Laowa 19mm F2.8 Zero-D lens offers GFX users a much-needed fast & affordable wide-angle prime lens


posted Monday, December 19, 2022 at 1:00 PM EDT


Venus Optics has announced its fourth lens for the Fujifilm GFX medium-format mirrorless camera system, the Laowa 19mm F2.8 Zero-D GFX. The new wide-angle prime lens joins the existing Laowa 15mm F4.5R Zero-D Shift, the Laowa 17mm F4 GFX Zero-D and Laowa 20mm F4 Zero-D Shift lenses.

The latest Laowa lens, the 19mm F2.8 Zero-D, delivers a 110-degree field of view on Fuji's large-format GFX cameras, roughly equivalent to a 15mm lens on a full-frame camera. The lens incorporates a dozen elements across 10 groups, including two aspherical lenses, three ED glass elements and a single UHR element. The lens has a five-bladed aperture diaphragm, promising 10-point sunstars.

The lens is quite compact and lightweight considering that it's a GFX lens with an F2.8 aperture. It weighs 546 grams (1.2 pounds) and is 80mm (3.15 in.) long without its detachable lens hood. The lens is 82.6mm (3.25 in.) wide and includes a 77mm filter thread. Compare that to the Fujinon GF 23mm F4 lens, which is a full stop slower and not quite as wide. The GF 23mm F4 weighs 845g and is 103mm (4.06 in.) long. However, it's worth noting that the GF lens offers autofocus, something lacking from the Laowa lens. The manual focus lens focuses as close as 18cm (7.08 in.), resulting in a max magnification of 0.185x.


One of the best aspects of the new Laowa 19mm F2.8 lens is its max aperture. It fills a void within the GFX system, providing users an option for fast-aperture wide-angle photography, including night sky photography. This is an area where the lack of autofocus isn't an issue at all. Plus, the lens has a physical focus scale, which should make dialing in consistent focus easier than the typical focus-by-wire lenses we see on mirrorless cameras like the GFX, which rely upon a digital focus scale.

Image by Wei Feng, courtesy of Venus Optics / Laowa

The lens also utilizes Laowa's focusing scale adjustment system, the same feature as is found on the full-frame Zero-D 14mm lens. This feature allows you to calibrate the focus scale to your specific camera, meaning that infinity on the focus scale will be the infinity focus distance. If you've ever used lenses for night sky photography, you know that often, infinity is not truly infinity, and finding the precise infinity focus position on your lens can take some time.

The Laowa 19mm F2.8 Zero-D GFX lens is available to order now for $999. You can learn more about the lens, including viewing additional real-world sample images, by visiting Laowa.