Review – Venus Optics Laowa 9mm f/5.6 for Leica M-mount

This is my evolving review of the widest Leica-M mount lens on Earth. A 9mm f5.6 with rangefinder coupling as well as close focus down to 10cm.. oh and it’s rectilinear!

The main review is done!

Please note that Im using a pre-production model so there might be changes to the design before release. EDIT: the markins on the barrel will be different on the production model.

Testing the Laowa 9mm on the Fujifilm GFX 50R – 7.1mm FF Equivalent

The Review is moving along slowly. The reason for the massive delay is obviously the Covid-19 pandemic. But we are closing in on the lens release date and to kick things off again I made some tests on the medium format GFX 50R.

In this video I tested the 9mm on Medium Format for a 7.1mm Full Frame Equivalent.

GFX Full resolution sample

Click to view full resolution.

There will of course be a proper video review as well on my channel which you can also become a member of here!

LAOWA 9mm f5.6 Leica M Review Venus Optics
The lens is smaller than I expected. The build feel very nice.

Laowa 9mm f5.6 Leica M – First Impressions

When picking up the lens I was first struck by how relatively small it is given that its such a special focal length. It’s a solid, all metal lens with a fat metal lens cap. The aperture is step-less and the focus runs smooth.
It does not have a focus tab.

And I know what you are thinking, “who cares about the focus. On a 9mm lens even at a rangefinders closest focus of 70cm pretty much everything you see is already in focus”. Well is so happens to be that the lens can focus past 70cm and all the way down to 10 cm. And it is so cool!

Venus Optics 9mm Leica M Review close focus
Even though it’s rectilinear, at this extreme you will get some bent lines.

Venus Optics Laowa 9mm f5.6 Review Samples

Venus Optics Laowa 9mm Leica Sample
This is not uploaded at maximum quality. Full resolution samples will be available at a later stage.
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Follow the line.

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Last light.

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  • Yannie Chan

    Look forward to read more from you.

  • Robert Cudlipp

    I have both a Sony a6000 ( which in 2020 still suits my needs very well), a lovely Fuji XT3 and an Olympus Pen F.
    I am not sure as to the types of cameras that this lens is made for, would like one for both of the cameras mentioned, but am not sure of the effective cropping the lens would produce. Could you kindly advise. I am aware that Olympus manufacture a fish eye lens of a similar focal length, but again, that is for a MFT body and ,again, the Sony is a 1.5 cropping factor.
    Many thanks,
    Robert Cudlipp