Venus Laowa 15mm f/4 – World’s Widest Full Frame 1:1 Macro Lens

Venus Laowa 15mm f/4 - World's Widest Full Frame 1:1 Macro Lens

Venus Laowa 15mm 2Chinese lens manufacturer Venus has announced a new interesting wide-angle lens.

The Venus Laowa 15mm f/4 will stand as the widest 1:1 macro lens in production for the full frame format.

When discussing macro lenses, one would normally expect something in the 160-150mm focal range, image stabilization with a heavily compressed background.

The Venus Laowa 15mm f/4 offers a completely different slant of macro photography/film, enabling a maximum 1:1 magnification ratio on a wide 15mm lens.

The result is quite unique; small objects become large in frame whilst still retaining a large amount of background information.

Here are some images taken on the Venus Laowa 15mm f/4 (albeit none full at 1:1 magnification ratio):

Venus Laowa 3 Venus Laowa 2 Venus Laowa 1

You’ll be exceptionally close to your subject at 1:1, with a minimum working distance of just 0.47cm (perhaps a little too close for some 8-legged hairy subjects).

The Venus Laowa 15mm f/4 offers 110 degrees Angle of View on Full Frame, is manual focus only and compatible with the usual suspects of Canon EF, Nikon F, Sony A & FE and Pentax K.

Here’s the rest of the specification:

  • Focal Length: 15mm
  • Max Aperture: f/4
  • Min Aperture: f/32
  • Angle of View: 110/85 Degrees (Full Frame /APS-C)
  • Shift (For APS-C): +/- 6mm
  • Lens Structure: 12 Elements in 9 Groups
  • Aperture Blades: 14
  • Min Working Distance: 0.47cm (1:1)
  • Min Shooting Distance: 12cm
  • Max Magnification Ratio: 1:1
  • Focus: Manual Only
  • Filter Thread: 77mm
  • Dimension: 83.8 X 64.7mm
  • Weight: 410g
  • Mounts: Canon EF, Nikon F, Sony A & FE, Pentax K

Venus Laowa 15mm 3The above Shift spec refers to a shift mechanism on the rear of the lens that enables fine-tuning for distortion correction.

As you can see, both the promo video and images have gone with the consistent theme of nature, particularly small animals or insects as it really offers a unique perspective that would otherwise require extension tubes to achieve.

There are plenty of other uses however; enhancing the presence of your foreground with such magnification ratio yet retaining so much background information can help tell your story (AMC’s Breaking Bad utilizes this technique quite a bit throughout the seasons).

The lens will come in at a very attractive price point, sub $500 making it a handy tool to have in the kit box. Shipping expected mid to late July this year.

via/ Sony Alpha Rumors & Venus

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January 16th, 2016
Here is the review from Thomas Shahan, what an amazing wide MACRO lens ever!!

July 3rd, 2015

Does the shift work on full frame? Some materials say it only works on APS-C

July 4th, 2015
Reply to  Joel Richards

Hi Joel.

Full frame. Here is a rip from the original press release:

Anhui China, Jun 12, 2015 – Venus Optics, the Chinese camera lenses manufacturer who had launched the world’s first 2:1 Macro Lens in last Sept, has just released the world’s widest Macro lens for full frame cameras, Laowa 15mm f/4 Wide-Angled 1:1 Macro Lens.

Thank you.


January 16th, 2016
Reply to  Joel Richards

It is can work on full frame, but maybe slight vignetting occurs

July 3rd, 2015

What does minimum working/shooting distance mean?
Is the close focus of this lens 0,47m or 0,12m?

The Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 has a close focus distance of 0,25m…

July 3rd, 2015

Ok! My bad – oversaw the “cm” part!

July 3rd, 2015

I have their 60mm macro, and the 2:1 of that is impressive, the detail and how close it gets compared to the 100mm Zeiss Makro Planar is amazing. It has a bit of a weird build inside, difficult to pull focus sometimes, however its detail and falloff is lovely, cold overall feeling to the colour but the most fun lens I’ve had in ages. This looks like it could give awesome results and if anything, a lot of fun.

Phill Morgan
July 2nd, 2015

I haven’t a need; but I want one

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