Laowa 10mm f/2 Zero-D MFT - Review / Test Report
Lens Reviews - (Micro-)Four-Thirds

Review by Klaus Schroiff, published January 2021

Introduction

Over the last few years, Laowa has created an arsenal of ultra-wide prime lenses across all relevant systems - and they are still looking for further niches in this segment. They just released the Laowa 10mm f/2 Zero-D MFT. Those who have followed their journey may be a bit surprised. After all, they are also offering a 7.5mm f/2 MFT and a 9mm f/2.8 which aren't all that old either. However, not everybody needs an extreme wide-angle lens and a 10mm lens ("20mm" full-format) is easier to handle. Beyond the paper-specs are some further differences. The most important evolution is certainly the electronic coupling. While it is still a manual focus lens, it supports a camera-controlled aperture, EXIF data as well as an MFT-compliant correction profile. Thus in-camera image stabilization is also possible without any further configuration. Unlike its older cousins, it's a designated "Zero-D(istortion)" lens thus it has been optically rather than digitally optimized. At $399 (USD), it is also somewhat more affordable.

Another Laowa trademark is an ultra-compact design - and it doesn't really get much more compact and light-weight than the 10mm f/2. It's not a pancake lens yet but it comes very close and at just 125g, it's a feather-weight really. This is especially impressive because, given its maximum aperture of f/2, it's by no means a slow lens. Fortunately, the low weight doesn't have a negative impact on build quality. While the lens isn't weather-sealing it feels very sturdy thanks to a tightly assembled, all-metal body (including the tiny lens hood). The focus ring operates smoothly.

Specifications
Equiv. focal length (full-format)"20mm" (in terms of field-of-view)
Equiv. aperture (full-format)"f/4" (in terms of depth-of-field)
Optical construction11 elements in 7 groups inc. 3x aspherical & 2x ELD elements
Number of aperture blades5
min. focus distance0.12m (max. magnification 1:6.7)
Dimensions53x41mm
Weight125g
Filter sizeφ46mm
Hoodpetal-shaped, bayonet mount, supplied
Other features-
MountMicro-Four-Thirds