I was fortunate enough to come across a loan copy of the Laowa 9mm F2.8 ZERO-D lens with the Fujifilm X mount. Laowa also make this available for other camera mounts. It is a crazy wide angle lense with 113 degree field of view. If you are not careful you will include your feet in the shot. Almost. The lens is tiny – approximately the size of the Fujifilm XF35mmF2 lens and is of a very solid metal build. It also comes with a lightweight lens hood with a petal shape.
It is important to keep in mind that whilst this is a Fujifilm X mount lens, it is manual focus only. For most of the images included in this blog, I set the focus to infinity and kept aperture at around F8. I did try a couple of close up shots as you can get up to 40 cm minimal focal distance with this. But I found getting tack sharp focus a little tricker. But hey, this is the first time I have ever tried a manual focus lens. My manual focus skills are lacking.
As for image quality, I found that this lens produces really sharp images – provided the user knows how to use manual focus of course. And that color and contrast render well as expected. I did find that there a fair bit of vignetting in the corners but I think that is to be expected to a degree with a lens like this. I actually like it as I enjoy the drama that this lens provides. I found that this lens worked best for me when I used it to shoot architecture. The dramatic angles and lines a wide angle lens like this creates really pushes the imagination of how architecture can be represented.
This is by no means a technical review – in case you hadn’t already realised – but more of a first use review. For more information on the Laowa 9mm F2.8 then check our the Laowa website here. Over the coming weeks I will attempt to use it more and also get a hang of the manual focus system especially for getting in close to subjects. All of the images in this blog were shot today with the Fujifilm X-T3 at the Prahran Market and on or around Chapel Street Prahran. Happy shooting!
3 Responses to Playing with the Laowa 9mm and the Fujifilm X-T3
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Hi Greg, what’s your take on the Laowa versus Fuji’s own 10-24mm lens ?
The Laowa is a great piece of glass. It is visually corrected and works a treat on the Fujifim X Series camera bodies. The down side is that it is Manual Focus only. But the 9mm field of view is really striking and great in certain applications – landscape, architecture and even street. Whereas the XF10-24mm is a native Fujifilm lens. It has auto focus and has a range in the wide zoom field. So not just a fixed focal length. Some prefer this level of versatility. Hope that helps. If you can get your hands on one to try then give it a shot. The other benefit of the Laowa is that it is tiny and light. The Fujifim lens is quite heavy in comparison.