Pairing an ultra wide-angle field of view with an especially compact design, this Laowa 9mm f/2.8 Zero-D Sony E from Venus Optics is a Sony E-mount lens offering a 13.5mm equivalent focal length. As a Zero-D lens, this 9mm f/2.8 optical design is specifically meant to limit distortion for clear and accurate portrayals of landscapes and architectural subjects. The optical construction also incorporates a pair of aspherical elements and three extra-low dispersion elements to control both spherical and chromatic aberrations for improved sharpness and reduced color fringing. A Frog Eye Coating has been applied, too, to repel dust and moisture from the front element of the lens to benefit working in trying environmental conditions. Its sleek and lightweight design is well-matched to mirrorless bodies and is ideal for everyday shooting as well as use on gimbals. Additionally, a petal-shaped lens hood is also incorporated into the lens design to reduce flare and ghosting when working in strong lighting conditions.
Ease of Use
The Laowa 9mm f/2.8 is a solid and weighty all-metal lens. Apart from the coating on the front eleemnt, it’s not at all weather-sealed, but fits securely onto the Fujifilm X-T3 camera that we tested it with.
Size-wise, the lens is tiny - just 60mm long and weighing 215g. This makes it one of the smallest ultra-wide-angle lenses that we've ever tested, if not the smallest. Vitually all other wide-angle zoom lenses like this are notably larger and heavier. When mounted to a recent APS-C camera - in our case the Fujifilm X-T3 - the lens balances really well.
The Laowa 9mm f/2.8 Zero-D is fully manual. It also does not feature electronic contacts, meaning it is manual focus only, there is no aperture data, while metering is the stop-down method. So long as you use an automatic shooting mode like aperture priority, the camera’s metering will still work though.
Grab any of the front half of the lens barrel and you’ll have a grip on the focus ring. It has a lovely smooth rotation that spans almost 180° from infinity to the close focus distance of just 12cm. In use, that’s a lengthy four comfortable turns with the hand.
A distance scale is clearly marked and a helpful guide for depth of field. However, for critical focusing - especially for close subjects at wide apertures - bringing up focus magnification using the camera’s live view is the quickest and most accurate focusing method.
The aperture ring has clicked stops in equally spaced whole stop values, with a seven-stop range from f/2.8 to f/22. Note that f/8 is the middle aperture that will provide the sharpest possible detail.
The 9mm focal length gives an angle of view of 113° on a camera with an APS-C sensor.
Laowa 9mm f/2.8 Zero-D Sony E Features:
- Ultra wide-angle 9mm f/2.8 prime is designed for APS-C-format Sony E-mount mirrorless cameras and provides a 13.5mm equivalent focal length.
- Bright f/2.8 maximum aperture is well-suited to working in low and difficult lighting conditions.
- Rectilinear design renders subjects with minimal distortion in order to suit the landscape and architectural applications.
- Three extra-low dispersion elements reduce chromatic aberrations and color fringing for increased clarity and color neutrality. Two aspherical elements are also featured to limit spherical aberrations for improved sharpness.
- A Frog Eye Coating has been applied to repel both dust and moisture for added protection when working in inclement conditions.
- Manual focus design offers a minimum focusing distance of 4.7".
- Built-in petal-shaped lens hood shields the lens from stray light to reduce flare and ghosting and also protects the front elements from accidental impacts.
Brand Laowa Manufacture SKU VE928SE UPC 6940486700565 Focal Length 9mm (35mm Equivalent Focal Length: 13.5mm) Maximum Aperture f/2.8 Minimum Aperture f/22 Lens Mount Sony E Lens Format Coverage APS-C Angle of View 113° Minimum Focus Distance 4.72" / 12 cm Maximum Magnification 0.13x Optical Design 15 Elements in 10 Groups Diaphragm Blades 7 Focus Type Manual Focus Image Stabilization No Filter Size 49 mm (Front) Dimensions (ø x L) 2.09 x 2.36" / 53 x 60 mm Weight 7.6 oz / 215 g
Package Weight 0.81 lb Box Dimensions (LxWxH) 3.85 x 3.8 x 3.6"