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.
Optical distortion is not to be confused with so-called “perspective distortion” which is a law of physics. I explain that in more detail on this page, with two examples, one level, and one off-level:
In addition, I evaluate the Venus Optics Laowa 12mm f/2.8 Zero-D in three distinct aperture series, each one showing optical performance:
Each series includes images up to full resolution from f/2.8 through f/11, along with crops and commentary.
- Train Boxcar at Close Range, Oblique View
- Train Boxcar and Blue Sky at Dusk
- Trona Train Track Just After Sunset
The results are definitive and should prove useful to anyone considering the Venus Optics Laowa 12mm f/2.8 Zero-D.