Innovative Chinese maker Venus Optics has revealed the world’s widest-angle shift lens, in the form of the Laowa 15mm f/4.5 Zero-D Shift. Designed for use on both full-frame and medium-format cameras, it provides +/- 11mm shift via a rotating ring beside the camera mount, with the direction of movement rotatable through 360° and click-stopped at every 15°. As a result, it promises to be an exceptionally powerful tool for architectural photographers.

The shift movement is controlled by a rotating ring, with a graduated scale on one side

Optically the lens comprises 17 elements in 10 groups, including three extra-low dispersion glass elements and two aspherical elements to minimise optical aberrations. The ‘Zero-D’ badge indicates that curvilinear distortion has been practically eliminated, which is essential on this kind of optic. The lens projects its a huge 110° angle of view across an image circle that’s 65mm in diameter, which means it easily covers the 44 x 33mm sensor format used by the Fujifilm GFX and Hasselblad X1D systems, while still allowing 8mm of shift.

Both focusing and aperture setting are manual, controlled via rings on the barrel

Focusing and aperture operation are both manual, via control rings on the main section of the lens barrel. The minimum focus distance is just 20cm, and a 5-blade diaphragm is used to give 10-point sunstars.

The Laowa 15mm f/4.5 Zero-D Shift is available to pre-order now for £1249 in Canon EF and RF, Nikon F and Z, and Sony E mounts. It’s due to start shipping at the start of December. An optional tripod collar will also be available for panoramic or macro shooting, which will cost £159.90.