Get ready to be probed! Laowa reveals new probe lens + 8 more avant-garde optics

Laowa lenses
(Image credit: Venus Optics / Photo Rumors)

Venus Optics has revealed nine new avant-garde lenses under the Laowa brand, including a second generation of its infamous 'probe lens', a 10mm f/4 pancake, a 20mm f/4 shift lens and a 6mm T2.1 cine lens. 

Laowa has made a name for itself not just as a brand for low-price alternatives to the giants of the optics industry, but has carved a niche as a producer of high-quality, specialist and daringly niche lenses. This newest batch is a case in point, with macro lenses (opens in new tab), cine lenses (opens in new tab), anamorphic lenses (opens in new tab), as well as a shift lens (opens in new tab) and a pancake lens (opens in new tab) – and, of course, that eye-opening probe lens.

While mounts and manufacturers weren't explicitly revealed for each optic, they cover Micro Four Thirds, APS-C and full-frame systems. As spotted by (opens in new tab) Photo Rumors, these are the various lenses that were revealed at a Chinese trade show in Shanghai:

Venus Optics Laowa CF 10mm f/4 Cookie lens (APS-C)
A wide-angle pancake lens for CF (crop format) cameras. While some sites are reporting that this is for both APS-C and Micro Four Thirds cameras, Laowa has told us that this is solely an APS-C lens (with an equivalent 15 or 16mm effective focal length, depending on the camera brand).

Venus Optics Laowa FF S 20mm f/4 C-Dreamer shift lens
Laowa's second shift (but not tilt) lens, following the Laowa 15mm f/4.5 Zero-D Shift (opens in new tab), for FF (full frame) cameras. 

Venus Optics Laowa FFii 12-24mm f/5.6 C-Dreamer ultra-wide zoom lens
An ultra-wide zoom lens for full frame cameras with a fixed f/5.6 aperture. 

Macro lenses

Venus Optics Laowa FF 24mm T14 2x macro periscope lens
(A successor to the Laowa 24mm f/14 2x Macro Probe)

Venus Optics Laowa Mini FFii 85mm f/5.6 macro 2:1 full-frame lens

Cine lenses

Venus Optics Laowa 6mm T2.1 cine MFT lens
(Micro Four Thirds optic with equivalent 12mm focal length)

Venus Optics Laowa 7.5mm T2.9 cine lens

Venus Optics Laowa S35 anamorphic 27mm T2.8 1.5X cine lens
(Super 35 optic with equivalent 40.5mm focal length)

Venus Optics Laowa MFT 14-60mm T2.9 Cine lens
(Micro Four Thirds optic with equivalent 28-120mm focal length)

Pricing and release information for the new lenses is not yet available, though we are expecting review samples imminently and will share our thoughts as and when we're able to test them.

Read more: 

Best macro lenses
(opens in new tab)Best pancake lenses
(opens in new tab)Best cine lenses
(opens in new tab)Best anamorphic lenses (opens in new tab)
Best tilt shift lenses (opens in new tab)

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James Artaius

The editor of Digital Camera World, James has 21 years experience as a magazine and web journalist and started working in the photographic industry in 2014 (as an assistant to Damian McGillicuddy, who succeeded David Bailey as Principal Photographer for Olympus). In this time he shot for clients as diverse as Aston Martin Racing, Elinchrom and L'Oréal, in addition to shooting campaigns and product testing for Olympus, and providing training for professionals. This has led him to being a go-to expert for camera and lens reviews, photographic and lighting tutorials, as well as industry analysis, news and rumors for publications such as Digital Camera Magazine (opens in new tab)PhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine (opens in new tab)N-Photo: The Nikon Magazine (opens in new tab)Digital Photographer (opens in new tab) and Professional Imagemaker, as well as hosting workshops and demonstrations at The Photography Show (opens in new tab). An Olympus and Canon shooter, he has a wealth of knowledge on cameras of all makes – and a fondness for vintage lenses and instant cameras.