The past few years, Venus Optics has been making great strides in affordable, niche lenses. In this video, photographer Markus Hofstätter shares his experience with the Laowa 25mm f/2.8 2.5-5X Ultra Macro lens.
This lens, which offers up to five times magnification, is exceptionally powerful at what it does. However, the trade-off is that it only does what it does, and even then, it is temperamental and finicky to use.
Hofstätter was inspired by iris photography while out shopping. Given this inspiration, he decided to give it a try himself but at a level greater than what might be on offer at a high-volume retail venue. In order to achieve the required results, though, he had to think creatively and build specialized equipment just to use his lens, though.
There are very rarely new ideas; taking something that has already been done and putting your own spin on it or taking it further and further into the territory of what it already is can offer new economies in photography. As Hofstätter demonstrates, often, it’s about getting a bit of DIY and problem-solving solutions with what you already have at hand. Something like the Laowa 25mm (or their other line of lenses) might be great at offering a new perspective, but it isn’t solely the gear that makes the image. Instead, it is the photographer and how they use the gear at hand and think creatively to make something new or unique.