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Laowa takes on Hollywood with its first cine lenses – a 12mm superwide

Laowa 12mm t/2.9 Zero-D Cine
(Image credit: Venus Optics)

Innovative lens makers Venus Optics has been teasing us with upcoming cine lenses for a while now, but now the first is available for sale. The Laowa 12mm t/2.9 Zero-D Cine is an adaptation of its Laowa 12mm f/2.8 Zero-D – with modifications to the focusing and aperture rings that make it more suitable for use in a professional moviemaking environment.

Laowa claims that this lens provides imaging circle than a normal full-frame lens, which means it can be used on professional cinema cameras using Vista Vision sensors, such as the Red 8K Monstro.

The lens is remarkably lens is remarkably small for its focal length, weight in at just 675g – which Laowa tells us will make it attractive to cinematographers who are using handheld gimbal stabilizers for tracking shots.

(Image credit: Venus Optics)

The lens is constructed of 16 elements in ten groups, including two large aspherical glass elements, with a seven-bladed aperture. It has an impressive close focusing distance of 18cm (7 inches). It has 0.8 mod toothed gears on both the focusing and iris rings for use with a follow focus rig. The focus ring rotates through a full 270° to allow for super-precise manual focusing. 

The lens is available now in Arri PL mount for $1499, with Canon EF and Sony FE mount versions expected to follow at the end of January. The lens comes supplied with a set of shims for back focus adjustment, a stepping ring for use with a matte box, and its own Pelican hard case. 

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