Specialty lens maker Venus Optics has just released another interesting optic. The Laowa 11mm f/4.5 FF RL is the world’s widest rectilinear lens for full-frame mirrorless cameras that can still accept screw-on filters, offering a 126° field of view from a surprisingly small package.
To our knowledge, the widest full-frame lens currently available on the market that still allows you to attach a screw-on filter to the front is Nikon’s NIKKOR Z 14-30mm f/4 S lens for the Z-mount system. That changes today.
Aimed squarely at landscape, travel, and interior photographers, the manual-focus Laowa 11mm f/4.5 FF RL packs a non-fisheye 126° field of view into a package that’s just 8.9oz (254g) light, 2.5-inches (6.3cm) long, and features a 62mm filter thread inside of the built-in lens hood. Venus Optics has also released a special 100mm magnetic filter holder for this lens, for those who prefer slide in filters.
Optically, the lens is made up of 14 elements in 10 groups, and while it’s not technically one of Laowa’s “Zero-D” lenses, 2 aspherical elements and 3 extra-low dispersion elements do their best to fight physics by reducing distortion and chromatic aberration. This setup also allows for a surprisingly close close-focus distance of just 7.4 inches (19cm), as measured from subject to sensor.
Here’s a closer look at the lens, including a size comparison with some other ultra-wides:
And some sample images captured with the lens ahead of release:
The lens is available for Leica M, Sony E, Nikon Z and Leica/Panasonic/Sigma L mount. The Leica version supports rangefinder coupling, while the others feature a “focusing tab” and slightly different layout to help with precision when focusing.
The Venus Optics Laowa 11mm f/4.5 FF RL is officially available to pre-order starting today for $800 in Leica M mount, and $700 for all the rest. Shipping for all four mounts will begin in mid-September. To learn more or pick one up for yourself, head over to the Venus Optics website.
Image credits: All sample images credited individually, used courtesy of Venus Optics.
Author: DL Cade