Venus Optics announced Laowa 14mm f/4 Zero-D lens for Canon and Nikon full-frame DSLRs
posted Friday, July 16, 2021 at 10:30 AM EDT
Venus Optics has announced a new ultra-wide prime lens for full-frame DSLRs, the Laowa 14mm f/4 Zero-D DSLR. The lens promises well-rounded performance and close-to-zero distortion in a compact, lightweight package, all at an affordable price of $499.
The Laowa 14mm f/4 Zero-D offers a 114-degree field of view on a full-frame camera, allowing the lens to capture vast landscapes, wide cityscapes, architecture and even night sky images. However, the f/4 aperture could prove limiting in some situations. The lens can also photograph up close, with a 14.5cm (5.7") minimum focusing distance. The lens has a 0.3x maximum magnification.
For a full-frame 14mm prime lens, at least compared to the much faster Sigma 14mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art, Laowa's new lens is relatively compact and lightweight. The lens is 75mm (2.95") long and weighs 320g (11.29 oz.) in the Nikon mount version. The Canon version incorporates automatic aperture and weighs slightly more at 360g (12.7 oz.). The lens has a 67mm filter thread, which is unusual for an ultra-wide lens.
Optically, the lens incorporates 13 elements across 10 groups. Among these elements are a pair of extra-low dispersion elements and two aspherical elements. As mentioned, the lens incorporates Laowa's 'Zero-D' design, something it shares with many other wide-angle Laowa lenses. While Venus Optics doesn't promise absolutely no distortion, it does promise close to no distortion. The optical design for the new lens is completely different from the Laowa 14mm f/4 FF RL Zero-D, by the way.
The Laowa 14mm f/4 Zero-D is available for Canon EF and Nikon F mount. The Canon EF version includes a CPU chip and motor for automatic aperture adjustment and aperture adjustment via the camera body. The Nikon version has aperture coupling, which allows for aperture preview on the camera, but it must still be manually adjusted on the lens. Speaking of aperture, the aperture diaphragm has five blades, allowing for the creation of 10-point sunstars.
The lens is manual focus, which helps keep the weight and cost down. It is the first Laowa lens to include a focusing scale adjustment system. This new feature allows the user to calibrate the lens for their specific DSLR, ensuring that the actual infinity focus point is precisely on the infinity mark on the focusing ring. For anyone who has tried to focus at infinity with different DSLR lenses, you likely know how frustrating it can be to find where the precise focus is located, as it's rarely dead center on the infinity marking. You can see the calibration process in the video below.
The Laowa 14mm f/4 Zero-D is available for preorder now for $499 through Venus Optics and authorized resellers.