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First Hands on Review of the Laowa 100mm f/2.8 2x Ultra Macro APO Lens


Venus Optics recently introduced their new super macro (2x) Laowa 100mm f/2.8 APO lens. Richard Wong had a chance to get a copy of this lens early and do some early testing and got back with some very positive results.

Let’s start with the lens itself and its design and features. The design is compact – similar in size to a 100mm 1:1 macro lens but it has twice the magnification of a normal macro lens at the same focal range. It achieves this while having a none extendable (or internal focusing) mechanism. This is great although as Wong mentions in the video above when not focused all the way the optical elements are way inside the lens which has some grease that can attract dust over time (so you better use a lens cap when not using this lens.

The lens is apochromatic (APO) so that the chromatic aberration at both ‘in-focus’ & ‘out-of-focus’ are both invisible according to Venus optics and this seems to be true from Wong’s test.

The lens covers a FF sensor (for Canon EF, Nikon F and Sony FE cameras), Canon version is equipped with a CPU chip and motor for aperture control via the camera. If you are looking to use the lens on Sony FE camera via adapter, make sure an electronics adapter is being used or else your aperture cannot be adjusted. The Nikon version has an Aperture Coupling which is great especially if you are using a viewfinder.

Here are some specs for the lens:

  • Focal length and aperture – 100mm, f/2.8 (FF coverage).
  • Optical structure – 12 elements with 10 groups.
  • Min focus distance – 24.7cm.
  • Max magnification: 2:1.
  • Filter thread: 67mm.
  • Size: 72 x 125 mm  (Sony version: Ф72 x 155 mm).
  • Weight: 638g

Some official demo video shots with the lens

As for pricing, the lens will be selling for $450.

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