Just got it this week, the Laowa 7.5 mm 2.0 C-Dreamer lens I have eagerly looked for since I heard about it. Does it only look good on paper or can it keep up with my modest expectations? I tried to find it out this weekend.
As far as I noticed, Laowa produces good performers regarding quality. As for distortion, Laowa continues to do very well with controlling that. What can you expect regarding distortion is and what it not?
When shooting straight lines, this lens will keep the lines straight. Unlike a fisheye lens that will show varying amounts of curvature. Distortion is not the same as an exaggerated perspective. That’s something you get with ultra wide angles.
If using an ultra wide lens, be prepared to have an exaggerated perspective. The distortion on this lens is for my use just minimal, and the slight amount I did notice I could be easily correct in Lightroom with minor adjustments.
The Laowa 7.5mm f/2 is tiny, light, fast, quite affordable, and an excellent performer for my style of shooting.
It is the brightest ultra-wide angle lens for MFT cameras I am aware of, with an impressive 110-degree angle of view, equivalent to 15mm on a 35mm format camera. The Laowa is most probably as wide as a rectilinear lens you'll get with a very bright f/2.
The Laowa is manual — which means manual - manual focus - manual aperture manual everything. As nearly all MFT cameras offer adequate Focus Assist, this is not an issue. Zone Focus is simple, especially outdoors at a small aperture, so it is easily done.
Reading about the Laowa 7.5mm f/2 lens, it is written that it is a rectilinear lens and except for moderate barrel distortion there shouldn't be any problems.
I found it to handle straight lines and non-convergent parallels fairly well. Sharpness is as good as expected, and although it’s sharper in the center than it is at the edges, overall it is more than acceptable across the frame for my purposes.
Here my humble approaches to use the lens in Mumbai at different places. The first thirteen images in between f 2 to f2.8 afterwards I got it in my mind to go hyperrealistic with f 16 at ISO 100 with a flash on top at 1/250 sec.
It may be not everyones taste - but I like it.