- 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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