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Venus Optics Laowa 12mm f/2.8 Zero-D Aperture Series: Milling Lathe

See Sony mirrorless wish list.

The about $949 Venus Optics Laowa 12mm f/2.8 Zero-D promises zero distortion (“Zero-D”) in an extreme ultra wide angle lens with f/2.8 lens speed.

Distortion is the bane of resolution: too much and you’ll have to correct it, which means stretching pixels apart somewhere in the frame. I take issue with presenting optical MTF charts for lenses with distortion strong enough to require correction—the MTF becomes misleading.

Venus Optics Laowa 12mm f/2.8 Zero-D

This series looks at general performance. Later, I’ll evaluate just how low the optical distortion is (it is indeed low*).

Venus Optics Laowa 12mm f/2.8 Zero-D Aperture Series: Milling Lathe

Includes images up to full resolution from f/2.8 through f/16, along with crops and commentary.

* Optical distortion is not to be confused with so-called “perspective distortion” which is a law of physics: the edge are significantly more distant from the lens than the center of the image and that leads to a stretching effect that is particularly visible when the lens is skewed or off-level from the subject. The camera here was perfectly level with only a slight up/down deviation.


f8 @ 2.0 sec, ISO 50; 2018-02-20 13:59:50
Sony A7R III + Venus Optics Laowa 12mm f/2.8 Zero-D

[low-res image for bot]
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