Showcase Laowa 10mm f/2

speedy

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Well, it turned up on my doorstep Friday arvo, I've had a bit of a play with it, & I'm well pleased. A bit of a heart attack moment at one point, then I realized I was simply making a rookie mistake, not focusing deep enough into the scene. Too used to shooting longer fast primes with thin DOF :) Not taken anything of note with it as yet, I bought it as a "throw it in the bag just in case I get the urge to shoot really wide, walkaround lens" It will work brilliantly as that, & I can see myself having an absolute truckload of fun with it. My PL 8-18 was just a little bit too chunky to do that with for my liking. It doesn't mind being stopped down at all, up to f/8 for max DOF for super close subjects & it doesn't seem to lose any sharpness at all.
Anyway, enough yap, here's a couple of fairly typical use case shots. For the minute anyway. Still in various stages of lockdown, all car/bike/truck/tractor shows are still suspended, and we're nearly a year down. Starting to get a bit niggly.
fox32.jpg
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bridge 2 10.jpg
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Bokeh looks rather nice, for an ultrawide. CA is very very well controlled, only see the tiniest little bit here & there in extreme circumstances.
rose 10.jpg
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Just an example of the type of thing I'll use it for at vehicle shows. Sunstar was an accident :)
mirror 10.jpg
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So far, I'm really really happy with it. Focusing is a breeze on my G9, use picture in picture with peaking set to a function button so I can turn it on/off at will, with such a deep DOF the peaking drowns out everything else making it near impossible to see exposure levels, WB etc.
 
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DaveJP

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I'm very tempted by this lens as well, Speedy. I also want it as a small, lightweight alternative to my 8-18 that I can just chuck in the bag in case I need it. However, I was wondering if the 10mm focal length is a bit too near 12mm if I'm taking my 12-60 or Oly 12-40 lens with me? I know there's also a Laowa 7.5mm, but it's more expensive, and I really liked the 20mm focal length when I used full frame. However, that was as part of a bunch of prime lenses - 20, 35, 50, 85 etc. What do you think having tried the lens?
 

speedy

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I'm very tempted by this lens as well, Speedy. I also want it as a small, lightweight alternative to my 8-18 that I can just chuck in the bag in case I need it. However, I was wondering if the 10mm focal length is a bit too near 12mm if I'm taking my 12-60 or Oly 12-40 lens with me? I know there's also a Laowa 7.5mm, but it's more expensive, and I really liked the 20mm focal length when I used full frame. However, that was as part of a bunch of prime lenses - 20, 35, 50, 85 etc. What do you think having tried the lens?
I actually bought the little Lumix 12-32 to try out, & see if that would satisfy my small & compact wider desires. Being f/3.2? at the wide end, tiny & light, & dual IS on my G9 as well. Not really. 10mm is a LOT wider than 12, when you start to wedge yourself into tighter spots. I was looking at the Laowa 9mm f/2.8 that was ported over from APSC to m4/3 mount, psychologically 9mm appealed to me a bit more as a compromise between 8 and 12mm, but I just wasn't really impressed by all the sample shots I looked at from it. So far, I'm really really happy with the 10mm as far as being wide enough. And IQ wise as well, now that I'm getting a bit more of handle on hyperfocal distance. A lot of why I like ultrawide, is more for effect, rather than just "fitting it all in" Getting that distorted perspective look. 12mm doesn't really give it to you, 10mm seems to do it. Yeah, a bit weird I know, but whatever makes you happy :) I think I'll actually use the 10mm more than 7.5-8mm, just as a general purpose lens too.
Couple more shots, just out & about, getting a bit of focusing practice in
river 10.jpg
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green 10.jpg
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walkbridge 10.jpg
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If you're interested, I'll link to the Google photos album I've got them saved in, & you can have a bit closer look at the IQ. Or click on the image, click on the box with the arrow icon at the top right, & magnify.
 

DaveJP

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Thanks, Speedy. Mind you, from what I've read, and seen (on YouTube) about this lens, the image quality appears to be excellent. I think I'll order it as soon as they become available. In the UK the Laowa website still says "stock expected 8 January". I'm wondering if there are import delays because of Brexit.
 

speedy

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Thanks, Speedy. Mind you, from what I've read, and seen (on YouTube) about this lens, the image quality appears to be excellent. I think I'll order it as soon as they become available. In the UK the Laowa website still says "stock expected 8 January". I'm wondering if there are import delays because of Brexit.
I ordered mine direct from Laowa off their website. US $399. Rest of the world gets free shipping, $30 to Aus. I think it's excellent value
 

speedy

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Been out the last couple of evenings playing around with it. Much like.
burrow.jpg
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caged.jpg
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train 10.jpg
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scooter.jpg
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kingy.jpg
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Holden.jpg
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Hland 10.jpg
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Hland 34 10.jpg
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Hland top.jpg
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harbour.jpg
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speedy

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Very cool pics, thanks for sharing! As of tonight, Adorama shows it as "in stock". Just placed my order and can't wait to have a play.
Not a problem. Believe me, the pleasure is all mine :) I haven't enjoyed myself so much in a long time, just wandering around with a couple of tiny, fast primes in my pocket, & shooting whatever takes my fancy, or imagination. It reminds me, & takes me back to why I jumped into m4/3 in the first place. An excellent selection of small & very competent lenses, that are light on both your back & bank balance. Not cheap, but not crazy expensive either. Simply damn good fun to shoot.

Edit -to get a better idea of the IQ, click on the photo, then click on the box with arrow sticking out of it icon in the top right corner, then enlarge that. Much better than what shows in the forum main page
 

speedy

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One thing I keep forgetting to mention, on my G9, in aperture mode the lens seems to overexpose between 1/3 to one full stop for some reason. When stopped down a bit. In manual mode, it's spot on. What you see is exactly what you get. No idea why, pretty easy to work around, if you need to use aperture mode. Just thought I'd mention it.
 

DaveJP

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Thanks for the information and the pics, Speedy. These lenses don't appear to have arrived in the UK yet; stock is expected next Friday, 29th Jan. However, I think I'm going to wait for a few weeks before buying it. I have a big birthday coming up in March, so I think I'll treat myself then. I need something to look forward to in these times, and maybe our current lockdown will have eased a bit and I can get out and really use it!
 

speedy

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Righto. I think I've figured it out (the over exposing).

Edit -no I haven't. Swapping lenses with the power on but in sleep mode tricked me into thinking I had it sorted. If you turned the camera off, & on again, back to its old behavior. It's a manual focus lens, shoot in manual & it's spot on. If you shoot apeture mode, turn exposure comp down a stop at 5.6 or higher & it's all good. At f/2, it's spot on. It's something to do with constant preview for sure. I'll try it on my GX8 & see what it does
 
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DaveJP

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Thanks again, Mate! To be honest, I never have constant preview on anyway. Having been doing this photography lark for over forty years I still think a bit like a film photographer; in that I rarely look at an image I've just taken. Although if I need to check on exposure or depth of field etc. I'm always glad that I can!
 
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Sadly, it took me about a dozen buy-and-sells with extra focus [no pun intended] on WA focal lengths to finally get some semblance of what my kit should be (6 years). If this 10mm Laowa is as good as I'm hoping, I think I'll be dialed-in and should be good for some time. On a tangental note, a reliance on 12-something travel zooms have been blockers. I use zooms when I travel[ed] once a year, and they just sit when I'm home. Also just sent back my 9mm f/2.8 Laowa because of the camera-control for aperture and the appeal of this new 10mm.
 

speedy

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Chilled
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speedy

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Sadly, it took me about a dozen buy-and-sells with extra focus [no pun intended] on WA focal lengths to finally get some semblance of what my kit should be (6 years). If this 10mm Laowa is as good as I'm hoping, I think I'll be dialed-in and should be good for some time. On a tangental note, a reliance on 12-something travel zooms have been blockers. I use zooms when I travel[ed] once a year, and they just sit when I'm home. Also just sent back my 9mm f/2.8 Laowa because of the camera-control for aperture and the appeal of this new 10mm.
He he he. I just keep them. Heaps of overlap in my kit. A bit silly really :) How did you like the 9mm? I was half tempted between the two, but the electronic contacts & reports of slightly better IQ swayed me to the 10mm. I'll be interested to hear your thoughts on differences between the two.
 
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He he he. I just keep them. Heaps of overlap in my kit. A bit silly really :) How did you like the 9mm? I was half tempted between the two, but the electronic contacts & reports of slightly better IQ swayed me to the 10mm. I'll be interested to hear your thoughts on differences between the two.
I actually liked the focal length. I went for the 10mm because of the reasons you mentioned, seeing reports of it being sharp at f2, and general research about 20mm in FF being a sweet spot for UWA due to a more natural feel. I sold off the 9 partially because I had to stop it down too much to see it get acceptably sharp. I can recommend it, but not for handheld indoor work - need a tripod. I feel Laowa is opening some real doors for itself by joining the standard. I think they're making some great lenses.
 

speedy

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I actually liked the focal length. I went for the 10mm because of the reasons you mentioned, seeing reports of it being sharp at f2, and general research about 20mm in FF being a sweet spot for UWA due to a more natural feel. I sold off the 9 partially because I had to stop it down too much to see it get acceptably sharp. I can recommend it, but not for handheld indoor work - need a tripod. I feel Laowa is opening some real doors for itself by joining the standard. I think they're making some great lenses.
I'm quite pleased with how sharp the lens is at f/2. It's definitely sharper when stopped down a bit, but still entirely usable. I have absolutely no hesitation in placing subjects right on the borders of the frame.
Here's a shot that no one in their right mind would shoot at f/2, yet I think the corners are entirely acceptable.
F2 church.jpg
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Here's another shot, just mucking about, that I thought was f/2, but is actually 2.8. I like getting close with an ultrawide, and find that depth of field is was more of an issue than corner softness at wider apertures. I'm really really liking mine. It's just plain good fun to shoot.
Ping 2.8.jpg
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Here are my 10mm findings thus far:
  • Sharper than the 9mm 2.8 wide open
  • Slightly different rendering character (I like more)
  • Awesome close focusing distance
  • Pressing an assigned button for peaking isn't needed (if enabled, but will double-check)
  • Will respect magnify settings (mine off and assigned to a button)
  • Hood design has been seriously improved with a very nice "click"
  • Lens cap needs to be replaced with a better pinch cap
From a UX standpoint, an MFT manual lens like the 10mm with contacts is addictive. Where manual focus on an AF lens is used to correct autofocus misses, it's a great balance between speed and camera engagement. Again, Laowa is onto something with its inclusion into the MFT consortium.

Hoping to also post a few shots to share soon.
 
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