The new Venus Optics Laowa 9mm f/2.8 lens ticks a lot of boxes: fast, ultra wide, lightweight. Combined with very capabale optical performance, this lens might deserve its place in your bag.
The Laowa 9mm sports a 113° angle of view, very little distortion and – surprisingly for such a short focal length – a 49mm filter thread. Furthermore, this little guy only weights around 215 grams (0.5 pounds).
Venus Optics Laowa 9mm f/2.8
The Laowa 9mm f/2.8 Zero-D is the third member of the Laowa ‘Zero-D’ line-up. A 15mm lens (read the article here) and a 12mm lens (review here) are already available. What’s new here is the very short focal length of just 9mm (35mm equivalent: 13.5mm). With ultra-wide-angle lenses you often end up with some unpleasant side effects like vignetting, barrel distortion, field curvature or chromatic aberration. Venus Optics has managed to get these optical difficulties under control surprisingly well.
This (very) compact fully manual lens comprises of 15 elements in 10 groups, including 2 aspherical elements and 3 extra-low dispersion elements. The optical design successfully fights distortion and chromatic aberrations, but since there’s no such thing as the perfect lens the Laowa 9mm suffers a bit from vignetting and field curvature when shooting wide open. At f/4, the field curvature disappears completely, while a slight vignetting remains visible.
Despite its massive angle of view, this lens is tiny. It measures just 2 inches (about 53mm) and since it weighs very little, you won’t notice it in your bag. Yet when mounted on your favorite mirrorless APS-C cameras, the Laowa 9mm unveils a whole new view of the world around you. Shooting with ultra-wide lenses is a lot of fun and the minimum focus distance of just 12cm (4.7″) enables you to capture stunning footage.
Since we’re talking about about a rectilinear lens here, the Laowa 9mm sports a 49mm filter thread. Such short focal lengths often come as fish-eye lenses which can’t be equipped with ordinary screw-on filters.
Furthermore, the first 100 orders will get a set of Laowa 49mm filters for free (CPL + UV + ND 1000). Shipping is expected to start from early April on.
This fully manual lens might be a great addition to your bag and with its size and weight it seems to be perfect for drones and gimbals. Remember: This APS-C lens does not cover full frame sensors!
Links: Venus Optics
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