Laowa is well-known for making affordable, unique and quality products. Ahead of Photokina, Venus Optics – the company behind Laowa – just announced eight new lenses including three Cine lenses and surprisingly, a Cine zoom with impressive specs.
Earlier this year Laowa already announced four new lenses including a 14mm, a 17mm, a 100mm macro, and a 10-18mm zoom lens. These four lenses will be shown for the first time in Europe at Photokina. Also, we reviewed their one-of-his-kind snorkel macro lens, the 24mm f/14 probe lens. Laowa is working hard on getting “niche lenses” out at reasonable price-points and they seem to be doing an impressive job.
New Laowa 25-100 T2.9 PL Cine Zoom
The most surprising announcement from Laowa is probably their first ever cinema-style zoom lens. The lens has an impressive range from 25 to 100mm, and the aperture is constant through the all range at T2.9.
It features three independent aperture/zoom/focus rings, each with an industry standard 0.8 mod/32 pitch gears. The aperture ring is entirely step-less (or de-clicked in photo terms) and marked in t-stops. The lens has 9 aperture blades.
The focus ring features nearly 270 degrees of rotation that should provide for extremely accurate focus pulls. The minimum focus distance of the lens is 60cm (23.6″). At the moment we have no information about the dimensions,
but regarding weight, the lens is only 2.16 pounds/1.0kg, making it a lightweight zoom in its category. To give you an idea, the Zeiss 21-100mm T2.9-3.9 LWZ.3 zoom is double the weight of the Laowa zoom, at around 4.4 pounds/2.0kg.
EDIT: Laowa informed us that the weight of their cine zoom lens is 2.5 kg (5.5 lbs), not 2.16 lbs / 1.0 kg as previously stated in their press release. The ZEISS LWZ.3 21-100mm T2.9-3.9 is 2 kg (4.4 lbs).
We’ll do our best to get our hands on our unit to review it.
Unlike some cine lenses in the market that are just rehoused photo zoom lens, the team at Laowa designed its zoom from the ground up. Also, the brand claims that the lens has been designed to be parfocal and to deliver nearly zero focus breathing throughout the entire zoom range.
Here are the full specifications of the lens :
- Focal Length: 25-100mm
- Max. Aperture: t/2.9
- Min. Aperture: t/22
- Angle of view: 64° (25mm) – 18° (100mm)
- Format Compatibility: Super35 sensors
- Lens Structure: 20 elements in 16 groups
- Aperture Blades: 9
- Min. Focusing Distance: 60cm
- Weight: 2.16 pounds/1.0kg
- Mount: PL
Unfortunately, the 25-100mm t/2.9 Cine Lightweight Zoom only covers Super35 sensors.
No information about pricing yet, but we expect it to be affordable for a lens with these type of specifications. Likewise, regarding competition this Cine Zoom is in direct competition with the Zeiss 21-100mm T2.9-3.9 LWZ.3 that we mentioned, but also the Fujinon XK 20-120 T3.5 Cabrio Premier.
New Cine Lenses
Part of the announcement from Laowa for Photokina are also three new cine primes:
- Laowa 7.5mm t/2.1 Cine (MFT mount)
- Laowa 9mm t/2.9 Zero-D Cine (Sony E mount)
- Laowa 12mm t/2.9 Zero-D Cine (PL mount)
All three are cine-mod versions of the existing photo lenses. Similarly, they all feature a step-less aperture rings and focus rings with standard 0.8 mod gears for use with follow-focus systems.
The 7.5mm t/2.1 Cine weighs 0.4lbs/180g, while the 9mm t/2.9 Zero-D Cine weighs 0.55lbs/250g. Both share the same minimum focus distance of 12cm. As a result, they look like perfect lenses for gimbal use.
The 12mm t/2.9 Zero-D Cine covers the 35mm Vista Vision sensor size and offers an ultra-wide 122° angle of view, making it one of the world’s widest and fastest available option for shooting with large sensors. The lens is rectilinear and features a close-to-zero distortion rate. The 12mm t/2.9 Zero-D Cine is pretty lightweight for a PL mount lens at 1.4lbs/650g, with a minimum focus distance of 18cm.
New Photo Lenses
Most of the new lenses announced are still photography lenses and includes:
- Laowa 17mm f/1.8 (MFT mount)
- Laowa 12mm f/1.8 (MFT mount)
- Laowa 4mm f/2.8 Fisheye (MFT mount)
- Laowa 9mm f/2.8 Zero-D (MFT mount)
- Laowa 9mm f/2.8 Zero-D (DJI DL mount)
- Laowa 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 FE Zoom (Sony E mount)
- Laowa 100mm f/2.8 2X Ultra Macro APO (Canon/Nikon mount)
- Laowa 17mm f/4 GFX Zero-D (Fuji G mount)
There is currently no information on pricing or availability for any of these new lenses.
If you attend Photokina this year, Venus Optics have prepared some copies of the Laowa 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 FE Zoom and Laowa 24mm f/14 Probe lens (Canon mount) for free rental. For reservations, you can contact Venus Optics via mail. We’ll be there to cover the show with a lot of videos, be sure to visit our site regularly to see all the coverage, including a hands-on with the new Laowa lenses.
What do you think of the new Laowa lenses? Do you own some lens from their current lineup? Let us know in the comments below.