Chinese optical manufacturer Anhui ChangGeng Optical Technology Company Limited, or Venus Optics, is preparing to introduce a 12mm lens that it claims will be the world’s widest F2.8 lens with fully corrected distortion. Going under the Laowa brand name the lens will be called Laowa 12mm F2.8 Zero-D and will be officially announced on July 30th via a Kickstarter campaign.

Venus Optics says that the lens has almost no distortion, hence the ‘Zero-D’ in the name, and has loaned a test unit to a blogger Nicky Bay who has a preview with images on his website. The lens will be manual focus only, will feature an aperture range of F2.8 to F22 and is due to have a seven-bladed iris with clicking stops. The company is also said to be launching a Magic Shift adapter, according to Bay, that allows +/-10mm of shift while converting the lens to a 17mm focal length. The converter will be for Sony E-mount users only.

Specification published on the Laowa Facebook page.

Of course, this isn’t the world’s first rectilinear 12mm with a fast aperture, as F2 and F1.4 12mm lenses exist for the Micro Four Thirds system, and there are Zeiss F2.8 and F2 Samyang 12mm lenses for APS-C sensors, but this lens is designed for full-frame cameras.

The lens, which will be made in Canon EF, Nikon F, Sony A, Sony E and Pentax K mounts, is expected to retail at $949, but supporters of the Kickstarter campaign will be able to get one from $649. The Magic Shift will cost $300 and a square filter adapter will be $50.

For more information on Venus Optics see the company website