Laowa 24mm f/14 Relay 2x macro lens
Laowa 24mm f/14 Relay 2x macro lens announcement info
Full product details
...Get our Newsletter for new articles/reviews and why not subscribe to Keith's YouTube Channel
...Keith's book about how to use tilt/shift lenses is now available.
Our site contains affiliate links - these help support the site. See our Advertising policies for more
We’ve tested and written reviews of many of the Laowa brand lenses from Venus Optical.
This relay lens is one Keith has been particularly interested in since trying it out a while ago at a UK photo show.
Check what products are currently available from Venus Optics
The lens itself is launched via a kickstarter campaign starting on August 1st. Full details below
We’ll update this page with additional specifications and in due course, hope to add the review to our Laowa review collection.
New Laowa lens
Venus Optics are a small company and often start new lens releases with a kickstarter buy-in campaign (details). They are an interesting company with an avowed mission to create interesting and unusual lenses. See the official Venus Optics story on their web site. We’ve an interesting interview with their chief lens designer published earlier this year.
The relay lens
With suitable internal optics, it’s possible to greatly extend the length of a lens – the best example is perhaps a submarine periscope. This comes at a price though – hence the widest aperture f/14 of the new lens.
It’s available in a variety of mounts – the one I’ve tried in the past was Canon EF
The lens can fit in a waterproof tube, with an integral LED light source.
This video shows some of what it can do.
Anhui China, Aug 1, 2018 – Venus Optics, the camera lenses manufacturer who had previously launched a number of unique Laowa camera lenses, are proud to announce the Laowa 24mm f/14 2x Macro Probe Lens, a unique & revolutionary macro tool.
Laowa 24mm f/14 2x Macro Probe is the world’s first consumer-grade probe lens that was developed to provide photographers and videographers with a new perspective and remove their shooting barriers while using conventional macro lenses. Below are the key features of this lens.
The new Laowa 24mm Probe lens can create a Bug-Eye perspective that cannot be done by conventional macro lens. Not only can it focus really close (2cm @ 2:1) and show a great amount of detail and texture, but also achieve a compelling wide angle ‘Bug Eye’ view (84.1°). More background details can then be included into the shots to create a very informative and stunning macro bug-eye perspective. For telephoto macro lenses, the subject will fill most of the frame and appear isolated from the surrounding environment instead.
2:1 Magnification to Infinity Focus
The new Laowa Probe covers a focusing range from 2:1 macro magnification to Infinity Focus. Photographers can take advantage of the 2:1 maximum magnification to shoot really small bugs/objects and reveal details that cannot be seen by naked eye. The wide focusing range (from Macro to infinity) is also particularly useful for videography as both finer details and environmental background can be captured in one shot.
The wide angle design also means much more depth of field at close distance (compared to the telephoto macro lens) so that more background details will now be visible. Being able to focus so close but still having a deep depth of field is a BIG advantage for both studio and wildlife shooting. The less blurry background allows the habitat of the subject to be visible in your photo.
Waterproof front lens barrel
The front barrel of the lens is waterproof and it can be used to shoot in any environment. This makes shooting in liquid no longer a limitation. The waterproof design also implies that shooting in super dusty environment or with fine powders are not going to be a problem.
40cm long & Tubular Lens Barrel
Thanks to the 40cm (15.7″) long barrel, photographers can focus really close to the subject but still keep themselves and cameras distance away. This unlocks the possibility of shooting in areas which were not accessible in the past. E.g. Shooting a frog hiding in the bushes using our Probe lens, compared to getting a telephoto macro lens super close to avoid leaves blocking your subject. The long lens barrel also allows photographers to keep a safe distance away when shooting lethal animals. The big camera body and lens will no longer ‘alert’ the subject too.
Tiny 2cm lens tip
The tiny 0.2cm-in-diameter lens tip unlocks the possibility to get very low to the ground level to capture a ‘delicious’ perspective and maximize the visual impact. The viewers will be like walking on your shooting subject (e.g. Pizza) now. Moreover, you can insert the lens into tiny caves, bottle or burrows to shoot. The smaller lens tip also enables proper lighting hitting onto the subject whereas typical macro lenses with larger lens barrels will block most of the light.
LED Ring Light at the tip
A LED ring light (powered through the micro-USB slot on the barrel) is mounted at the tip of the lens to provide additional lighting for focus assistance and video shooting.
Full frame coverage
The Laowa 24mm f/14 Probe can cover both the standard 35mm full frame and Super35 image sensor .
The new Laowa weighs only 1.04 pounds (474 grams) and it’s super light and easy to carry.
The lens has one of the most complicated optics design and houses with 27 elements in 19 groups to deliver the exceptional image quality. Canon EF, Nikon F and Sony FE mounts are currently available for standard version. A cine version with click-less aperture and focus gears in Arri PL mount is also available to order.
The lens is expected to retail at USD 1,499/pc (ex-VAT). It is currently available to pre- order via Kickstarter at a discounted price. The earliest expected delivery date is September. The lens will also be available via authorized resellers from October onwards.
- – Kickstarter Project Link: https://kck.st/2KduYzT
Note – I’ve written a review of the KX800 Laowa Twin flash unit
Here’s the full KS details.
MTF and construction
Looking at the lens
Here’s the lens at the 2017 Photography Show in the UK – the lens in the foreground is the 25mm F2.8 2.5-5x macro that I’ve reviewed in detail.
A few photos of the lens in use (from Venus Lens)
More details on their way…
For the latest Laowa details, visit their web site
Enjoyed this article?
All the latest articles/reviews and photo news items appear on Keith's Photo blog
Keith explains tilt and shift lenses
Keith has written a book that looks at the many ways that tilt/shift lenses can benefit your photography from a technical and creative point of view.
There is also a specific index page on the site with links to all Keith's articles, reviews and videos about using tilt and shift.
We've a whole section of the site devoted to Digital Black and White photography and printing. It covers all of Keith's specialist articles and reviews. Other sections include Colour management and Keith's camera hacks - there are over 1200 articles/reviews here...
Articles below by Keith (Google's picks for matching this page)
We're an Amazon.com affiliate, so receive payment if you buy via Amazon US