Venus Optics announced four new manual lenses to their Laowa brand – the ultrawide full frame 10-18mm zoom lens for Sony E-Mount, 100mm full frame macro lens, ultrawide 17mm medium format (Fuji G mount) lens and 4mm circular fisheye lens for MFT mount.
The Chinese camera lens manufacturer Anhui ChangGeng Optical Technology Company Limited – rather known as Venus Optics – produces camera lenses under the Laowa brand. They’re specializing in niche lenses that fill “gaps” in the lineup that other manufacturers don’t serve much, which is an interesting approach.
We have reviewed their 7.5mm MFT and their 12mm EF Mount Full Frame EF lenses before. And our most popular YouTube video is for some unknown reason this presentation of their “Snorkel” 24mm Macro lens from Photokina 2016 – currently standing at almost 1.9 million views.
Venus Optics already have a decent lineup of manual Laowa lenses for various mounts and are now presenting four new products to the market:
- Laowa 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 FE Zoom – Ultrawide full frame E-Mount Lens.
- Laowa 100mm f/2.8 2X Ultra Macro APO – full frame macro lens for various mounts.
- Laowa 17mm f/4 GFX Zero-D – ultra wide lens for medium format Fujifilm G mount.
- Laowa 4mm f/2.8 Fisheye MFT – 210° circular fisheye lens for MFT mount.
All four lenses are manual zoom lenses and will be officially presented in the upcoming Beijing P&E Imaging Fair.
Laowa 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 FE Zoom
According to Venus Optics this lens is currently the widest zoom lens available for Sony full frame E-mount cameras. It is designed primarily for traveling purposes as it is very compact and lightweight – less than 4″ (10cm) long and only 1.1lbs (500g). The lens offers 102° (18mm) to 130° (10mm) angle of view and it can focus as close as 15cm. There is a rear filter slot which can house a 37mm filter. Click/clickless aperture can be toggled by the switch on the lens barrel.
Laowa 100mm f/2.8 2X Ultra Macro APO
This new 100mm lens can cover full frame sensor size and focus from 2:1 magnification to infinity. It also features an apochromatic (APO) characteristic to significantly reduce chromatic aberration. The lens will be available for Canon EF, Nikon AI, Pentax K and Sony FE mounts.
Laowa 17mm f/4 GFX Zero-D
Venus Optics claims this is currently the widest available native lens option for Fujifilm G-mount cameras. It is a medium format lens and it has a field of view equivalent to 13mm in 35mm format (113°). It features a close-to-zero distortion and 86mm filter thread.
Laowa 4mm f/2.8 Fisheye MFT
This special use lens has a 210° circular fisheye field of view on Micro four thirds cameras. One of possible uses could be a 360° videography.
All four lenses will be available for trial at Venus Optics booth (T225) in Beijing P&E Imaging fair during the 3rd-6th May 2018. They are expected to be shipped in mid/late 2018. In my opinion for the filmmaking community not only the two full frame lenses could be interesting. We will update this post with product links as they become available from B&H and CVP.
What do you think of the new Laowa lenses? Do you own some lens from their current lineup? How are you happy with the quality? Let us know in the comments below.