• Log in with Facebook Log in with Twitter
Photo

next PZ lens test report: Laowa 7.5mm f/2 MFT


  • Please log in to reply
19 replies to this topic

#1 Klaus

Klaus

    Chief Editor

  • Moderators
  • 5,188 posts
  • LocationSydney, Australia

Posted 20 February 2017 - 10:15 AM

Fast, wide 'n cute ...

http://www.photozone...01-laowa75f2mft


Chief Editor
photozone.de

#2 JoJu

JoJu

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,093 posts
  • LocationSwitzerland

Posted 20 February 2017 - 12:52 PM

Am I assuming correctly, that there's no automatic diaphragm as well?

 

I could live with manual focus, but Laowa ist just making everything lowcost and lowcomfort. I consider them as too expensive for what they offer.

 

And while you appear to look at the "build quality" as "is it made mostly out of metal?", I usually take a side look on disassembly sites or my own disassemblies. The Laowas may be made out of metal, but for me build quality goes beyond materials. Just saying.4 tiny screws made out of lowcost brass to fix the shift mechanism of the 15 mm macro, it's supercheap plastic lenshood leave me sceptical to Laowa.



#3 Ron H

Ron H

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 25 posts

Posted 20 February 2017 - 03:21 PM

Interesting lens. I'll be curious to see what it will be selling for. Might be nice to have in my bag just in case, if not expensive.

 

In the first page/paragraph, I was wondering if "sounds existing" should be "sounds exciting".



#4 Klaus

Klaus

    Chief Editor

  • Moderators
  • 5,188 posts
  • LocationSydney, Australia

Posted 20 February 2017 - 10:39 PM

Am I assuming correctly, that there's no automatic diaphragm as well?

 

I could live with manual focus, but Laowa ist just making everything lowcost and lowcomfort. I consider them as too expensive for what they offer.

 

And while you appear to look at the "build quality" as "is it made mostly out of metal?", I usually take a side look on disassembly sites or my own disassemblies. The Laowas may be made out of metal, but for me build quality goes beyond materials. Just saying.4 tiny screws made out of lowcost brass to fix the shift mechanism of the 15 mm macro, it's supercheap plastic lenshood leave me sceptical to Laowa.

 

 

I can't disassemble lenses in order to evaluate the internal structures.

When you buy a car, you don't disassemble it either but you still get a quality perception during driving.

Of course, that is subjective. 

 

The aspect that I'm most sceptical about with the Laowas isn't the construction itself but centering. After all even the big boys struggle here. And I do mention centering in the reviews.


Chief Editor
photozone.de

#5 JoJu

JoJu

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,093 posts
  • LocationSwitzerland

Posted 20 February 2017 - 10:54 PM

I know your intention is good, Klaus. I just think, that a metal shell alone can't be called in each case "build quality is great" or whatever. This can lead to wrong assumptions. But of course, this verdict about "build quality" you also mention at all Sigma Art lenses, which are only partly made of metal and partly high tech plastics.



#6 Klaus

Klaus

    Chief Editor

  • Moderators
  • 5,188 posts
  • LocationSydney, Australia

Posted 20 February 2017 - 11:24 PM

Just mentioning ... the Sigma 85mm received 5*. 

 

It is not just about metal. I would have no problem to give 5* for an all-plastic lens (well, the mount should be metal) if I had the impression that it is tough and fulfills all the criteria. At the end of the day it is a check-mark list:

- does something wobble (no)

- is there an inner lens tube that moves (no)

- does it have a constant physical length during focusing/zooming (yes)

- does it feel hollow (no)

- quality perception of the used materials (very good)

- weather sealing (no)

- quality of the lens hood (very good)

- how smooth are the control rings (a bit tight)

- does it have electronic coupling (no)

- is the AF decent enough (n/a

 

I am slightly surprised though that you started the discussion with the Laowa but not with -say- Fuji. Fuji has usually a high quality perception as well whereas the internal construction seems to be soso at best (plus centering issues as well). Locally they don't even bother repairing them.

Personally I would also never touch a Tamron lens. They have my zero confidence vote. Yet for the reviews I have to put that personal opinion to the side lines and provide a rating according to the criteria that we defined.

 

I agree, however, that this is a subjective category. 


Chief Editor
photozone.de

#7 thxbb12

thxbb12

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 524 posts
  • LocationGeneva, Switzerland

Posted 21 February 2017 - 01:01 AM

I am slightly surprised though that you started the discussion with the Laowa but not with -say- Fuji. Fuji has usually a high quality perception as well whereas the internal construction seems to be soso at best (plus centering issues as well). Locally they don't even bother repairing them.

 

Hi Klaus,

 

I'm curious about this statement: "Fuji has usually a high quality perception as well whereas the internal construction seems to be soso at best" ?

 

It's quite the opposite to what Roger Cicala from lensrentals.com says about the Fuji 55-200's tear down (which is a consumer lens):

 

"As for our impressions, first and foremost, the Fuji lenses are a bit more complicated than most we’ve tackled, but not hugely so. The construction, especially when considering this is a consumer-price zoom lens, is impressive. Some things, like the number of zooming elements, reminds us a bit of the Leica zoom we disassembled last week. There are obviously some optical adjustments made during the assembly of this lens, and that always makes me feel more comfortable. I’m uncomfortable when the manufacturer just assumes assembly is going to be fine – but since optical adjustment is what I do all day, that may just be my perspective.

The overall construction is excellent. There was no place during this disassembly that either of us thought we saw a weak point that would be likely to cause problems. It’s not massively over engineered, but it’s very solidly constructed. It’s definitely better constructed than what we would expect from a $600 zoom. This looks like a lens that was designed by people who know how to make reliable lenses."


--Florent

Flickr Page


#8 Klaus

Klaus

    Chief Editor

  • Moderators
  • 5,188 posts
  • LocationSydney, Australia

Posted 21 February 2017 - 04:04 AM

It's funny that their comment is based on the 55-200mm. This was the only zoom lens with a complete mechanical breakdown that I've ever experienced (jammed zoom ring). The 16-50mm felt like the 55-200mm prior of the jamming ( zooming produced a click noise in the middle range ).
The 18-135mm has no proper zoom stop at 135mm (two samples).

A higher decentering ratio compared to other manufacturers.
There's also the famous rattling when "shaking" a Fujinon (some of them) - although you may argue that those lenses could have a 2nd use for making music or something ... chakka ....
As mentioned no repairs - just exchanges - what does that tell me ?
I, for one, always start praying when buying a Fujinon (also Tamron, Pentax - I gave up with Tokina).


Chief Editor
photozone.de

#9 JoJu

JoJu

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,093 posts
  • LocationSwitzerland

Posted 21 February 2017 - 07:20 AM

This thread was about the Laowa, so I started doubting the equation "all metal = good build quality here". It's a bit complicated to try to search in the forum, but I did mention Fuji's inner construction of the 56/1.2 (which you like in it's APD-version so much that you kept it for yourself, if I remember correctly).

 

The Fuji belongs to a series of meanwhile 4 lenses meeting the floor without I wanted it to do so. Admittedly it had the toughest floor (marble) and the possibly highest airway to impact, falling out of an open slingshot bag. It cracked, as the camera did a bit as well (EVF broken). So I saw the inner parts - which are basically plastics. I got it repaired, though. Fuji Switzerland sent it to Fuji England and got it back to me. It was repaired, although not too well. The aperture ring was moving better before and after the crack than after the repair. :D

 

The candidate of a jump out of the same bag before was a Nikkor 24/1.4 G. Went down a wooden stair with aluminium enforcements at the borders of the steps and met the concrete after 5 or 6 "thumps". I don't know, I heard it in slow motion... :(  Lens covers were on different places. What happened to the "made in Japan", metal housing? A dent in the filter thread - that was all and it was working just as before the falling.

 

Laowa's 15/4 macro was seeking freedom out of a bicycle bag, I still don't know how it could escape, but it was a short trip down to a field path with pebbles. Solid pebbles, not the tiny ones. Weak spot is the shifting mechanism. I hesitate to send it in. It's not much of a use after my self repair. The shift is working again - if you want to call a center, top and bottom position "working shift mechanism", but it is designed that way. As Macro lens, without automatic diaphragm, it's not much of a practical use and it was not exactly brilliant before the falling.

 

Last candidate was the Sigma 35/1.4 Art which I wanted to check for correct AF (and reliability of focus) after it came back from Sigma service Switzerland. You know, Sigma CH offers a lifetime service with one annual check for free, if there's a repair needed I just pay the parts. What happened to it after it fell down from tripod height to an oak parquet, attached to the D810? One of the rails for the lens hood was halfway broken. I still can attach the hood. Otherwise everything works as before, the Sigma plastics just swallowed the shock and digested it. It didn't went so well for the parquet, though, although oak is supposed to be hard wood.

 

I try to be careful, I really do, but there are those days... I just wonder which will become No. 5? Bets are open!

 

As for Tamron: I'd agree, except the last models which appear to be a bit more solid construction. A duel of Tamron 150-600 G2 and Fuji 100-400? I would not bet much on the Fuji although metal shell. I'll keep you posted if it happens (knock on head wood).

 

As for the rattle: Ever cared to shake a Nikon 14-24? Sigma 50/1.4 Art? All Fujis with OIS feel like they just filled the parts in and forgot to tighten them. Tamron 150-600G? No noise, no matter how you shake it - so it's not always the OIS/VR mechanism or the AF drives. But the rattle doesn't distract or bother me too much.

 

Maybe the Fujis are designed as prayer mills?  :D You just need to Ooooohmm a bit more?



#10 Klaus

Klaus

    Chief Editor

  • Moderators
  • 5,188 posts
  • LocationSydney, Australia

Posted 21 February 2017 - 08:23 AM

About the Laowa 15/4 - that is a different story.

The construction quality is worse than the 105mm, 12mm and 7.5mm

The 60mm f/2.8 is also meh.

 

The new "blue ring" lenses are significantly improved from what I can tell.


Chief Editor
photozone.de

#11 JoJu

JoJu

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,093 posts
  • LocationSwitzerland

Posted 21 February 2017 - 08:31 AM

Cool to read. I'll stay away from them as I don't want to have a lens without EXIF. But for those caring less about that, they have some interesting items in their portfolio.



#12 dave's clichés

dave's clichés

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,435 posts

Posted 21 February 2017 - 10:54 AM

It's funny that their comment is based on the 55-200mm. This was the only zoom lens with a complete mechanical breakdown that I've ever experienced (jammed zoom ring). The 16-50mm felt like the 55-200mm prior of the jamming ( zooming produced a click noise in the middle range ).
The 18-135mm has no proper zoom stop at 135mm (two samples).

A higher decentering ratio compared to other manufacturers.
There's also the famous rattling when "shaking" a Fujinon (some of them) - although you may argue that those lenses could have a 2nd use for making music or something ... chakka ....
As mentioned no repairs - just exchanges - what does that tell me ?
I, for one, always start praying when buying a Fujinon (also Tamron, Pentax - I gave up with Tokina).

  

 But, other than that the Fujis were a 100%?  B)



#13 dave's clichés

dave's clichés

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,435 posts

Posted 21 February 2017 - 12:02 PM

 I wouldn't expect these aluminum lenses to be anything but reliable, there's not much going on in them, take away the AF motor and any OS, here, they have even eliminated auto diaphragm mechanisms.

 

   Lens dropping on the floor is a statistical study, you need to drop a hundred lenses to get any real insight into a lens's resistance to shock.

  In Barcelona I had someone opened my lens bag trying to steal my camera (Samsung GX10/ Pentax K10) the camera with lens attached fell on to concrete pavement....it survived with nothing other than a scratch on the lens-hood. Others drop their camera 1/2 meter onto a soft carpet and have to have both the body and the lens rebuilt.



#14 Klaus

Klaus

    Chief Editor

  • Moderators
  • 5,188 posts
  • LocationSydney, Australia

Posted 21 February 2017 - 01:08 PM

 But, other than that the Fujis were a 100%?  B)

 

Oh, I love the Fujis. Probably more than I hate them  ;-)


Chief Editor
photozone.de

#15 Klaus

Klaus

    Chief Editor

  • Moderators
  • 5,188 posts
  • LocationSydney, Australia

Posted 21 February 2017 - 01:09 PM

 I wouldn't expect these aluminum lenses to be anything but reliable, there's not much going on in them, take away the AF motor and any OS, here, they have even eliminated auto diaphragm mechanisms.

 

   Lens dropping on the floor is a statistical study, you need to drop a hundred lenses to get any real insight into a lens's resistance to shock.

  In Barcelona I had someone opened my lens bag trying to steal my camera (Samsung GX10/ Pentax K10) the camera with lens attached fell on to concrete pavement....it survived with nothing other than a scratch on the lens-hood. Others drop their camera 1/2 meter onto a soft carpet and have to have both the body and the lens rebuilt.

 

Agreed. The drop scenario isn't a real concern in my opinion.
A bigger concern is the deterioration over time (which is why I'm not a fan of lens IS).


Chief Editor
photozone.de

#16 dave's clichés

dave's clichés

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,435 posts

Posted 21 February 2017 - 07:17 PM

 

 A dent in the filter thread - that was all and it was working just as before the falling.

 

 

Excuse me JoJu but!........working  just as before the   "fall"! 



#17 JoJu

JoJu

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,093 posts
  • LocationSwitzerland

Posted 21 February 2017 - 08:12 PM

I thought, fall = autumn? Anyway, base line is, some of the Nikkor's are still build like, hmm maybe not tanks, but submarines.  ^_^ It's good to keep that in mind when comparing Nikkor against Sigma.



#18 thxbb12

thxbb12

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 524 posts
  • LocationGeneva, Switzerland

Posted 22 February 2017 - 04:20 PM

It's funny that their comment is based on the 55-200mm. This was the only zoom lens with a complete mechanical breakdown that I've ever experienced (jammed zoom ring). The 16-50mm felt like the 55-200mm prior of the jamming ( zooming produced a click noise in the middle range ).
The 18-135mm has no proper zoom stop at 135mm (two samples).

A higher decentering ratio compared to other manufacturers.
There's also the famous rattling when "shaking" a Fujinon (some of them) - although you may argue that those lenses could have a 2nd use for making music or something ... chakka ....
As mentioned no repairs - just exchanges - what does that tell me ?
I, for one, always start praying when buying a Fujinon (also Tamron, Pentax - I gave up with Tokina).

 

Re: 55-200: Maybe you were very unlucky? I wish lensrentals would publish some statistics by manufacturers in terms of lens reliability since they have the data to do it. It's very difficult to gauge the quality of a maker objectively with only few anecdotal stories from users here and there.

Plus, it might vary quite a bit depending on the class of lens, lenses themselves and usage patterns.

 

As far as centering quality goes, lensrentals (again) provided graphs showing the performance of many samples of the same lens. Of course, they only do this for Canon (and maybe Nikon) and only for very specific lens models. Again, it's difficult to gauge how good/bad a manufacturer is without any solid evidence.

 

As far as customer service goes, it's an entirely different matter. A lens can be good and customer service might sucks big time. Conversely a lens can be crap, but customer service is great.


--Florent

Flickr Page


#19 JoJu

JoJu

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,093 posts
  • LocationSwitzerland

Posted 22 February 2017 - 05:14 PM

They are better off not to publish them.  :D Too many people would conclude too weird things out of it. There are a lot of variables in statistics. Roger often says, people don't care much about rented stuff (compared to owned stuff), and as the stuff basically is covered by insurance, there's some truth in it.

 

Then certain lenses or bodies are high in demand, but low in numbers in terms of being available to rent. The more often a lens goes out, the higher the possibility of a failure. 

 

Some devices and lenses they maintain and repair themselves, others go to service stations of manufacturers - if they ask for a lot of money, the possible repair becomes a total loss or goes to spare-parts stock. I think we can agree that repair is a good thing, toal loss because of damage generally a bad thing. But here are economical aspects changing the statistics.

 

Also, you know how easy we come to "fixed opinions" like metal = superb build quality", "goldring lenses of manufacturer X are build like tanks" and so on - but manufacturers constantly try to reduce costs and don't hesitate to do so at the cost of quality. A statistic only shows history - it doesn't promise the future of an item I plan to buy.

 

And with a look at lensrentals: Their statistic would show, how tough their stocked material is, how much bad treatment it can stand. Without this heavy duty use, lots of items will last longer than I have it in posession.

 

A good customer service will never make a bad lens good, but a bad one can execute lousy repair jobs - if a lens has to go to repair, so we're coming back to lenses which are made to never come back to the factory to repair.



#20 toni-a

toni-a

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 991 posts
  • LocationLebanon

Posted 22 February 2017 - 08:51 PM

Re: 55-200: Maybe you were very unlucky? I wish lensrentals would publish some statistics by manufacturers in terms of lens reliability since they have the data to do it. It's very difficult to gauge the quality of a maker objectively with only few anecdotal stories from users here and there.
Plus, it might vary quite a bit depending on the class of lens, lenses themselves and usage patterns.

As far as centering quality goes, lensrentals (again) provided graphs showing the performance of many samples of the same lens. Of course, they only do this for Canon (and maybe Nikon) and only for very specific lens models. Again, it's difficult to gauge how good/bad a manufacturer is without any solid evidence.

As far as customer service goes, it's an entirely different matter. A lens can be good and customer service might sucks big time. Conversely a lens can be crap, but customer service is great.

Customer service unfortunately doesn't depend of the brand but of the dealer, sigma service is excellent everywhere but here, canon service used to be great, now as the expert repairs guy at Canon has started his own business nobody wants to repair at Canon unless it is free under warranty and even then if problem persists lenses are taken to the expert guy who seems to be doing pretty well




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users



© by photozone.de