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