Laowa 6mm f/2 Zero-D MFT - Review / Test Report - Sample Images & Verdict
Lens Reviews - (Micro-)Four-Thirds

Sample Images

Click on an image to download the full-size variant.

MakeOLYMPUS IMAGING CORP.
ModelE-M5MarkII
ISO Speed200
Focal Length6.0mm
Aperture:f/5.6
Exposure1/1000s

MakeOLYMPUS IMAGING CORP.
ModelE-M5MarkII
ISO Speed200
Focal Length6.0mm
Aperture:f/5.6
Exposure1/500s

MakeOLYMPUS IMAGING CORP.
ModelE-M5MarkII
ISO Speed200
Focal Length6.0mm
Aperture:f/2.0
Exposure1/400s

MakeOLYMPUS IMAGING CORP.
ModelE-M5MarkII
ISO Speed200
Focal Length6.0mm
Aperture:f/5.6
Exposure1/200s

MakeOLYMPUS IMAGING CORP.
ModelE-M5MarkII
ISO Speed200
Focal Length6.0mm
Aperture:f/5.6
Exposure1/400s

MakeOLYMPUS IMAGING CORP.
ModelE-M5MarkII
ISO Speed200
Focal Length6.0mm
Aperture:f/5.6
Exposure1/200s

MakeOLYMPUS IMAGING CORP.
ModelE-M5MarkII
ISO Speed200
Focal Length6.0mm
Aperture:f/2.0
Exposure1/500s

MakeOLYMPUS IMAGING CORP.
ModelE-M5MarkII
ISO Speed200
Focal Length6.0mm
Aperture:f/2.0
Exposure1/500s

MakeOLYMPUS IMAGING CORP.
ModelE-M5MarkII
ISO Speed200
Focal Length6.0mm
Aperture:f/5.6
Exposure1/125s

MakeOLYMPUS IMAGING CORP.
ModelE-M5MarkII
ISO Speed200
Focal Length6.0mm
Aperture:f/5.6
Exposure1/200s

MakeOLYMPUS IMAGING CORP.
ModelE-M5MarkII
ISO Speed1000
Focal Length6.0mm
Aperture:f/2.0
Exposure1/80s

Competition

At the time of this review, the Laowa 6mm f/2 Zero-D MFT (shown to the left) is a unique lens within the MFT lineup. If we had to name two competitors, it's probably Laowa's own 7.5mm f/2 MFT (center), and the Meike 8mm f/2.8 MFT (to the right). They aren't worlds apart in terms of performance, but the Meike has the edge in this row - but an 8mm lens is still not quite as wide, and as you can see below, it's also a substantially bigger lens. And then there's still the Panasonic/Leica 9mm DG Summilux f/1.7 -IF- it is wide enough for your purposes.

Verdict

The Laowa 6mm f/2 Zero-D MFT is a pleasant surprise when looking at the whole package. We didn't really expect much from such an extreme 6mm lens, but the Loawa managed to produce very respectable, if not great results - both in the lab as well as during our shooting sessions. It is usable at f/2 with just a bit of corner softness and is sharp across the image field in the f/2.8 to f/5.6 range. If you own a higher megapixel MFT camera such as the GH6, you should probably prefer to stay around the f/4 mark - also because centering issues aren't unheard of (...). As promised by Laowa, image distortions are low for such a lens. The same can't be said about vignetting, but auto-correction is taming this issue to a manageable degree. Lateral CAs are a tad high at f/2 and f/2.8 but ease substantially at medium aperture settings. A true "highlight" (pun intended) is the lens's capability to render sun stars from f/2.8 onward.

The build quality of the Laowa lens is excellent. It's a tightly assembled, all-metal construction. The focus control ring is very smooth. On the downside, there is no weather-sealing, though. While the lens doesn't offer AF, it is electronically coupled thus, the camera can produce proper EXIF data plus in-camera stabilization, and you can also control the aperture via the camera's control dials.

A 6mm lens isn't everybody's darling and is clearly on the specialty side of things. However, if you love dramatic scenes or need something extreme for tight spaces (e.g. interiors), the Laowa may be the lens for you. It's also very reasonably priced and, despite its large max aperture, very compact and lightweight. Highly recommended!


Optical Quality:    
★★★★★
Mechanical Quality:
★★★★★
Price/Performance:
★★★★★

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