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Meet the Venus Optics Laowa 20mm f/4 Zero-D “Shift” lens. Available in no fewer than 8 mounts, this new manual focus wide-angle optic lets users shift the focal length by up to plus or minus 11mm, something that is quite useful for correcting perspective distortion when shooting architectural exteriors and interiors.

Who’s it for

The new Venus Optics Laowa 20mm f/4 Zero-D Shift lens.
The Laowa 20mm f/4 covers a 65mm image circle, allowing it to shift +/- 11mm on full-frame cameras. Venus Optics

Related: Venus Optics Laowa 85mm f/5.6 is the world’s smallest 2x macro for full-frame

In addition to architecture and real estate photography, a wide-angle shift lens is also handy for landscape and cityscape photography, especially panoramas.

Priced at $1,100, the Laowa 20mm f/4 is significantly less expensive than most first-party tilt-shift lenses (though it lacks tilting capability). This is Venus Optics’ second shift-capable lens, joining the wider, slower Laowa 15mm f/4.5 Zero-D Shift.

A diagram showing perspective correction by the new Venus Optics Laowa 20mm f/4 Zero-D Shift lens.
The lens’ shifting function lets photographers correct converging vertical lines. Venus Optics

Available mounts

The Laowa 20mm f/4 is available in Canon EF- and RF-mounts, Fujifilm G-mount, L-mount, Nikon Z- and F-mounts, Pentax K-mount, and Sony E-mount.

The lens covers a large, 65mm image circle, which allows for its plus or minus 11mm shifting capability. However, on Fujifilm G-mount, shifting is limited to plus or minus 8mm due to the system’s larger sensor size.

The new Venus Optics Laowa 20mm f/4 Zero-D Shift lens.
And rotatable lens hood ships with the lens. Venus Optics

Optical design & construction

The Laowa 20mm f/4 has a somewhat complex optical design consisting of 16 elements arranged into 11 groups, including two aspherical and three ED (extra-low dispersion) optics. Venus Optics says it should offer well-controlled chromatic aberration and solid edge-to-edge sharpness. The close-focus distance is 9.8 inches for a maximum magnification of 0.17x.

A 14-blade aperture offers a range of f/4 to f/22. When stopped down, Venus Optics says the lens should produce pronounced 14-point sunstars. Shot wide-open, the brand promises pleasing, rounded bokeh.

The new Venus Optics Laowa 20mm f/4 Zero-D Shift lens.
The Laowa 20mm f/4 Shift lens is available now in 8 mounts. Venus Optics

On the front, you’ll find an 82mm filter thread; a rotating lens hood ships with the optic. Physically, the Laowa 20mm is 3.7 inches in diameter, 3.6 inches long, and weighs 26 ounces. It’s worth noting that those specifications vary slightly, depending on the lens mount.

Price and availability

The Venus Optics Laowa 20mm f/4 Zero-D Shift lens is available for purchase right now, in all mounts, for $1,099.

Sample images

Check out a selection of sample images, provided by Venus Optics, below.

A sample showing a very straight tall building.
Jiang Ji Hang / Venus Optics
A sample showing a building with a blue sky and clouds.
Richard Wong / Venus Optics
A long exposure sample of a city and highway with car light trails.
Jiang Ji Hang / Venus Optics