Field Test: The Laowa 12mm f/2.8 Zero-D lens is far more impressive than expected

by Jaron Schneider

posted Thursday, March 16, 2017 at 12:55 PM EDT

 
 

Venus Optics is probably a relatively new name to most of you, as it is certainly a newer player to me. They have a few lenses that are currently available (two that are covered in Adobe Camera Raw's lens corrections list), but the most interesting to me was the 12mm f/2.8 that was Kickstarted last summer and started shipping last fall. Featuring a super-wide angle and relatively wide open aperture (especially given the lens' small size and focal length), Venus also boasted that their Laowa lens was the widest f/2.8 rectilinear (meaning it features zero or near-zero distortion) full-frame prime lens on the market. This was a claim I was eager to test.

The Laowa 12mm f/2.8 is a fully manual lens, with no electronics or connection points that communicate with the camera. That means it's not for everyone, but for those who can see the benefit of an optic like this, you can get some pretty slick results. To read our final thoughts and see test images, check out our Laowa Zero-D 12mm f/2.8 Review.

 
Canon 5DS R: 12mm, 1/800s, ISO 200, -0.3EV
(Note: due to the manual nature of the lens, the aperture setting is not reported in exif data).

 

 
This above image is from an edited RAW file, with adjusted highlights and shadows.
Click here for the JPEG (Adobe Camera Raw conversion using default settings) or here for the RAW file.

 

Laowa Zero-D 12mm f/2.8 Field Test • Gallery ImagesLens Specifications