New Venus LAOWA 15mm F4 Wide Angle Macro quick review

Venus LAOWA 15mm F4 Wide Angle Macro – China organization Venus Optics (Anhui ChangGeng Visual Technological innovation Company Ltd.) is a new lens and digicam equipment producer started by a team of macro professional photographers who design and build their own macro photography contact contacts. They started with the Venus 60mm 2:1 macro (which allows twice life-size reproduction), and have followed this up with the LAOWA 15mm 1:1 wide macro of this evaluation. In accessory for these contact contacts, they also offer a double head macro display device, which we think looks quite a bit like an unfamiliar on top of a digicam.

Venus LAOWA 15mm F4 Wide Angle Macro
Venus LAOWA 15mm F4 Wide Angle Macro

Features and specifications

The LAOWA 15mm lens is one of the largest full-frame contact contacts to offer a complete 1:1 zoom rate (meaning that the item in concentrate is estimated at actual-size onto the video or sensor). Of course, this zoom only takes place when the item is 0.2 inches wide (4.7mm) from the rather large front factor of this lens, but that’s the business off between a wide position of view and the desire for ‘true’ macro capabilities.


Focal length  15mm
Max. aperture  F4
Min. aperture  F32
Angle of view 110° (135 frame) / 85° (APS-C)
Shift distances + / – 6mm
Aperture blades 14
Min. focus (1:1)
Filter thread 77mm
Dimensions 83.8 x 64.7mm / 3.3 x 2.5in
Weight 410g / 14.5oz
Available mounts Nikon F / Canon EF / Pentax K /
Sony A, E, FE / Fuji X / m43

In addition to the title function, this entirely guide lens (manual focus; guide aperture; no interaction to the digital camera body) also has a move procedure to actually move the optics up or down along the lens install. This move provides viewpoint modification for converging collections, as well as a way to create smooth panoramas (though the move route is set to the frame’s straight axis).

The LAOWA 15mm is an entirely guide lens, but still easy enough to modify and work with. This was assisted somewhat by examining a K-mount lens on a Pentax APS-C digicam body system and a Sony models a7 II (w/ Novoflex adapter), both of which provide picture stabilizing (from a personally joined central length), stop-down metering, and concentrate confirmation/peaking, despite the low-tech, ‘slab of brass’ lens install.


The lack of auto-focus is not much of a hindrance when using this lens for wide-angle macro photography, since modifying the topic range while looking at the LCD or viewfinder is generally a much quicker way to concentrate at these moment working ranges. Stop-down metering and looking through a dim viewfinder or loud LCD at smaller sized apertures (due to the shortage of automated aperture control), on the other hand, is a bit more complicated to evolve to.

The concentrate toss is somewhat short for a macro lens, demanding only a bit more than 90 amount of spinning to go from the nearest central range (and 1:1 macro) to infinity. Further, the helical is one-sided toward the macro and close-focus end, so there is only a small amount of journey between 2 metres and infinity. This took some getting used to, and originally lead in enough mis-focused photos to guarantee bracketing.

Shooting experience

The LAOWA 15mm is an entirely guide lens, but still easy enough to modify and work with. This was assisted somewhat by examining a K-mount lens on a Pentax APS-C digicam body system and a Sony models a7 II (w/ Novoflex adapter), both of which provide picture stabilizing (from a personally joined central length), stop-down metering, and concentrate confirmation/peaking, despite the low-tech, ‘slab of brass’ lens install.

Venus LAOWA 15mm F4 Wide Angle Macro
1:1 macro at F11. The flare comes from the combination of back-lighting and inability to use the hood at such close working distances.

When purchasing this lens in Small Four Thirds, Sony models E, or Fuji X install, the folks at Venus package an appropriate adaptor with either a Nikon F or Cannon EF install lens. (For single-system Sony models photographers, there is the option of a local FE install, without adaptor.) However, as our friends at Lensrentals point out, examining a wide-angle lens with an adaptor (regardless of manufacturer) can present problems, so much of the more technological research in this article is based on experience of using this lens on a local Pentax (APS-C) body system.


The picture quality of this exclusive lens is great at nearer concentrate ranges, and reveals the dedication of the macro photography lovers at Venus Optics for getting very close and very extensive. There is a high level of sharpness in the middle of the structure, even at broader apertures, and the unavoidable distortions and falloff along the sides doesn’t intervene at nearer concentrate ranges. Being very well fixed for aberrations is another plus as a macro lens.

However, this lens is classified by its 1:1 macro concentrating, which, unfortunately, comes with some distractions. To keep the price of the lens affordable, the LAOWA depends on guide concentrate and a guide aperture without linkage (resulting in the dim viewfinder when ceased down, as described above), while the extensive position visual design means a small 4.7mm working range (for real 1:1) combined with a rather large front side narrow band and bonnet.

Bokeh Lens

It’s a bit uncommon to talk about the bokeh of an ultra-wide lens: considering the average design for this kind of lens provides such extensive depth-of-field, there is often little out-of-focus anyhow. However, the close concentrate and macro capabilities of the LAOWA 15mm give quite a lot of room for moving the central aircraft, so bokeh is not only noticeable, it can be a vital part of the picture.

Venus LAOWA Bokeh 15mm F4 Wide Angle Macro
Venus LAOWA Bokeh 15mm F4 Wide Angle Macro

With a 16-bladed aperture, the cloud disks created by this lens appear circular at all prevents, with a minor ‘onion-ring’ doll when analyzed carefully. More significantly, the falloff in the cloud is sleek and constant, as one would anticipate from a macro lens. This brings together to make the overstated area curve less annoying at nearer central ranges and broader apertures, and becomes another one of the strong points of this lens.

Move ability

The addition of a moving lens install is a great reward for a wide position lens like the LAOWA 15mm, however the visual features of the lens makes this function most useful on APS-C or smaller structure receptors. In pictures taken with a full structure body (the Sony models a7 II w/ Novoflex adapter), the vignetting and distortions at the edge of the picture group surpassed the value of moving the lens (although it is a puzzle how much of this is due to it being an tailored lens).

15mm extensive angle

When using this lens as a ‘normal’ ultra-wide position, the outcomes are something of a combined bag. At near concentrate ranges, the middle is quite distinct (where most macro topics seem to be) at all apertures, while at infinity the area information appear smeared until the lens is ceased down considerably. Some evening photos on the full-frame Sony models, and efforts at astrophotography with the Pentax O-GPS Astrotracer, both display important deterioration of the lighting at the sides. These illustrations are perhaps not quite as extensive as LensRentals’ OLAF system, but still illustrative. Check out the complete quality pictures in the collection below.

Venus LAOWA 15mm F4 Wide Angle Macro quick review
Toronto skyline, as seen from the islands offshore. On the full-frame Sony, the 15mm shows significant degradation at the edges, as evident in the lights on the right side.

Many macro contacts are meant to have a ‘flat field’ for the in-focus area. The LAOWA 15mm is not one of those contacts. Identical to other extensive position contacts, the area of concentrate shapes drastically, yet does not level out as concentrate is moved toward infinity. Add in some advantage distortions, and the resulting deficiency of area sharpness at infinity is perhaps the greatest problem with the picture quality from this lens on full-frame cameras. It entails some approval of the ‘dual nature’ of the lens (macro and ultra-wide) to work within this restrict. Unusually enough, moving the lens provides some respite for at least two of the sides, due to the rounded area being off-center.

Chromatic aberrations

One place where the LAOWA 15mm is quite aggressive is in the management of chromatic aberrations. While there definitely is some horizontal CA, particularly noticeable at great comparison sides in the sides, it is pretty well managed when ceased down, and quite reliable. A few clicks of the mouse in most advanced Raw handling application eliminates these disruptions very quickly. Moreover, longitudinal CA (color fringing in the out of concentrate areas) is almost non-existent, which is outstanding for a macro lens, even though many other extensive position contacts usually be in the same way without this aberration.

Summing up

The Venus LAOWA 15mm F4 Macro is an uncommon lens, both in its reputation (or absence thereof) and its improvements. With a relatively affordable price and accessibility in many different lens installs, there is now an ultra-wide choice for anyone who prefers to get really close to their topics. The absence of auto-focus and auto-aperture stops this from being a ‘snapshot’ lens, and may make it annoying to use on digicam techniques that do not assistance low-tech contacts very well.

There are some adjustments in the visual style of this multi-purpose lens, such as extensive area distortions, and some advantage smooth at infinity. However, wide-angle macro lovers will definitely appreciate this lens, while anyone with tolerance and a wish to understand more about the choices it provides will in the same way find the Venus LAOWA 15mm to be a fun and fulfilling inclusion to their system.

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