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Lens review

Venus Optics LAOWA 12 mm f/2.8 ZERO-D

9 January 2019
Maciej Lata││o

6. Distortion

ZERO-D in the name of the tested lens suggests that distortion correction is a special priority here. Still it is true only in the case of the APS-C/DX sensor where we got a result of −0.72%, meaning distortion is nothing to worry about.

If you progress to full frame, that aberration increases to −2.02%; if Laowa didn’t boast of that ZERO-D I would consider it a quite sensible result, of course taking into account the angle of view provided by the lens. However if the producer states that they managed to correct distortion perfectly well our expectations quite naturally increase and a result on a level of −2% is definitely not a value we would like to see.

We performed one more experiment. We decided to move the focus ring to infinity and stop the aperture down significantly while taking photos of our distortion testing chart – all that was done to get a sharp image even though the lens was positioned very close to the chart. In that case the distortion amounted to −2.39% so was slightly higher than in the situation when the focus ring was set at a distance distinctly below 1 meter. It is a very interesting effect – distortion values of all other lenses we’ve performed that experiment on were actually lower with the focus ring set at infinity.

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Venus Optics LAOWA 12 mm f/2.8 ZERO-D  - Distortion
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Venus Optics LAOWA 12 mm f/2.8 ZERO-D  - Distortion
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Venus Optics LAOWA 12 mm f/2.8 ZERO-D  - Distortion