Laowa 10-18mm: widest ever zoom for Sony full-frame mirrorless cameras

Laowa 10-18mm FE f/4.5-5.6

Laowa's record-breaking 10-18mm FE f/4.5-5.6 will be on sale in time before Black Friday – and at a price that makes superwide shooting a viable option for most Sony camera users. The lens rightly claims to be the widest ever zoom produced for the Sony full-frame E-mount - and offers an incredible 130° angle of view, giving it particular appeal for shooting architecture and interiors. 

It has a rectinlinear (non-fisheye) optical design which attempts to keep distortion to a bare minimum, despite the extra wide coverage.

The development of this lens was announced earlier in the year, and shown at the recent Photokina tradefest – but we now have the details of how soon we can get this innovative lens, and for how much. 

Laowa 10-18mm FE f/4.5-5.6 

Laowa 10-18mm FE f/4.5-5.6 


The compact zoom has an metal barrel of the lens houses 14 elements in 10 groups with one extra-low dispersion element and two aspherical elements that promises 'exceptional optical quality and performance', according to the Chinese manufacturer. it has a chromium mount to connect to full-frame Sony E-mount lenses, from the original A7 to the all-pro A9.

The zoom has a modest maximum aperture of f/4.5 at one end of its zoom range, and f/5.6 at the other. The minimum aperture is f/22. 

The angle of view is 102-130 degrees with internal manual focus which means the front element does not rotate. A rear filter slot is included to fit 37mm filters or an optional filter holder is available for 100mm wide rectangular filters. 

For videographers the aperture ring can be switched to de-clicked silent control of the aperture.

Laowa 10-18mm FE f/4.5-5.6 on Sony camera

Although designed to for use with full-frame Sony cameras, the E-mount lens can still be used on APS-C Sony models, such as the A6000 and A6500. On these it will give an equivalent 15-27mm focal length range.

Other key features include a five-bladed aperture, that creates 10-pointed 'sun star' starbursts when shooting things like street lamps at night. The lens has a minimum focus distance of 15cm, and weighs in at 500g.

Pricing and availability

The Laowa 10-18mm FE f/4.5-5.6 should be available for sale from towards the end of November and will have a recommended retail price of £899 / $899. 

Read more:

Best lenses for Sony cameras

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Chris George

Chris George has worked on Digital Camera World since its launch in 2017. He has been writing about photography, mobile phones, video making and technology for over 30 years – and has edited numerous magazines including PhotoPlus, N-Photo, Digital Camera, Video Camera, and Professional Photography. 

His first serious camera was the iconic Olympus OM10, with which he won the title of Young Photographer of the Year - long before the advent of autofocus and memory cards. Today he uses a Nikon D800, a Fujifilm X-T1, a Sony A7, and his iPhone 11 Pro.

He has written about technology for countless publications and websites including The Sunday Times Magazine, The Daily Telegraph, Dorling Kindersley, What Cellphone, T3 and Techradar.