Chinese lens maker Venus Optics has announced the Laowa 7.5mm f/2 MFT, a small wideangle prime designed exclusively for Micro Four Thirds cameras. The lens, which it first showed at Photokina 2016, will be the widest-angle rectilinear fixed focal-length optic for the system, and features a 46mm filter thread. Both focusing and aperture setting are manual, controlled by traditional analogue rings around the lens barrel.
With an angle of view equivalent to 15mm on full frame, the lens measures 50mm in diameter and 55mm in length and weighs a mere 170g in its standard version. Venus Optics says it’s also going to make a lightweight version designed for drone use with a further 20g shaved off the weight. Despite its compact size the lens incorporates 13 elements arranged in 9 groups, including two aspherical elements and three made of extra-low dispersion glass. The front element will be treated with the charmingly named Frog Eye Coating, which is presumably designed to be water-repellent.
The Laowa 15mm f/2 MFT will be available in either silver or black, and is available to pre-order from the Venus Optics website. It’s listed for $499 for the standard version, which equates to approximately £386. As usual this is without shipping and taxes, and we’d expect UK buyers to be looking at a price much closer to £500 when the lens makes its way over here.
UPDATE 3rd May 2017 – UK Pricing is now in for the Laowa 7.5mm f/2 MFT. As anticipated the standard version will cost £499, while the lightweight variant will cost £519.
Venus Optics announces the Laowa 7.5mm f/2 MFT, the World’s Widest f/2 Lens for Micro Four Thirds Camera
Featuring a 110° Angle of View, Ultra-fast f/2 aperture, 46mm filter thread & less than 200g in weight
Anhui China, Apr 28, 2017 – Venus Optics, the camera lenses manufacturer who had previously launched a number of unique Laowa camera lenses, is proud to announce the world’s widest rectilinear f/2 lens for Micro Four Thirds cameras, Laowa 7.5mm f/2 MFT. The Laowa 7.5mm f/2 MFT is currently the widest f/2 rectilinear lens ever designed for Micro Four Thirds Cameras. It is an ultra-wide & ultra-fast prime lens with a 35mm equivalent focal length of 15mm. Despite the extreme specifications, Venus Optics has successfully minimized the weight of the lens to less than 200g (0.44 pounds) and 55mm long. This compact and light lens comprises of 13 elements in 9 groups with 2 pcs of aspherical elements and 3 pcs of Extra-low dispersion elements. This optical design successfully minimizes the distortion and chromatic aberrations to its lowest but at the same time, delivers a superb optical performance from corners to corners.
The extreme 110° angle of view and ultra-fast f/2 aperture allows photographers to create impressive astro-photography shots with ease. It also gives photographers a fast and wide-angle option for landscape photography and low-light shooting. The lens is designed with a 46mm filter thread which can gives additional portability for screw-in filters.
Venus Optics also introduce a lightweight version for this lens and controlled the weight to merely 150g. The feather-light weight opens up a new opportunity for photographers and pilots to shoot wider footage with gimbals and drones.
Availability The Laowa 7.5mm f/2 MFT is currently available to pre-order in the official website of Venus Optics (http://www.venuslens.net/) and their authorized resellers. It comes with 2 colors, Black and Silver. Recommended Retail Price in US (without tax) is USD 499/pc for standard version and USD 519/pc for Lightweight version. Pricing may vary in different countries.
Venus Optics has also released a set of image samples shot with the lens, which you can view below. Unfortunately they don’t contain any EXIF data so it’s impossible to tell which aperture was used for each.