Widest Canon EOS R lens ever! The Laowa 11mm f/4.5 FF RL is here

Widest Canon EOS R lens ever! The Laowa 11mm f/4.5 FF RL is here
(Image credit: Venus Optics / Ben Johnson)

Looking for a an ultra-wide lens for your Canon EOS R? The Laowa 11mm f/4.5 FF RL has just been launched for the RF mount.

Until now you were out of luck if you wanted something this wide for your Canon EOS R5 or Canon EOS R6, as the best Canon RF lenses previously topped out at 14mm. However, the Laowa 11mm f/4.5 FF RL now means that you can shoot natively wide on your RF camera without having to adapt bulky DSLR lenses.

• Read more: Laowa 11mm f/4.5 FF RL review

This rectilinear lens is ludicrously small and light, at just 63.5mm long and a paltry 254g, making it a pocket-sized prime that you can always find space to bring it with you – making it perfect for spontaneous landscapes and travel photography. 

Its 0.19m minimum focusing distance coupled with 126° angle of view enables you to get some incredibly unique perspectives on the world, including very pleasing 10-point sunstars courtesy of the 5 aperture blades. It also features a 62mm filter thread, making it easy to shoot in a variety of outdoor conditions and achieve a multitude of effects.

Already available in Sony FE, Nikon Z, Leica M and L mount, we've reviewed this lens previously – and while impressed at its size and center sharpness, we felt that it is overall performance fell uncharacteristically short of Laowa's usual standards.   

"There are compromises to achieve the super-small form factor: the f/4.5 aperture means that you'll need to consider your exposure, while corner sharpness, vignetting, fringing and distortion are all issues – albeit issues that, aside from sharpness, can easily be fixed in editing," we said in our review.

"Of course, larger (and pricier) lenses may not suffer said flaws – but since they are larger and heavier, you'll find yourself leaving them at home most of the time. Would you rather have a flaw-free lens that you seldom bring with you, or a lens with some mostly forgivable flaws that always fits in your camera bag?" 

Overall, though, we found this an incredibly fun lens to use, and a fantastic introduction to extreme-angle photography for anyone who wants to experiment with ultra-wide lenses without breaking the bank. 

The Laowa 11mm f/4.5 FF RL is available now, priced $699 / £769 for Canon RF, Sony FE, Nikon Z and L-mount, and $799 / £869 for Leica M.

Read more: 

Best wide-angle lenses
Canon EOS R5 review
Canon EOS R6 review
Canon EOS R5 vs R6

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James Artaius

The editor of Digital Camera World, James has 21 years experience as a 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 like 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, photo and lighting tutorials, as well as industry news, rumors and analysis for publications like Digital Camera MagazinePhotoPlus: The Canon MagazineN-Photo: The Nikon MagazineDigital Photographer and Professional Imagemaker, as well as hosting workshops and talks at The Photography Show. He also serves as a judge for the Red Bull Illume Photo Contest. 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.