AstrHori has just announced the official specs for the 28mm f/13 2X macro probe lens which was leaked last week. It's now been confirmed the lens will be available in the following mounts: Sony E, Fujifilm X, Nikon Z, Nikon F, Canon RF, L-mount and PL-mount. Notably, Canon EF mount is notably missing from the list.
Those familiar with the similarly unusual-looking Laowa 24mm f/14 2x macro probe lens (opens in new tab) will notice just how closely these two wide-angle probe lenses resemble one another. Both lenses feature an extremely long, thin barrel which is designed for a very particular purpose; to get insanely close to your subjects and capture shots no other lens can. Unlike most lenses, probe lenses have a built-in LED ring light at the front of the lens enabling you to illuminate your subjects when you can't use an external light source.
• These are the best macro lenses (opens in new tab) for capturing your subjects really close up
If you shoot portraits or landscapes, chances are you won't have any need for this lens but for content creators who regularly shoot food, or small items such as jewelry or who want to capture shots underwater, this lens is a really affordable alternative to the Laowa version. Thinking outside the box about your shots is key to using this lens but you will definitely be able to capture exciting content that those without this lens couldn't.
With a maximum aperture of f/13 and a minimum aperture of f/40, you'll have to make sure your sensor is spotless because any marks on it will show up. It has a 75° angle of view, a minimum working distance of 10mm, a minimum focusing distance of 0.48m to infinity and offers a 2:1 maximum magnification. The optical structure is formed of 21 elements in 16 groups and a 7-bladed diaphragm.
Weighing 698g it certainly isn't the lightest macro lens about but it's almost definitely one of the longest at 45.7cm (the Laowa equivalent is 40.8cm). However, a user-friendly design means it can be separated into two parts and the main body part can be used independently of the aperture and focus ring which feature a cine focus gear for use with cine focusing devices.
Although designed for full-frame cameras it could be used on APS-C bodies with a crop factor of 1.5x making it a 42mm full-frame equivalent. The very front of the lens is completely waterproof allowing you to submerge it just beneath the water up to 25cm. A built-in LED ring on the front of the lens makes it really easy to illuminate subjects, especially when used underwater and the LED is powered by a USB port on the lens barrel.
The Astrhori 28mm f/13 2X macro lens is now available to buy from Amazon for $739/£649 (around AU$1,160) - roughly half what the Laowa equivalent would set you back.
Check out the best LED light panels (opens in new tab) and the best tripods (opens in new tab) which will help you take even better macro photos!