Compact Ultra Wide Zoom LAOWA 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 for Sony FE Open for Pre-Orders

Venus Optics, the camera lenses manufacturer that specializes in making unique camera lenses under their Laowa brand, just announced the pricing and availability of the world’s widest full-frame zoom lens, the Laowa 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 FE Zoom lens for Sony FE mount.

Some of you recall lens was announced earlier in the year (see my post here) and also was part of the Laowa lens portfolio exhibited at Photokina 2018 alonside the company’s first foray into the light weight cine zoom arena – see our video from Cologne on the new Laowa OOOM 25-100mm cine zoom here.

Venus Optics have managed to compress the size of the 10-18mm FE Zoom to the smallest in its class, measuring approximately 3.5 inches (~9cm) long and weighing only 17.5 ounces (<500g) with a lens diameter of 70mm. For the moment, at launch, Venus Optics are only releasing a Sony FE mount version, however Canon RF and Nikon Z mount for their respective full-frame mirrorless cameras are planned for the future.

Here is a comparison in terms of size between the new Laowa 10-18mm zoom and the Sony FE 12-24mm f4 G series zoom (the widest wide angle zoom they manufacture).

This is great news for landscape, adventure, and travel photographers, who travel frequently over long distances and need a compact wide angle zoom to pair up with their full-frame Sony A7III or Alpha 9 cameras.

In additional to the extreme compact size and lightweight body, the 102° (18mm) to 130° (10mm) FoV provides a great deal of flexibility for photographers to compose landscape or architecture photos with ease. The ultra-wide 130° FoV makes it possible to capture a huge variety of shots and is perfect for also putting on a Sony alpha camera and running around on a gimbal in a vlogging or travel-style filming scenario, where a good wide-angle zoom lens can save you lots of time and give you excellent images.

sony fe ultra wide zoom laowa 10-18mm

Venus Optics have re-engineered the design of the aperture and incorporated a 5 straight blade aperture to deliver a sharp, clean, well-defined 10-point sunstars, giving your images a more of a pop or wow-effect. It adds an aesthetic feel into the photos when composing with the sun or other small round light sources.

Laowa 10-18mm sony fe sun star venus optics

Photo by Wen Tai Da Su

Despite having a compact lens body, the 10-18mm FE Zoom still offers an exceptionally high resolution across the frames at all apertures. It houses with 14 elements in 10 groups with 2 aspherical elements & 1 extra-low dispersion element. It also comes with an excellent close up performance. It can focus as close as 15cm (0.5 feet) and deliver a 0.25x magnification for some mini-macro shooting.

Venus Optics truly understands that filter is essential to produce an impressive landscape photo. The new 10-18mm FE Zoom is carefully designed with 2 filter solutions available.

Laowa 10-18mm rear filter

Images by Venus Optics/Laowa

A rear filter thread is included at the back of the lens to fit with 37mm UV/ND filter. A custom designed 100mm-wide magnetic filter holder system is developed to fit a maximum of three 100mm-wide filters with no vignetting when rotated at any angles.

The Laowa 10-18mm ultra-wide lens also incorporates a switch to toggle the click/click-less aperture for when you want to use it for video.

Image by Venus Optics/Gong Xiao Jian

Laowa 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 Specifications:

  • Focal Length: 10 – 18mm
  • Max. Aperture: f/4.5 – 5.6
  • Angle of View: 102° – 130°
  • Format Compatibility: Full Frame 35mm (36 x 24mm)
  • Lens Structure: 14 elements in 10 groups
  • Aperture Blades: 5
  • Min. Focusing Distance 15cm
  • Max. Magnification: 1 : 4
  • Focus Mode: Manual Focus
  • Filter Thread: 37mm (Rear filter thread)
  • Dimensions: 70 x 90.9 mm
  • Weight: 496g
  • Mounts:
    • Sony FE (upon release)
    • Nikon Z (planned)
    • Canon RF (planned)
  • Price: $849 USD at B&H

Laowa 10-18mm f4.5-5.6 sony FE sony a7 iii

Pricing & Availability
The lens is currently available to pre-order for $849 USD from authorized resellers such as B&H in the States, and from Venus Optics direct – http://www.venuslens.net.

The first 50 orders through Venus Optic’s webstore will get a free 100mm Magnetic Filter Holder System.

Venus Optics estimate the Laowa 10-18mm FE to start shipping in late November. As mentioned before, Canon RF and also Nikon Z mounts are also planned for future release. I will update you on those, when more information is released.

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