Venus Optics Laowa 15mm f/4 Macro Lens for Sony E-mount (Available for $479 at B&H) is the first native E-mount wide-angle macro photography lens for Sony a7 / a7R / a7S / a7II / a7RII / a7SII fullframe mirrorless cameras. Previously, wide-angle macro required the use of extension tubes and other workarounds, but now the Laowa 15mm Macro offers true 1:1 magnification without the hassle. The ultra-wide perspective on full-frame cameras allows users to get exceptionally close to their subjects with a minimum focus distance of just 4.7″, and have them fill the frame, while still capturing the background for more informative scenes. Internal focusing further assists by not disturbing your subject, even when you reach the 0.2″ minimum working distance.
Optically, it is designed to minimize distortion that plagues wide-angle lenses with the use of an advanced 12 element in 9 group construction with one extra-low dispersion and three high-refractive elements. A multi-layer low-reflective coating further improved image quality by reducing the appearance of flare and ghosting. Also, when used on APS-C cameras, or in crop modes, the lens offers +/- 6mm of vertical shift which can help correct for perspective when shooting objects such as buildings.
Full manual operation is required with this lens through the use of a physical aperture ring with a range of f/4 to f/32 and a large focusing ring. A flat front element provides room for a 77mm front filter thread for using a selection of specialized filters to enhance your scene. It has a near circular 14-blade diaphragm for smooth out of focus elements and comes with a lens hood.
Manufacturer Sample Photos:
3 thoughts on “Venus Optics Laowa 15mm f/4 Macro Lens for Sony E-mount”
I got this lens a few weeks ago and noticed it’s different to your image above which I suspect it’s a Canon or Nikon fit. My E mount fit has a fixed tube at the back with the mount to keep its rear element from the sensor. This I find makes the lens not well balanced. I would have got a Canon fit had I known and used my Metabones EF to Sony E mount adapter which might give better balance. The tilt works fine albeit fiddly. When this is used, it will show part of the hood when fitted, (shows long end of hood in frame top or bottom according to position. When not in use but having a Hoya Pro filter fitted, the same applies as it partially appears in frame, better without filter. F stop markings are very close together so very easy to knock chosen f stop from its position. Good markings for depth of field though. Very sharp too.
Glad to hear it’s Sharp! Lens photos were images supplied by the manufacturer. They probably took one set that they used for all mounts. Balance would be no different with EF mount + adapter than it in with the E-mount with the longer lens barrel. That’s simply a drawback to it’s DSLR lens design…
Hi Brian, First post for me. Love your site and your info.
I just returned my Laowa 15mm f4. Tried hard to make it work but I’m almost totally disappointed with it. Positive note: just lovely for landscapes that have no discernible straight lines (like a horizon). Also very useful for super close up macro, but then lighting becomes difficult due to shading from the lens structure. Overall very limited utility, even considering its reasonable price.
Downsides include heavy distortion in the corners, heavy vignetting when shifted; shifting just trades barrel distortion for compound distortion. This lens is a near disaster for architecture unless it’s just casual or fun photography. Same for portraits or street shoots as everything aside from the centre gets messy. You could shoot loose and then crop, but then there is no point in using a wide angle.
The shifter starts out very stiff and awkward when new, but then it wears in quickly. The lens cap is fussy to fit in place, and the lens hood is very easy to cross thread. Both need more attention in their design. Otherwise, build quality and overall feel are very nice.
Interested to hear your remarks if you’ve shot this lens.