Insane Closeups: A Review of the Laowa 25mm f/2.8 2.5-5X Ultra Macro Lens

Venus Optics makes some unique and impressive lenses, and the Laowa 25mm f/2.8 2.5-5X Ultra Macro lens is another entry into that line. With its highly affordable price tag and crazy magnification capabilities, it's a very interesting option for macro photographers or anyone who's interested in the genre. This great video takes a look at the lens and its capabilities. 

Coming to you from Micael Widell, this awesome video review takes a look at the Laowa 25mm f/2.8 2.5-5X Ultra Macro lens. You're probably used to 1:1 macro lenses, which project an image of the subject on the sensor up to the same size it is in real life. On the other hand, the Laowa 25mm can project images of subjects onto the sensor anywhere from 2.5 to 5 times larger than they are in real life, allowing for extreme closeups. Canon also has a lens with 5X capabilities, the MP-E 65mm f/2.8 1-5X, but it's almost triple the price of the Laowa, making the latter lens particularly intriguing for anyone who is interested in exploring the world that's opened up by macro photography. Check out the video above for Widell's full thoughts on this fascinating and affordable lens. 

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Spy Black's picture

Strange, I went the opposite way with macro. I use a 400mm macro, as well as a 300mm with extension rings, to maintain distance between myself and what I shoot. I know this Laowa offers much higher magnification, but you need docile or sleeping subjects to shoot with this lens, as you're only around 3 inches from your subject.

Janne Suur-Näkki's picture

What kind of a working distance and magnification ratio are you having with the extension tubes on such long lenses? Seems interesting so would love to hear more details.

Spy Black's picture

I wouldn't know actual numbers, but here's a full frame example of the FOV of my old 300mm f/4.5 Ai Nikkor with a 10mm extension ring on a D600. I'll have to dig around to find some of the macros shots I've made with my 400mm f/5.6 APO Macro Sigma.

Spy Black's picture

...the 300mm with 10mm extension on a D5100 APS-C, full frame. It allows me to keep a good distance between myself and timid subjects.

These images may not necessarily be set at the closest focus possible, but they are way closer than the lens could possibly achieve on it's own. If you have a lens you'd think would work well in a similar situation, by all means look into a set of extension rings. Depending on you camera brand, you may have OEM rings as an option, but the Kenko set I used with my Nikons work just fine.

C H's picture

I gave the Laowa a fair chance, but I love my Twinflashes for macro. I would have prefered the wide angle macro look, but the mpe65 had the filtermount for the flashes. So Canon it is.