Anhui, China–Venus Optics unveiled three Laowa ultrawide cine lenses for cameras with three different sensor sizes. The Laowa 7.5mm T2.1 Cine is for Micro Four Thirds (MFT) cameras. The Laowa 9mm T2.9 Zero-D Cine is for Super 35-sensor cameras. Finally, the new Laowa 15mm T2.1 Zero-D Cine lens is for use on full-frame cameras.
Furthermore, all three lenses feature the same optical system as their photography versions. They also boast robust cinema lens housings designed to the industry standard.
Moreover, all three Laowa cine lenses feature an ultrawide angle of view and a fast aperture. The Laowa 7.5mm T2.1 has a 110° field of view on MFT cameras; the 9mm T2.9 provides a 113° FoV on Super 35 sensors. In addition, the 15mm T2.1 cine lens offers a 110° FoV on cameras with full-frame sensors. The fast maximum T stop is well suited for filming in low light and also allows filmmakers more flexibility in depth-of-field control.
All three wide-angle prime lenses are compact and lightweight. Both the 7.5mm and 9mm weigh close to 0.5 pound. The 15mm is a bit heavier due to the larger coverage; however, Venus Optics managed to compress it to around 1.2 pounds. What’s more, the light weight makes them a solution for run-and-gun productions, shooting with gimbals, in-car shots as well as indoor scenes.
Key Features of Laowa Ultrawide Cine Lenses
In addition, both the 9mm and 15mm lenses feature Laowa’s close-to-zero distortion (Zero-D) design; the optical distortion at infinity is compressed to the minimal. This is important for motion picture recording when shooting indoors as well as architecture or footage with straight lines. It also saves time in distortion correction during post processing.
The new Laowa cine lenses additionally have an extremely close focusing distance. Filmmakers can take advantage of their close focusing to create wide-angle shots with shallower depth of field. Both the Laowa 7.5mm and 9mm focus as close as 4.7 inches from sensor to subject; the 15mm can focus to 5.9 inches.
Moreover, the primary difference between the new cinema lenses and their still photo counterparts is the improved housing. The entire lens body is made of premium grade aluminum for use in extreme environments.
Both the aperture and focus rings on the cinema lenses are built with industry standard 0.8 mod pitch gears for pairing up with follow-focus motors. The aperture ring is now click-less for smooth iris control.
Plus, all Laowa cine lenses come with a filter thread; this enables filmmakers to use screw-in filters and mini matte boxes.
Current & Future Mount Options
The Laowa 7.5mm T2.1 Cine is available in the Micro Four Thirds mounts for cameras like the Blackmagic Pocket 4K, Panasonic Lumix GH5 and Z-Cam E2.
The 9mm T2.9 Zero-D Cine is available in the Fujifilm X, Sony E and Micro Four Thirds mounts. The MFT mount can cover the same cameras as the 7.5mm and also serve as a not-as-wide alternative to MFT users. Additionally, the Sony E mount lenses works with Sony cameras with Super 35 sensors.
The 15mm T2.1 Zero-D Cine lens is also for large-format sensor cameras, with the Sony FE mount available.
What’s more Venus Optics will introduce Nikon Z, Canon RF and Leica L mount lenses later this year. They will also be wide-angle options for cameras like the RED Komodo, Canon R5, Nikon Z 6/Z 7, Sigma fp and Panasonic S1H mirrorless cameras.
The Laowa ultrawide cine lenses are available for purchase at the following retail prices: the 7.5mm T2.1 and 9mm T2.9, $599 each (ex-VAT); the 15mm T2.1, $1,199 (ex-VAT). The lenses come with a Pelican hard case.