April 25, 2018, 03:39:01 AM

Author Topic: Northlight reviews the Laowa 25mm f2.8 2.5-5x Ultra Macro  (Read 3277 times)

canonnews

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Northlight reviews the Laowa 25mm f2.8 2.5-5x Ultra Macro
« on: March 02, 2018, 09:50:17 AM »
Keith over at Northlight Images just posted a detailed review of the Laowa 25mm Ultra Macro complete with some pretty fascinating sample images.

I’ve always found Keith’s reviews to be quite detailed and chock full of great sample images, and this one is no different.

Oh, and about the Laowa?

Keith has this to say;

From an image quality point of view, there was little I could fault the lens with. It shows a slight bit of longitudinal chromatic aberration (purple/green tinges to OOF areas), but not excessive.  The 8 blade aperture gives better looking OOF highlights than the 6 bladed Canon MP-E65mm.

The only area that may concern some is the lack of stop down, meaning that it’s either a dark viewfinder at smaller apertures or you have to stop down manually before the shot. It’s no problem for my sorts of use.

The magnification setting is firm but I did notice that careless adjustment of the aperture could easily lead to a slight change in the magnification setting, and hence move the plane of focus. This was worse when the lens was pointing downwards [do note though that this was a pre-production lens]

The build quality of the lens feels good and the sample I tested came in a soft neoprene bag.

Ultimately this is a lens you’ll want for fine detail, and it definitely delivers.

Read the review here…

« Last Edit: March 02, 2018, 09:57:15 AM by canonnews »

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Northlight reviews the Laowa 25mm f2.8 2.5-5x Ultra Macro
« on: March 02, 2018, 09:50:17 AM »

Chaitanya

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Re: Northlight reviews the Laowa 25mm f2.8 2.5-5x Ultra Macro
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2018, 10:10:16 AM »
Thanks for review. It does look like a good option to MP-E 65 and its smaller and lighter.

keithcooper

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Re: Northlight reviews the Laowa 25mm f2.8 2.5-5x Ultra Macro
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2018, 03:04:26 PM »
Thanks for review. It does look like a good option to MP-E 65 and its smaller and lighter.
Glad it was of interest - the lens is another in the 'bit different' category from Laowa.

If anyone is going to 'The Photography Show' in the UK this month I believe Venus Lens will be there. I'm curious to see their 24mm super long 'relay lens'.

Antono Refa

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Re: Northlight reviews the Laowa 25mm f2.8 2.5-5x Ultra Macro
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2018, 02:07:11 AM »
Thanks for review. It does look like a good option to MP-E 65 and its smaller and lighter.

The MP-E is on the long side of normal, the Laowa is on the ultra side of wide, how can one be an alternative to the other?

jolyonralph

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Re: Northlight reviews the Laowa 25mm f2.8 2.5-5x Ultra Macro
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2018, 08:15:02 AM »
Thanks for review. It does look like a good option to MP-E 65 and its smaller and lighter.

The MP-E is on the long side of normal, the Laowa is on the ultra side of wide, how can one be an alternative to the other?

When you get to 5:1 magnification this makes less difference than you'd think.
Jolyon Ralph

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keithcooper

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Re: Northlight reviews the Laowa 25mm f2.8 2.5-5x Ultra Macro
« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2018, 09:37:35 AM »
Thanks for review. It does look like a good option to MP-E 65 and its smaller and lighter.

The MP-E is on the long side of normal, the Laowa is on the ultra side of wide, how can one be an alternative to the other?

Look at the comparison sample images in the review - note all the settings etc

Focal lengths (nominal ones), fields of view and aperture settings (as opposed to effective aperture)  show themselves in your images in distinctly different ways in using lenses like these.

Essentially, forget a lot of what you think you know about such things for 'normal' use ;-)

hendrik-sg

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Re: Northlight reviews the Laowa 25mm f2.8 2.5-5x Ultra Macro
« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2018, 09:59:27 AM »
Thanks for review. It does look like a good option to MP-E 65 and its smaller and lighter.

The MP-E is on the long side of normal, the Laowa is on the ultra side of wide, how can one be an alternative to the other?

When you get to 5:1 magnification this makes less difference than you'd think.

yeah, right, the working distance is almost the same. In my opinion staarting at 2.5x instead of 1x is a big disadvantage.

It came in for me just luckily, i the same day got a mp-e lens which i catched at ebay for great price. Ans yes, it's not easy to use, and without the usual accessories it's useless. Without tripod, maccro flash and sstacking software it can not show what iit can do.

But wow how this old style lens (released 20 years ago) is wonderful build quality.

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Re: Northlight reviews the Laowa 25mm f2.8 2.5-5x Ultra Macro
« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2018, 09:59:27 AM »

jolyonralph

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Re: Northlight reviews the Laowa 25mm f2.8 2.5-5x Ultra Macro
« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2018, 02:01:45 PM »
The MPE-65 is indeed a tricky lens to master.  I did manage to use it for a fashion shoot once :)

http://www.everyothershot.com/worlds-first-ever-fashion-shoot-mpe-65/


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Jack Douglas

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Re: Northlight reviews the Laowa 25mm f2.8 2.5-5x Ultra Macro
« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2018, 03:39:34 PM »
The MPE-65 is indeed a tricky lens to master.  I did manage to use it for a fashion shoot once :)

http://www.everyothershot.com/worlds-first-ever-fashion-shoot-mpe-65/

Quite an undertaking and definitely a first!  Very nice web site.

Jack
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scyrene

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Re: Northlight reviews the Laowa 25mm f2.8 2.5-5x Ultra Macro
« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2018, 08:24:07 AM »
Good review. For someone starting out in ultra macro work, this looks like a good option. The shape of out of focus areas is one weakness of the MP-E, especially specular highlights, and this new lens certainly looks a lot better in that regard; the lack of electronic aperture control is a serious tradeoff (and the lack of 1-2.5x magnification, which may or may not be a problem depending on what one intends to shoot), but for the price it otherwise looks to be pretty excellent.
Current equipment: 5Ds, 5D mark III, 50D, 24-105L, MP-E, 100L macro, 500L IS II; 1.4xIII + 2x III extenders; 600EX-RT.
Former equipment includes: 300D; EOS-M, EF-M 18-55, Samyang 14mm f/2.8, EF 35 f/2 IS, 70-200L f/4 non-IS and f/2.8L IS II, 85L II, Sigma 180 macro, 200L 2.8, 400L 5.6

tiggy@mac.com

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Re: Northlight reviews the Laowa 25mm f2.8 2.5-5x Ultra Macro
« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2018, 09:29:03 AM »
I looked at the MTF charts of this and the 65mm, and the Canon looks to be much better on paper, although I have to admit I didn't have the color key with me to indicate which lines represented which measurements. I look forward to the inevitable apples-to-apples shoot-out.

In terms of the aperture control, I don't mind the manual bit. I use a couple manually controlled aperture lenses for macro (in addition to Canon macros), and personally, I find it to be fine. The electronic swapping of apertures in the camera tends to annoy me a little because it is always turning dark at the moment focus is needed, so there is this constant pressure to be pressing the shutter button half-way to keep it on. With the aperture ring, I feel the process is more relaxed.

-tig

PS: I recently purchased the Mitakon equivalent of this lens for $169 and was quite happy with the image quality. Maybe this falls out of Dustin's realm of expertise, but I'd love to see someone take the three or four 1X-5x type lenses and put them through paces.

keithcooper

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Re: Northlight reviews the Laowa 25mm f2.8 2.5-5x Ultra Macro
« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2018, 10:53:36 AM »
I looked at the MTF charts of this and the 65mm, and the Canon looks to be much better on paper, although I have to admit I didn't have the color key with me to indicate which lines represented which measurements. I look forward to the inevitable apples-to-apples shoot-out.

In terms of the aperture control, I don't mind the manual bit. I use a couple manually controlled aperture lenses for macro (in addition to Canon macros), and personally, I find it to be fine. The electronic swapping of apertures in the camera tends to annoy me a little because it is always turning dark at the moment focus is needed, so there is this constant pressure to be pressing the shutter button half-way to keep it on. With the aperture ring, I feel the process is more relaxed.

-tig

PS: I recently purchased the Mitakon equivalent of this lens for $169 and was quite happy with the image quality. Maybe this falls out of Dustin's realm of expertise, but I'd love to see someone take the three or four 1X-5x type lenses and put them through paces.

The problem with MTF charts is that comparing ones from different manufacturers is fraught with difficulty (essentially meaningless some might say ;-)

For myself, the comparisons that matter are the sorts of shots I've included in the review - I've lots more than the examples included, but my take-away views of the difference between the two are summed up in the ones I've used. There is a balance in writing such reviews between 'completeness' and utter tedium ;-)


kirispupis

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Re: Northlight reviews the Laowa 25mm f2.8 2.5-5x Ultra Macro
« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2018, 11:49:28 AM »
As a long time MP-E 65 user, I find this lens intriguing simply because it now offers a "relatively" easy high macro solution for other systems.

I think the biggest facet that this review misses is how easy the MP-E 65 pairs with the MT-24EX in the field. The flash heads can clip right next to the lens, and there's even a special hood to prevent some light from reflecting back in. This is huge for using it in the field for things like insect photography.

I'm curious if Laowa or some other manufacturer will make an adapter for this lens. Lighting is a huge challenge at this magnification, and most insect photography must be done without a tripod.
1Dx2|TS-E 24 II|TS-E 17|TS-E 90|200-400/1.4x|MP-E 65|100/2.8 IS Macro|70-200/2.8 IS II||16-35/2.8 II|EOS M

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Re: Northlight reviews the Laowa 25mm f2.8 2.5-5x Ultra Macro
« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2018, 11:49:28 AM »

keithcooper

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Re: Northlight reviews the Laowa 25mm f2.8 2.5-5x Ultra Macro
« Reply #13 on: March 04, 2018, 12:48:47 PM »
As a long time MP-E 65 user, I find this lens intriguing simply because it now offers a "relatively" easy high macro solution for other systems.

I think the biggest facet that this review misses is how easy the MP-E 65 pairs with the MT-24EX in the field. The flash heads can clip right next to the lens, and there's even a special hood to prevent some light from reflecting back in. This is huge for using it in the field for things like insect photography.

I'm curious if Laowa or some other manufacturer will make an adapter for this lens. Lighting is a huge challenge at this magnification, and most insect photography must be done without a tripod.

I'd note that it is not an MP-E review (I link to one I did a while ago) - but I will note in a bit more detail the relative ease of attaching stuff

I have been talking to the manufacturer about such flash adapters...

That said neither are lenses I ever take outdoors - just not the sort of stuff I really shoot


Click

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Re: Northlight reviews the Laowa 25mm f2.8 2.5-5x Ultra Macro
« Reply #14 on: March 04, 2018, 12:58:55 PM »
Thanks for posting this review.

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Re: Northlight reviews the Laowa 25mm f2.8 2.5-5x Ultra Macro
« Reply #14 on: March 04, 2018, 12:58:55 PM »