Macro lenses can produce surreal imagery. Venus Optics, the company behind the Laowa brand, has several macro capable lenses, including it's popular 24mm Probe, a 25mm, 65mm, and the 100mm F2.8 2x Ultra Macro APO. The 100mm adds two new mounting options, and is now available for E, EF, F, RF, and Z mounts.
- Angle of view 24.4°
- Aperture f/2.8 - 22
- Max. Magnification 2:1
- Filter Thread 67mm
- E, EF, F, RF, and Z mounts
Optically, the 100mm lens covers up to a full-frame sensor and is designed from 12 elements in 10 groups. It has Laowa's APO feature, which is an apochromatic design to help minimize longitudinal and lateral chromatic aberration. The company reduces the imperfection by placing two extra-low elements in the design.
The lens can focus from 2:1 magnification to infinity and has an 11-blade aperture design that produces 22 ray points. The fast aperture ranges from wide open at F2.8 and stops down to F22.
What Laowa offers over its competitors is price and a slight size advantage, but there are trade-offs with the lower price point. The Canon EF 100mm F2.8L Macro IS USM costs around $900 and is two millimeters longer in length. However, the Laowa weighs 13 grams more and doesn't have image stabilization like the Canon lens. When shooting macro, having the added benefit of image stabilization may be worth the extra cost, especially if it's a regular shooting style.
The Laowa EF mount does have an aperture control motor and CPU chip, allowing the aperture to be controlled via the camera body. The focus assist indicator also works on the Canon EF mount and EXIF data can be saved. It's uncertain if the RF mount has the same features.
Pricing & Availability
The Canon RF and Nikon Z mount version of Laowa 100mm f/2.8 2X Ultra Macro APO are available now. The lens goes for around $449 USD with pricing varying in different countries.
While macro lenses are reserved mainly for photography, there are many creative ways to use them in moving video, especially in the horror genre. Plus, a 100mm is a solid focal length for subjects at a distance.
What creative ways have you used a macro lens? Let us know in the comments below.