First Olympus and Panasonic, now Venus Optics announces some amazing new lenses for the sensor format. 

Only a few weeks ago we talked about the announcement of the OM System Olympus OM-1. It was a statement made to reinvigorate a brand that had just changed hands. Then, only days later, the long-awaited Panasonic LUMIX GH6 was announced

Both cameras touted a Micro Four Thirds sensor with super high frame rates, high-resolution images, and RAW output. 

Venus Optics, seemingly not wanting to be left out of the fun, has announced four new cinema lenses in its Laowa line, joining the already released 7.5mm T2.1 MFT Cine lens.

The Four Horsemen

Okay, maybe the heading is a tad bit dramatic, but these new Laowa lenses offer some robust features for filmmakers.

The new additions to the lineup are a 6mm and a 10mm, both in T2.1, the 17mm T1.9, and a 50mm in T2.9. All lenses have geared focus and iris rings, as well as cover a 21.6mm image circle. Each one has a 49mm filter thread, save for the 6mm, which has a 58mm filter thread. 

Laowa 6mm T2.1 Zero-D MFT CineCredit: Venus Optics

Laowa 6mm T2.1 Zero-D MFT Cine

The 6mm T2.1 is a lightweight lens perfect for gimbal work. At only 180g, you’d barely know it’s there. Your 12oz morning coffee probably weighs more. It’ll deliver a 121.9-degree angle of view on an MFT sensor with a minimum focusing distance of 3.54”. With the extremely low optical distortion, this lens will finally offer a wide field of view for creatives shooting on smaller sensors. 

Laowa 10mm T2.1 Zero-D MFT CineCredit: Venus Optics

Laowa 10mm T2.1 Zero-D MFT Cine

The 10mm T2.1 is another near-zero distortion lens with a 96-degree angle of view on MFT sensors. Much like its wider cousins, the 6mm and 7.5mm, the 10mm is compact. Actually, it’s the smallest of the bunch at only 1.85" and weighs only 150g. That’s almost a pancake lens. 

Laowa 17mm T1.9 MFT CineCredit: Venus Optics

Laowa 17mm T1.9 MFT Cine

With the 17mm T1.9, the field of view narrows at a 65-degree angle of view on Micro Four Thirds sensors, but we also gain more light. At 175g, it’s not the lightest of the bunch, but the T1.9 is blazing fast and is well-suited for low-light shooting.

Laowa 50mm T2.9 Macro APO MFT CineCredit: Venus Optics

Laowa 50mm T2.9 Macro APO MFT Cine

Finally, the 50mm T2.9 rounds out the telephoto end of the lineup, offering macro capabilities with up to 2x magnification on Micro Four Thirds sensors. This lens will function as a telephoto lens and offer some unique options for close-up cinematography. Oddly enough, it’s also the slowest lens in the lineup. But even so, it should serve your MFT needs just the same. 

Should You Buy Them?

Yes. And no. 

These Laowa lenses, including the 7.5mm, are a unique set of tools that don’t come around often. While not as fast, they remind me of the Carl Zeiss Super Speed S16 Cine Lenses, as they cover a similar focal range for smaller frame sizes. Ergonomically, the Laowa Cine Primes are streamlined for high-paced production environments that need to keep a small footprint. They're also very affordable. 

With how much support the MFT mount is getting, having a set of these cine primes would be a boon to any creative's toolkit.

Venus Optics Laowa MFT Cine Prime

New Lenses!
  • 7.5, 10, and 17mm Lenses
  • Fast Aperture
  • Compact and Lightweight
  • For MFT-Sized Sensors
  • Manual Focus and Iris; 0.8 MOD Rings
3-Lens Bundle

The Laowa lenses are a great fit for filmmakers shooting on Micro Four Thirds and Super16 sized sensors with MFT mounts. They would be a great fit for creatives using any Blackmagic Design MFT cameras. I still have an original BMPCC Super16 that I can’t wait to try with these lenses. 

Filmmakers also have Panasonic, ZCam, and now OM System to choose from. 

You could even say, a cornucopia.

Whatever you plan is with the new Laowa lenses, don't dismiss them because of their limiting lens mount. While they might not be as versatile as full-frame glass, they offer some unique perspectives that other lenses will fail to deliver. 

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