Venus Optics rewrites the record books with 15mm f/2 for Sony E-mount, 7.5mm f/2 for Micro Four Thirds

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posted Wednesday, September 14, 2016 at 2:30 PM EST


 
 

Do you like to shoot wide? Really wide, and yet with minimal distortion? If so, Chinese lens manufacturer Anhui ChangGeng Optical Technology -- better known by the name Venus Optics -- has a couple of new products that will likely pique your interest. The company, which is building something of a reputation for unusual glass and lofty claims, has taken the wraps off of two new lenses for its Laowa brand, one apiece for full-frame Sony E-mount and Micro Four Thirds cameras.

We'll start off with the full-frame Sony E-mount lens, which is the Laowa 15MM F/2 FE ZERO-D. It's said to be the world's fastest 15mm rectilinear lens for full-frame cameras. Translation: It's really bright, really wide, and according to its maker, has "close-to-zero" optical distortion. Relatively few details are yet available on this optic, but we do know that it has a manual-focus design with a minimum focusing distance of 5.9 inches and a maximum magnification ratio of 0.25x. We also know that it sports 72mm filter threads, has a diameter of 2.6 inches, a length of 3.2 inches, and weighs just 1.1 pounds.

 
Rendering of the Laowa 15MM F/2 FE ZERO-D lens.

The Micro Four Thirds optic, meanwhile, is the Laowa 7.5MM F/2 MFT. This, too, is said to have set its own record -- this time as the widest f/2 rectilinear lens for Micro Four Thirds cameras. Equivalent to a 15mm lens on a 35mm camera, this optic can focus to as close as 4.7 inches for a 0.11x magnification ratio, and again has a manual focus design. It's much smaller than its full-frame Sony E-mount sibling, though, with a 2.0-inch diameter, a 2.2-inch length and a weight of just six ounces. It also accepts much smaller, lighter and more affordable 49mm threaded filters. Venus Optics notes that this lens could prove particularly attractive for drone users, as it's very small and light, yet bright and offers a wide, relatively distortion-free image.

 
Rendering of the Laowa 7.5MM F/2 MFT lens.

As of right now, both lenses are in the development stage -- hence the renderings in this article, rather than product photos -- with engineering prototypes set to be available for preview at the upcoming Photokina tradeshow. Final delivery is set for early 2017, and pricing information wasn't available at press time.

(via Photo Rumors)