Full frame mirrorless cameras from Nikon and Canon have just got two new third-party lenses. Venus Optics has announced the Laowa 15mm f/2 Zero-D and the Laowa 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6. Both lenses already exist in the company’s line, but now the users of Canon EOS R and Nikon Z cameras can add them to their arsenal, too.[Read More…]
Most of you have probably heard of the name Laowa by now. They were a rather unknown brand up until recently when they made name for themselves in the landscape photography world with the Laowa 12mm f/2.8 wide angle lens that was well received. Laowa (Venus Optics) is a Chinese brand known for their innovative lenses. Laowa is showing support to the Sony E-mount with releasing their 15mm f/2 that was specifically designed for the E-mount making it possible to make it smaller and lighter than the lenses they make for DSLR mounts. 2 years ago I met the Laowa guys at Photokina and I already briefly tested the prototype of the 15mm there. I was impressed with the sharpness across the frame and was eager to try out the final version. Now that I have this lens for a while I feel confident to write a decent review about it. I used this lens in my own country the Netherlands and took it to Dubai, Norway and Iceland. I have seen a bunch of reviews online but they were mainly technical without a lot of real world examples. In this review I’ll discuss how this lens performs in ‘real world usage’. Most people who are reading my articles know that I am a landscape photographer so you can expect a lot of landscape photography use with this lens.
A few weeks ago Laowa sent me a copy of their first lens dedicated to Sony’s full frame e-mount system, the 15mm f/2. This lens is meant for landscape & astrophotographers who want to capture as much of the beautiful night sky as possible; which means wide and fast.
Last year I was able to get a copy of their 12mm f/2.8 for Canon and used it on my Sony A7Rii with a Metabones adaptor. I was quite surprised how much I enjoyed the lens. A lot of what was great about that lens can be translated over to this one as well. First, let’s talk about the physical design and characteristics.
[Editor’s note: we recently covered the announcement of this lens and shared a hands on review, but this one provides a more in-depth look at it. Many of you will remember Nicky from his spectacular UV macros of arthropods]
Venus Optics sent me an early pre-production copy of the Venus Optics LAOWA 15mm f/4 1:1 Wide Angle Macro, the world’s first ultra-wide angle macro lens capable of magnification up to 1:1, and I have been dabbling with it in the past week to publish a first look for this one-of-its-kind lens.
Wide angle macro photography is a rarely explored genre of macro photography, largely due to the lack of readily available equipment or accessories to allow one to focus up close with a wide-angle lens. It is also a difficult beast to tame due to the short working distance. Composition and lighting can be very different from mainstream macro photography but once you get the hang of it, the resulting perspectives can be mind-blowing and very well worth it.
Hey everyone, thanks for visiting! I’m Will Chao, a wedding photographer in Melbourne. When I was first asked to review this lens, I didn’t believe such a lens existed and thought it was a low quality toy lens. I mean, how could I? A lens of this type has been unheard of until now, and suffice to say I was very pleasantly surprised.