Meet the Laowa 9mm T2.9 ZeroD , Laowa 15mm T2.1 Zero-D Cine Lens and Laowa 12mm T2.9 Zero-D, now available from Venus Optics in Canon RF mount, right in time to try with the new Canon C70.
The Laowa 9mm T2.9 ZeroD, Laowa 15mm T2.1 Zero-D Cine Lens and Laowa 12mm T2.9 Zero-D are not new lenses in Venus Optics’ lineup. The 9mm T2.9 Zero-D Cine was already available in Fuji X, Sony E mount and Micro Four Thirds mount, the 15mm T2.1 Zero-D Cine was available for Sony FE mount and the 12mm T2.9 Zero-D Cine was available in EF, PL, Sony FE mount.
Now the trio is also available in Canon RF mount, offering, says Venus Optics, “a very interesting wide-angle option for Red Komodo, Canon EOS R5 / R6 and the new Canon C70 cinema cameras.” All three lenses feature the same optical system as the rest of the mounts and with the same close-to-zero distortion (Zero-D) design. They are also built with robust cinema lenses housing.
An ultra wide field of view and a luminous aperture are characteristics of the three Laowa cine lenses. The 9mm T2.9 features an approximate 113° FoV on Super35 sensors while the 15mm T2.1 and 12mm T2.9 feature a 110° and 122° FoV respectively on cameras with full frame sensors. The fast-maximum t-stop is well suited for filming under low light condition. It also allows filmmakers to have more flexibility in depth of field control.
Handy for run-and-gun productions
The Zero-D designation is now a rule for many Laowa lenses and it appears here too, as the three lenses feature the distinguishing Laowa close-to-zero distortion (Zero-D) design where the optical distortion at infinity distance has been compressed to the minimal. This is extremely important for motion picture recording when shooting indoor, architecture or footage with straight lines included. This also saves tremendous amount of time in distortion correction in post processing.
All three wide angle prime lenses are extremely compact and lightweight. The 9mm weigh only 0.5 lbs (226g). The 15mm is around 1.2 lbs (540g) and the 12mm is around 1.49 lbs (675g). Contrary to the huge and heavy wide-angle lenses in the market, the new Laowa cine lenses are extremely handy for run-and-gun productions, shooting with gimbals, FPVs, in-car shots, aerial videography, underwater videography and more. Pairing them with the new Canon EOS C70 may create some interesting options.
An extremely close focusing distance is a feature of the three Laowa cine lenses. This provides a great deal of flexibility for directors to compose shots at any distance. Filmmakers can also take advantage of this close focusing to create some wide-angle shots with shallower depth of field. The 9mm can focus as close as 4.7” (12cm) while the 12mm can focus up to 7.09” (18cm), from sensor to subject. The 15mm instead can focus up to 5.9” (15cm).
Click-less aperture ring
These cine lenses also have a still version and Venus Optics notes that the major difference between the new cinema version and the still version is the improved housing. The new industry standard cinema lens housing has been designed with details to facilitate filmmakers to shoot with ease.
Venus Optics says that “both the aperture and focus rings have been built with industry standard 0.8 mod pitch gears for pairing up with follow-focus motors. The aperture ring is now click-less for smooth iris control. Every one of Laowa cine lenses comes with a filter thread for filmmakers to use screw-in filters and mini matte-boxes. Entire lens body is made by premium grade aluminum and build for usage in extreme environment.”
Hassle-free transportation for the lenses is paramount and Venus Optics says that an authentic hard case made by Pelican will be included with the lens to allow filmmakers to travel around for shooting with ease. With these new lenses Venus Optics currently offers four wide angle cine lenses for cinema cameras with different sensor sizes.
All three cine lenses are currently available to purchase via Venus Optics official website and authorized resellers. The US price for 9mm T2.9 is $599 (ex-VAT), $1,199 (ex-VAT) for 15mm T2.1 and $1,499 (ex-VAT) for 12mm T2.9. Pricing varies in different countries. One final note: the videos used here to show the lenses were captured with lenses for different mounts.