Laowa 100mm gets in closer than other macro lenses

Laowa 100mm f/2.8 2:1 Ultra Macro APO lens

Laowa has unveiled its latest lens – a full-frame macro lens that focuses closer, and gives a higher degree of magnification than any of its rivals. The Laowa 100mm f/2.8 2:1 Ultra Macro APO provides, as its name suggests, a 2:1 magnification ratio – allowing photographers to focus in on microscopic detail.

Most macro lenses typically give 1:1, or life size magnification - but this new prime from this innovative Chinese optical manufacturer gives twice this magnification.

It will focus down to 24.7cm, but can also focus at other distances to give a full range of magnifications – and thanks to its f/2.8 maximum aperture will also prove useful as a portrait lens.

The manual focus lens will be available for Canon and Nikon DSLRs - as well as for Sony E-mount full-frame mirrorless cameras. The development of the lens was first announced back in April last year - but the full details and pricing have now been made unveiled. 

Image 1 of 2

Laowa 100mm f/2.8 2:1 Ultra Macro APO lens

Laowa 100mm f/2.8 2:1 Ultra Macro APO lens

Laowa 100mm f/2.8 2:1 Ultra Macro APO lens

Image 2 of 2

Laowa 100mm f/2.8 2:1 Ultra Macro APO lens

Laowa 100mm f/2.8 2:1 Ultra Macro APO lens

Laowa 100mm f/2.8 2:1 Ultra Macro APO lens

Specifications

The construction of the lens varies slightly depending on the  mount. The Sony version is longer than the Canon or Nikon versions. The number of diaphragm blades also varies with the mount (see table below). The Canon version of the Laowa  lens is integrated with a CPU chip and aperture motor.

In all versions of the lens, there is one apochromatic element, to help control chromatic aberration in both in-focus and out-of-focus areas.

Focal length: 100mm

Max. aperture: f/2.8

Angle of view: 24.4°

Lens construction: 12 elements in 10 groups

Aperture blades: 9 (Canon), 7 (Nikon), 13 (Sony FE)

Minimum focus: 24.7cm 

Max. magnification: 2:1

Filter thread: 67mm

Dimensions: 72 x 125 mm  (Canon, Nikon), 72 x 155 mm (Sony)

Weight: 638g

Mounts: Canon / Nikon / Sony FE

Image 1 of 4

Shot with Laowa 100mm f/2.8 2:1 Ultra Macro APO lens. © Gua Ge

Shot with Laowa 100mm f/2.8 2:1 Ultra Macro APO lens. © Gua Ge
Image 2 of 4

Shot with Laowa 100mm f/2.8 2:1 Ultra Macro APO lens. © XiaoKaiHuo

Shot with Laowa 100mm f/2.8 2:1 Ultra Macro APO lens. © XiaoKaiHuo
Image 3 of 4

Shot with Laowa 100mm f/2.8 2:1 Ultra Macro APO lens. © Emanuele Biggi

Shot with Laowa 100mm f/2.8 2:1 Ultra Macro APO lens. © Emanuele Biggi
Image 4 of 4

Shot with Laowa 100mm f/2.8 2:1 Ultra Macro APO lens. © Keith Cooper

Shot with Laowa 100mm f/2.8 2:1 Ultra Macro APO lens. © Keith Cooper

Pricing and availability

Venus Optics, the manufacturers of the Laowa brand, tells us that the 100mm f/2.8 2:1 Ultra Macro APO lens will start shipping in May. The recommended retail price has been set at $449 in the US; the UK price has yet to be announced. A tripod collar will be available as an optional extra at a cost of $30.

Read more:

The best macro lenses in 2019