

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5 Days Ago   #3
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Yes; the Av mode works. You set the ISO and aperture and it sets the shutter speed.

I am not up on the terminology but the lens is not wide open until the pic is taken. The diaphragm is at the set aperture all the time, so at e.g. f22 you get a very dark viewfinder and, as I wrote above, you can't really focus. That is unless I am missing something... but I can't see how it can be anything else since the adapted mounting ring has no pins, no holes and no contacts.

Just looking at the fine branches in that pic above, the quality of this lens is awesome. And the edge performance is the same as centre - once you pick branches at the same distance

Last edited by peterh337; 5 Days Ago at 02:19 PM.
5 Days Ago   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
Very nice- thanks for sharing the results!



So the diaphragm is fully manual with no aperture lever? If so, you can just put the camera in Av mode, just like with a Takumar, without having to use the green button at all.
Yes, same as my 21mm Distagon. I think that is true with all Leitax adapted Zeiss lens - one more reason why I wish Zeiss would re introduce the ZK versions.

Beautiful combination you have there, Peter!

5 Days Ago   #5
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Very cool. Earlier this year I Leitaxed an 18mm f3.5 Zeiss Distagon ZF. While the lens is not highly regarded in Nikon land, I've been super happy with its performance, and relatively smaller size. The purple fringing has been more manageable than with the Zeiss Distagon ZK 35mm f2.

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5 Days Ago   #6
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The lens looks great on the K1 indeed, but am I the only one seeing serious purple fringing on those branches ? Was the test shot taken wide open ? That would account for the hefty vignetting correction needed perhaps , even on the corrected screenshot there is still lots of vignetting on the lower half of the image visible.

Cheers, Sander
5 Days Ago   #7
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I can't see any purple (yes it was shot at f2.8) but have just realised that since the camera cannot see any aspect of the lens setting it cannot record the data in the image file, and then Lightroom cannot use the lens profile properly, which is why e.g. the vignetting needs to be applied mostly manually.

In fact I wonder whether a lens profile is any use with a manual lens - except to the extent that the lens defects are constant through its settings.

In January this year I bought the "Sigma 15mm F2.8 EX DG AF Diagonal Fisheye Lens for Pentax (476109)" in an attempt to sort out a wide angle lens (with lens correction done in Lightroom) and that produced chromatic aberrations which could only be described as spectacular. At 1:1 there was more purple than any other colour

I need to shoot some pics with the Zeiss in conditions other than rain, rain or more rain, but hey this is the UK in the winter The Alps in the winter should be a better place.

Last edited by peterh337; 5 Days Ago at 07:17 AM.
5 Days Ago   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by peterh337 Quote
I can't see any purple (yes it was shot at f2.8) but have just realised that since the camera cannot see any aspect of the lens setting it cannot record the data in the image file, and then Lightroom cannot use the lens profile properly, which is why e.g. the vignetting needs to be applied mostly manually.

In fact I wonder whether a lens profile is any use with a manual lens - except to the extent that the lens defects are constant through its settings.

In January this year I bought the "Sigma 15mm F2.8 EX DG AF Diagonal Fisheye Lens for Pentax (476109)" in an attempt to sort out a wide angle lens (with lens correction done in Lightroom) and that produced chromatic aberrations which could only be described as spectacular. At 1:1 there was more purple than any other colour

I need to shoot some pics with the Zeiss in conditions other than rain, rain or more rain, but hey this is the UK in the winter The Alps in the winter should be a better place.
That would indeed account for the hefty vignetting and the additional correction needed there. I do however spot some (admittedly very very narrow) bands of purple on second look as well, but that's not an actual issue perhaps, what the branches do show is that the lens is incredibly sharp at 2.8 in the center and by the looks of it the edges are pretty sharp too.

You're right in that it is not the best scene to show the image-qualities of a lens, a backlit tree on a dreary day under an overcast sky haha, I know all too well, live in The Netherlands ;-)

Enjoy that baby Peter, I know you will !

All the best, Sander

5 Days Ago   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by peterh337 Quote
I can't see any purple (yes it was shot at f2.8) but have just realised that since the camera cannot see any aspect of the lens setting it cannot record the data in the image file, and then Lightroom cannot use the lens profile properly, which is why e.g. the vignetting needs to be applied mostly manually. .

I don't think the camera needs to "see" any aspects of the lens setting. The Lightroom profiles apply changes to the image based on pre-programmed settings determined by whoever wrote that program. When you choose a certain profile, you are "telling" Lightroom to apply those pre-determined settings to your image. A chosen profile is going to apply specific settings to the image regardless of the actual lens used. I often use the profile for the 21mm Distagon for images shot with my Pentax 20mm f4 as a starting o point. Every photo is different and you can't count on a profile to make all the corrections you might want.
5 Days Ago   #10
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If you look at the .lcp file for this lens you see a number of sections, for different apertures etc. Here I have two sections



You can see the distortion is different and the vignetting is different. Fairly obviously those (few) values get interpolated / curve fitted to get intermediate points. With 3 values provided you could fit a third order polynomial, I think.

So, somehow, Lightroom needs to be told which .lcp file section to use - if you want an automatic correction. I am new to LR but I can't see any way to specify the aperture once you have selected the lens profile.

Fortunately this lens is very good straight out of the box (jolly well should be at the price!) so it is just the vignette which needs a tweak. If you were shooting cityscapes and straight lines were getting bent (pincushion and barrel are also very low on this lens, according to reviews) then you can do those manually, I guess...
5 Days Ago   #11
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Now that is interesting! Thanks for that.
5 Days Ago   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by peterh337 Quote
If you look at the .lcp file for this lens you see a number of sections, for different apertures etc. Here I have two sections

You can see the distortion is different and the vignetting is different. Fairly obviously those (few) values get interpolated / curve fitted to get intermediate points. With 3 values provided you could fit a third order polynomial, I think.

So, somehow, Lightroom needs to be told which .lcp file section to use - if you want an automatic correction. I am new to LR but I can't see any way to specify the aperture once you have selected the lens profile.
I have created dozens of lcps and they can hold varying data for different (zoom) focal lengths and apertures. A good profile has data for all apertures separately, so there is no need to interpolate. The recommended minimum is three.

The way I handled all this with manual lenses is to fill the aperture metadata field using exiftoolGUI. Lr will then pick this up and apply the right correction. Obviously another step to do but worth it.
4 Days Ago   #13
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Doesn't that mean you have to write down the lens setting for each pic you take and then back-edit them into the .dng image file?
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QuoteOriginally posted by peterh337 Quote
Doesn't that mean you have to write down the lens setting for each pic you take and then back-edit them into the .dng image file?
If you want software automation on a fully manual lens: yes, sure (just the aperture setting, nothing else).

In practise the tasks depends on your shooting style. The manual lenses I used were wide angle for landscape and there after a short while I found my preferred aperture setting. So no "writing down" required, I knew the lens was set at F5.6 (or whatever) all the time.
4 Days Ago   #15
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I wonder what data the K1 stores in the DNG when it has a fully manual lens attached to it... Some sort of default colour profile must be stored because the raw image looks really good straight out of the box.
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