Venus Optics is known for its unique lens designs and more particularly ultra-wide-angle and macro lenses. Earlier this week the company announced 3 new ultra-wide-angle designs for 3 different sensor formats and of colleague Johnnie Behiri from Cinema5d had a chance to talk to the company and learn a little bit more about these three lenses.
The 3 new lenses are the Laowa 9mm f/5.6 full-frame, the Laowa 9mm T2.9 Cine APS-C, and the Laowa 7.5mm T2.1 Cine for micro 4/3 cameras. For many, the Laowa 9mm f/5.6 full-frame is going to be the most exciting lens simply because this is the widest non-fish-eye lens in the world to date (for full-frame cameras).
Venus Optics does not describe it as a zero distortion lens like some of its other ultra-wide-angle lenses but it does claim the lens has very low distortion considering how wide it is. It is also considered to be mostly a photographic lens because of its unique characteristics (and maybe Venus Optics are just preparing the ground for a Cine version of this lens to follow, just like the two other announced lenses). Also worth noting that despite being small this lens has no filter threads.
The lens is fully manual although Venus Optics confirmed in the interview that they are looking into AF lenses as well (which could be fantastic news of course).
Here are some specs about the Laowa 9mm f/5.6:
- Focal Length: 9 mm (135mm angle of view with FF coverage) and f/5.6 aperture.
- Lens optical design: 14 elements in 10 groups.
- Aperture Blades: 5.
- Min. Focusing Distance: 12 cm (with Max. Magnification: 1:4.8).
- Focus Mode: Manual Focus
- Dimension: 62.4 x 66 mm
- Weight: 350 g
- Color: Black or Silver versions are available.
- Mount: Leica M, Nikon Z, Sony FE
- Price: The price of the Laowa 9mm f/5.6 will be around $1200 and should be available around late June 2020.
The other two lenses are crop lenses and designed for different mounts, the Laowa 7.5mm T2.1 Cine was designed for Micro Four Thirds cameras while the Laowa 9mm T2.9 Zero-D Cine for Super35 cameras. The 9mm T2.9 Zero-D Cine is a cinema version of the APS-C lens Venus Optics already has in its line for stills shooting. It will sell for $600 and the Laowa 7.5mm T2.1 Cine will sell for about the same price.
The Laowa 7.5mm T2.1
The Laowa 9mm T2.9 Zero-D Cine
If you don’t want to miss any new photography product be sure to check out our product photography section on our photo gear channel.