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Laowa 15mm f/2 FE: Rolling Review and Comparisons
  
 
Fred Miranda
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p.2 #1 · p.2 #1 · Laowa 15mm f/2 FE: Rolling Review and Comparisons


pdmphoto wrote:
Look good so far. Your copy is performing much better than at least one other What what about flare? At f6.3 I don't see that much difference IQ wise from it and the Voigtlander. I'm thinking that it has to have good coma and flare performance or it may not be worth the extra size and weight (price?) for normal landscape shots.


The Laowa looks better at smaller apertures though.
At f/6.3 they are very similar and the 15/2 is only slightly better at mid-zone but the problem is that it's extremely difficult find a good copy of the 15/4.5 III.

I tested for flare resistance and will post some examples soon.



Jul 20, 2017 at 04:43 AM
Fred Miranda
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p.2 #2 · p.2 #2 · Laowa 15mm f/2 FE: Rolling Review and Comparisons


Coma performance:

I was able to get a semi-clear sky tonight and tested the 15/2 for coma while compare it to Sony's 12-24/4.

Here are some crops at 1:1 showing the extreme edges at f/2.8 (LEFT) and f/2 (RIGHT). I would say this lens performs well at f/2.8, so it could be a great alternative for astrophotography. The corners at f/2.8 are sharp and coma is well-controlled.




Full image thumbnail






Extreme edge showing coma performance: f/2.8 (LEFT) | f/2 (RIGHT)




Jul 20, 2017 at 05:45 AM
Fred Miranda
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p.2 #3 · p.2 #3 · Laowa 15mm f/2 FE: Rolling Review and Comparisons


In comparison, here is the FE 12-24/4G @15mm showing the exact same area at f/4 and f/5.6. The zoom did well wide open so it's an alternative at f/4.







Jul 20, 2017 at 05:49 AM
Fred Miranda
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p.2 #4 · p.2 #4 · Laowa 15mm f/2 FE: Rolling Review and Comparisons


An example showing city lights towards the edge of the frame: (Laowa 15/2)









f/2 (LEFT) | f/2.8 (RIGHT)




Jul 20, 2017 at 05:56 AM
AGeoJO
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p.2 #5 · p.2 #5 · Laowa 15mm f/2 FE: Rolling Review and Comparisons


I would say the coma seems to be quite pronounced at wide open and fine at f/2.8.

Thank you for the comparison, Fred! It was a pain evaluating lens or lenses that do not transfer the exif data into their their files, huh ?



Jul 20, 2017 at 06:10 AM
Fred Miranda
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p.2 #6 · p.2 #6 · Laowa 15mm f/2 FE: Rolling Review and Comparisons


AGeoJO wrote:
I would say the coma seems to be quite pronounced at wide open and fine at f/2.8.

Thank you for the comparison, Fred! It was a pain evaluating lens or lenses that do not transfer the exif data into their their files, huh ?


Yeap. it's tough not having the EXIF and so far my negative about this lens.

How is your Sammy 14/2.4 in comparison? Just as good at f/2.8?



Jul 20, 2017 at 06:12 AM
AGeoJO
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p.2 #7 · p.2 #7 · Laowa 15mm f/2 FE: Rolling Review and Comparisons


Fred Miranda wrote:
How is your Sammy 14/2.4 in comparison? Just as good at f/2.8?


It tested fine for centering and sharpness at f/2.4 but I haven't had the chance to test it for coma yet. Getting lazy lately in my old days . I was thinking out loud of just doing some real life astro cold turkey and bring a few lenses, like the FE 12-24 and Batis 18mm and compare it there. I am still debating.... And I am thinking out loud about getting the Sigma 14mm f/1.8 Art but probably not before figuring out where the Rokinon stands for astro. Too many lenses already...



Jul 20, 2017 at 06:17 AM
Fred Miranda
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p.2 #8 · p.2 #8 · Laowa 15mm f/2 FE: Rolling Review and Comparisons


AGeoJO wrote:
It tested fine for centering and sharpness at f/2.4 but I haven't had the chance to test it for coma yet. Getting lazy lately in my old days . I was thinking out loud of just doing some real life astro cold turkey and bring a few lenses, like the FE 12-24 and Batis 18mm and compare it there. I am still debating....


I can tell you that the 12-24/4 did well wide open. I've heard the Batis 18/2.8 and Firin 20/2 are ok from wide-open. My Loxia 21/2.8 is quite good wide open but improves at f/3.5.



Jul 20, 2017 at 06:21 AM
AGeoJO
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p.2 #9 · p.2 #9 · Laowa 15mm f/2 FE: Rolling Review and Comparisons


Fred Miranda wrote:
I can tell you that the 12-24/4 did well wide open. I've heard the Batis 18/2.8 and Firin 20/2 are ok from wide-open. My Loxia 21/2.8 is quite good wide open but improves at f/3.5.


Yup, I saw your results at f/4 and the comparison between f/4 and f/5.6. The coma was kept at minimum at f/4 and didn't change much, if any, at f/5.6. Now, that's impressive! I don't have the Firin but at 21mm, the Loxia is too narrow for my taste. I had the Sigma 20mm f/1.4 Art before. Now, that lens delivered the goods at f/2.2 or so. A really great lens for astro but again, too narrow and huge/heavy plus I didn't like the MF on that.



Jul 20, 2017 at 06:27 AM
Schlotkins
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p.2 #10 · p.2 #10 · Laowa 15mm f/2 FE: Rolling Review and Comparisons


Fred Miranda wrote:
I can tell you that the 12-24/4 did well wide open. I've heard the Batis 18/2.8 and Firin 20/2 are ok from wide-open. My Loxia 21/2.8 is quite good wide open but improves at f/3.5.


Thanks for the tests Fred! I was thinking about the 18mm Batis, but I will probably try the 20mm f2. I don't need AF and that lens is obviously faster which is great for astro. It's a bit heavier but actually a lot less volume than the Batis and half the price.

In terms of this lens, I think the new samyang 2.4 would be better with sharpness and coma. I'm guessing my copy of a 14mm 2.8 would take this lens down. Of course, this lens is about 1/3 the volume after accounting for the adapter etc and is native. The sigma 1.8 has some serious coma even at f2.5 and with an adapter would be a huge huge heavy lens.

At this point, I think for astro, I'll probably go 14 2.8 Samyang, Tokina 20mm f2, either batis 25mm or sony 28mm and the 55mm f1.8 for panos. I have a good Samyang 24 1.4 copy so it's kind of hard to move down to f2 (took this shot with it)...

Chris








Jul 20, 2017 at 07:10 AM
 

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mcbroomf
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p.2 #11 · p.2 #11 · Laowa 15mm f/2 FE: Rolling Review and Comparisons


Nice shot Joshua. I wish Rokinon would bring out an SP version of the 24mm, if they don't I may have to play the lottery with the current version.

Thanks for the Laowa/ tests Fred ...!

Mike



Jul 20, 2017 at 08:32 AM
Vcize
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p.2 #12 · p.2 #12 · Laowa 15mm f/2 FE: Rolling Review and Comparisons


F2 coma performance is a bit disappointing. It clears up at 2.8 but we already have several good options there. F2 was the draw here.


Jul 20, 2017 at 03:15 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.2 #13 · p.2 #13 · Laowa 15mm f/2 FE: Rolling Review and Comparisons


Schlotkins wrote:
Thanks for the tests Fred! I was thinking about the 18mm Batis, but I will probably try the 20mm f2. I don't need AF and that lens is obviously faster which is great for astro. It's a bit heavier but actually a lot less volume than the Batis and half the price.

In terms of this lens, I think the new samyang 2.4 would be better with sharpness and coma. I'm guessing my copy of a 14mm 2.8 would take this lens down. Of course, this lens is about 1/3 the volume after accounting for the adapter etc and is
...Show more

Chris, if you are looking for an astro lens in the 18-20mm, you can't go wrong with the Batis 18. From what I read, it has good coma performance from wide open, which is really rare.



Jul 20, 2017 at 03:46 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.2 #14 · p.2 #14 · Laowa 15mm f/2 FE: Rolling Review and Comparisons


Vcize wrote:
F2 coma performance is a bit disappointing. It clears up at 2.8 but we already have several good options there. F2 was the draw here.


Having suppressed coma wide-open would be awesome but I would say it performed as expected. No surprises for me. Most lenses need at least 1-stop down for acceptable coma performance. There are other options at 14-15mm @ f/2.8 but none are as compact, accept filters or have very low distortion.



Jul 20, 2017 at 03:49 PM
Hi-Matic
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p.2 #15 · p.2 #15 · Laowa 15mm f/2 FE: Rolling Review and Comparisons


Just wondering, does this lens have a price yet?

Also, wasn't the coma control on the Firin a bit weak at f2?



Jul 20, 2017 at 04:13 PM
akclimber
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p.2 #16 · p.2 #16 · Laowa 15mm f/2 FE: Rolling Review and Comparisons


Thanks for the coma test, Fred. Sad it wasn't more of a pleasant surprise wide open. Think I'll stick with the lenses I have now for astro (Batis 18 for Sony and Sigma 20 f/1.4 for Nikon - also just recently got a screaming deal on a Rokinon 20 1/1.8 in E mount I still need to test).

Cheers!



Jul 20, 2017 at 06:16 PM
Schlotkins
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p.2 #17 · p.2 #17 · Laowa 15mm f/2 FE: Rolling Review and Comparisons


akclimber wrote:
Thanks for the coma test, Fred. Sad it wasn't more of a pleasant surprise wide open. Think I'll stick with the lenses I have now for astro (Batis 18 for Sony and Sigma 20 f/1.4 for Nikon - also just recently got a screaming deal on a Rokinon 20 1/1.8 in E mount I still need to test).

Cheers!


Really interested in your test on the rokinon! Thanks,
Chris



Jul 20, 2017 at 06:32 PM
3catsinky
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p.2 #18 · p.2 #18 · Laowa 15mm f/2 FE: Rolling Review and Comparisons


wow Joshua! I'd love to see some galaxy stuff like that in KY. I too am looking to add a lens for this, the Batis 18 is looking really good, as is this one.


Jul 20, 2017 at 06:33 PM
GMPhotography
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p.2 #19 · p.2 #19 · Laowa 15mm f/2 FE: Rolling Review and Comparisons


The 12-24 kind of beat the Batis 18 in the corners. Why I traded it for the 25 . I got a fair amount of testing to do when I get home in a few days.


Jul 20, 2017 at 06:39 PM
juicer
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p.2 #20 · p.2 #20 · Laowa 15mm f/2 FE: Rolling Review and Comparisons


Ooh, how about a sunstar test on the Laowa.

So many great e-mount wide lenses, more variables are needed to make it even harder to decide



Jul 20, 2017 at 06:40 PM
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