New Laowa 7.5mm f/2.0 Wide Angle from Venus Optics

We are blessed with a wide array of excellent lens options in the M4/3 world. Up until recently we were missing options in the super-tele area but that was fixed with the introduction of the excellent Pana-Leica 100mm-400mm (200-800 FF Eq) and the superb M.Zuiko 300mm f/4 Pro (600mm FF Eq.).  

However we are still a bit starved for ultra-wide angle primes. We have 4 excellent ultra-wide angle zooms and many fish-eyes but basically no wider than 12mm rectilinear primes. This has now changed with the recent introduction of the SLR Magic 8mm f/4 and now this Laowa 7.5mm f/2 from Venus Optics. 

This is a fully manual lens with no electrical connections but that doesn’t bother me much for such a wide angle lens as the depth of field is immense and it would be used mostly for landscapes, architecture and astronomy types of shots, so on a tripod more often than not and with stationary subjects. 

The SLR Magic is slow and looks rather quirky, so this one is much more attractive to me. Early report are that the lens performs well and it is also very small and lightweight, which is in keeping with the M4/3 philosophy. I am personally awaiting formal reviews but looks like a winner and something that I will add to my bag. 

Here’s the press release:

May 1st 2017.

UK Optics are pleased to announce the new Laowa manual focus lens for Panasonic/Olympus CSC cameras. The 7.5mm f/:2 UWA Lens for MFT.

With its acute 110° angle of view and ultra-fast f/2 aperture allows photographers to create extraordinary quality astro- photography shots with fabulous detail. It also gives photographers a fast wide-angle option for landscape photography and low-light shooting.

The Laowa 7.5mm f/:2 MFT is the widest f/2 rectilinear lens ever designed for Micro Four Thirds Cameras.

Wide angle and Fisheye lenses of a 7.5mm focal length are extremely difficult to construct, with such lenses barrel or pin cushioning distortion ie.; where vertical and horizontal lines tend to bow out away from the centre of the image, the correction becomes more challenging as the focal length decreases, therefore lenses that achieve this effect are called Rectilinear.

Despite the extreme specifications, Laowa have successfully minimized the weight and physical size of the lens to a mere 0.37 pounds (170g) and 55mm long.

The extreme 110° angle of view, ultrafast f/:2 aperture and featherweight, makes this lens an ideal option to pair up with drones for aerial photography. It also gives photographers a fast and wide-angle option for low-light shooting as well as landscape photography.

The build quality of the Laowa lens is exceptional. The lens body is made of lightweight aluminium and the lens mount is manufactured from Hard Chromium metal providing superb abrasion resistance and mount accuracy.

The lens is a Prime Manual Focus lens. The aperture ring operates in full clicks (f-stops). The detachable (metal petal shaped) lens hood is so small that you can in most cases leave it mounted to the lens.

The lens has a (46mm) filter thread and comes complete with the metal petal shaped detachable hood. The 7.5mm lens is available in a choice of either Black or Silver finish.

The MSRP price is £499.00 and availability will be end of May 2017.

Also due out July/August will be a light weight version at 150g specifically designed for the Drones market but with the same optical performance available in Black only, the MSRP is anticipated to be £519.00

Lens Description

 

7.5mm f/2

Focal Length

 

7.5mm

Maximum Aperture (Fno)

 

F/2.0

Angle of View

 

110°

Format Compatibility

 

Micro Four Thirds

Minimum Focus distance

 

4.72” (12cm)

Maximum Reproduction Ratio

 

0.11x

Focusing

 

Manual Focus

Filter Thread

 

46mm

Dimensions(DxL)

 

Φ50x55mm

Weight

 

170g

Mounts

 

MFT

Colour

 

Black/Silv