Laowa 15mm f/4.5 Zero-D Shift review

The world's widest full-frame shift lens, the Laowa 15mm f/4.5 Zero-D Shift gives pricey tilt lenses a run for their money

Laowa 15mm f/4.5 Zero-D Shift Lens
(Image: © James Artaius)

Digital Camera World Verdict

The Laowa 15mm f/4.5 Zero-D Shift offers comparable perspective correction and a superior wide-angle perspective to tilt lenses that cost nearly twice as much. Though it lacks weather sealing and electrical contacts, it handles superbly and offers a native option for mirrorless shooters. Canon and Nikon's tilt-shift options offer better sharpness, but not a thousand bucks better. This lens delivers professional, distortion-free results and is worthy of an architectural or indoor photographer's toolkit.


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    +/- 11mm of shift

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    360° rotation

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    Great distortion control

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    Medium format-friendly


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    No tilt function

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    Fully manual

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    Not weather sealed

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    No (external) filters

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Already one of our favorite manufacturers, the Laowa 15mm f/4.5 Zero-D Shift only adds to Venus Optics' standing as a producer of exotic, esoteric and excellent lenses. 

On paper, what the Laowa 15mm f/4.5 Zero-D Shift offers is quite extraordinary: it's the world's widest full-frame shift lens, offering ±11mm of shift. However, so large is the image circle that this lens can also be used on medium format cameras, delivering up to ±8mm shift on bodies like the Fujifilm GFX 100S and Hasselblad X1D II 50C

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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.