We ask Venus Optics what new Laowa lenses are being offered this year
Top of the list on the roster of new Laowa lenses being shown off at Photokina is the 12mm f/2.8, which they’re touting as the world’s widest f/2.8 lens currently available for full frame cameras. On top of its unusually compact design, Laowa also promise a distortion rate of close to 0 – compared to the usual barrel distortion rates on ultra-wide prime lenses of 2-4% – meaning that when you shoot straight lines, they stay straight. It also comes compatible with more compact 100mm filters, rather than the standard 150mm variety, for ease of use and transport in the field, backed up by a weatherproof design. So, pretty good for landscape or architecture photography enthusiasts.
They’ve also launched what they’re calling the Magic Shift Converter (MSC). Laowa say this is built to enlarge the image circle of your lenses; what this means in practice is that you can install it onto a 12mm f/2.8 lens and turn it into a 17mm f/4 lens with ±10mm shift. This accepts Canon, Nikon and Sony E-mount lenses.
For Sony A7-series users, they’re also rolling out a brand new, bright, wide-angle 15mm f/2 lens. Also featuring close to 0 distortion, Laowa are hoping to fill the gap in the market for E-mount users looking for a fast and bright wide-angle prime. It features a flat front surface so that users can install the relatively common 72mm diameter lens filters widely available on the market without having to invest in a bulky, large filter holder. Laowa say this sort lens will be perfect for specialised photography that benefits from speed and brightness – the notoriously equipment-heavy astrophotography, for example.
Lastly, they’ve lifted the lid on a tiny 7.5mm f/2 wide-angle prime for Micro Four Thirds cameras, the widest of its kind. Incredibly compact at only 170g, it’s even small enough to be paired up with a compatible drone. It even features a filter thread to screw in 49mm filters.
Check out venuslens.net to learn more about the new Laowa lenses.