Venus Optics releases four more Laowa lenses in L mount, including a couple of unique macro lenses
posted Wednesday, February 10, 2021 at 11:30 AM EST
Venus Optics, maker of Laowa lenses, has announced that four more of its existing lenses are now available in L mount, bringing the total number of Laowa lenses available in L mount to a dozen. The lenses in question are the 4mm f/2.8 Fisheye, 9mm f/2.8 Zero-D, 24mm f/14 2X Macro Probe, and the 25mm f/2.8 2.5-5X Ultra Macro.
The Laowa 4mm f/2.8 Fisheye lens has a 210° angle of view with a circular perspective. By design, the lens offers photographers an extremely distorted circular fisheye perspective. The compact lens weighs only 4.8 oz. (135g). The lens includes 7 elements in 6 groups, a 7-bladed aperture diaphragm, and has a minimum focus distance of 3.15" (80mm).
The lens is currently available for Fujifilm X, Sony E, MFT and Micro Four Thirds mounts. The L mount version will cost $199, like the other mounts, with shipping expected in early March.
The second wide-angle lens to get the L mount treatment, the 9mm f/2.8 Zero-D promises almost no distortion, rather than the extreme distortion of the 4mm Fisheye lens. The 9mm f/2.8 Zero-D delivers a 113° angle of view, and Laowa promises strong corner to corner sharpness, 'close to zero distortion' and good overall image quality. The lens has 15 elements across 10 groups.
To be clear, this is not a full-frame lens, so it is not well-suited to L mount cameras such as the Panasonic S series. However, the lens should work well with APS-C L mount cameras like the Leica T, TL and CL cameras. The lens is quite lightweight, weighing about 7.6 oz. (215). The Laowa 9mm f/2.8 Zero-D lens costs $499, and the L mount version will ship in March.
Moving on to the macro lenses, the 24mm f/14 2X Macro Probe is an interesting lens. It's the 'world's first consumer-grade probe lens,' per Laowa, and it focuses from 2:1 to infinity. The wide-angle design promises a greater depth of field at macro focusing distances than a more typical telephoto macro lens. The minimum focusing distance is less than an inch (20mm). The lens is just over 16" (480mm) in length and weighs slightly over a pound (474g). There are 27 lens elements across 19 groups, including high index glass elements, two ED elements and two prism glass elements.
The front of the lens barrel is waterproof and includes a mounted LED ring light. The LED is powered by an external battery, which is not included. The lens is currently available in Canon EF, Nikon, Sony FE, Pentax K, Arri PL and other cinema mounts. The L mount version, shipping in March, costs $1,499. You can add a twin flash for $299.
Rounding out the new quartet of L mount Laowa lenses is the 25mm f/2.8 2.5-5X Ultra Macro lens. The company dubs the lens its 'most compact and versatile high magnification macro lens.' The lens is optimized for macro photography between 2.5x and 5x life-size. The lens includes 8 elements across 6 groups. The lightweight lens weighs just under a pound (400g).
To aid with macro photography, the lens is compatible with an optional LED light ($40) and tripod collar ($30). Without these accessories, the lens costs $399 and is available for Canon EF, Canon RF, Nikon F, Nikon Z, Pentax K and Sony FE mount in addition to the new L mount option. The L mount version will ship early next month.
The lineup of Laowa lenses available for L mount is now as follows: 4mm f/2.8 Fisheye, 9mm f/2.8 Zero-D, 9mm f/5.6 FF RL, 11mm f/4.5 FF RL, 14mm f/4 FF RL Zero-D, 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 Zoom, 15mm f/4.5 Zero-D Shift, 15mm f/2 Zero-D, 15mm f/4 Wide Angle Macro, 24mm f/14 2X Macro Probe, 25mm f/2.8 2.5-5X Ultra Macro, and the 100mm f/2.8 2X Ultra Macro APO. For more information on Laowa lenses, visit Venus Optics.
Index image credit: © Gil Wizen. Image courtesy of Laowa