- Solid construction with excellent haptics
- Widest shift lens around
- Good sharpness, even shifted
- Minimal distortion
- Good color and contrast
- Reasonably priced
- Chromatic aberration at the edges
- Flare can cause contrast reduction
- Close up, is only sharp in the center
The Laowa 15mm f/4.5 Zero-D Shift lens is a unique lens. It’s the widest shift lens available, allowing for ultra-wide perspective corrected shots that have never been possible before. The lens has good sharpness for a shift lens, with good color and contrast and low distortion, and it does all this for about half the cost of Canon’s 17mm TS-E, which was the previously widest fully functional shift lens. (Laowa does also make a 15mm f/4 Macro lens with shift capability, but I discount that previous effort for serious architectural photography due to the lack of rotation and the minimal shift capability of only 6mm.)
This is not a lens for the masses. Using it properly takes time, fine adjustment and for the vast majority of shooting, a tripod to properly set up each shot. However, architectural photographers will love having a lens this wide that can correct perspective distortion. Despite some issues with flare and some chromatic aberration, it’s a lens that does things that no other lens can do and is easy to recommend at its relatively affordable price for this type of lens.
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3 thoughts on “Review: Laowa 15mm f/4.5 Zero-D Shift”
Thanks Jordan for doing all the work and posting this review. I will be buying the Laowa 15 based on your review verification.
I have the ts17, ts24, Loawo 15 shift macro, magic shift to go with my Laowa12mm for Sony to make it shift 17, and ts90. I look forward to buying the Laowa shift 15 for the extra 2mm. If you don’t have a shift lens you don’t have perspective 🙂
Not many reviewers would put so much time and effort into reviewing a lens like this.
I’ve been thinking about buying a tilt/shift lens for some time now, but budget has been a consideration. This lens has gone straight to the top of my wish list.
I have two shift lenses; a 24mm Samyang & an 85mm Nikon and now use these two almost exclusively but sometimes feel the need for a wider version and this one might just fit the bill! It’s half the price of the Nikon 19mm but still quite a chunk to pay out for its very limited use in landscape photography even though it does look to have good quality images!