A world’s first: The Laowa 10mm f/2.8 full-frame autofocus rectilinear lens

Feb 20, 2024

Sagiv Gilburd

Sagiv Gilburd

Sagiv Gilburd

News Editor

Sagiv Gilburd is an Israel-based commercial photographer and videographer with extensive expertise in studio work, event photography, and managing large-scale photography projects.

A world’s first: The Laowa 10mm f/2.8 full-frame autofocus rectilinear lens

Feb 20, 2024

Sagiv Gilburd

Sagiv Gilburd

Sagiv Gilburd

News Editor

Sagiv Gilburd is an Israel-based commercial photographer and videographer with extensive expertise in studio work, event photography, and managing large-scale photography projects.

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Laowa 10mm f/2.8 Zero-D thumbnail

The Laowa 10mm f/2.8 Zero-D ($699) is a game changer. It’s Laowa’s first AF lens and the world’s widest f/2.8 full-frame rectilinear lens. In other words, the lens can fill a full-frame sensor while avoiding the fish-eye distortion you often find at similar focal lengths. All while being f/2.8 and having autofocus capabilities.

The Laowa 10mm f/2.8 Zero-D

The Laowa 10mm f/2.8 is a part of Laowa’s “Zero-D” series (same series as the 12mm Zero-D and 7.5mm Zero-D). That might sound like a strange name if you aren’t familiar with that series. Laowa gives that name to lenses they claim have “close to zero distortion”. Judging by Laowa’s samples of the 10mm f/2.8, it would seem the lens deserves this name, but I would still like to put it to the test myself. (I have included some of Laowa’s samples below if you want to take a look yourself).

The lens is composed of 15 elements in nine groups, including two aspherical glasses and three ED glasses. The previous similar lens from Laowa is the Laowa 9mm f/5.6 W-Dreamer, which I assume the 10mm lens will be replacing. This is not to say the 9mm is a bad lens, but the W-Dreamer lenses have more distortion than the Zero-D series. The 9mm is also slower, with a maximum aperture of only f/5.6. The 10mm Dreamer is slightly heavier, but not by much. There is only a 70g rams difference (The 10mm weighs 420g).

In another world first, Laowa managed to cram a front filter thread into the lens. Neither the Laowa 9mm nor similar lenses from competitors ever featured a front thread.

The lens lets you get as close as 12cm to your subject, which allows for rather interesting shots. The lens is too wide to look like a typical macro lens, but that’s not a bad thing in the slightest. Wide-angle macros are interesting as you can make a small object seem large while still showing much of the background.

Laowa 10mm f/2.8 Zero-D - macro

Laowa 10mm f/2.8 Zero-D – Canon and Leica vs. Sony and Nikon

Laowa 10mm f/2.8 Zero-D -sigma FP and Canon R6

The lens will be available for the RF, Z, E, and L mounts, but there is a difference between the RF/L mount variants and the rest. Autofocus, or rather, the lack thereof. Neither the RF nor the L mount version will have autofocus. You might’ve expected this already, as we never get third-party AF lenses for Canon (not that companies aren’t trying), and it’s a similarly awkward situation with the L mount. It’s a real shame, too. It’s very impressive that the Laowa 10mm has autofocus, which only makes the corporate restrictions from Canon and Leica all the more frustrating.

Laowa 10mm f/2.8 Zero-D samples

Laowa 10mm f/2.8 Zero-D specs

Lens NameLaowa 10mm f/2.8 Zero-D FF
FormatFull-Frame
Focal Length10mm
Aperture Rangef/2.8-22
Angle of View130.4°
Lens Structure15 elements in 9 groups
(2 Aspherical Glasses, 3 ED Glasses)
Aperture Blades5 blades / 14 blades*
*A 14-blade variant (only available for manual focus) can be ordered
Min. Shooting Distance4.72″ / 12cm
Max. Magnification0.24X
Focusing SystemAF (Sony E / Nikon Z) / MF (Canon RF / L mount)
Filter ThreadØ77mm
DimensionsØ3.23” x 2.79”/ Ø82 x 70.8mm
Weight0.925lbs/ 420g
MountsAuto-Focus:
Sony E/ Nikon Z (5 Blades)

Manual-Focus:
Canon RF/ L Mount (5 Blades)
Sony E / Canon RF / Nikon Z / L mount (14 Blades)
PriceUSD799

Price and availability

Both the AF and MF versions of the Laowa 10mm f/2.8 Zero-D will be available for $799. Personally, I’m hyped for its release. The lens is small, and its optics are incredible, while the price point is rather low. Getting such a lens, especially the AF version of it, for under a thousand dollars is a steal.

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Sagiv Gilburd

Sagiv Gilburd

Sagiv Gilburd is an Israel-based commercial photographer and videographer with extensive expertise in studio work, event photography, and managing large-scale photography projects.

Join the Discussion

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