First announced way back in July 2021 and teased last week, Venus Optics has now finally announced its new Laowa 20mm f/4 Zero-D Shift lens for full-frame cameras. This ultra-wide-angle 20mm lens offers +/- 11mm of shift (no tilt), with Laowa’s “Zero-D” zero distortion optical technology. It has a 14-blade aperture, 82mm filter thread and a rotatable lens hood to minimise the chances of it popping into view.
It offers between 94.4° and 117° (for panorama) field of view, makes it ideal for architecture and interior photography, allowing you to correct for converging or diverging vertical lines. It expands the Laowa Zero-D Shift lens lineup to two, adding to the 15mm f/4.5 Zero-D Shift announced in October 2020.
Like the Laowa 15mm f/4.5 Zero-D Shift, the large image circle of the 20mm f/4 Zero-D Shift lens means that it will also work on medium format cameras like the Fuji GFX series, with the appropriate adapter. Of course, while you still get the full +/- 11mm of shift range, you only get a usable +/- 8mm before you start to spot vignetting in the frame, as you can see by this series of images shot on the Fuji GFX 50S by photographer Wen Tai.
The +/- 11mm of shift on a full-frame body, however, provides options for photographers to correct for a fair amount of perspective distortion by adjusting the perspective of the lens, as well as providing correction for multi-image panoramic stitches.
16 elements in 11 groups with two aspherical elements and three extra-low dispersion (ED) elements help to ensure image sharpness across the frame and minimise chromatic aberration and spherical distortion. And as one of Laowa’s Zero-D lenses, it offers virtually no distortion, with straight lines always being pretty much straight throughout the shot. As well as the obvious benefits this brings to architecture and interior photography, the lens also has a close focusing distance of only 25mm for some wide-angle close-ups, too.
|Angle of view||94.4°|
|Mount||Canon EF/RF, Nikon F/Z, Sony E, Leica L, Pentax K, Fujifilm G|
|Focus type||Manual Focus|
|Lens type||Rectilinear Shift|
|Image Circle||⌀ 65mm|
|Shift range||+/- 11mm|
|Optics||16 elements in 11 groups|
|Min focus distance||25cm|
|Dimensions||95 x 91mm|
But as with the Laowa 15mm f/4.5 Zero-D Shift, architecture, interiors and big wide vistas is where the 20mm f/4 Zero-D Shift lens feels the most at home.
The Laowa 20mm f/4 Zero-D Shift Lens for Canon EF & RF, Nikon F & Z, Sony E, Pentax K, Leica L and Fujifilm G mounts (albeit some with the use of an adapter) is available to buy now for $1,099 on the Venus Optics website. I expect it’ll be coming to other retailers shortly.