Laowa 15mm f/4 Wide Angle Macro Review

November 14, 2017 | Tim Coleman | |
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Conclusion

We can rarely use the word unique, but the Laowa 15mm f/4 Wide Angle Macro lens is worthy of this accolade. Not only does it feature the widest focal length for a macro lens, but you get perspective control chucked in for good measure. 

For some users - thinking Pentax K mount and Sony A/ E/ FE mount, there really is no other option. For others, this lens by far represents the best value for money. 

All these features are packed into a solid and compact form, with the lens measuring a mere 82mm in length. For us the lens is a little too compact because it can be quite fiddly to operate. That click-less aperture ring is all too easy to shift out of place, the shift mechanism is clumsy and the markings on the barrel are too small to read clearly without a closer look. 

We’re not 100% convinced of the effectiveness of both the macro and perspective control features. It is possible to create unusual looking images with both of these features. However, it is hard to light your macro subjects because of the close working distances. Also, because of barrel distortion, perspective control is not entirely appropriate for those that need clinically correct images of architecture. 

As a straight-up ultra-wide angle lens, the Laowa 15mm f/4 is able to create very sharp images, with a little fall-off in sharpness in the corners. We’d be happy to use this lens for wide-angle landscape images without even exploring the macro and perspective control world. 

Our test of the Laowa 15mm f/4 Wide Angle Macro lens has been particularly enjoyable. It’s a lens packed with character, that breaks convention and offers plenty of creative opportunities. Ironically though, perhaps where it works best is as a conventional ultra-wide angle lens. 

4 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 4
Features 5
Ease-of-use 3.5
Image quality 3.5
Value for money 5