Laowa (Venus Optics) 4mm f/2.8 circular fisheye lens review

Specifications

Laowa 4mm f/2.8 Circular Fisheye Lens
Model Number
Lens MountMicro Four Thirds
Focal Length4mm (210 degree FOV)
Maximum Aperturef/2.8 Constant
Minimum Aperturef/16
Weather SealNo
Aperture Blade7
FocusManual Focus
Optical Design7 elements in 6 groups
Maximum Magnification
Minimum Focus Distance8cm
Dimensions45.2 x 25.5 mm
Weight135g

Another month and another crazy lens from Laowa.
In this review, let’s have a look at one of the widest, most in-practical lens I’ve ever used, but I’ll also tell you why I feel everyone should have one in the camera bag.

The lens I’m reviewing this time is the Lawoa 4mm f/2.8 fisheye lens specially designed for micro four thirds cameras. A circular fisheye lens with 210 degree field of view.

If you would like to purchase this lens, please support me by purchasing it from Laowa’s official website using my affiliate link:

https://www.venuslens.net/product/laowa-4mm-f-2-8-mft/ref/11/

Final Thoughts

I’m usually not a big fan of circular fisheye lens but there are three things I think Laowa got it really right with the Laowa 4mm fisheye, which makes me feel it could be a lens a lot of people would want one even if they are not big circular fisheye lens fan like me

– Really tiny size

– Affordable price.

– 210 degree FOV

Let me explain each a bit more.

The lens is so small that I feel I can just keep it in the camera bag even if I’m not planning to use it for a while. Because it takes up virtually no space and no weight. Problem with circular fisheye lens is, you don’t really know when you see something you can shoot photos with it. But being such a small lens means you can just bring it with you all the time

When Laowa sent me the pre-production sample, they didn’t tell me the price or much information at all initially (quite normal when I receive pre-production sample way before the announcement). In some way it’s good because it gave me time to try it out and guess what the retail price would be. I was guessing it would be around $299-399 USD as the lens is really well built (full metal) and picture quality is quite good too. I thought if they want to charge $499USD, while is still reasonable but it would be quite hard to sell to most people. So I was really surprised when they told me the price is only $199USD. This is a price that most people wouldn’t mind paying even if it’s a lens that will only be used ocassionally.

Re 210 degree FOV, the bigger than 180 degree FOV definitely creates a bit issues as the photographer’s hand, the camera itself would get inside the photo easily. But it also allows me to capture photo that even 180FOV circular fisheye can’t do. For example, for this photo below, you notice the image actually can capture the floor in all 360 degree direction. And I was actually just crouching and point the camera up above my head.   If I want to capture the same photo with a 180 fisheye, I have to bury the camera underground so the lens is at ground level.  

If Laowa didn’t get all these three right, it would be a lot harder for me to recommend it to anyone.

210 Degree FOV

Sample Photos

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