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Venus Optics New Lenses (Photokina 2018)


During Photokina 2018 we had a chance to visit the Venus Optics booth and check out the new lenses in the company’s Laowa line.

Venus Optics progressed quickly from less than a handful of specialized macro and ultra wide lenses just a few years ago to an entire lineup which now includes Cine lenses as well as medium format Fuji glass and soon Canon RF and Nikon Z mount lenses as well.

For Photokina, the company had on display 8 lenses, most of them are still in development (so no pricing):

  • Laowa 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 FE Zoom – this very interesting compact full frame lens for Sony FE mount is one of the widest FE lenses currently on the market. It has 14 elements in 10 groups with 15 cm of minimum focus distance and a weight of under 500 grams. We had a chance to play with it for a short while in Photokina and it seems to be very well built. It is already selling for $850.
  • Laowa 4mm f/2.8 Fisheye MFT – this tiny circular fisheye lens covers a micro 4/3 sensor and provides 210 degrees of view with a min focusing distance of only 8cm a weight of only 135g and 7 elements in 6 groups. There is no pricing set for this lens at the moment.
  • Laowa 100mm f/2.8 2X Ultra Macro APO – this full-frame telephoto macro lens will support multiple mounts including Canon EF/Nikon F/Pentax K/Sony FE, it has 12 elements in 10 groups with a min focus distance of 24cm and a 2X magnification, it weighs 683g and there is currently no pricing for it.
  • Laowa OOOM 25-100mm t/2.9 Cine Lightweight Zoom – this new “compact” cine zoom lens covers a super 35mm sensors with PL and Canon EF mounts, has a max aperture of T/2.9 with 9 aperture blades and 20 elements in 16 groups. It weighs 2.6kg and there is no pricing for it as of this moment.
  • Laowa 9mm f/2.8 Zero-D MFT – an ultra wide angle zero distortion lens for micro 4/3 cameras with 15 elements in 10 groups. This is an MFT version of the same lens for Sony E/EOS-M and Fuji X that is already selling (its price is just under $500 so we expect a similar price for this one although none has been officially published).
  • Laowa 12mm f/1.8  MFT – a wide angle fast prime lens for micro 4/3 cameras with 13 elements in 7 groups, 13 cm focus distance and a weight of only 165g. Price has yet to be set for this lens.
  • Laowa 17mm f/1.8 MFT – another fast micro 4/3 lens made out of 9 elements in 7 groups with 5 aperture blades and 160 grams of weight (there is currently no price set for this lens).
  • Laowa 17mm f/4 Zero-D GFX – medium format lens for the Fujifilm GFX line – the lens has no less than 21 elements in 14 groups with a min focus distance of 20cm a weight of 829g; Pricing TBD.

We are certainly looking forward to testing some of these interesting lenses from Venus Optics in 2019.

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