6 comments on “Venus Optics Laowa 15mm f/2 Zero-D Review

  1. Thank you for that great review! Looking at your brick wall picture however, it seems like your lens may be de-centered or something wrong with it. The left side does not appear to be as sharp as the right side.

    • I think I see what you are talking about. On the image shown on the website (low resolution), it does look substantially fuzzier on the left/lower left corner. I think this is more of a problem with WordPress’ compression combined with my low-quality JPEG output (I typically upload around 70-80% quality to save space unless it is a high-res file). When I went back to that file in Lightroom, the difference is still there, but only minutely. I can hardly tell the sharpness difference from the four corners, but it is both the bottom corners (left AND right) that are not as sharp. Thanks for noticing this issue, and who knows, my lens may actually be a bit decentered, as I am not personally getting quite the performance many other reviewers are experiencing.

  2. Hi Matthew,
    Why a great review! And some stunning pictures in there, especially the samurai. It’s making me miss Japan a lot – when I am next over there it would be great to go on a photowalk!

    • It’s been a great couple of years over here in regards to photos. In spite of my 15 or so trips to Tokyo, I still feel like I’ve only seen half the city—-if that! I’ll definitely miss a lot of this country.

  3. Hey Matthew, just read this through and have a question. I do a lot of real estate photography and before testing this myself I was just googling around and found this article.

    I noticed a lot of your medium/longer range shots (and shots using infinity focus) are taken at around f5.6. Is that the sharpest aperture you’ve found at those focal lengths? I’ve been shooting at f8 (probably based off of a review from a completely different lens, I don’t know) and haven’t put much thought into it. I’m looking for the sharpest aperture when the lens is focused to infinity.

    • Hey Tim, sorry for the late reply. The optimum aperture for sharpness probably varies slightly based on the camera you use, the sensor’s pixel density, and sample variation from lens to lens. I’ve never had a lens be its sharpest at f/2.8 or f/11, it’s always between those apertures, and usually it’s either f/5.6 or f/8. If shooting on a full frame camera, it may be closer to f/8 or f/11 for you, as I haven’t done too many technical tests with my A7iii.

      This is a bit of a moot point, though, because for real estate photography you’re probably going to want everything in focus, anyway, so you will have to stop down to whatever it takes for the depth-of-field to be long enough. Hiding softness from distortion is easy, by just downsampling the picture. If your client is requesting super high-quality, high resolution, though, you may have to employ focus-stacking so you can shoot within the critical sharpness aperture effectively.

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