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06-22-2017, 04:37 PM - 1 Like   #1
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Laowa 12mm f2.8 - wiggle in the mount defect

Just finally received my second copy of this lens today, but with the same defect that the first one had.

This copy came from B&H, and apparently isn't even new. With the first copy from Adorama, the lens inside the box was in vacuum sealed plastic. This copy from B&H didn't have the sealed plastic wrap, and had some dust specs on it. Maybe I am mistaken, and can't prove that the lens is used, but I am at least inclined at this point to contact Venus and see if they do indeed ship theses lenses out in vacuum sealed plastic wrap.

So on to the defect... With both copies, there is slight wiggle in the mount when attached, whether to my K1, K3, or K5. There is nothing loose on the lens itself, so there must be something wrong with the mount piece, whatever the official terminology is. You can hear the wiggle as a slight clicking sound when wiggling it, and in magnified LV, you can see the result of the wiggle as the scene on display shifts around slightly on the screen.

Here is video evidence if you're interested. 20170622 153654 - Sendvid (I recommend that you at least have a pop-up blocker running if you're going to click the link...)

Am I making too much of this? At this point I still think that for $950 I should be able to have a lens that mounts securely to the camera as all my other K-mount lenses do, right?

I would love to learn from anybody who has this lens in K-mount that they have a copy free from this defect. So far I haven't had any input from anybody one way or the other.

Long side story:

I've been through much hassle trying to acquire a good copy of this lens. First time I ordered direct from Venus, and it took them a week after I purchased it to tell me they didn't actually have any copies in stock and didn't know their lead time. Then it took another ten days to get a refund from them despite my status check emails every other day. (They don't have a phone number. Just have to hope they get around to answering emails. Totally hit and miss. I did get them to sell me the filter adapter separately though).

Then I ordered from Adorama. It took them almost a week before the lens even left their warehouse, then another few days to arrive. Once I got it, it took a few days or so to discover that it was defective. Adorama then wanted me to work with Venus, but I wasn't getting a response from Venus, so I had to pay $35 to ship the lens back to Adorama insured. (Venus did reply a couple weeks later and either they didn't know about the problem, or they're playing dumb.) By the time Adorama received the return, they had gone out of stock with the lens so couldn't exchange it.

I waited on backorder for a few weeks until I noticed that B&H had come into some stock. So I cancelled my order with Adorama who then took seventeen days to refund my money, despite me contacting them every few days trying to get them to recognize their mistake, whatever it was. They kept insisting that my bank was holding the funds, but my bank had no record other than when the money had gone out to Adorama back in April. It turned out that they had issued me a store credit rather than refund... Once they realized this mistake, it still took them another four full days to issue the refund.

At this point I wouldn't even try for an exchange again, except that I really like the lens and have the filter adapter and bought filters just for this scenario, and don't have any other viable UWA prime + filter capable options at this point. (I am not interested in the 15-30)...

06-23-2017, 12:16 AM   #2
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I have the Venus 60mm from Loawa, I ordered it directly from China and it came in a vacuum sealed plastic wrap for what it's worth. No wobble on the K1 although the mount is aluminum and got dirty real quick.
Btw you should have a look at the Irix 15mm, it comes in K mount with aperture controlled from the the camera, has much less distortion than the Samyang and takes filters. And it's half the price of the Laowa !
06-23-2017, 12:19 AM - 1 Like   #3
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Looking at the video, it seems like the wiggle you refer to is rotational only. If that's all it is, then - with respect - you're probably worried for no reason. Just about every A-mount lens I've mounted on my Sony A99-based Hasselblad HV - including my Sony Zeiss 24-70 f/2.8 - has a tiny amount (1 - 2mm at most) of rotational movement. So long as the lens doesn't move noticeably side to side, and is firmly attached and locked in, some rotational movement is absolutely nothing to worry about

EDIT: I've just re-watched the video, this time to the very end. OK, so it seems there is some lateral movement... but, considering the zoom level used in live view, I still don't think it's a big problem. I'd prefer a tighter manufacturing tolerance on the mount, but unless the lens actually feels loose on the mount, this amount of movement wouldn't concern me. Two copies of the DA16-85 I tried had more internal movement than this during AF

Last edited by BigMackCam; 06-23-2017 at 01:29 AM.
06-23-2017, 08:44 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
unless the lens actually feels loose on the mount
Well shoot. Wish I had opened a thread before I returned the last one. The thing is, it's exactly that 'loose' feeling when I adjust focus that first caught my attention. It's not all that loose though, obviously. It's just a little movement and that clicking feeling when I adjust focus that I don't like. It doesn't feel like it's going to fall off of course but it causes a slight imprecise feeling that I don't like. Thanks for the perspective Mike.

If this copy had come new in the seal, I'm thinking it'd be easier for me to just get over it at this point. Now I am wondering why this lens was (probably) returned and sent back out to me. Of course it doesn't mean anything is wrong so just need to get out and test it, also for infinity focus since there are others who have had that problem with this lens as well. I did already notice that this copy turns past the infinity mark whereas I am almost positive that my last copy stopped right at the infinity mark. Wish I had done a video on the other copy. It seems impossible that two lenses designed the same would have that difference, but it's now another thing that is going to play with my head about this copy.

QuoteOriginally posted by probez Quote
Btw you should have a look at the Irix 15mm,
I've looked plenty at this lens and it's a charmer for sure. I have a couple 20mm lenses though, and also DA10-17 and have a desire to go wider than 15mm if possible. I did debate turning to the Irix quite a bit though.

Last edited by todd; 06-23-2017 at 08:52 AM.

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