As an organization, Laowa has been making some actually attention-grabbing and distinctive lenses. My private favourite to date is the 12mm f/2.Eight Zero-Distortion lens, though this new lens may simply take its place. 

In my newest video, I evaluation the Laowa 24mm f/14 macro probe lens to see what it is all about and the way sensible it really is. With its comparatively tiny aperture, I used to be initially very skeptical. As somebody who usually makes YouTube movies, I used to be making an attempt to determine precisely how I’d use this lens. Positive, you need to use it for industrial movies the place you are filming merchandise up shut, however that market is comparatively small. Happily, I spotted it is potential once I was filming some B roll; this lens is solely unimaginable for that goal. I like the way you’re in a position to movie one thing with a wider view after which lower to a shot tremendous shut. This offers you an entire new dimension to the kind of clips you’ll be able to produce, and I correctly take pleasure in it. I do not suppose there may be one other lens from any of the most important producers that may produce the form of clips the Laowa 24mm lens can, making this very distinctive. To see how the lens performs for particularly filming, try the total video. 

Construct High quality and Design

Laowa clearly cares about construct high quality, and it is an space they don’t take frivolously. As with a few of their different lenses, the construct high quality on the 24mm probe lens is incredible. The stable metallic design could be very pleasing and offers a correct premium really feel to it. This lens is totally handbook and doesn’t have any digital contacts on the mount. This implies there isn’t any autofocus and the aperture can solely be managed from the lens. The main target ring has an extended sufficient throw on it for many who wish to be exact with their focusing. Though with the tremendous small aperture on this lens, it isn’t that tough to seek out focus. The aperture ring is de-clicked, making is nice for videographers. Sadly, in my use, I discovered the aperture ring to be slightly unfastened, and on a number of events when utilizing the lens usually, I discovered the aperture ring inadvertently closed right down to f/16 and even f/22. I do not think about this to be a serious flaw, but it surely has affected a few of my footage; I feel the aperture ring could also be too near the main focus ring. 

The design of this lens is what actually makes it stand out. The lengthy, probe-type design actually did catch many viewers’ eyes once I was out filming. The rationale why this lens is so lengthy in design is solely so it will possibly focus shut sufficient to attain it is 2:1 magnification with out disturbing the topic. That is double the magnification of most macro lenses out there in the marketplace, that means you’ll be able to have your topic a lot bigger within the body. 

Different options of this lens embody the LED lights constructed into the lens, which might be powered by a transportable battery. I personally have combined emotions about this, as a result of on one hand, I completely find it irresistible and suppose it is a incredible function to supply. I am certain somebody someplace who wants that further little bit of sunshine will discover it invaluable. Alternatively, I actually did not like utilizing them, as a result of the sunshine high quality is not nice. I ended up not utilizing them in any respect for a similar causes that I do not use built-in flash. 

The lengthy, probe-like design does trigger a couple of points with regard to transporting the lens. When filming, chances are high you may be carrying a collection of gear, and the Laowa lens does create a problem as a result of it is tough to slot in a bag correctly. Even with a comparatively massive backpack just like the Lowepro Flipside 400 II, the lens did not match correctly and took up a number of house. Because of this, though I feel it is a incredible lens, it does make me suppose twice earlier than packing it for a shoot. 

Picture High quality

Relating to picture high quality, there a few issues I discovered. Very first thing is that though this lens does permit you to focus all the best way to infinity, at that distance, footage and pictures look very delicate. As you’ll be able to see with the pictures under, the Canon 24mm f/2.8 is way sharper and extra detailed even when wanting on the photos from a distance. Each photos have been shot with the very same settings and digital camera. 

You may additionally discover some very heavy vignetting within the Laowa picture, and the colours are completely different too. In my use, I’ve discovered that the Laowa lens has a really distinct yellow solid to the footage and pictures it produces. Positive, this may be corrected with some adjustment in publish; nonetheless, straight out of the digital camera, you will not get correct colours. Basically, in case you are fascinated about ensuring the colours are correct, then you’ll completely want a colour checker passport for this lens. 

Happily, in the case of video, the colour shift is definitely very pleasing and offers a extra cinematic, heat look to the clips. This will, in fact, be corrected, however I really most well-liked it, 

The place this lens shines is at very shut distances, and that is the place you’ll be able to actually get probably the most out of it. It is merely unimaginable how shut you may get to your topic and nonetheless have sharp focus. Photographs at shut distances look very sharp and detailed, and though the colours may have some work, the element is unquestionably there. 

When evaluating the Laowa 24mm to a extra normal macro lens just like the Canon 100mm f/2.8L, there are some very notable variations. For one, as a result of wider angle of view, at any given magnification, you may have noticeably extra within the body with the Laowa lens than you’ll with the 100mm macro. The advantage of the Laowa lens is that you could have context with the photographs you produce, so not solely are you able to get actually near your topic, you too can have extra attention-grabbing backgrounds. The problem is that as a result of working distances, you may discover considerably much less compression with the Laowa lens at any given magnification. The pictures under have been shot with the identical lighting setup, digital camera, and settings. The pictures have additionally not been edited. 

What I Appreciated

  • A comparatively distinctive lens with unimaginable potential.
  • Unbelievable picture high quality up shut.
  • Construct high quality is incredible. 
  • De-clicked aperture.
  • Unbelievable for video shooters. 

What I Did not Like

  • It is simple to by accident knock the aperture
  • Slightly unwieldy and tough to take with you on shoots. 
  • Small aperture could make it slightly tough to make use of in lower-light situations.
  • A really distinguished colour shift.

Last Ideas

Though you need to use this lens for pictures, it is simpler for video shooters. Even the configurations in the stores from Laowa display that they’re positioning this lens extra in the direction of video shooters than photographers. Positive, you need to use it for pictures; nonetheless, the affect of this lens can solely correctly be felt when filming. For video, this lens is totally unimaginable. The form of footage you’ll be able to produce could be very distinctive and offers an entire new dimension. You can begin with a context-building shot after which lower to a really shut shot. This, I consider, will give videographers some superb inventive prospects. The opposite incredible factor about this lens is the shortage of compression at any given magnification. In lots of circumstances, individuals think about that to be a difficulty; nonetheless, if you know the way to make use of perspective methods to your benefit, you’ll be able to create some very attention-grabbing photographs.

I’ve created a brief video for an organization utilizing this lens, which might be seen on the finish of the video above. In any case, for those who’re a videographer, I extremely suggest this lens. For photographers, I might say it relies upon. 

You possibly can preorder the lens for $1,499 right here.

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