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Venus Optics Laowa 12mm F2.8 Zero-D

Reviews Views Date of last review
2 10,855 Thu January 4, 2018
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $799.00 9.50
Venus Optics Laowa 12mm F2.8 Zero-D

Venus Optics Laowa 12mm F2.8 Zero-D
Venus Optics Laowa 12mm F2.8 Zero-D
Venus Optics Laowa 12mm F2.8 Zero-D
Venus Optics Laowa 12mm F2.8 Zero-D


This lens features anáultra-wide angle of 122░ on full frame (100░ on APS-C). The lens is rectilinear (i.e. it has no fish-eye effect). This lens is suitable forálandscape, architecture, and interior photography.áThe front element is coated with a water and dust repelling 'Frog Eye Coating'.áCircular polarizers andáND filters can be usedáby adding an optional Laowa 100mm filter holder system.

Venus Optics Laowa 12mm F2.8 Zero-D
©, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
Yes (A setting)
Manual, 7 blades
16 elements, 10 groups
Mount Variant
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
Min. Aperture
Min. Focus
18 cm
Max. Magnification
Filter Size
Internal Focus
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 100 ° / 90 °
Full frame: 122 ° / 113 °
Lens Cap
Weather Sealing
Other Features
Metal Build
Diam x Length
74.8x82.8 mm (2.94x3.26 in.)
609 g (21.5 oz.)
Production Years
2016 to present (in production)
$949 USD current price
$949 USD at launch
User reviews
In-depth review
The lens accepts filters with an optional adapter.

Buy Lens: Buy the Venus Optics Laowa 12mm F2.8 Zero-D
Mount Type: Pentax K
Price History:

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Registered: August, 2010
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 36,465

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: January 4, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Significantly more compact than Pentax 15~30mm and Irix 15mm f2.4
Cons: Inevitable WA convergence when tilted up or down

I had a Pentax 15~30mm for a few days, but returned it because the size & weight meant I would never take it with me. I had an Irix 15mm f2.4 (Firefly) but it was too bulky, hard to fit into even my backpack. I sold the Irix shortly after purchasing this 12mm. This Venus/Laowa is significantly more compact = a reasonable fit into my camera bags. It's heavy, but much easier to take along than either the Pentax zoom or the Irix and the FOV is MUCH wider. The resolution is excellent, far superior especially at the edges to a Sigma 12-24mm I was using for a while on my K1 (I found a leftover new one on EBAY from a camera store in Canada). There is WA style convergence when the lens is tilted up or down but that cannot be avoided with any UWA. The coverage is so expansive that much or all the convergence can be removed in PP without losing significant parts of an image, if such parallel-line images are desired. This is a really good choice for a FF ultrawide and deserves very serious consideration by anyone in the market for such a lens.

Registered: December, 2011
Posts: 2,130

9 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: December 6, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $799.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: field of view, compactness/portability, sharpness
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 6    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: Pentax K-1   

Overall the best ultrawideangle lens I have seen so far.

What is it for:
  • One shot panoramic landscapes
  • indoor architecture, rooms, cathedrals etc.
The one thing I love most is the portability. This 12mm F2.8 lens is easier to pack and smaller than the crop Sigma 8-16 which only offers an equivalent aperture of F6.3.

Most UWAs are just to clunky to find their way into the bag regularly.

The distortion is already minor and once you create your own lens correction profile it is completely gone.

The build quality is outstanding and on par with the old takumar, K series, Zeiss level. Evene the detachable hood is made out of solid metal.

The lens sports a fully working A setting, so is easy to use.

Best sharpness overall can be achieved at F8. Best DoF when focused at somewhere between infitity and the 3 m setting.

With wider apertures the extreme corners (usually noticed on the lower edge) get more soft (as with all UWAs).
Wide open there also is some minor softness in a ring (not the extreme edges or the center). All this is only noticeable when pixelpeeping or using large prints.

Definitely recommended.


A statement on portability (you can also see the A setting on the aperture ring in PK):

Full res sample:

Rheinturm in 12mm by Karl Knipser, auf Flickr

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