Laowa unveiled its Ranger 28-75mm T29 and 75-180mm T2.9 cine zoom lenses (buy here) at NAB 2023 in May. DIYP had the opportunity to check them out in person while we were there, and they looked like a pair of very exciting lenses. Both lenses are designed for full-frame lenses but feature a very compact and lightweight design.
The two lenses offer a wide focal length range from a wide 28mm to a long telephoto 180mm with a bright T2.9 aperture. Both have built-in 0.8 MOD gears for focus, focal length and aperture. At the time of NAB, no prices were available for the two new lenses. Now, though, both lenses have been officially released, along with pricing.
Laowa says that a third lens with a focal range of 16-30mm will be joining the T2.9 Ranger series soon, although there’s been no mention of a release date yet. As mentioned in our first look in May, these lenses are targeted towards run-and-gun filmmakers working on the go. With as small and light as these lenses are, they’re ideally suited to such uses, although they should still hold their own in the studio, too.
Each lens weighs around 1.4kg, for use with gimbals, shoulder rigs, car rigs or even handheld. The lenses are both parfocal, so you can zoom into a subject, ensure focus, and then zoom back out for your wide shot. Their large T2.9 apertures allow you to shoot in lower light levels, which is ideal for low-light documentary shooting. The shallow field depth also helps you separate subjects from their backgrounds.
We shot a little sample footage when we had a play with them at NAB, which you can see in the video above. Both lenses show excellent quality, with virtually no focus breathing. Their parfocal nature makes nailing focus in a hurry very easy, too.
Laowa Ranger 28-75mm & 75-180mm T2.9 Specs
|Mounts||PL, Canon EF (Canon RF, Nikon Z, Sony E w/adapters)||PL, Canon EF (Canon RF, Nikon Z, Sony E w/adapters)|
|Angle of view||75.4-32.2°||32.2-13.7°|
|Optics||22 elements in 18 groups||14 elements in 14 groups|
|Min focus distance||49cm||89cm|
|Dimensions||80 x 179.3mm||80 x 189.5mm|
Price and Availability
Both lenses are very competitively priced and significantly lower than Laowa’s OOOM 25-100 T2.8 Zero-D cine lens (buy here). The Laowa Ranger 28-75mm T2.9 and 75-180mm T2.9 Ranger lenses are priced at $2,999 each from the Laowa website. Alternatively, you can get the pair together in a Pelican-style hard case for $5,799. They’re not showing up at other retailers yet, but I expect they’ll come to the usual places soon.