Venus Optics announced the new 11mm f4.5 lens from Laowa for Leica M, Leica L, Sony FE and Nikon Z. This is in competition with the 12mm f / 2.8 lens as well as some strong submissions from other manufacturers. Let's take a look at what makes this lens so unique.
Different lens manufacturers have different tracks. SIGMA aims for sharpness and speed that compete with brand manufacturers. Tamron strives for workhorse lenses that are almost as good as branded products, at a significantly cheaper price. Laowa looks for nooks in the market and brings unusual lenses to meet the needs of others. To this end, the new 11mm full-frame Laowa lens from Venus Optics has two outstanding features: weight and close focus.
A super compact ultra-wide
First, let's talk about weight. This lens weighs only 8.9 ounces. (254 g), less than half of her 12mm f / 2.8. Very few wide-angle lenses can compete with this, especially in the full-frame market. If you're a street, event, documentary, or other shooter looking for an ultra-wide that can travel, Venus Optics has a compelling package.
The biggest compromise here is the maximum aperture of f / 4.5. Your mileage and needs may vary, but I believe the loss of light is completely forgivable given the huge advances in low light sensitivity in modern cameras. Achieving a shallow depth of field on such a wide lens is largely out of the question. The maximum aperture is more about light sensitivity. Everyone has a different style of shooting, but this is a combination of specs you won't find anywhere else.
The Laowa 11mm f / 4.5 can focus at a remarkable 19cm, which allows macro shots from an extremely wide perspective. Few other lenses are capable of achieving this type of shot and almost all of them are also made by Venus Optics. As a creative tool, there are very few options on the market that can achieve the same results.
Other notable specs
This lens is not distortion-free, but it was developed to suppress distortion and chromatic aberrations to a remarkable extent. It has a 62mm filter thread which, while ambiguous, is remarkable nonetheless. Many lenses this wide have rounded front elements that filters cannot easily accommodate.
Prices and availability
The Laowa 11mm f / 4.5 will be available from mid-September. The lens costs $ 799 (Leica M) and $ 699 (Sony FE, Nikon Z, and L).
Do you have a place for an 11mm lens in your kit? What is the widest lens that you regularly take photos with? Let us know in the comments!