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Venus Laowa 12mm f/2.8 Zero-D Ultra-WideAngle for Nikon AI Cameras
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- Laowa 12mm f/2.8 Zero-D Ultra-WideAngle Lens - Lens Hood - Front/End Lens Cap - Instructions Manual - Warranty Card (3-year Warranty)
- LAOWA 12mm f/2.8 ZERO-D
- Widest f/2.8 Rectilinear Lens for Full Frame cameras
- Close-To-Zero Distortion
- 122 degree Ultra Wide Angle View
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The Ultra Wide Angle Lens is one of the most important lenses that every photographer can have in his camera bag. There are many costly ultra wide angle lenses in the market, varying in price from hundreds to a few thousand dollars. However, these UWA lens are not perfect. They suffer from dramatic barrel distortion, poor peripheral sharpness or huge physical size. Venus therefore spent a lot of time to come up with a design which is truly perfect and overcome the frustration of photographers. That's where the LAOWA 12mm f/2.8 ZERO-D comes from. Ultra Wide Angle lenses in the market tend to suffer an optical distortion rate from 2% to 5%, which causes straight lines to bend. The LAOWA lens features a *close-to-zero distortion rate that you can barely notice with your eye. (* The aforementioned close-to-zero distortion rate is measured from shooting objects at infinity focus. The distortion rate may vary for shorter object distance. Only Optical Distortion (Barrel/ Pincushion/ Moustache) is covered here.) The LAOWA 12mm f/2.8 Lens covers an ultra-wide 122° angle of view for you to create an outstanding landscape or architecture shot that no others can compare to. Shooting interior shots will also become much easier. Your house will become spacious and impactful in your photo even if you are shooting a small area. Do not forget, this is also perhaps the world's widest rectilinear f/2.8 lens. Optical performance is what Venus Laowa will never c
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Why 5 stars? Well, it's no Zeiss, but it really is an amazing lens. There is nothing quite like it for FF. It is truly rectilinear. I have a Sigma 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6 AF II DG HSM Lens for Nikon Digital SLRs[not the more recent Art lens], which as the benefit of AF, but it is nowhere near as sharp as this lens, and is significantly more distorted. For me, it is no contest. It's compact, seems solidly made, and represents a pretty amazing value. Not sure there is anything quite like it out there. So, for what it does, and it's value, it's 5 stars to me.
There are many advantages to this lens:
* Super-wide, about as wide as it gets for full-frame cameras
* Fast lens, f/2.8 aperture. The lens choices that are wider are all f/4 (e.g., Irix, Canon).
* Very compact and light, despite its metal construction
* One amazing accessory is their 100x100mm filter holder, which replaces the lens hood and works quite well, which is unique for a super-wide angle lens like this. Try to get that for the existing 14mm lenses!
* Very sharp and no distortion of straight lines, as advertised.
* Infinity focus is exactly at infinity, which is also at the very end of the barrel, very easy to focus in complete darkness.
A few disadvantages:
* It does have some coma (distortion of stars), but it's not terrible.
* Aperture stops only in full increments, no half or third stops. You can, however, remove a spring and make it a "cine" lens without much effort.
* The f/2.8 aperture appears to be closer to f/3.3, it is not one full stop lighter than f/4.
* Fully manual lens, but it does feed back aperture and can be calibrated using Nikon's custom lens settings.
This has become my favorite wide angle travel lens, replacing the Nikon 14-24 in most cases unless I want to do hardcore astro-landscapes.