Andy Westlake tests an intriguing lens that mixes extreme wideangle macro with shift capability
Laowa LX FX 15mm f/4 Wide Angle 1:1 Macro review: Build and handling
Almost the entirety of the lens’s exterior barrel is made from metal, giving a very solid feel to the build. However, the complete lack of any cosmetic styling, and the painted-on focus and distance scales that use mismatched fonts, give a decidedly utilitarian impression.
Operationally, both the aperture and focus rings rotate smoothly without any backlash. The shift mechanism is a slight let-down, though, as it operates by friction alone, and is released from the centred position by pushing an oddly shaped metal tab. In contrast, ‘proper’ shift lenses designed for architectural work use a precise geared movement instead, and often allow the direction of shift to be rotated relative to the sensor. But to be fair this would probably add considerably to the price.