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drmarkf
20th March 2017, 09:25 PM
I had a play with one of these on the Laowa stand at the show. Unfortunately I didn't have an m4/3 body with me.

http://www.digitalrev.com/article/venus-optics-launch-laowa-7-5mm-f-2-mft-and-15mm-f-2-sony-fe-zero-d

It feels like it's made of solid glass, but is really tiny and even has a front filter thread! Pricing is yet to be fixed, but a figure of 599 was mentioned, roughly. Reviews were said to be very positive (but they would say that, of course!).

It may go a long way to answering the request I made years ago for a 5 to 6mm ultra-wide, small prime, preferably of Pro quality and weatherproofed, and an aperture of f4 would be fine. In my view this new piece should much better match the Olympus ethos of small, light and portable than the (lovely, but lardy) 7-14 f2.8.

pdk42
20th March 2017, 10:05 PM
I took a look at it on the stand too and even ran off a few shots on my memory card using a GX80 they had. These are my quick views:

- Pretty sharp over most of the frame at f8. Some slight softness at the edges, but actually not bad. Softens up a lot at wider apertures. Don't even think of using it at f2 much away from the centre.

- Handles filters well. I did a shot with a filter plus a 49-52 step up ring and whilst there was some vignetting it wasn't much. I'm sure without the step up ring it would be vignette-free.

- Tiny and very light. Seems well built.

- Price will be 499. It's $499 in the US (typical!).

I think if a UWA price is what you want then it's a nice option. 500 isn't that cheap though. You can get the Panasonic 7-14 used for that money, and purple blobs aside, it's probably slightly better IQ-wise and much more versatile (if you can live with after-market square filters).

drmarkf
20th March 2017, 11:03 PM
Interesting. I would only ever use this for landscape on hikes, and key issues will be how good it is between around f5.6-8 and what the flare resistance is like. It doesn't sound like it's going to be much use to the astrophotographers (at f2).

Even at 499 it is a bit pricey (I could have sworn the guy said 599, but I didn't have long so I was in a rush and I'm probably wrong).

pdk42
21st March 2017, 07:19 AM
Flare resistance is good. I shot several images pointing at the bright lights in the hall. No obvious blobs or nasty flare.

OM USer
21st March 2017, 03:00 PM
I was in two minds about buying the 7-14/2.8 in case the Laowa proved to be the better all round lens - so heavy focus on small size and price. When the Laowa was first rumoured the price estimate was just north of 500 (so it hasn't really shifted) and I decided that this was too close to what I could pay for a 7-14.I'm glad I didn't wait for this small lens but I am struggling to get the big 7-14 into my camera bag.

Harold Gough
23rd June 2017, 09:16 AM
Yikes!

Having ordered the 7.5mm on 30 May and the 12mm on 5 June, I wanted some idea about notification. On 9 June, in response to my enquiry, they asked for my order number which I sent by return. I chased that up with a further email yesterday.

I have just been out this morning, returning to find that both orders are "complete".

Harold

steverh
23rd June 2017, 10:19 AM
I have long lusted after the 7-14mm F/2.8, saw a used one for a decent price and bought it.

I took it out a couple of times and it's a lovely lens. But it's very heavy and using filters is almost impossible. Decided it was not for me.

So it was traded in after a few weeks (for not much of a loss!). I have had a 9-18 for a few years and it's pretty useful within its limitations so decided to stick with it.

Then the Laowa 7.5mm came along and it seems like the answer to a small, rectilinear ultra wide. It's arrived and looks very promising - and it's TINY. It also takes filters!

Limited use so far as I have broken my wrist - not ideal for testing a manual focus lens :mad:

Harold Gough
7th July 2017, 07:05 AM
I have just posted an account of the first use of mine in the Foto Fair forum.

Harold

slightlyblurry
8th July 2017, 07:07 AM
Steve
I hope you didn't break your wrist lugging the 7-14 around!
Mike

steverh
9th July 2017, 11:15 AM
Steve
I hope you didn't break your wrist lugging the 7-14 around!
Mike

No, it was gone by then. Tripped over my own feet and landed on my wrist. :eek: Not carrying a camera, just as well. Nine days and counting until the cast come off.

I have done some test shots with the lens as best I can and it looks pretty good.

As it was an early order I get a free filter kit (ND, UV and polariser) which is apparently on its way to me.

slightlyblurry
10th July 2017, 09:48 PM
Glad your on the mend and enjoy your new lens.
Mike

Harold Gough
12th July 2017, 10:15 AM
I have just posted some car images in Foto Fair.

Harold

Walti
22nd August 2017, 03:56 PM
So who apart from Harold ahas bought one of these?

Bought the 4/3 7-14 to find out if I liked that sort of lens, so may upgrade to one of these if the IQ is comparable.. Anyone done any back to back tests against the zooooms?

steverh
23rd August 2017, 11:50 AM
I succumbed to a used 7-14 f2.8 a while ago. It's a lovely lens but big and heavy! I realised I would rarely want to carry it around and filters are a big issue.

So it was sold and I got the Laowa. Not used a huge amount as I have broken my left wrist (not ideal for a MF lens). It's tiny, takes 46mm filters and seems optically good.

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4378/36341258182_dd3dd75924_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/XnmrWW)
Recycling pond (https://flic.kr/p/XnmrWW) by Steve Hallam (https://www.flickr.com/photos/stevehallam/), on Flickr

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4414/36341258952_7bf7601183_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/Xnmsbd)
Brassica garden (https://flic.kr/p/Xnmsbd) by Steve Hallam (https://www.flickr.com/photos/stevehallam/), on Flickr

Walti
23rd August 2017, 12:00 PM
I succumbed to a used 7-14 f2.8 a while ago. It's a lovely lens but big and heavy! I realised I would rarely want to carry it around and filters are a big issue.

So it was sold and I got the Laowa. Not used a huge amount as I have broken my left wrist (not ideal for a MF lens). It's tiny, takes 46mm filters and seems optically good.


I have a 4/3 7-14 f4 so I know what you mean about big and heavy!

Have you done any comparisons between the two lenses? IQ Looks fine in those two photos.

steverh
23rd August 2017, 12:07 PM
I have a 4/3 7-14 f4 so I know what you mean about big and heavy!

Have you done any comparisons between the two lenses? IQ Looks fine in those two photos.

Sadly no, I didn't have them at the same time.

Harold Gough
23rd August 2017, 12:51 PM
Have you done any comparisons between the two lenses? IQ Looks fine in those two photos.

Any comparison would have to be at the same focal length and via manual focus. Then you would know the difference, if any, for (near to) one end of the zoom. I can;'t see it being worthwhile.

I carry the Lumix Vario G 7-14mm as well as the Laowa 7.5mm. I consider them to have different functions.

Harold

RobEW
24th August 2017, 09:43 PM
I have a 4/3 7-14 f4 so I know what you mean about big and heavy!

...


It's wonderful though isn't it?

Walti
21st October 2018, 08:54 PM
Well having sold both my 4/3 7-14 and my Panasonic 20mm - I now have one of these on order to arrive this week...

Many thanks to Mark for the try out a while back and thanks to those that bought my other lenses to fund it!

I loved the 7-14 f4, but I found that all but one or two photos were taken at 7mm nothing at 14 - other than a couple of tests, and although the IQ was fantastic, it wasn't exactly subtle for carting around town and stately homes...

Quite looking forwards to the challenge of a manual lens, having got thoroughly used to AF!

drmarkf
22nd October 2018, 05:49 PM
I carry the Lumix Vario G 7-14mm as well as the Laowa 7.5mm. I consider them to have different functions.

Harold

Yes, I've kept the 7-14 f2.8 as well as the Laowa - I love using the biggie when I'm specifically going to do landscape or architectural shooting, especially from a car, while the 7.5 slips unnoticed in to a pocket or bag when I'm travelling or hiking.

I strongly considered selling the 7-14 since I correctly guessed I wouldn't use it that much, but landscape is one application when I resent throwing away any of the 20Mp, so perfect framing with a zoom is really useful.

Walti
23rd October 2018, 09:16 PM
Anyone know where to get a soft pouch for the lens...

I haven't found anything small enough yet!

Harold Gough
23rd October 2018, 09:18 PM
Anyone know where to get a soft pouch for the lens...

I haven't found anything small enough yet!

Maybe one for a monocular?

Harold

drmarkf
23rd October 2018, 09:51 PM
Anyone know where to get a soft pouch for the lens...

I haven't found anything small enough yet!

I use one of these: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dorr-20x20cm-Novoflex-Small-Camera/dp/B000NDAXEC/ref=sr_1_3?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1540331275&sr=1-3&keywords=Novoflex+camera+wrap

Walti
23rd December 2018, 10:23 AM
Well, I'm getting on well with the lens and carry it around "just in case" which I would never have done with the 4/3 7-14....

There are situations where it cannot avoid but flare, but they are work-around-able, one thing I've noticed, is that although it mounts on the camera just fine, the rear lens caps are always loose and occasionally drop off in the bag... (yes I have tried all of them, not just the one it came with)

Walti
23rd December 2018, 10:57 AM
Examples of flare...

http://www.e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/2022/20181222-PC223244.jpg

With a nice central sun, it's fine...

http://www.e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/2022/20181222-PC223250.jpg

Off to one side it flares - but no more so than the Oly zoom

Harold Gough
23rd December 2018, 11:48 AM
although it mounts on the camera just fine, the rear lens caps are always loose and occasionally drop off in the bag... (yes I have tried all of them, not just the one it came with)

Mine does not have this problem. I have just checked it with two Lumix and one generic m4/3 and all fit tightly.

Yes, mine is in the bag just in case.

Harold

Walti
23rd December 2018, 11:51 AM
Mine does not have this problem. I have just checked it with two Lumix and one generic m4/3 and all fit tightly.

Yes, mine is in the bag just in case.

Harold

I might get in touch with them then. It's not important as it mates up with the camera really well, but it's obviously slightly looser mount than any of my other lenses.