Venus Optics, makers of Laowa lenses, have announced the widest rectilinear lens for Micro Four Thirds cameras: the Laowa 6mm f/2 Zero-D MFT. A development of Laowa's existing 6mm T2.1 Cine lens, the new 6mm f/2 Zero-D is gets electrical contacts – absent from the cine version - which facilitate aperture control via the host camera, as well as the recording of lens EXIF data.
With such a short focal length - equivalent to 12mm in full-frame camera terms - controlling barrel distortion isn't easy, but Laowa claims the new lens produces "close-to-zero" distortion, while capturing an expansive 121.9-degree field of view. It should help make the lens ideal for photographing interiors, architecture and landscapes. A 9cm closest focusing distance can further exaggerate the wide-angle perspective effect whilst giving the shallowest possible depth of field and most pronounced background separation.
The lens is constructed from 13 elements arranged in nine groups, including two aspherical elements to control distortion. A 5-blade diaphragm will produce 10-point sunstars, and a 58mm filter thread facilitates conveniently compact screw-in filters. Although the lens is equipped with electronic contacts, focussing is still manual, but thankfully focussing is much less critical with an ultra-wide lens than a telephoto optic.
The Laowa 6mm f/2 Zero-D MFT is available now from Venus Lens direct, and will shortly be stocked at other retailers, priced at US $499.