For many filmmakers, the goal of cinematography is to capture as much of an image as possible. Whether that be the wide western landscapes of a film like The Power of the Dog, or the beautiful industrial symmetries discovered in The Conformist, some of the most memorable shots in film history come in anamorphic wides.
However, if you were to really talk to any great DPs, they’ll probably quickly tell you the opposite. Cinematography is about the tiny moments captured in film. And to do that, you need to go small.
In that vein, we’re going to look today at the new Venus Optics Laowa 24mm (T/14-T/40) PeriProbe Lens, an updated version of the original Laowa Probe. Can this new upgrade with its 90-degree periscope attachment elevate your next project, big or small?
To help us explore this new PeriProbe Cine Lens a bit further we have this great video from DPReview TV to check out.
The Laowa 24MM Full Frame PeriProbe Cine Lens
In the video above, we can really see how the PeriProbe can stack up to the past iteration and other regular macro lens options. It comes with two lens attachments that include the standard probe lens, and a 90-degree periscope attachment for when you want to play out your submarine captain fantasy.
While the PeriProbe is also a good option for photographers, it’s really a tool for videographers at the end of the day. Yet, unless you’re working exclusively on micro-projects and product videography, its uses might still be limited to these micro-situations.
Credit: Venus Optics
The new lens is about the same length as the original Laowa, but now gears come standard on all three rings.
"Three rings?" I hear you ask. Yes, there's one for focus, one for the aperture, and another to spin the lens all the way around on its base. While this won't affect your image if you're using the standard probe attachment, with the periscope, creatives will get a whole lot of options when it comes to motion.
Sure, it's pricey, but this PeriProbe is much more than a gimmick. It's well-designed and allows filmmakers to get a lot more creative with their cinematography. It's like the Apple iPad when it first came out. No one knew why they needed it, but tablets are now a staple of modern life. The Laowa PeriProbe isn't the first lens you might consider getting, but it's the one that will open up your toolkit. It's not just a macro camera, but also great for product shots, miniature cinematography, and extending your slider into areas normal lenses can't get into.
Specs and Price
With its full title being the Venus Optics Laowa 24mm T/14-40 Full Frame 2x PeriProbe Cine Lens, this bad boy should partner perfectly with a Leica L-mount camera for a true full-frame focal length of 24mm.
If you don't shoot L-mount, then you have the option to shoot practically every other mount on the planet. At least it feels like it.
- Covers Full Frame Format
- T14 to T40 Aperture Range
- 7 Iris Blades
- 0.8" Minimum Focus Distance
- 2x Magnification
- Interchangeable 90 and 0° Lens Tubes
While it doesn't have as many uses as a traditional lens, the fact that you can fit its tiny head into any number of tight spaces all while capturing either deep or shallow depth of field is a nice trick to have in your toolkit.
If this new Laowa 24mm PeriProbe is appealing to you, let us know in the comments below what the first thing is you’d shoot with it on your camera of choice!