Characterized by its especially compact and lightweight form factor, the Laowa 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 Zoom from Venus Optics is a petite and flexible ultra-wide-angle zoom for Sony E-mount mirrorless cameras. Its sleek size and versatile range of wide-angle focal lengths make it ideal for landscape, nature, and architectural shooting as well as astrophotography applications. Its optical design incorporates both extra-low dispersion and aspherical elements in order to correct a variety of aberrations and distortions for sharper, clearer image quality and accurate color rendering. A Frog Eye Coating has also been applied 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 rear of the lens is threaded to accept 37mm screw-in filters.
- E-Mount Lens/Full-Frame Format
- Aperture Range: f/4.5 to f/22
- One Extra-Low Dispersion Element
- Two Aspherical Elements
Venus Optics Laowa 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 Overview
Venus Optics Laowa 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 Specs
|Focal Length||10 to 18mm|
|Maximum Aperture||f/4.5 to 5.6|
|Lens Mount||Sony E|
|Lens Format Coverage||Full-Frame|
|Angle of View||130° to 102°|
|Minimum Focus Distance||5.91" / 15 cm|
|Macro Reproduction Ratio||1:4|
|Optical Design||14 Elements in 10 Groups|
|Focus Type||Manual Focus|
|Filter Size||37 mm (Rear)|
|Dimensions (ø x L)||2.76 x 3.58" / 70 x 90.9 mm|
|Weight||1.09 lb / 496 g|
|Package Weight||1.81 lb|
|Box Dimensions (LxWxH)||6.8 x 4.4 x 4.1"|
Venus Optics Laowa 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 Reviews
Not a reliable company
I purchased this lens when it first came out and it did everything it was promised. After a year, the elements separated between the zoom and click switch. I reached out to the company and it took them several weeks to evaluate the issue. I sent them the lens in November of 2021 and it reached them just before Christmas. They provided an estimate for the repair and have since given me every excuse in the book why they haven't repaired it. They stopped responding in April of 2022 and have made zero communication and no response on its status since.
I Really Wanted to Like This Lens, But …
I wanted a hyper-wide full frame lens for my Sony system and this lens has a lot going for it. The zoom range of 10-18mm is a nice complement to my 16-35. The fact it can take rear ND filters is a plus, as is the ability to use an adapter for the Haida M-10 filter system. It's unfortunate it does not transmit EXIF data but I know that going in. Ultimately, however, it's image quality that counts and that's where this lens fails. On the plus side, it's very sharp in the center. But it falls of significantly as you get close to the edges and the corners are pure mush. You can get away with it if all you're doing is posting to the web. But if you're doing large prints, the results are unusable. I ended up going with the Voigtlander 10mm f/5.6. It's smaller, lighter, communicates EXIF data and, most importantly, much sharper across the entire frame.
Great for travel
I bought this immediately after they released it for an overseas trip. With 3 relatively light lenses (10-18, 16-35 f/4, 28-75 tamron) I was well covered for the whole range I wanted. Optically this lens is not the best, but works well in most cases if used carefully. This is not an everyday lens, but definitely a good one carry on trips. Here is the link of a sample pic I took on that trip. https://www.instagram.com/p/BuJr3itBoR4/
A very intentional lens
Basically, this is the widest zoom lens you can buy -- which makes it great, but also difficult to use well. What's so hard? Well, let's start with focus. I love manual focus, and it works great with this lens, but don't assume that everything is always in focus. The depth of field is huge, but finite. Failure to focus rarely gives a blurry image, but it will give poorer resolution. Worse still, you might not notice looking at the EVF image or LCD. I've seen reviews that say this lens isn't very sharp, and I'm pretty sure it's simply that they didn't quite have things in focus -- sharpness is fine on my 42MP A7RII. Another reason this lens needs to be used carefully is that 10mm is amazingly wide -- actually comparable to the widest rectangular view you could extract from a 16mm rectangular fisheye. If you don't get close to your subject, it'll seem miles away. There's also going to be a lot of background in your images, so you need to pay close attention that none of the background stuff will distract from your image. In summary, you need to be very intentional about using this lens in order to get what it promises. However, if you do that, it's fantastic for getting perspectives no other lens can offer. The 10-18mm range allows a very useful choice of ultrawide perspectives. Distortion is minimal for such a wide lens, and flare is well controlled with nice sunstars. Resolution is fine for 42MP FF and 24MP APS-C. The lens feels very solid and operates smoothly, although it would be nice if there were more difference in feel between the focus, zoom, and aperture rings. The metal lenscap is a nice and reassuring touch. Complaints? The focus distance scale is wrong -- I suspect they are allowing for somebody trying to use the lens without a rear filter mounted (which should always be there).
The lens works well, is quite compact and very sharp. The range is great!
Awesome wide angle for Sony FE
I was hesitant to buy this lens having never heard of Venus optics but glad I took the chance on it. I know some photographers opt for auto lenses for convenience but a manual lens like this offers amazing versatility and the ability to get shots you couldn't otherwise. The 10mm setting lets me capture pics I couldn't get with a wide angle like a 12 or 15mm. The lens has a rear filter and I picked up a ND 1000 for strong sunlight shots. Sunstars are excellent on this lens and the shots are clear with amazing color. The key with super wide shots is infinity focus. In short this lens is a valuable addition to my camera bag and I am using it regularly because it captures some great shots and is a lot of fun to use. It's a solid lens with metal case construction but not too heavy and amazingly compact. Great lens.
Love it; gets me those shots
I would recommend this lens for sure the build quality is amazing the image is crisp and clear and allows me to get angles that I never could before beyond conventional 12 mm Ultra Wide sometimes I was always hitting up against the 12 mm now I can push right past it and allow my creativity to not be hampered by the limitations of the optics. if I want to go wider I can!
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