Venus Optics launches AF 10 mm Zero-D lens

Venus Optics has launched the latest model in its series of full-frame rectilinear wide-angle lenses. The Venus Optics Laowa 10mm f/2.8 Zero-D FF is also the first autofocus lens in the Laowa lens lineup. Note that not all lens mount options are available as autofocus, however.

Zero-D

The Zero-D in the name of the Laowa 10 mm lens stands for zero distortion. Most wide-angle lenses cause vertical lines at the edges of the frame to curve. A 10 mm lens is very wide and would usually give a fisheye look. However, the Laowa 10mm Zero-D is a rectilinear lens. This means that horizontal and vertical straight lines will be free from distortion across your image. This is very impressive for a lens with a 130.4° angle of view.

Optical construction

Venus Optics Laowa 10mm f/2.8 Zero-D FF
Image courtesy: Venus Optics

The Laowa 10mm Zero-D lens is constructed with 15 elements across nine groups. These include two aspherical and three extra-low dispersion lens elements. In addition, this is the first Laowa lens to feature autofocus. Venus Optics says that the autofocus is accurate and reliable. It also offers focus tracking. Unfortunately, autofocus is only available for Sony FE and Nikon Z mounts. The Canon RF and L-Mount options are manual focus only. Close focus distance is under 5 inches (12 cm).

Wide aperture

Venus Optics Laowa 10mm f/2.8 Zero-D FF attached to a camera
Image courtesy: Venus Optics

The lens also has a wide maximum aperture of f/2.8 so it will be good for low light shooting. However, don’t expect to get shallow depth of field with such a wide angle lens. Once you are focusing on a subject more than a few feet away, everything to infinity will be in focus, even wide open. The autofocus version of the lens has a five-bladed iris which produces a unique 10-point sun star effect. However, the manual focus lens is also available with a 14-bladed iris, which gives 14-point sun stars.

Compact design

The Laowa 10mm Zero-D lens has a compact design, measuring only 3.23 inches (82 mm in length). It’s also lightweight at only 0.925 pounds (420 g). Most wide-angle lenses have a dome-shaped front element which prevents the use of screw-in filters. However, the Laowa 10mm Zero-D lens has a standard 77 mm filter thread for adding ND and other filters.  

What we think

A picture taken using the Venus Optics Laowa 10mm f/2.8 Zero-D FF

The Laowa 10mm f/2.8 Zero-D FF lens is an optical marvel. The sample images shared by Venus Optics are stunning for such a wide-angle lens. There really does appear to be no distortion at all on horizontal and vertical lines. Landscape and architecture videographers will love this lens. However, it will also be great for capturing unique and stylish footage for fashion shoots or music videos. The Laowa 10mm f/2.8 Zero-D is a specialized lens but offers high-quality video for a great price.

Pricing and availability

The Laowa 10mm f/2.8 Zero-D FF lens is available in a range of configurations. Sony FE and Nikon Z mount users can choose between an autofocus option with a 5-bladed aperture or a manual focus lens with a 14-bladed aperture. If you use an L-mount or Canon RF mount camera, however, you can choose between manual focus lenses with either a five-bladed or 14-bladed iris. All lens options retail at $799.

Pete Tomkies
Pete Tomkies
Pete Tomkies is a freelance cinematographer and camera operator from Manchester, UK. He also produces and directs short films as Duck66 Films. Pete's latest short Once Bitten... won 15 awards and was selected for 105 film festivals around the world.

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