Venus Optics Laowa 15mm f/4 Macro Lens for Nikon F

Venus Optics Laowa 15mm f/4 Macro Lens for Nikon F

Venus Optics Laowa 15mm f/4 Macro Lens for Nikon F

B&H # VE1540N MFR # VE1540N
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Product Highlights

  • F Mount Lens/FX Format
  • Aperture Range: f/4 to f/32
  • 1:1 Magnification Ratio; Internal Focus
  • One ED & Three High-Refractive Elements
  • Multi-Layer Low-Reflective Coating
  • Manual Focus and Aperture
  • Maximum Shift: +/- 6mm (APS-C)
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 4.7"
  • Front Filter Thread: 77mm
  • Near Circular 14-Blade Diaphragm
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Lens Mount: Nikon F

Canon EF Nikon F Pentax K Sony A

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Venus Optics 15mm f/4.0 overview

  • 1Description

Venus Optics is offering photographers the first native option to get started in the world of wide-angle macro photography with the Laowa 15mm f/4 Macro Lens, available here for full-frame Nikon F-mount cameras. Before now, wide-angle macro required the use of extension tubes and other workarounds, but now the Laowa 15mm Macro offers true 1:1 magnification without the hassle. The ultra-wide perspective on full-frame cameras allows users to get exceptionally close to their subjects with a minimum focus distance of just 4.7", and have them fill the frame, while still capturing the background for more informative scenes. Internal focusing further assists by not disturbing your subject, even when you reach the 0.2" minimum working distance.

Optically, it is designed to minimize distortion that plagues wide-angle lenses with the use of an advanced 12 element in 9 group construction with one extra-low dispersion and three high-refractive elements. A multi-layer low-reflective coating further improved image quality by reducing the appearance of flare and ghosting. Also, when used on APS-C cameras, or in crop modes, the lens offers +/- 6mm of vertical shift which can help correct for perspective when shooting objects such as buildings.

Full manual operation is required with this lens through the use of a physical aperture ring with a range of f/4 to f/32 and a large focusing ring. A flat front element provides room for a 77mm front filter thread for using a selection of specialized filters to enhance your scene. Additionally, it has a near circular 14-blade diaphragm for smooth out of focus elements and comes with a lens hood.

Ultra-wide 110° angle of view on full-frame cameras.
The wide-angle lens offers a 35mm equivalent focal length of 22.5mm with an 85° angle of view when used on APS-C cameras bodies or in crop modes.
Wide aperture range of f/4 to f/32.
Lens construction features 12 elements in 9 groups with 3 high-refractive elements and on extra-low dispersion element.
Minimum focus distance of 4.7" with a minimum working distance of just 0.2".
Manual focus and aperture control.
When used with APS-C cameras, the Laowa 15mm Macro can utilize +/-6 mm of vertical shift to help correct perspective.
True 1:1 magnification allows photographers to capture life-sized images of their subjects while still providing infinity focus for use as a standard wide-angle lens.
Near-circular 14-blade aperture diaphragm provides smooth out-of-focus elements.
Accepts 77mm threaded filters.
UPC: 683203914673
In the Box
Venus Optics Laowa 15mm f/4 Macro Lens for Nikon F
  • Lens Hood
  • Front & Rear Lens Caps
  • Limited 3-Year Warranty
  • Table of Contents
    • 1Description

    Venus Optics 15mm f/4.0 specs

    Focal Length 15mm
    Comparable 35mm Equivalent on DX Format Focal Length: 22.5 mm
    Aperture Maximum: f/4
    Minimum: f/32
    Camera Mount Type Nikon F
    Format Compatibility 35mm Film / Full-Frame Digital Sensor
    Nikon DX
    Angle of View 110°
    APS-C Picture Angle: 85°
    Tilt/Shift Shifts ± 6mm
    Minimum Focus Distance 4.72" / 12 cm
    Magnification 1.0x
    Maximum Reproduction Ratio 1:1
    Optical Design 12 Elements in 9 Groups
    Diaphragm Blades 14
    Image Stabilization No
    Autofocus No
    Tripod Collar No
    Filter Thread Front: 77 mm
    Dimensions (DxL) 3.30 x 2.55" / 83.8 x 64.7 mm
    Weight .90 lb / 410 g
    Packaging Info
    Package Weight 1.45 lb
    Box Dimensions (LxWxH) 7.008 x 5.197 x 5.118"

    Venus Optics 15mm f/4.0 reviews

    Laowa 15mm f/4 Macro Lens for Nikon F is rated 4.2 out of 5 by 25.
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great super wide angle lens. Needed a wide angle lens for interiors and architecture. This lens does the job very well. It is sharp and the color rendition is accurate. One drawback: vignetteing is evident at both the upper and lower shifts. Do not use a filter. This makes vignetting worse! Other wise, vertical lines are accurate and you get a great sweeping effect where eveything is in focus. Has macro too but have not had the chance that yet. All steel body feels like this lens will last a good long time.
    Date published: 2016-05-05
    Rated 3 out of 5 by from It has it's place, but you must understand two things. On the up side this lens does exactly what it claims it will do,, and does it well. So if you want that photo with a wildly close foreground and yet an environment background... this does it in spades. Two things you must keep in mind. Aperture: The aperture is manual. So too is the focus, but who cares. You always want to focus macro manually anyway and with such wide focal length focus is easy. Aperture however is another story. Most people are not used to the idea of an aperture that is manual. It is not just having to manually turn a dial (that's no big deal).. It's the fact that manual apertures close down in real time (they don't wait until you press the shutter release). Thus if you want to shoot anything at f16 or greater (very often the case with macro) you can barely see you subject much less focus on it. Now of course there are ways to deal with the situation... people did it for generations. But just make sure you understand this before you buy. The second issue is the working distance. The lens' 1:1 ratio distance is mere millimeters.. In other words if you want 1:1 you had better be ready to touch your glass to the subject (almost) and block all your light. The reality is that in the real world you will almost never be able to get 1:1 out of this lens. ONly in a controlled studio environment. So there it is. If you're good with these two issues then you'll love the lens. Just understand them in advance.
    Date published: 2015-09-18
    Rated 3 out of 5 by from Difficult-to-Use but Potentially Very Rewarding You have to admire when gear manufacturers take creative risks. Venus Optics/Laowa (whoever they are) seems to sell exclusively niche lenses and lighting solutions. It's a risky game to play because how many people are really interested in buying a 15mm f/4 Macro lens? The construction of this lens is astonishing and differentiates it from modern lenses. It's a solid chunk of basically all metal and glass. Due to the small max aperture, it's light and compact. Focus is entirely manual and is very smooth, ranging from a hard stop at infinity all the way to 1:1 with a minimum focus distance of just millimeters. There are an incredible 14 aperture blades and they're totally declicked. This lens has no electronic aperture control, in fact seems to have no electronic interaction with the camera at all (on a D750). As you adjust the aperture you see the impact directly through the OVF. I actually find it far easier to meter with this lens than other lenses because it's pretty much what you see is what you get. Furthermore there is a tilt-shift mechanism which I haven't bothered with but is likely a lot of fun to play with. This is a uniquely-built, feature-rich lens. I think the optics are pretty hit-or-miss. There's a lot of distortion which isn't unsurprising but more disappointingly, I don't think this is an impressively sharp lens. Just OK. Rendition is good. This lens has pretty bad flare issues. It's a difficult lens to judge because my inclination is to test it at 1:1 and it's very hard to focus at 1:1. I have a low keeper rate. You'll block ambient light from almost any direction. I think this lens is better for more advanced users who have mastered on- and off-camera lighting. Otherwise it'll be tough to use at its full potential. I'm going to keep this lens because there's not much in my bag like it. It's a tough lens to use but is capable of creating some very striking photography. I think that's an important lesson for people who are obsessed with quantifying photography and ranking gear; it sterilizes the hobby. It's important to remember this is a creative endeavor and a unique perspective is far more valuable or interesting than pixel peeping.
    Date published: 2016-03-26
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Botany Meets Wide-angle Macro I photograph wild plants for a web site devoted to identifying them, mostly with a 60 mm Nikon macro lens. Sometimes the goal is the subject alone; other times I want to include some context, a sense of the habitat in which plants are found. This very wide lens offers that, along with a chance to capture interesting new perspectives of hiking trails and views. I shot using both a D300 (DX sensor) and a D800 (FX).For such a specialty lens, my hopes of build quality weren't very high, but I am very impressed by its solid feel and the positive, damped action of the focus and aperture rings. I find that I rarely have to focus using the viewfinder, because infinity focus produces great results for most distance shots. For macro, I adjust the focus by looking at the calibrated markings on the lens, then fine-tune by moving the camera back and forth a bit. Hence I didn't find manual focus to be inconvenient.However, to achieve 1:1 magnification, the front of the lens has to be about half a centimeter from the subject (!), close enough so the lens hood blocks light and must be removed, close enough to interfere with flash too. And if you close down the manual aperture to improve depth of field, you may not be able to see enough for precise focus.The lens does not show much geometric distortion, but in distance shots it is quite a bit softer around the edges, with some vignetting, at f/4. (I didn't do methodical experiments at other f stops.) Macro shots were in crisp focus, even on a D800. Its signature capability, macro subjects in sharp focus at exaggerated size against softer surroundings, lends a very interesting perspective to shots, a sort of Lilliputian view of the universe. In my view the lens fully justifies its reasonable cost. A camera-controlled aperture would be a great enhancement though.
    Date published: 2016-02-20
    Rated 3 out of 5 by from Interesting little lens This is a unique little lens, but as everything is manual, the F-stop ring has no graduation clicks, and the tilt shift is a bit difficult to use, I think a rating of 3 is fair. The lens has quite a bit of softening on the edges, but for the price I really expected that. It works well with stationary critters: caterpillars, some spiders, but forget any critters that get spooked by the close proximity (minimum focus I believe is measured in MM) One thing that surprised me is that this lens is GREAT for unique perspectives when working with foods. You're able to get great close ups of plates while including enough of the restaurant to really make the image feel personal.
    Date published: 2017-07-12
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Truly unique perspective for macro work I'm kind if at a loss as to why the rest of these reviews show such trivial photos of wide angles when that is not the immediate purpose of this lens.� That said, this thing is challenging to use and absolutely rewards you for a job well done. Very sharp imagine when correctly focused.� I used a bendable Rogue Flashbender to guide my Nikon speedlight to capure this image. Buy this thing if like taking macro shots and be amazed!
    Date published: 2017-11-23
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from For all the figurine photographers out there When photographing 1/12 figurines, you need to get 12 times closer to them than to a human if you want the same perspective. You just can't get that close without using a macro lens/macro tube. Getting 12 times closer also means you'll also need shorter lenses (otherwise you can't fit everything into the frame. A 35mm on FF suddenly feels like a portrait lens. Going wider and those lenses just don't focus that close, and they also don't work with macro tubes. The result: most figure photos look like they're taken at tele range. Enter this game changer. The only lens I have that allowed me to shoot my figures at their scale. Yotsuba will look like a kid, with messy sandbox around her. Miku will look like she's actually on stage. Onto sharpness - I didn't even think about this when I bought the lens, coz it didn't really matter for my figure photos - but this lens is crazy sharp! I may just get lucky with my copy, but this is the first lens I have that outresolved my 5DII's sensor, even at wide open; every pixel is distinct. When focusing on live view at 10x magnification, I kept thinking I was at 5x and pressing Magnify too many times, because it was just too sharp. None of the other lenses I owned did this to me. Sure I never owned those Zeiss, but (1) you don't compare with Zeiss at this price point, and (2) this is the only UWA macro out there.
    Date published: 2016-03-12
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fun lens to annoy your photographer friends I love this thing...kind of weird to use and you really need to work with hyperfocal DOF, but pretty sharp in the middle and you will get pictures you just can't get from any other lens. I enjoy a lens for what it is...distortion is part of the effects I like in a lens! That being said, I wouldn't use it for wedding or portraits or anything where distortion is bad...but if I want to take a picture of a building or a rock or something and I wan't the distortion effect, I embrace it! Totally annoyed my photo club friends...they just couldn't handle how I used the lens. I found it to have very good color...only my Zeiss 100mm has quite as much pop. The Laowa isn't the sharpest thing in my bag, but is sharp enough in the middle. Since this isn't an expensive lens, I think it is well worth the money. I look forward to building some interesting dioramas and taking advantage of the macro...I look forward to bugging my stuck-up photo buddies :)
    Date published: 2016-11-02
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