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IronFilm

Laowa 17mm f/1.8 MFT for US$149

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https://www.4kshooters.net/2019/10/23/laowa-17mm-f-1-8-mft-is-the-most-affordable-venus-optics-lens-yet/

I thought to myself, do I really need a 17mm fast prime for MFT? 

Not really, as mostly I shoot my vlogs either with the SLR Magic 8mm when handheld or the Panasonic 25mm when on a tripod. 

But then I saw the price: HUNDRED & FORTY NINE DOLLARS!! Gee, maybe I should I pick one up?

 

Z-Cam E2 test footage by James Tonkin testing the Laowa 17mm f1.8 MFT lens:

Laowa 17mm f1.8 MFT + DJI X5 on DJI Inspire 2 drone footage by Macgver Liu:

Panasonic GH5S 4K 50p/60p by Steve Chan of DSI Pictures Entertainment:

Quote

Laowa 17mm f1.8 MFT Tech Specs:

Format Compatibility:

Micro Four Thirds

Focal Length: 17mm

Angle of view: 65°

Aperture: f/1.8 – 22

Lens Structure:

9 elements in 7 group

Aperture Blades: 7

Min. Focusing Distance: 15cm

Max. Magnification: 1:5 (0.2X)

Filter Thread: 46mm

Dimensions: 55mm×51mm

Weight: 172g

Price: $149

Ships October 2019

 

image.thumb.png.510fc41eae672cee4661c4f37ee003c5.png

https://www.venuslens.net/product/laowa-17mm-f18-mft/

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EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

That looks like a very good lens, and for the money looks like a fantastic bargain!

For reference here's it's MTF chart:

1718-MTF.jpg

and here's one of its competitors:

M.Zuiko-Digital-ED-17mm-f1.2-PRO_MTF_Ave

and take note that the Laowa is plotting 20lp/mm and 60lp/mm.

And for reference, here's the 35mm Veydra absolutely destroying a 35mm CP.2 (the coloured range is MFT coverage) to give you a reference about what great performance is:

35mm-comp.png

Anyway, there's more to lenses than resolution, but that's a pretty good initial indicator!

Geez, the Meike primes look a fantastic value after the pricing of the Veydras, and now this looks to raise the bar significantly yet again!

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interesting, and the price is definitely sympathetic to my wallet. Who's getting one ? lets do a group buy ?

If i got one of these it would probably replace my Olympus body cap lens which is fixed at f8 which would certainly open up a few more options.

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There's some advantages to the other ones... like... electronic control. With the likes of the Leica 15mm f/1.7, Oly 17mm f/1.8 and sure the all manual as well Voigtländer 17.5mm f/0.95... must I really add this Laowa? Don't get me wrong, my G.A.S. says 'sure, why not! Pokémon it up! Gotta catch 'em all', but... xD

Still... good to have options! Especially when the options include more affordable (without too many compromises) as well. And boy, remember a certain guy saying 'MFT is dead', well, sure seems far from it when they keep putting out cameras and lenses like that.

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Well, I don't have a 17mm prime! At the moment I'd have to either put my big and heavy Sigma zoom on my teeny MFT Camera for f1.8 (or go sloooooower with say a zoom like the 14-140! ha), or pick a focal length above or below 17mm

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8 hours ago, Cinegain said:

With the likes of the Leica 15mm f/1.7, Oly 17mm f/1.8 and sure the all manual as well Voigtländer 17.5mm f/0.95... must I really add this Laowa?

Yeah sure, If you already have any of those lenses then your set. But for $150 this is still a very nice manual only starter lens or a affordable lens for a second camera body where you don’t want to buy another Voigt.

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10 hours ago, Cinegain said:

There's some advantages to the other ones... like... electronic control. With the likes of the Leica 15mm f/1.7, Oly 17mm f/1.8 and sure the all manual as well Voigtländer 17.5mm f/0.95... must I really add this Laowa? Don't get me wrong, my G.A.S. says 'sure, why not! Pokémon it up! Gotta catch 'em all', but... xD

Still... good to have options! Especially when the options include more affordable (without too many compromises) as well. And boy, remember a certain guy saying 'MFT is dead', well, sure seems far from it when they keep putting out cameras and lenses like that.

You forgot the Veydra / Meike....  ???

1 hour ago, IronFilm said:

Well, I don't have a 17mm prime! At the moment I'd have to either put my big and heavy Sigma zoom on my teeny MFT Camera for f1.8 (or go sloooooower with say a zoom like the 14-140! ha), or pick a focal length above or below 17mm

Sold to the gentleman with the very prestigious beard!

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12 hours ago, Cinegain said:

And boy, remember a certain guy saying 'MFT is dead', well, sure seems far from it when they keep putting out cameras and lenses like that.

1 hour ago, TurboRat said:

Good price. But I bought a used DJI 15mm f1.7 at almost the same price, which I think is a better buy - comparable to the Leica 15mm f1.7

 

All gems. Best mount for the price.

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3 hours ago, TurboRat said:

Good price. But I bought a used DJI 15mm f1.7 at almost the same price, which I think is a better buy - comparable to the Leica 15mm f1.7

You got a steal then. Haven't been able to find one too far below $300 and I've been looking! 

I'd jump on this if I felt like I had a use for a 17mm, but I don't know that it'd do much other than take up space in my bag. I've really been tempted by their ultra wide lenses though. I've been impressed with the footage I've seen! 

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1 hour ago, newfoundmass said:

You got a steal then. Haven't been able to find one too far below $300 and I've been looking! 

I'd jump on this if I felt like I had a use for a 17mm, but I don't know that it'd do much other than take up space in my bag. I've really been tempted by their ultra wide lenses though. I've been impressed with the footage I've seen! 

What focal lengths do you have / use?

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5 hours ago, kye said:

You forgot the Veydra / Meike....  ???

Sold to the gentleman with the very prestigious beard!

Haha true, the 16 mil! Though not one that you just casually slap on. Mostly used within the set, co-starring to another Veydra. Usually the 12 & 35mm (I have all except the oddball 19mm T2.6).

6ccxJnD.jpg

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15 minutes ago, Cinegain said:

Haha true, the 16 mil! Though not one that you just casually slap on. Mostly used within the set, co-starring to another Veydra. Usually the 12 & 35mm (I have all except the oddball 19mm T2.6).

How would you use it on set and why isn't it a casual length?

My main lens is the 17.5mm Voigtlander which is on the camera 80%+ of the time for the environmental portrait and medium landscape shots while travelling.  It's not a length I chose casually either.

For those looking for a great walk-around lens and are on MFT this Laowa looks like a great option!

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Little Ginirigs baseplate/rods setup with little Kamerar follow-focus module (which... definitely is due an update to say the Tilta Nucleus-Nano). Not so much that it isn't a casual length. Just... it is a cinema prime (which I tend to exclusively use as such)... whilst the others mentioned earliers aren't and would more casually be used for all sorts of things, incl. photography. Regarding the last... the Leica 15mm f/1.7 pretty much lives on my GX80. It has an incredibly similar footprint to the LX100, so it's nice and compact and I do really like the focal length and look. The 17.5mm f/0.95 is a gem, I love it for dreamy night shots especially... but, it's kinda hard to mix and match without the other Voigts in my arsenal (GAS mode enabled 'hum...').

The 7.5mm f/2 MFT was certainly awesomely compact and light and optical performance is great considering, so I bet this 17 mil would live up to some standards, despite the insanely cheap price.

-- Just remembered Sigma has the 16mm f/1.4 DC DN as well. But I found it too big, without too many actual benefits over say the Olympus one (that has the MF de-clutch)

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I'm contemplating other lenses to 'match' the Voigt but I'm not so certain that matching is the issue as the Voigt doesn't actually match with itself over its aperture range.  It has significantly different colour at f0.95, 1.4, and 2+ (it's quite purple wide open), and it has perceptibly different resolution at 0.95, 1.4, 2.0, and 2.8+.  

I'm beginning to think that the Voigt is the MFT equivalent of Zeiss Super Speeds, in the sense that it has two (or more) fundamentally different 'looks', but that each of them is great.  I'll post more in my lens rabbit-hole thread when I've gathered more thoughts, but in this sense, they're Dr Jekkyl and Mr Hyde, or the 17.5mm is at least.

In this sense the Veyrda, Meike, and Laowa are likely to be much more consistent.

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Dunno, never needed lens support, aside from a physical rod system lens support. ? A good lens is a good lens period. Same goes for anything vintage. They don't have to be manufactured actively to be worth getting. Besides... all indications have it that Meike has taken over production plans, putting out just about identical lenses (CM (with intellectual property loss for commisioning party; waiving exclusive rights) turned ODM). No R&D from Meike's side means way lower prices. Of course... who knows if they changed materials to lesser quality ones... if QC is compromised, etc.

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3 hours ago, Cinegain said:

Besides... all indications have it that Meike has taken over production plans, putting out just about identical lenses

Unfortunately they made a change which was one of the biggest pros in favor of Veydra lenses..... the swappable mounts! ?

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True. Although... those are now hard to come by I imagine. I did managed to cop me like two swappable E-mounts for my MFT-standard lenses when I thought I was going APS-C when the Sony A6300 was rumored and just around the corner. But I was rather disappointed with that one and stayed true to MFT. Fujifilm hasn't really been floating my boat either yet, maybe an X-H2 could change that, but I doubt it. If you look at the jumps from GH2 - GH4 - GH5 and now the GH5S/BMPCC4K, there's no doubt in my mind that the GH6-series will be a very special and capable camera. I don't even want to go and switch to APS-C or FF-mount ecosystems.

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