The new Laowa lens features low bokeh fringing and chromatic aberration as well as electronic coupling for Canon EF mounts.
Venus Optics has announced that its new Laowa 100mm F2.8 macro lens will ship at the end of May and be priced at a competitive $449 (U.S.). This full frame lens joins its previously released 60mm F2.8 as the second lens in Laowa’s 2:1 magnification line. The lens will be released with Canon EF, Sony FE and Nikon F mounts.
It is worth noting that there are significant variations between the different mount versions. The EF mount alone has an integrated CPU chip and an aperture motor, enabling body-controlled aperture changes and EXIF data transmission. The EF mount also features a nine-blade iris and incorporates an in-viewfinder focus indicator. The Sony FE mount has a thirteen-blade aperture diaphragm and the Nikon seven. The Sony version is also significantly longer (35mm) than the other two versions. All versions are fully manual focus only. Given the physical differences in construction, it will be also interesting to see if there are major image differences between the three mounts.
Laowa has worked hard to suppress chromatic aberration in this lens, both within the focused areas as well as areas outside the depth-of-field. This is a common issue within similar lenses in this price range and Laowa claims to have virtually eliminated it. Early, real-world tests also show virtually no color fringing.
Overall, we’re hearing good things about the Laowa line and look forward to getting our hands on this lens to test it for filmmaking. They’re gaining a reputation as solid, well-constructed lenses with interesting features at an economical price point. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.