Venus Optics has recently announced a new wide-angle zoom lens for full-frame cameras, the Laowa 12-24mm f/5.6. Available in 4 lens mount options (RF/E/Z/M), it offers an angle of view of 84-121.9°, a constant f/5.6 aperture, manual focus, and a close focus distance of 15cm/5.9”. It is available now, starting at $649.
While most of their success is due to their popular probe lens, Laowa (Venus Optics) is also well-known for producing good quality glass that is light on your pockets. Recently, the company launched a new 90mm f/2.8 2x Ultra Macro APO lens for full-frame cameras.
Now, they’re back with the release of a compact wide-angle zoom lens for the same format, the new Laowa 12-24mm f/5.6. It features a pocket-size, lightweight design and comes at a very competitive price. Let’s take a closer look.
Laowa 12-24mm f/5.6: wide-angle full-frame zoom
The new Laowa 12-24mm f/5.6 is a wide-angle, manual-focus-only zoom lens designed for use with full-frame mirrorless cameras. The lens is currently available in four lens mount options: Canon RF, Sony E, Nikon Z, and Leica M.
While its angle of view varies between 84 and 121.9°, its f/5.6 aperture remains constant across the zoom range. The aperture features a 5-blade design, thus resulting in a 10-point Sunstar effect when stepped down.
This new 12-24mm has a minimum focusing distance of only 15cm/5.9”. Therefore, it allows users to achieve close-up shots with a very peculiar perspective. Moreover, the lens comes with an included adaptor ring that enables the use of 77mm front filters and can act as a short lens hood.
Size, weight and optical design
Although this zoom lens is not as fast as other options on the market, such as the NIKKOR Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S, it shines for its compact design. Indeed, depending on the chosen lens mount, the lens barrel length ranges from 84mm (Leica M) up to 95.6mm (Nikon Z). Moreover, the lens only weighs 497g/1.09lbs.
The internal zoom design consists of 15 elements in 11 groups. These include 2 aspherical elements and 3 ED (extra-low dispersion) elements that should help reduce optical and chromatic aberrations. Although this new entry is not part of Laowa’s Zero-D series, the company claims that distortion is still controlled. Finally, the company’s “Frog-Eye” Coating (FEC) technology offers protection against water and dust.
Laowa 12-24mm f/5.6: key features
- 12-24mm f/5.6 for full-frame cameras
- RF/E/Z/M lens mount options
- FOV: 84°-121.9° (Full-frame)
- 15 elements in 11 groups
- 5 aperture blades
- Close focus: 15cm/5.9”
- Manual focus
- 77mm filter thread via ring adaptor
- ø69.4mmx84mm (Leica M)
Price and availability
The new Laowa 12-24mm f/5.6 is now available for purchase from the company’s website. All mount options share the same accessible retail price of $649, with the exception of the pricier M mount version ($699). In the box, you will find the lens, front and rear caps, and the adaptor ring.
What do you think of the new Laowa 12-24mm f/5.6? Do you think it would be a nice addition to your kit? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!