Laowa’s announcement of four new Micro Four Thirds cine lenses demonstrates its confidence in the MFT format for filmmakers, which is understandable. They have all of the functionality of standard cine lenses, such as T-stop iris adjustments, geared focus, and iris rings, but for a fraction of the cost.
The new lenses are compatible with Panasonic Lumix G cameras such as the GH5 II and GH6, as well as Olympus cameras and video/cine cameras such as the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K and Panasonic BGH1.
The Laowa 6mm T2.1 Zero-D MFT Cine, Laowa 10mm T2.1 Zero-D MFT Cine, and Laowa 17mm T1.9 MFT Cine are ultra-wide to moderate-wide primes, while the Laowa 50mm T2.9 Macro APO MFT Cine can focus to infinity and delivers 2x macro magnification.
Laowa 6mm T2.1 Zero-D MFT Cine
We’ve already written a detailed review of the Laowa 6mm T2.1 Zero-D MFT Cine and found it to be a fantastic ultra-wide lens with almost no aberrations at regular apertures and excellent performance wide open.
It’s the MFT format’s widest rectilinear lens, with a massive 121.9-degree field of view, a minimum focus distance of 0.09m, and a weight of only 180g. The best part is that this lens will be available for just $699 (about £522/AU$961).
Laowa 10mm T2.1 Zero-D MFT Cine
In full-frame terms, this lens corresponds to a 20mm field of vision, thus it’s still rather wide but not as severe as the 6mm lens. Because this is a Zero-D lens, we expect excellent aberration control from its optical construction, which has 11 elements in seven groups, including two ED and two aspherical elements.
The Laowa 10mm T2.1 Zero-D MFT Cine will cost $549 (about £410/AU$755) and weighs even less than the 10mm version, just 150g.
Laowa 17mm T1.9 MFT Cine
In full-frame terms, this lens equates to a 35mm angle of vision, therefore it provides a handy semi-wide angle of view for all types of video production. It doesn’t have the Zero-D designation, which is usually reserved for Laowa’s ultra-wide lenses.
It has a minimum focus distance of 0.15m, weighs 175g, and costs $399 (about £298/AU$549), making it the most affordable of Laowa’s new cine lenses.
Laowa 50mm T2.9 Macro APO MFT Cine
Finally, the Laowa 50mm T2.9 Macro APO MFT Cine provides 2x macro magnification while also focusing to infinity, allowing it to be used as a short telephoto lens (100mm equivalent) for close-ups, interviews, or talking headshots, according to Laowa.
The APO (apochromatic) construction of this lens helps to reduce color fringing and increase sharpness and clarity. It is larger than the other new Laowa cine lenses because of its focal length and magnification, but it is still very light at 289g and will cost $549 (about £410/AU$755).