Laowa is no stranger to producing weird and wonderful lenses, such as its 24mm f/14 2X Macro Probe lens, for instance. But now it's gone one better. Take that very probe lens, angle the front lens element through 90 degrees so it faces out of the side of the lens barrel, rather than the front end, and hey presto: you've got the 24mm T14 2x PeriProbe 'periscope' lens.
Such a lens may first appear to be a niche within a niche, but check out Laowa's sample videos showing the kind of shots which can be achieved when shooting from such a unique perspective - the results are truly captivating. The probe's ability to rotate through 360 degrees opens up almost limitless shooting angles which would be tough, if not impossible, to recreate any other way.
The new lens inherits most of its tech specs from the older, more 'conventional' probe lens. You get 2x magnification, with the same 408mm overall lens length. As before, an LED ring light surrounds the 90-degree tip, enabling subject illumination even in very tight surroundings. If additional lighting is needed, a 1/4-20 thread is incorporated into the end of the lens barrel, allowing a compact light to be attached.
Minimum subject distance is a very close 2cm, which combined with 85-degree angle of view and deep depth of field make it possible to create a convincing bug-eye perspective. The side-facing periscope set-up also makes it considerably easier to shoot from a top-down perspective, as there's no need to suspend the camera itself directly above the subject.
As with the existing probe lens, the end of the barrel is waterproof, opening up exciting opportunities for underwater macro stills and captivating video footage that allows you to be super-close to any underwater action.
All this originality doesn't come cheap, however. Where the old Laowa 24mm f/14 2X Macro Probe cost $1,599, the new PeriProbe lens will set you back $2,299. However, the modular design of the lens means you also get the front-view module included with the PeriProbe, giving you essentially two lenses in one. The PeriProbe lens is available now, in Arri PL, Canon EF, Canon RF, Nikon F, Nikon Z, Sony E and L-mount mount options.