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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.