Laowa's 9mm lens is the widest f/2.8 optic for APS-C mirrorless cameras

While Fujifilm, Sony and Canon are growing their mirrorless lens ranges, one area that's perhaps been overlooked is the fast ultra-wide-angle prime lens.

Venus Optics thinks it's spotted a gap in the market, and has produced the world’s widest rectilinear f/2.8 lens for mirrorless APS-C cameras in the shape of the new manual-focus-only Laowa 9mm f/2.8 Zero-D.

It's the third lens in Laowa's 'Zero-D' lineup, joining the 12mm f/2.8 Zero-D and 15mm f/2.8 Zero-D, with Venus Optics claiming the lens offer excellent control of optical distortions. 

The 9mm f/2.8 Zero-D has a 35mm-equivalent focal length of around 13mm on an APS-C sensor, and despite the extreme specifications Venus Optics has managed to keep the weight down to just 215g; it's also nice and compact at just 53mm long.

The lens design comprises of 15 elements in 10 groups. Two elements are aspherical, while three feature Extra-low dispersion coatings, which Venus Optics says will minimize distortions and chromatic aberrations, while delivering excellent optical performance from corner to corner.

Great for astrophotography

The extreme 113-degree angle of view and ultra-fast f/2.8 aperture should make the new lens a popular choice for photographers who are keen on astrophotography, while the field of view naturally lends itself to landscape and low-light shooting. 

The lens has a 49mm filter thread, so will happily work with compact filter systems such as Lee's Seven5 system.  

The Laowa 9mm f/2.8 Zero-D is currently available to pre-order at Venus Optics' website in Sony E, Fujifilm X and Canon EF-M mounts, and is priced at $499 (around £350, AU$650) . 

It'll start shipping at the beginning of April, with the first 100 orders getting a free set of Laowa 49mm filters – a circular polarizer, a UV filter and a ND1000 10-stop filter. 

Phil Hall

Phil Hall is an experienced writer and editor having worked on some of the largest photography magazines in the UK, and now edit the photography channel of TechRadar, the UK's biggest tech website and one of the largest in the world. He has also worked on numerous commercial projects, including working with manufacturers like Nikon and Fujifilm on bespoke printed and online camera guides, as well as writing technique blogs and copy for the John Lewis Technology guide.