Last Updated on 07/10/2017 by Chris Gampat
The Venus Optics Laowa Magic Shift Converter is looking to turn your ultra wide angle lenses into something absolutely, completely distortion free. Think of it like Adobe’s upright tool, but organically vs being done via software. And like upright, it comes with a bit of a drawback.
What the Venus Optics Laowa Magic Shift Converter does is takes the already large imaging circle of ultra-wide angle lenses and apparently renders the image in such a way that the camera sensor is shifted. While that’s what their press release states, I highly doubt that’s actually happening. Instead, the lens and/or field of view is most likely being shifted.
At the same time, there’s a bit of a drawback. In the case of the company’s 12mm f2.8 lens, there’s a conversion factor that occurs where it becomes a 17mm f4 with +/- 10mm of shift capability. Even crazier, there’s also apparently rotation built in. That isn’t all so bad at the sacrifice of your wide angle lens not being so super wide angle any more.
More specs and the press release are below.
Anhui China, Jul 10, 2017 – Venus Optics, the camera lenses manufacturer who had previously launched a number of unique Laowa camera lenses, unveil the Laowa Magic Shift Converter (MSC) for Sony Full Frame E-mount cameras. It can convert your ultra-wide angle lens into a Shift lens and with no vignetting observed.
Laowa Magic Shift Converter (MSC) is a lens adapter built with a patented optics system, which expands the image circle of the ultra-wide angle lenses. The shift mechanism on the adapter takes advantage of the enlarged image circle and shift the camera sensor along the axis. The MSC is specially designed for the Laowa 12mm f/2.8 Zero-D lens and it will convert the lens into a 17mm f/4 Zero-D lens with +/- 10mm shift capability. There is no vignetting observed even at the maximum shift and we have successfully controlled the image performance impact to the minimal. The close-to-zero distortion feature of this lens can also be retained. Additionally, the MSC comes with a 360° rotation structure which allows photographers to shoot in both horizontal and portrait orientation.
Shift lens is extremely beneficial for architecture photographers to capture the skyscrapers and real estate photos because the converged lines arisen from perspective distortion can be easily eliminated. When using a standard lens angled upwards to shoot a building, the bottom of the building will appear wider and bigger than the top. Shift can be used to keep the image plane parallel to the subject so that the sides of the tall building can stay parallel.
The Laowa Magic Shift Converter (MSC) Canon variant is currently available to pre-order in the official website of Venus Optics (https://www.venuslens.net/) and their authorized resellers. Shipping is expected to start in late July/early Aug. For Nikon variant, please reserve around 2 months more for shipment.
- 5 elements in 4 groups
- 69.6 x 44.1mm
- About 360g
- Canon EF – Sony FE Nikon AI – Sony FE
Magic Converters Line-up
The MSC is the first member of the Laowa Magic Converters line-up. Venus Optics has previously announced the Laowa Magic Format Converter (MFC) which adopts the same patented optics system and it can fit a full frame lens into a GFX medium format body without vignetting. The MFC is due to ship later this year.
Features and Demonstration of the Laowa Magic Shift Converter