Venus Optics Laowa 12mm F2.8 Zero D E-mount lens review by Pete Ganzel

reviewer#36812 date: Apr-3-2017
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:14mm Sigma "popeye" rectilinear, 20mm Minolta AF, 8, 12, 16mm fisheyes.
price paid:850
positive:Solid build, all metal, even the lens hood. Only very slight pincushion, not noticeable with straightedge away from edge of frame. A 100mm front filter holder is available. Slightly more coverage than necessary on full frame. Light falloff acceptable. Real DOF scale. Available in both A and E mount.
negative:Heavy, focus ring moves in the opposite direction as Sony/Minolta lenses ala Nikon. Completely Manual with no Exif info.
comment:Ratings take into account the difficulty with flare and distortion control with ultra wideangle lenses. As with all rectilinear wide angle lenses, perspective "distortion" can be extreme when the subject is close, with objects stretched into oval shape in the corners. Balances well with the tripod socket on the Sony LA-EA 2. Will check for hot spot with my IR NEX. Turn off focus peaking and use f/5.6,the DOF Scale for focusing.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 3
  • sharpness: 4.83
  • color: 5.00
  • build: 5.00
  • distortion: 5.00
  • flare control: 4.67
  • overall: 4.90 - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania