Venus Optics Tips New Laowa Lenses at Photokina

Venus Optics, the company behind the Laowa lens series, is bringing a dozen new lenses to the Photokina trade show. Photo enthusiasts, especially those using mirorrless system, have come to know the brand over the past couple of years. Venus has concentrated on designing ultra-wide angle lenses with minimal distortion and unique macro lenses to this point, all fully manual focus.

The company is showing twelve new lenses at Photokina. Some aren’t total new designs, but rather existing lenses in new mounts. Two of the slots are occupied by the existing 9mm f/2.8 Zero-D, which is already on sale for Fujifilm and Sony mirrorless cameras.

Venus is adding versions of the lens for Micro Four Thirds cameras and the DJI Zenmuse X7 drone camera to its catalog. There is also the Laowa 9mm t/2.9 Zero-D for APS-C Sony cameras–it has the same optics, but features focus and aperture gears for use with pro cinema rigs.

Venus Laowa Lenses

Micro Four Thirds photographers are getting additional options. The Laowa 12mm f/1.8 MFT, 17mm f/1.8 MFT, and 4mm f/2.8 Fisheye MFT are new additions to the system.

The two manual focus f/1.8 lenses share the same 46mm filter size, while the Fisheye is small with a bulbous front element. Venus is also adding a cinema version of its 7.5mm f/2 lens to its cinema line. The 7.5mm t/2.1 MFT Cine adds focus and aperture control gears while maintaining the Micro Four Thirds lens mount.

It should prove popular with videographers using Blackmagic and Panasonic cameras. The company’s first zoom lens, the 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 FE Zoom, promises to deliver ultra-wide images with minimal distortion. It offers full-frame coverage and is compatible with Sony E-mount cameras.

If you use an SLR, Venus has you covered with a new macro lens with 2:1 magnification. The 100mm f/2.8 2:1 Ultra-Macro APO will go on sale for Canon, Nikon, and Pentax SLRs, as well as Sony mirrorless cameras.

Venus Optics Tips New Laowa Lenses at Photokina

The company’s first medium format lens is coming for Fujifilm GFX cameras. The 17mm f/4 Zero-D GFX sports another distortion-free ultra-wide design, covering an angle of view that’s roughly equivalent to a 13mm prime on a full-frame system.

Finally, the company is releasing a few cinema lenses in the PL lens mount used by very high-end camcorders–the type that can cost more than £100,000. Venus is bringing its 12mm t/2.9 Zero-D Cine PL to market. It’s an ultra-wide lens suitable for use with full-frame formats, as well as the Panavision’s VistaVision digital format.

VistaVision is similar to, but not quite the same, as the classic format used to shoot The Searchers and Vertigo. The final new lens is a zoom, also for PL cameras, but with an image circle that is limited to coverage for Super35 productions. The 25-100mm t/2.9 Cine Lightweight Zoom weighs about 5.5 pounds, proving that lightweight is a term relative to the camera system you’re using.

Pricing and availability are not announced at this time.

If you’re attending Photokina in Cologne, Germany, which runs through this Saturday, you can borrow the 10-18mm zoom or the company’s crazy looking 24mm f/14 Probe Lens (in a Canon EF mount) to use at the show for free.

Supplies are limited, so be sure to set up a reservation with Venus before stopping by its booth (Hall 2.1, D-040) at Koelnmesse if you want to try out one of the lenses.

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