PR:Dear Mr. Li, let me thank you for this opportunity to ask you some questions about your work and the process of designing a lens. But first we would like to learn a bit more about you. Can you tell us a little bit about your background and your position at Laowa?
Okay, everybody is talking about how manual lenses work so well on the Sony a7 series but how does it actually work? And which results can I expect? Read on if you want to know.
Why should I use manual lenses?
They can be very cheap, you can get a great 1.4/50 lens for $50. For most applications such a lens will give you 90% of the performance of a $1000 Zeiss 1.8/55 FE. For the $1000 you would have to pay for that Zeiss you can buy an excellent set of five lenses from 20 to 300mm.
You have a huge choice between thousands of lenses ranging from exotic ones with lots of “character” to some of the very best lenses available.
There are 30-year-old primes with better image quality than many modern lenses. Of course progress has happened in recent years but still affordable primes are often sharper than very expensive modern zooms.
Old lenses are usually beautifully built from nothing but metal and glass which makes it a joy to handle them. They can last a lot longer than modern lenses which are full of electronics and very complex designs, both of which make them more likely to fail.
They also hold their value much better than modern lenses. With some patience you can sell most manual lenses without a loss but with new lenses you can expect to lose 30% in the first year.
Manual focusing can be very enjoyable. This certainly depends on application but personally I enjoy working with fully manual lenses a lot more than with any AF lens and I would choose a good manual focus lens over an AF lens (almost) any time. Check out our manual photographers series to read other photographers stories who feel similar about this.
The Laowa 15mm 2.0 Zero-D is a lens I have been waiting for eagerly since I took a few snaps with the prototype at Photokina in 2016. It is one of the very few lenses making actual use of the narrow flange distance of mirrorless cameras.
But does it only look good on paper or can it keep up with my high expectations? Find out in this review!
This is a Rolling-Review, bits and pieces will be added as we get to know the lens better. Last Update: Review finalized (12/03/17)
I have already reviewed the Canon EF 200mm 1.8 L and the rare Voigtlander SL 180mm 4.0 APO-Lanthar, but the Olympus OM 180mm 2.0 Zuiko Auto-T is even rarer. I guess most of you didn’t know it even existed.
The Olympus an exotic relic from the past, one of Olympus’ masterpieces when it comes to 35mm lenses. So let us have a look at what I think is the first and only review of this lens on a (high res) digital full frame camera like the A7rII.