Macro lenses are Laowa speciality, and this latest optic is designed for full frame mirrorless cameras, and can focus right from a 2:1 magnification to infinity. Laowa is pitching the 8mm f/2.8 2x Ultra Macro APO not solely as a macro lens but as a general-purpose walkaround lens too, thanks to its 40.9° near-standard lens angle of view and useful f/2.8 maximum aperture.
• Watch Laowa's promotional video on YouTube below:
The Laowa 58mm f/2.8 2X Ultra Macro APO will come in Sony E, Canon RF, Nikon Z and L-mount versions. It is designed for maximum optical performance, with 3 ED (extra low dispersion) and 3 UHR (ultra high refractive elements in apochromatic (APO) formulation aimed at minimizing chromatic aberration.
Chromatic aberration comes in two forms: lateral chromatic aberration (color fringing around object edges) and longitudinal aberration (bokeh fringing) and the ‘APO’ design of the new lens is engineered to counteract both.
Most macro lenses focus down to a 1:1 ‘life size’ magnfication so that objects are reproduced on the sensor at their actual size. The Laowa 58mm f/2.8 2X Ultra Macro APO goes 2x further, with a minimum focus distance of just 18.5cm (7.29”) that will fill the full sensor width with an object just 18mm wide.
Laowa is well known for its DSLR macro lenses, but this one has been made specially for the shorter flange distances of mirrorless cameras, bringing improved image sharpness and a more compact design.
The 55mm focal length is shorter than the typical macro lens, but while this does shorten the shooting distance to subjects, as Laowa points out, it makes it more useful as a general-purpose lens and also offers a little more depth of field – which is always at a premium in macro photography.
An internal focusing system keeps the length of the lens constant during use, and the lens measures 74 x 117mm, with a weight of 595g.
The Laowa 58mm f/2.8 2X Ultra Macro APO should be available now, and will sell for $499 (about £441/AU$750).