A fast and bright wide-angle prime, the Sony E-mount Laowa 15mm f/2 FE Zero-D Lens from Venus Optics is a rectilinear lens with a sophisticated optical design to effectively limit distortion. The bright f/2 maximum aperture makes this lens especially useful for astrophotography and low-light use, and when paired with the 5.9" minimum focusing distance, distinct shallow depth of field imagery can also be produced. The optical construction includes three extra-low dispersion elements and two aspherical elements to control both chromatic and spherical aberrations for greater sharpness, clarity, and reduced color fringing. A Frog Eye Coating has been applied, too, to repel dust and moisture from the front element of the lens to benefit working in trying environmental conditions. Additionally, the manual aperture ring can be de-clicked for smooth, silent aperture changes to suit video applications, and the front of the lens is threaded to accept 72mm screw-in filters.
- E-Mount Lens/Full-Frame Format
- Aperture Range: f/2 to f/22
- Three Extra-Low Dispersion Elements
- Two Aspherical Elements
Venus Optics Laowa 15mm f/2 Zero-D Overview
Venus Optics Laowa 15mm f/2 Zero-D Specs
|Lens Mount||Sony E|
|Lens Format Coverage||Full-Frame|
|Angle of View||110°|
|Minimum Focus Distance||5.91" / 15 cm|
|Optical Design||12 Elements in 9 Groups|
|Focus Type||Manual Focus|
|Filter Size||72 mm (Front)|
|Dimensions (ø x L)||2.6 x 3.23" / 66 x 82 mm|
|Weight||1.1 lb / 500 g|
|Package Weight||2.01 lb|
|Box Dimensions (LxWxH)||7.25 x 4.9 x 4.55"|
Venus Optics Laowa 15mm f/2 Zero-D Reviews
Upgrade over the Samyang MF 14mm F2.8
Compared to the Samyang/Rokinon 14mm F2.8, the Laowa 15mm F2 lens has a lot less vignette, is smaller, accepts screw-on filters, and is much sharper at F2.8. Surprisingly, it's also about 1/3 of a stop brighter at F2.8 too (measured in the center of the frame to limit the effect of vignette). F2 is noticeably soft, however. The only thing the Samyang does better is coma performance with bright stars in the extreme corners. It's a real problem for the Laowa, but I'll still use it for astro. A small crop or star replacement and it's gone. The Samyang also has a noticeable yellow color-cast, which I've observed in other Samyang/Rokinon lens as well. The Laowa has more neutral colors. The attached comparison photos show both lens shot at F2.8 with no lens correction, exposure changes, or color correction. Laowa is on the left, Samyang on the right.
Wasn't for me...
I purchased this lens as it had some decent reviews but I ended up selling it shortly after as I learned that it just wasn't for me. Negatives: 1.) The lens had some oily spots on it. They came off with a cleaning solution, but I think this goes to show the little effort that is put into quality control. 2.) The lens hood fits loosely and it is not reversible. 3.) It's manual focus, which I knew when buying it, but what I didn't know is that it does not work with the Nikon Z series bodies to show you your exposure. What I mean is your in-body exposure meter will not work with this lens. I actually think this is the fault of Nikon, not so much the lens, but nonetheless, it is a downside. And it should be possible because you can use the lens in priority modes and it automatically adjusts for you, so you know the camera is understanding how to read the scene, but when you put it in manual mode, you don't have a clue how your settings are affecting the exposure of the image. 4.) it's not weather-sealed 5.) I didn't find it to be all that sharp of a lens, even in the center. Pros: 1.) Cheaper than Nikon 2.) good job limiting distortion for such a wide-angle lens 3.) It's metal which some people like, but to be honest this could be a negative as well because it gets cold easily which you can feel in the winter months. It also means it produces more condensation when moving between warm and cold areas. ig @elladacanada
Spendy but worth it
I really hesitated to get a fully manual lens at this price point but the optics are so so so clear. Worth the money for wide field work. When they say Zero D they are close to achieving that. I use for astro and lansdcape.
Great lens, new prospective
Great lens, love the close focusing ability. Fast, Sharp ! Clear! Well made! Wish it was autofocus. Would definitely recommend
I bought this lens for astrophotography. On the first use I was able to capture detail on a full moon. (Yes, zoomed in). It is solidly made with metal barrel and well marked settings. I have also used for landscape shots with great results. I feel it is superior to other third market lenses I have owned.
I wanted a wide lens and as everyone knows at this price for e-mount it can't be beat. Best at f8 imo but just a real fun lens. Feels very well built. Photo I posted I used a filter kit that was too small hence the strong vignetting.
Favorite for aurora
I love that this lens has zero distortion. I can be close to my foreground (such as trees) while keeping my stars as sharp pinpoints, sharp foreground, and plenty of aurora in the background. I have tried a few other alternative wide-angle lenses for aurora and so far this is my favorite. I also like that I will be able to travel with this lens (lighter and less bulky) and use it for landscape, architecture, sunsets/sunrises and other astro options.
This lens was a game changer
This lens was exactly what I was hoping to find. I was having trouble finding something similar in other companies, and were also much more $$. This Venus lens is not super big or bulky, and is very sleek and sexy. I used it to take landscape photos, videos, Milkyway and starry sky stills, and time lapses. I was very pleased with the results. Would highly recommend this lens. I was also extremely happy with B&H, they provide excellent customer service.
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