New Laowa 8-16mm f3.5-5 Zoom CF is an ultra-wide lens for “modern needs”

Oct 10, 2023

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.

New Laowa 8-16mm f3.5-5 Zoom CF is an ultra-wide lens for “modern needs”

Oct 10, 2023

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 8-16mm f3.5-5 Zoom CF

Laowa has announced its newest lens, a compact ultra-wide for APS-C. It’s the Laowa 8-16mm f/3.5-5 Zoom CF (buy here), and it’s available for Sony E, Nikon Z, Fuji X, Canon RF and even Canon EF-M.

About the new lens, Laowa says it “redefines the boundaries of wide-angle photography and is designed to meet the needs of modern photographers”. That’s a big claim for a small lens!

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Laowa 8-16mm f/3.5-5 Zoom CF – REALLY wide!

The Laowa 8-16mm f/3.5-5 Zoom CF lens is extremely wide, even for APS-C. It offers a field of view from a relatively narrow 82.8º to a ludicrously wide 120.9º. It’s perhaps not bright enough for most astrophotographers, with an f/3.5-5 aperture, but it opens up many opportunities for creative wide-angle photography.

It’s a pretty compact lens, widening out just at the end to hold those large 86mm filters. The lens measures 88.4 x 88.53mm overall and weighs 463g without the hood. Not a terrible weight for walking around with.

Laowa 8-16mm f3.5-5 Zoom CF

10-point sun stars, clickless (or clicked) aperture

The lens features a 5-blade aperture, which provides 10-point sun stars. This can make for some very interesting-looking landscapes and nighttime street photography.

But that’s not all this lens is for. It offers a minimum focus distance of only 20cm, letting you get very close to subjects. So, you can get as surreal as you like with those close-up dog portraits! It’s also very handy for things like toy photography and filming miniatures.

Speaking of filming, the aperture is able to be switched from a regular clicked aperture to a smooth, de-clicked aperture.

Laowa 8-16mm f/3.5-5 Zoom CF Specs

Focal length8-16mm
Max aperturef/3.5-6
Min aperturef/16
Angle of view82.9° – 120.9°
FormatAPS-C
MountSony E, Nikon Z, Fuji X, Canon RF, Canon EF-M
Focus typeManual Focus
Lens typeZoom
Optics16 elements in 12 groups
Aperture blades5
Min focus distance20cm
Dimensions88.4 x 88.53mm
Weight463g (without hood and caps)

Price and Availability

The Laowa 8-16mm f/3.5-5 Zoom CF is available to pre-order soon for $549 for Sony E, Nikon Z, Fuji X, Canon RF and Canon EF-M.

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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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