This Laowa macro lens is weirdly shaped on purpose for extreme 5x close-ups

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Macro photography means getting close to the subject, yet far enough away that the light can still reach the subject. Laowa’s recently announced oddball lens design aims to do just that. Shipping at the end of March, the new Venus Optics Laowa 25mm f/2.8 2.5-5X Ultra Macro lens offers big magnification in a long and narrow design.

The Laowa macro lens slims down toward the front end of the lens and, despite being a 25mm lens, the designers extended the working distance to allow the photographer to stay farther from the subject. Wide-angle lenses are often nice options for macro photography because the narrower depth of field can keep subjects sharper without techniques like focus stacking. Shorter focal lengths, however, typically mean getting even closer to the subject, which can often pose lighting problems.

With the latest Laowa macro lens, photographers can alter the length of the lens based on how close they are to the subject. That change, Laowa says, is designed to make sure that enough light can fall on the subject when working with flash and artificial lighting or even when working in the field. The design also gives the lens a lightweight profile, weighing in at around 14 ounces.

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The unusual narrow design isn’t the lens’ only perk either — the lens can capture close-ups as much as five times life-size, with a range between 2.5x and 5x magnification. Because of the lens’ extendable design, the minimum focusing distance at 5x is 6.77 inches with a 1.5-inch working distance.

The lens is designed with eight elements in six groups and a bright f/2.8 maximum aperture. Laowa says the lens offers excellent corner to corner sharpness.

The new Lawoa macro lens isn’t the company’s oddest lens either — the company also has a 24mm 2x Macro lens with an even longer and narrower barrel to avoid scaring tiny subjects.

The Laowa 25mm macro lens will be available in Canon, Nikon, Pentax K, and Sony FE mounts while a $30 accessory adapts the lens for Fujifilm X and Micro Four Thirds mounts. The lens retails for $399, with a $30 option for a tripod collar. Laowa says the lens will begin shipping in late March.


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