The Laowa 12mm T2.9 ZD is the world’s widest angle T2.9 cinema lens

Tips & Techniques

The long-awaited Laowa 12mm T2.8 Zero Distortion cinema lens we got to take a peek at during NAB 2019 is finally here. It’s essentially the same internals as the Laowa 12mm f/2.8 but in a cinema housing. It offers the same 16 elements in 10 groups, the same field of view, 18cm minimum focus distance and manual focusing.

What makes it special to cinema, though, is that it offers a 270-degree focus throw for very precise control, particularly when using a follow focus wheel, a stepless aperture ring, it’s available in Canon EF, PL and Sony E mounts, and has a 100mm front filter thread with a step-up adapter for standard 114mm matte boxes.

Focal length 12mm
Format Full Frame / Vista Vision
Mounts Canon EF, PL, Sony E
Angle of view 122°
T-Stop T2.9-22
Optics 16 elements in 10 groups
Aperture blades 7
Min focus distance 7.09″ (18cm)
Max magnification 1:5
Outer diameter 102mm (can step up to 114mm)
Dimensions 87 x 102mm
Weight 1.5lb (675g)

As with all of the lenses in the Zero-D range, the goal of the design of this lens is to get the distortion as close to zero as possible. And while you’ll never be able to completely correct for perspective distortion on a lens this wide, you shouldn’t see the same levels of optical distortion that you might with other lenses.

When we spoke to Laowa last April, they expected it to start shipping in just a couple of months. Well, that got a little delayed, and the price is a little higher than originally expected, too. But it’s available to buy now through the Venus Optics website for $1,499.

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