Venus Optics have announced the Laowa Magic Shift Converter (MSC) for Sony Full Frame E-mount cameras. This looks to be a neat little adapter if you want to turn the Laowa 12mm f/2.8 Zero-D ultra-wideangle lens into a shift lens.
The Laowa Magic Shift Converter (MSC) is a lens adapter that expands the image circle of ultra-wideangle lenses. The shift mechanism on the adapter takes advantage of this enlarged image circle and shifts the camera sensor along the axis. The MSC is specially designed for the Laowa 12mm f/2.8 Zero-D (Canon/Nikon mount) that can be used on Sony full frame E-mount cameras. It may also work with certain other ultra-wideangle lenses.
The MSC converts the Laowa 12mm f/2.8 Zero-D into a 17mm f/4 Zero-D lens with +/- 10mm shift capability. Even at maximum shift Venus Optics claim that you won’t see any vignetting, and that the close-to-zero distortion of the 12mm f/2.8 lens can also be retained.
For photographers the MSC comes with a 360° rotation structure which allows you to shoot in both horizontal and portrait orientation.
Shift lenses are great for shooting architecture, skyscrapers and other buildings as they mostly eliminate the perspective distortion that you usually get when using a standard lens angled upwards to shoot a building. This perspective distortion makes the bottom of buildings appear wider and bigger than the top. A Shift lens however, can be used to keep the image plane parallel to the subject so that the sides of a tall building can stay parallel.
The Laowa MFC comprises of five elements in four groups, with two pieces of Extra Refractive glass. The optical structure is said to have been carefully designed so that there is minimal impact on the image quality of the Laowa 12mm f/2.8 Zero-D. It is also claimed to cancel out a degree of the chromatic aberration and distortion of some ultra-wideangle lenses.
The Laowa Magic Shift Converter (MSC) in Canon EF mount is currently available to pre-order for $300 US from Venus Optics and other authorized resellers. Shipping is expected to start in late July/early August. If you want to get the MSC in Nikon mount you are going to have to wait a few more months.