Laowa 17mm f/1.8 MFT hits the streets

Laowa 17mm f/1.8 MFT
(Image credit: Laowa)

Laowa has announced that its 17mm f/1.8 lens for Micro Four Thirds is now ready to ship. Originally announced over a year ago at Photokina, the manual-focus prime is an ideal street photography lens for those using Olympus or Panasonic MFT-mount mirrorless cameras. The lens can also be used on the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema 4K cine camera. 

The key appeal of this lens will be the price - at just $149 it is one of the most affordable lenses on the market. After taking the 2x crop factor into account, the Laowa 17mm f/1.8 MFT offers a focal length equivalent to a 35mm wide-angle. This coupled with its wide f/1.8 maximum aperture make it a classic choice for documentary shooters.


(Image credit: Laowa)

Focal length 17mm
Max. Aperture
Angle of View
Lens construction
9 elements in 7 groups
7 blades
Minimum focusing distance
15 cm
Max. Magnification
Filter thread
Micro Four Thirds

(Image credit: Laowa)

The lens is small and lightweight - making it particularly appealing for use on a smaller mirrorless model, such as the new Olympus PEN E-PL10. Its size also make it a useful option for when shooting with a gimbal or a drone. 

The lens will be available from the end of this month, and will cost $149 / £189.

Read more:
The best Micro Four Thirds lenses for your Olympus or Panasonic camera
The best Panasonic cameras
The best 4K cameras for filmmaking

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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.