Laowa’s first autofocus lens is the 10mm f/2.8 for Nikon, Canon, Sony and L mount

Jan 4, 2024

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Laowa’s first autofocus lens is the 10mm f/2.8 for Nikon, Canon, Sony and L mount

Jan 4, 2024

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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Laowa FFII 10mm f/2.8

Laowa appears to have broken new ground with the announcement of the company’s first autofocus lens. Not surprisingly, being Laowa, it’s an odd one. It’s designed for full-frame, but it’s an ultra-wide-angle lens.

The Laowa FFII 10mm f/2.8 C&D-Dreamer lens comes in four different mounts. Sony E, Leica L, Nikon Z, Canon RF. The first two aren’t as surprising as the last two, especially the Canon RF mount. But there’s a catch. Two of them aren’t autofocus.

YouTube video

Laowa FFII 10mm f/2.8 – Laowa’s first AF lens

An ultra-wide lens like this might seem like an odd choice for a first autofocus lens. Full-frame 10mm lenses don’t exactly have a shallow depth of field to begin with. When you’re focused on anything more than a few feet from your lens, you’re already at infinity.

But everyone’s gotta start somewhere, right? So, why not?

The lens is comprised of 15 elements in 9 groups, including extra-low dispersion and ultra-high refraction elements. These help to minimise aberration and distortion. It weighs around 420g, depending on the mount, which isn’t unreasonable at all.

Laowa FFII 10mm f/2.8

Not everybody gets autofocus

It’s not clearly defined anywhere yet – of course, there’s very little information about the lens been released yet – but there’s one bit in the video. It’s a very quick screen. If you blink, you can miss it. It’s very early on in the video, only 11 seconds in. Found it?

There’s a small overlay in the corner which seems to suggest that the autofocus version will only be available in Sony E and Nikon Z mounts. The Leica L and Canon RF mount version of the lenses will be limited to manual focus only.

Laowa FFII 10mm f/2.8 AF/MF compatibility

This will no doubt be disappointing to Canon RF and Leica L mount users. It’s good to see that Nikon appears to continue working with third-party lens manufacturers.

The usual stellar performance

I expect that the lens will meet the expectations Laowa has set for itself with its previous releases. At least in terms of optics. The headline feature, of course, and the thing we’re all going to be interested in are its autofocus capabilities.

Such capabilities typically boil down to two things. Speed and accuracy. Everything else is a nice-to-have but rarely essential. But those two are important for just about everybody. The only way we’ll know how good it is, though, is to see it in the hands of users.

Laowa FFII 10mm f/2.8

I can see this potentially becoming a popular lens for astrophotography. It has a wide angle of view with a bright f/2.8 aperture, and if the autofocus is accurate, you can quickly get to where the stars are sharp. Ready to shoot!

Price and availability

No price has been released for the new Laowa FFII 10mm f/2.8 lenses yet, nor what the difference will be between AF and MF mount versions. But it’s expected to become available soon in Sony E & Nikon Z mount for autofocus and Leica L and Canon RF for manual focus.

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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One response to “Laowa’s first autofocus lens is the 10mm f/2.8 for Nikon, Canon, Sony and L mount”

  1. Nate Avatar
    Nate

    Who uses af on Astro? Is this article ai Written?