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Thread started 15 Feb 2016 (Monday) 11:07
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Laowa 12mm f2.8 zero distortion lens - a Samyang 14mm killer?

 
keithcooper
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Jul 27, 2016 05:20 |  #61

FEChariot wrote in post #18078556 (external link)
I was hoping this lens would be a good transition lens good on both crop and FF. it's wide enough to use as an UWA on crop and even better on FF once I feel like upgrading. However at $950 it makes much less sense. It would be great at $500. For crop the Tokina 11-20 and 14-20 make more sense still.

I see that a lower price is suggested for the upcoming KS program, but not much help if you don't want a lens relatively soon.

Having tried the lens on my 100D as well, it's wide, but Canon's 10-18 is wider and you have a lot of other wide options for crop cameras.

That said, never do I feel the difference between crop and full frame more than when I put an extra wide lens on the camera. The differences between 12mm and 17-18mm (equiv.) in composition and approach to shooting are much more obvious than the few mm might seem.

One reason I enjoyed testing the 12mm was that it forced me to think wide in a way that my Canon 11-24 didn't. Over the last year my shots with the 11-24 had drifted narrower, but the 12mm has given my creative processes a good prod. Given I do photography for a living, that's never a bad thing ;-)a


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Jul 27, 2016 10:29 |  #62

keithcooper wrote in post #18078816 (external link)
I see that a lower price is suggested for the upcoming KS program, but not much help if you don't want a lens relatively soon.

Having tried the lens on my 100D as well, it's wide, but Canon's 10-18 is wider and you have a lot of other wide options for crop cameras.

That said, never do I feel the difference between crop and full frame more than when I put an extra wide lens on the camera. The differences between 12mm and 17-18mm (equiv.) in composition and approach to shooting are much more obvious than the few mm might seem.

One reason I enjoyed testing the 12mm was that it forced me to think wide in a way that my Canon 11-24 didn't. Over the last year my shots with the 11-24 had drifted narrower, but the 12mm has given my creative processes a good prod. Given I do photography for a living, that's never a bad thing ;-)a

I am looking for a lens to do some Astrophotography shooting as well so I would like to be not slower than 2.8 so the 10-18 is out not to mentioned how much of a PITA the focus by wire would be in the field trying to focus on dim stars.


Canon 7D/350D, Σ17-50/2.8 OS, 18-55IS, 24-105/4 L IS, Σ30/1.4 EX, 50/1.8, C50/1.4, 55-250IS, 60/2.8, 70-200/4 L IS, 85/1.8, 100/2.8 IS L, 135/2 L 580EX II, 430EX II * 2, 270EX II.

  
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Charlie
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Jul 27, 2016 11:00 |  #63

FEChariot wrote in post #18079008 (external link)
I am looking for a lens to do some Astrophotography shooting as well so I would like to be not slower than 2.8 so the 10-18 is out not to mentioned how much of a PITA the focus by wire would be in the field trying to focus on dim stars.

just get the SY 14 and be done with it. Tried and proven and cheap. Distortion is a single click away and you're still left with globs of resolution. Only downside is the horrific 6 point start bursts.


Sony A7rii/A7riii/A9 - FE 12-24/4 - FE 24-240 - CV 21/3.5 - FE 35/2.8 - SY 35/1.4 AF - FE 50/1.8 - FE 85/1.8 - EF 135/1.8 Art - F 600/5.6 - CZ 100-300 - Astro Rok 14/2.8 - Tamron 28-75/2.8 RXD, 70-200/2.8 VC

  
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GMCPhotographics
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Post edited over 2 years ago by GMCPhotographics.
     
Jul 29, 2016 06:09 |  #64

keithcooper wrote in post #18078816 (external link)
I see that a lower price is suggested for the upcoming KS program, but not much help if you don't want a lens relatively soon.

Having tried the lens on my 100D as well, it's wide, but Canon's 10-18 is wider and you have a lot of other wide options for crop cameras.

That said, never do I feel the difference between crop and full frame more than when I put an extra wide lens on the camera. The differences between 12mm and 17-18mm (equiv.) in composition and approach to shooting are much more obvious than the few mm might seem.

One reason I enjoyed testing the 12mm was that it forced me to think wide in a way that my Canon 11-24 didn't. Over the last year my shots with the 11-24 had drifted narrower, but the 12mm has given my creative processes a good prod. Given I do photography for a living, that's never a bad thing ;-)a

Isn't it a pity that the shift adapter isn't going to be available for the Canon ef mount. Sure, it pushes the focal length out to 17mm, but if it was available on Canon...I would be selling my TSe 17L to help fund this lens with it's shift adapter. Although....thinking about it....12mm on a 5DS is the roughly same as 17mm shifted on a 5DIII. It's making the shift from the 12mm image circle and it would be more beneficial to shoot at 12mm, putting the item of interest in to the outer part of the image circle and crop down to 12mm. A 50mp camera should have more than enough resolution to play with.


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pulsar123
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Post edited over 2 years ago by pulsar123. (2 edits in all)
     
Jul 29, 2016 09:19 |  #65

Photozone review (on FF) is out:

http://www.photozone.d​e …_eos_ff/981-laowa105f2stf (external link)

They report 1.1% distortion in their test, but admit that could be an artifact of the very short working distance they use for their tests. They give 4/5 stars for the optical + mechanical quality of the lens, which they reserve for very good to excellent lenses (e.g., that much the venerable 135L earned there). BTW they also have a review for the Laowa's recent lens 105mm f/2 STF, also with 4 stars (http://www.photozone.d​e …_eos_ff/978-laowa105f2stf (external link)).

Given very good quality and fairly high prices, the Laowa company seems to be trying to position itself as "Chinese Zeiss".


6D, Tamron 24-70 f2.8 VC, 135L, 70-200 f4L, Laowa 15mm 1:1 macro, 50mm f1.8 STM, Samyang 8mm fisheye, home studio

  
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Jul 29, 2016 11:41 |  #66

GMCPhotographics wrote in post #18080833 (external link)
Isn't it a pity that the shift adapter isn't going to be available for the Canon ef mount.

My educated guess is that the shift adapter would need to sit where the mirror box is, so there is no option.

Also, I fail to understand how they could declare "no vignetting" at 17/4 in any shift position unless the lens has no vignetting at 12/2.8 either.
After all, the shift adapter seems to be just a 1.4x teleconverter with shift mechanics.


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Jul 29, 2016 11:46 |  #67

pulsar123 wrote in post #18080937 (external link)
They report 1.1% distortion in their test, but admit that could be an artifact of the very short working distance they use for their tests.

Yes, every result can be an artifact of the very short working distance they use for their chart test.
This is why you should always take photozone's reviews with a big grain of salt.


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pulsar123
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Jul 29, 2016 15:08 |  #68

CheshireCat wrote in post #18081087 (external link)
Yes, every result can be an artifact of the very short working distance they use for their chart test.
This is why you should always take photozone's reviews with a big grain of salt.

To be fair, not just photozone's, but practically all available online lens tests: dxomark, lenstip, http://www.the-digital-picture.com (external link) etc. They all use charts, and fairly short working distance.


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Jul 29, 2016 16:24 |  #69

pulsar123 wrote in post #18081305 (external link)
To be fair, not just photozone's, but practically all available online lens tests: dxomark, lenstip, http://www.the-digital-picture.com (external link) etc.

Right. I mean all chart based tests are only good if you shoot charts at chart distance. All those wasted numbers and graphs.

A few sites care more about actual field shooting performance and these are much more informative for me.

For example, lens with strong field curvature or poor performance at near focus will get very poor ratings on "chart" sites, but some of them are amazing in the right shooting conditions.

Like people, each lens has a different character, and can't be framed in a simplistic chart test.


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keithcooper
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Jul 29, 2016 17:31 |  #70

I'm more than a bit curious to see what PZ come up with for this lens, since I suspect that it's the same one I reviewed and sent onwards to Germany ;-)a

The distortion they see does indeed seem a tad greater than I noticed in my 'outdoor shots'. If I had to show someone the quality of the lens, I'd sooner point to some of the 22"x33" prints I've made on the PRO-2000 I'm testing.

I'm always interested to see the lens numbers, but they drive few of my decisions about what to buy or use.


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Jul 30, 2016 16:21 |  #71

Someone just posted a bunch of comparison test shots for the Laowa 12mm prototype versus Voigtlander 12mm f5.6 and 10mm f5.6 (on Sony A7RII):

https://www.flickr.com​/photos/dierktopp/albu​ms/72157671449943775

My observations: the Laowa is plenty sharp, its vignetting at f2.8 is quite a bit less than Voigtlander 12mm at f8 (!!), it is a bit less wide than Voigtlander 12mm, and it does show some barrel distortion. I took this photo made with the Laowa,

IMAGE: https://c3.staticflickr.com/8/7773/28350709850_118c1d490a_b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/KcfN​jf  (external link) Laowa 12mm f/2.8 prototype on Sony A7RII (external link) by Dierk Topp (external link), on Flickr

and drew a couple of straight lines near the edges:

https://c1.staticflick​r.com …139214_9a0e93e6​13_b_d.jpg (external link)

From my measurements, the barrel distortion in the top middle is ~1%. So it's not the promised "zero" or 0.3% number posted by someone from Venus a while ago, but still very decent for such a wide lens.

6D, Tamron 24-70 f2.8 VC, 135L, 70-200 f4L, Laowa 15mm 1:1 macro, 50mm f1.8 STM, Samyang 8mm fisheye, home studio

  
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Jul 31, 2016 12:57 |  #72

The Kikstarter page is live:

https://www.kickstarte​r.com …h-zero-distortion-laowa-1 (external link)

Already 255 backers after 1 day (29 days to go). If I had FF camera I would be probably seriously considering it.

Hmm, I thought the KS price is fixed at 649$, but that price was actually reserved for the 10 first "early birds". They already sold out 649$ (10), 699$ (30), and 749$ (100). 799$ is still available (106/200). It does look they generated some excitement in the community.


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Post edited over 2 years ago by CanonYouCan. (2 edits in all)
     
Jul 31, 2016 14:52 |  #73

https://www.kickstarte​r.com/profile/laowa/cr​eated (external link)

After 1 day :

2155%
funded

$215,525
pledged

268
backers

29
days to go

I will wait some till the price drop, I even cannot fund it with my 2yo Canon 16-35 f4L IS selling secondhand :-D


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Sep 27, 2016 19:27 as a reply to  @ CanonYouCan's post |  #74

What is the expected delivery date?


Regards, Gareth Cooper
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Sep 28, 2016 07:02 |  #75

GMCPhotographics wrote in post #18142211 (external link)
What is the expected delivery date?

Soon, in the unknown future!!!


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Laowa 12mm f2.8 zero distortion lens - a Samyang 14mm killer?
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