Venus Optics Laowa 12mm F2.8 Zero D E-mount lens reviews

reviews found: 3   
reviewer#44552 date: Jul-21-2020
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:Samyang XP 10mm f3.5; Irix 11mm f4, Vivitar 13mm f2.8, Sigma 14mm f2.8
price paid:750 USD
positive:Best ultra wide angle of non bulb type front lens, thereby, much less flare when facing light sources
negative:The sunstar, when shooting night scence, have certain unevenness and have disperse at the ends even at f11.
comment:I shoot a lot of sunrise and sunset time lapse in last 5 years, and because of inside city, buildings are normally in the front, therefore, I only buy the Nikon versions of these lenses, then use the Nikon to Sony FE shift adapter such that I can do PC by shifting about 5mm to 8mm, while keeping a large portion to be sky. Those lenses has bulb type front lens have strong flare, like a semi circle when the camera moving to certain direction facing strong light or the sun! The Laowa 12mm is the only one without. I have not tried the Cosina/Voit 10mm f5.6, as it does not have DSLR version, and it cannot do shift from M mount to FE mount!
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.
reviewer#36806 date: Mar-30-2017
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.7
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:Sigma 12-24mm 4.5-5.6 DG EX (old lens but still ok).
price paid:$829.00
positive:Zero-D = no distorsion if used right.
Very sharp, and great DOF.
Works very well with my a7rII.
Works also very well will the Lens Compensation app for the camera.
negative:No electronic feedback to the camera whatsoever, so hard to remember the f-setting for the shot.
comment:It's fun to shot with and quite easy for distance shots (beyond 4m) as you set it at infinity and all you have to do is choose the f-stop, aim and shoot.
Quite demanding when shooting buildings or other strait lines subjects as one really need to keep the camera at perfect level for the Zero-D to show its strength, same as with all very short wa lenses but this one actually works great.
I was going to rate it with a 5 for sharpness, but then I got my Sony FE 100/2.8 STF GM OSS so I had to step back half a point just to be fair but still very sharp for a 12mm lens.
reviews found: 3   

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

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