Third Party Lenses

Venus Optics officially announces the Laowa 24mm f/14 2x Macro Probe lens, a weird but revolutionary lens for macro videography

Tubular barrel, Waterproof & built-in LED design unlock shooting possibilities.

Anhui China, Aug 1, 2018 – Venus Optics, the camera lenses manufacturer who had previously launched a number of unique Laowa camera lenses, are proud to announce the Laowa 24mm f/14 2x Macro Probe Lens, a unique & revolutionary macro tool.

Laowa 24mm f/14 2x Macro Probe is the world’s first consumer-grade probe lens that was developed to provide photographers and videographers with a new perspective and remove their shooting barriers while using conventional macro lenses. Below are the key features of this lens.

Bug-Eye Perspective

The new Laowa 24mm Probe lens can create a Bug-Eye perspective that cannot be done by conventional macro lens. Not only can it focus really close (2cm @ 2:1) and show a great amount of detail and texture, but also achieve a compelling wide angle ‘Bug Eye’ view (84.1°). More background details can then be included into the shots to create a very informative and stunning macro bug-eye perspective. For telephoto macro lenses, the subject will fill most of the frame and appear isolated from the surrounding environment instead.

2:1 Magnification to Infinity Focus

The new Laowa Probe covers a focusing range from 2:1 macro magnification to Infinity Focus. Photographers can take advantage of the 2:1 maximum magnification to shoot really small bugs/objects and reveal details that cannot be seen by naked eye. The wide focusing range (from Macro to infinity) is also particularly useful for videography as both finer details and environmental background can be captured in one shot.

2:1 Macro to Infinity Focus

Deep Depth-of-Field

The wide angle design also means much more depth of field at close distance (compared to the telephoto macro lens) so that more background details will now be visible. Being able to focus so close but still having a deep depth of field is a BIG advantage for both studio and wildlife shooting. The less blurry background allows the habitat of the subject to be visible in your photo.

DOF Comparison vs Tele-macro lens

Waterproof front lens barrel

The front barrel of the lens is waterproof and it can be used to shoot in any environment. This makes shooting in liquid no longer a limitation. The waterproof design also implies that shooting in super dusty environment or with fine powders are not going to be a problem.

Waterproof Front Barrel enables a lot of possibilities

40cm long & Tubular Lens Barrel

Thanks to the 40cm (15.7″) long barrel, photographers can focus really close to the subject but still keep themselves and cameras distance away. This unlocks the possibility of shooting in areas which were not accessible in the past. E.g. Shooting a frog hiding in the bushes using our Probe lens, compared to getting a telephoto macro lens super close to avoid leaves blocking your subject. The long lens barrel also allows photographers to keep a safe distance away when shooting lethal animals. The big camera body and lens will no longer ‘alert’ the subject too.

Shooting at areas which were not accessible in the past

Tiny 2cm lens tip

The tiny 0.2cm-in-diameter lens tip unlocks the possibility to get very low to the ground level to capture a ‘delicious’ perspective and maximize the visual impact. The viewers will be like walking on your shooting subject (e.g. Pizza) now. Moreover, you can insert the lens into tiny caves, bottle or burrows to shoot. The smaller lens tip also enables proper lighting hitting onto the subject whereas typical macro lenses with larger lens barrels will block most of the light.

Get very low to the ground level to capture a ‘delicious’ perspective

LED Ring Light at the tip

A LED ring light (powered through the micro-USB slot on the barrel) is mounted at the tip of the lens to provide additional lighting for focus assistance and video shooting.

Provide lighting for videography / focus assistance

Full frame coverage

The Laowa 24mm f/14 Probe can cover both the standard 35mm full frame and Super35 image sensor.

Lightweight

The new Laowa weighs only 1.04 pounds (474 grams) and it’s super light and easy to carry.

The lens has one of the most complicated optics design and houses with 27 elements in 19 groups to deliver the exceptional image quality. Canon EF, Nikon F and Sony FE mounts are currently available for standard version. A cine version with click-less aperture and focus gears in Arri PL mount is also available to order.

Availability

The lens is expected to retail at USD 1,499/pc (ex-VAT). It is currently available to pre- order via Kickstarter at a discounted price. The earliest expected delivery date is September. The lens will also be available via authorized resellers from October onwards.

Supplementary Materials

Specifications

Focal Length 24mm
Max. Aperture f/14
Min. Aperture f/40
Angle of View 85°
Format Compatibility Full Frame
Lens Structure 27 elements in 19 groups

(High Index Glass x 1, ED Glass x 2 & Prism x 2)

Aperture Blades 7
Min. Focusing Distance 470mm
Min. Working Distance 20mm
Max. Magnification 2:1
Infinity Focus Yes
Focusing Manual Focus
Dimensions (Approx.) 38 x 408mm
Weight (Approx.) 474g (1.04 lb)
Mount (Standard Version) Canon EF, Nikon F, Sony FE
Mount (Cine Version) Arri PL

About Us

Anhui ChangGeng Optical Technology Company Limited (Venus Optics) is a new Chinese camera lens manufacturer based in Hefei, Anhui. We currently manufacture and distribute camera lenses under the brand name of ‘Laowa’.

For more information about Anhui ChangGeng Optical Technology Company Limited and our products information, visit http://www.venuslens.net/

For review request or other enquiries, please kindly contact us at marketing@venuslens.net

Nov 2, 2016
235
66
#4
I’m liking this lens. At that price it doesn’t seem to be a cheap junk product, even though it’s cheap for what it does. I do a lot of macro, and even designed and built my own macro unit, so I just might pick this up.
 

bod

EOS M50
Dec 5, 2013
53
7
#6
Yes new site operation is good.

As regards the OP this looks like a fun piece of kit if you engage in insect photography as I do and the performance & price is right. One observation though is that when poking it through foliage as suggested in the image that whilst the lens tip may get close an on camera or hand held flash will likely be blocked by the foliage so ISO will be really high.
 

slclick

Matched Grip
Dec 17, 2013
2,652
27
#9
I'm interested. I do think someone might mistake it for a barrel...an idiot, yes, but it will happen. People think they see firearms everywhere they are not these days.
 

Mt Spokane Photography

Spends Too Much Time on This Forum
Mar 25, 2011
14,834
269
#10
I was tempted to order one on kick starter, but decided to wait and see how buyers review them. I will be unlikely to use such a lens seriously, but the idea of something to use for macro video is interesting. I'm sure it is not easy to use, a camera with IBIS might be a help?
 

drjlo

EOS 80D
Mar 27, 2012
801
1
#12
I would have to try hand-holding this lens myself to be convinced of its real-life usefulness. Too bad my Canons do not offer IBIS, which I'm sure would help.
Also, the small LED array at end, while seemingly a good idea, appears to be creating harsh, blown-out videos in their sample videos in burrows. I wonder if the LED strength can be adjusted and how useful it actually would be in Macro photo shooting.
 
Feb 15, 2015
668
10
#14
If this lens goes to infinity, and largest f-stop is 14, then at 2:1 it is f/42, with f/40 at 2:1 gives effective f/120! This may work for an instagram post, but don't even think about printing at 8x10". Diffraction soup galore! Fun toy anyway, but not tempted.
 
Likes: npdien
Aug 26, 2010
568
14
#19
I would have to try hand-holding this lens myself to be convinced of its real-life usefulness. Too bad my Canons do not offer IBIS, which I'm sure would help.
Also, the small LED array at end, while seemingly a good idea, appears to be creating harsh, blown-out videos in their sample videos in burrows. I wonder if the LED strength can be adjusted and how useful it actually would be in Macro photo shooting.
In Kai's review, he shows the cable that attaches to the lens to connect to a USB power source. In addition to the cable's On/Off switch, it has Up and Down switches to increase/decrease the lights' intensity.