Laowa Announces New Shift Converter for DSLR Ultra Wide Lenses

on-camera-1By Danny F. Santos (doddleNEWS)

Last year, Venus Optics announced their Laowa 12mm f/2.8 lens via a Kickstarter campaign which blew way past the initial pledge goal in days. The goal was to create a wide angle lens with near zero distortion. Now they’ve returned with a new shift converter that works with their 12mm lens, and it is something beautiful to behold.

The Laowa Magic Shift Converter is a tilt/shift adapter which gives photographers and videographers powerful distortion correction. That allows lenses which show converging, perspective lines (like that of a tall building) to be corrected to run parallel.

Venus Optics released this video that shows you how simple this converter works:

Here are some comparison images that will give you more of an idea of what you can get out of the MSC adapter:

compare

This lens adapter is very useful for architectural and large interior photography (and perhaps some video applications). It will take the vertical lines from an image and correct them into parallel lines, which will make the image seem much less distorted. The optical system in the Magic Shift Converter will take Venus Optical’s 12mm f/2.8 Zero-D from 43.2mm to 60mm in diameter, and convert it a 17mm f/4 lens with +/- 10mm shift capability without any vignetting. The company also says that the MSC will cancel out some of the chormatic aberrations and distortion of some other ultra-wide angle lenses.

With a little bit of practice, you may be able to get some interesting effect shots by tilting the camera on the tripod and shifting the lens. I can see it used as a vertical, Hitchcockian ‘Vertigo effect’ (no pun intended). The adapter will be available in two mounts: a Canon EF to a Sony E mount, and a Nikon AI to Sony E mount.

The Laowa Magic Shift Converter is available for pre-order from the website at a retail price of $300. The Canon mount and Sony Full Frame E-mount adapter will be shipping in late July, while a Nikon AI is expected to go to pre-order sometime later this year. To pre-order, just head on over to the Venus Optics website here. Here are the technical specifications for the Laowa Magic Shift Converter:

Name Magic Shift Converter (MSC)
Lens Structure 5 elements in 4 groups
Focal Length Multiplier Increase by 1.4x
Aperture Impact Reduce by 1-stop
Focus Mode Manual
Dimensions 69.6 x 44.1mm
Weight about 360g
Mounts Canon EF to Sony E / Nikon AI to Sony E

About Danny Santos

Freelance writer, filmmaker, actor, musician, and visual artist. Writing online professionally for 4-plus years and has produced and performed in over a dozen films and webseries. He has also been everything from a social media consultant to managing a JUNO award winning musician.