Laowa 4mm f/2.8 Fisheye review

The Laowa 4mm f/2.8 Fisheye unleashes your creativity – without breaking the bank

5 Star Rating
Laowa 4mm f/2.8 Fisheye review
(Image: © James Artaius)

Digital Camera World Verdict

At first glance, the Laowa 4mm f/2.8 Fisheye is completely impractical. Within half an hour, however, you fall in love with it, as it challenges your photography and encourages you to see and create images in entirely new ways. The f/2.8 aperture keeps you shooting in low light and the IQ is surprisingly sharp. However, the extreme 210° field of view means that your fingers (and even your camera grip) gets in your shot, so it may not suit your camera body.


  • +

    Circular fisheye

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    Ultra compact and light

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    Bright f/2.8 aperture

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    Very affordable


  • -

    210° FOV sees your fingers

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    Tricky to unmount

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    Vulnerable front element

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The Laowa 4mm f/2.8 Fisheye is both the most impractical and most addictive lens you will probably ever own. And, at only $199 / £249 / AU$289, it's also borderline essential – a  lens that we recommend everyone keep in their camera bag.

If you're ever in a bit of a funk with your photography, simply put this lens on the front of your camera. Its ludicrous 8mm equivalent focal length, 210° field of view and 80mm close focusing distance will a) force you to completely reconfigure the way your brain thinks about everything to do with composition, and b) unlock all kinds of potential shooting possibilities that simply don't exist with any other lens.

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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.