Winner of the ‘Best DSLR Macro Lens’ TIPA World Awards 2020, the Laowa 100mm f/2.8 2X Ultra Macro APO is now available in versions for mirrorless cameras from Canon and Nikon.
Priced at $449.00, the Laowa 100mm f/2.8 2x Ultra Macro APO lens for full-frame sensors has been available, since 2019, for Canon EF and Nikon AI DSLR cameras and the Sony FE mirrorless. New versions, for Canon RF and Nikon Z mirrorless cameras are now announced by Venus Optics as ready to ship, after a period when it was not sure if they would be developed. For users of the mirrorless cameras from Canon and Nikon this is good news, as both the price and specifications of the lens make it an affordable must have macro lens that easily surpasses the common 1:1 models usually available.
The focal length of 100mm is one of the most common focal length for macro photography usage. Although I’ve a 60mm macro lens, which is handy and small to carry around, in my collection of lenses, the 100mm version is the one I’ve used the most when doing macro, and I’ve had a few since the early Canon models to the most recent versions. Macro lenses from camera brands or from independent makers usually have a focal length of 100mm, sometimes 105mm, which is considered normal for a macro lens. The Laowa is a 100mm macro lens, but as Venus Optics says, “just because its 100mm does not mean its normal”.
Same size, double life-sized magnification
Despite its physical size being similar to conventional 100mm macro lenses available in the market, the lens features a wider magnification range that allows macro photographers to capture subjects at any sizes. In fact, the Laowa 100mm f/2.8 2x Ultra Macro APO lens can achieve, ans the name suggests, double life-sized magnification where most telephoto macro lens in the market can only focus up to 1:1. Unlike other ultra-macro lenses in the market, the Laowa 100mm can also focus to infinity, making it one of the most versatile lens in macro photography, product and portrait photography.
The Laowa 100mm f/2.8 2X Ultra Macro APO lens has adopted an apochromatic (APO) design. Both longitudinal and lateral chromatic aberration has been controlled to the minimal through a carefully designed optics system with 2pcs of extra-low dispersion elements in use. CA has long been one of the most annoying aberrations for macro photography and now you can forget about this and focus more on taking a great shot, says Venus Optics.
A whole family of macro lenses
The Canon version of the Laowa 100mm Macro lens is equipped with an aperture control motor and CPU chip. The aperture can be controlled via the camera body (no aperture control ring on the lens body) and the aperture will close only during shutter release. Photographers no longer need to compose their shots in a dark viewfinder. A focus assistance indicator will also be shown in the camera. EXIF data can also be saved. It should be noted that the lens is not currently compatible with electronic adapters.
The Laowa 100mm f/2.8 2X Ultra Macro APO Lens joins the Laowa 60mm f/2.8 2:1 Macro on Laowa’s 2:1 macro line-up for full frame sensors. Both lenses are available to order from Venus Optics authorized resellers and official website. The company, which also offers cine lenses, now offers a series of 2X lenses:
- The Laowa 65mm f/2.8 2x Ultra Macro APO for Fujifilm X, Sony E and Canon M
- The Laowa 25mm f/2.8 2.5-5X Ultra Macro for Canon EF & RF, Nikon F & Z, Pentax K and Sony FE mounts
- The Laowa 24mm f/14 2X Macro Probe for Canon EF, Nikon F, Sony FE, Pentax K and Arri PL mounts