Venus Optics, the camera lenses manufacturer specializes in making “unique” camera lenses, unveil the pricing and availability of the Laowa 17mm f/1.8 for Micro Four Thirds (M43) cameras. This lens is the 4th wide angle lens that Venus Optics designs for MFT mirrorless cameras, following the success of 7.5mm f/2, 9mm f/2.8 and 4mm f/2.8 fisheye lenses. At the price of USD $149, this lens has been the most affordable lens Venus Optics has ever released!

The 17mm lens will gives the equivalent to a 34mm angle of view on a full-frame sensor, houses nine elements in seven groups, and has a seven-blade diaphragm to give a pleasing sunstar rendering. The lens is compact and weighs just 6oz (172g). It has a minimum focus distance of 15cm and comes with a 46mm filter thread.

Lightweight & Compactness

Weighing only 6oz (172g), this remarkably light, compact and agile lens serves as an exceptional complement to MFT cameras. It is a great tool for still-life shots, street and travel photography that should be in every photographer’s kit bag.

Ultra-fast f/1.8 Maximum Aperture

An ultra-fast f/1.8 maximum aperture not only creates smooth bokeh with its rounded 7-blade diaphragm, but also offers great low-light performance. Despite the f/1.8 fast aperture, sharp and high-contrast images of distant subjects can be still captured at any aperture. It’s a great lens for portraits, landscapes, travel and all-purpose imaging.

Focus as Close as 5.9” (15cm) From Sensor

This lens has a 5.9” (15cm) minimum focusing distance that greatly benefits working with smaller subjects in detail. Photographers can make use of the “Mini-macro” feature to capture close-up shots with shallower depth of field, creating smooth out-of-focus rendering and good subject separation from the background.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

4) Excellent performance in Videography

Attributed to the compact and light body, the 17mm f/1.8 lens is a portable and on-the-go option of videographers, both handheld and on gimbals. The high-performance optical design incorporates one ED (extra-low dispersion) glass element that delivers high-definition images with minimum ghosting and flare, broadening your shooting potential in challenging situations.

i) Footage on Z Cam by James Tonkin:

https://<a href="https://www.slrlounge.com/vimeo" class="slr-aff-link" rel="nofollow external" target="_blank">vimeo</a>.com/364490145

ii) Footage on Panasonic GH5 by Steve Chan:

Drone-friendly

On top of using with traditional M43 cameras, this lens is also drone-friendly. It is compatible with DJI X5 camera, making it an alternative lens for aerial photography and videography. The front element has adopted premium FEC (Frog Eye Coating) to repel water droplets and pollutants from sticking onto the lens, enhancing the lens’ durability in frequent outdoor shooting.

i) Daytime Drone footage with DJI X5 on DJi Inspire 2 by Macgver Liu:

ii) Nighttime Drone footage with DJI X5 on SJI Inspire 2 by Macgver Liu:

Outstanding Sharpness and High Contrast

Optimized for M43 system, the resulting images deliver stunning details and contrast across the entire frame, even at a wide-open aperture. The vibrant color rendering results in high saturation, leaving the photograph impressively pleasing straight out from the camera.

Laowa 17mm f/1.8 Sample.jpg
Laowa 17mm f/1.8 Sample.jpg

Pricing & Availability

The lens is currently available to pre-order in authorized resellers globally. The ex-VAT retail price in US is $149 USD* (Pricing may vary in different countries) and the First shipment is expected to start in late October, 2019, likely right after PPE finishes up this week. We’ve tested a few of the Laowa lenses in the studio already and have been pretty impressed with the quality, especially when compared to the price. So i’m VERY intrigued to get hands on with this new lens to see how it fairs in the SLR Lounge team testing. How about you? Have you shot with Laowa before? Are you interested in this lens? Let us know in the comments below!

Check Pricing & Availability Here

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