Laowa Unveils 15mm f/4.5 Shift: The World’s Widest Shift Lens for Full-Frame Cameras

Photography Gear

Venus Optics has just unveiled a new “world’s first” in the optics game. The new Laowa 15mm f/4.5 Zero-D Shift Lens is apparently “the world’s widest shift lens for full-frame cameras,” and it will be available for both DSLR and mirrorless cameras.

The Laowa 15mm f/4.5 Zero-D Shift works on both full-frame and medium format sensors, providing up to ±11mm of shift for FF and ±8mm of shift for MF in any direction you choose. This is possible thanks to the lens’ massive 65mm image circle and the built-in 360° rotation feature that you can access by pressing the silver unlock button.

As the lens barrel is rotated it will “click” every 15°, and no matter the amount of shift you apply, the 15mm lens will produce a 110° field of view.

“The wider perspective offers great deal of flexibility for photographers to capture architecture and interior shots when space is limited,” explains Venus Optics. “The 15mm f/4.5 Zero-D Shift straightens the lines that appear to converge in the distance, crooked images can be corrected by changing the perspective of the lens, [and] perspective distortion is being eliminated to create a ‘reality-like’ image.”

Photo by Richard Wong

Optically, the lens is made up of 17 elements in 11 groups, including 2 aspherical elements to eliminate distortion, and 3 extra-low dispersion elements to suppress chromatic aberrations. The lens also feature a new lens coating (not described in detail) which supposedly provides “a significant improvement on chromatic aberration, flaring, and ghosting control.”

This is joined by a 5-bladed aperture that renders a 10-point sunstar when closed down.

Finally, the lens also features a surprisingly short close focus distance of just 20cm (~7.9 inches), allowing you to create unique “macro-like” photos with an extremely wide field of view.

Here’s a closer look at the lens, as well as the optical build and MTF chart:

And here are some real-world sample photos captured by various Venus Optics ambassadors:

Photo by Bastian Kratzke
Photo by Bastian Kratzke
Photo by Bastian Kratzke
Photo by ChenGuoHeng
Photo by Danny Kwan
Photo by Danny Kwan
Photo by Danny Kwan
Photo by Jimmy Chan
Photo by Nicco Valenzuela
Photo by Nicco Valenzuela
Photo by Nicco Valenzuela
Photo by Qin Fei
Photo by
Photo by Richard Wong
Photo by Richard Wong
Photo by Ricky
Photo by Zhang Qi
Photo by WenTai DaShu
Photo by Wu ER Xian Sen Zhao Rui
Photo by XuNuo

The Venus Optics Laowa 15mm f/4.5 Zero-D Shift lens will be available in Canon EF, Nikon F, Canon RF, Nikon Z, and Sony FE mounts, each costing $1,200. The Canon EF and Nikon F mount versions will begin shipping in “late November,” however, the mirrorless versions won’t arrive until February of 2021.

To learn more or order this lens for yourself, head over to the Venus Optics website.

Image credits: All photos used courtesy of Venus Optics

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