On this video tech YouTuber Marques Brownlee (MKBHD) decided to take one of the weirdest lenses in production – the Venus Optics Laowa 24mm f/14 2X Macro Probe lens and see in what it can do in a creative way.
We have seen the Venus Optics Laowa 24mm f/14 2X Macro Probe lens in Photokina last year but besides its strange looks, it was only shown to shot more or less normal macro shots (with a small underwater twist – the tip of the lens was actually underwater).
Marques on this other hand has a very creative head and lots of interesting ideas as he demonstrated in this video. Actually, in the right hands, this lens is quite remarkable and can be used for high-end commercials doing things that not another lens (macro or otherwise) can do.
Even if you do find a cool idea for a shoot with this lens there are a few things that you need to remember. First, this lens has an aperture range of f/14-f/40 – yap this is not a mistake it means that the widest aperture you have is f/14 – of course being a unique macro lens this isn’t necessarily a bad thing otherwise too much of the image will be out of focus. But this does offer a pretty significant challenge – you will need light – a lot of light to get proper exposure.
The lens does have some LEDs in the front but these are very harsh lights and from our experience with similar contraptions (the 5X Nanoha super macro lens also has them), they are good for capturing an image for documentation and not for artistic uses. If you want a cinematic look you will need to use a lot of external lights which is what Marques did.
If you want some specs here is a quick reminder as we have covered this lens in the past when it was announced (this lens has more elements than possibly any other lens we know of):
The lens is quite expensive at around $1500 but it is certainly a specialty lens and as we have seen capable of some really interesting and even incredible shots.