Laowa, possibly the world-leader in producing weird and wacky lenses, seems to have yet another optical oddity to add to its portfolio. The company already produces several macro 'probe' lenses with high magnification ratios, but the new Laowa Aurogon FF 10-50x NA0.5 Supermicro APO is on another level.
Currently specific details are restricted to a Chinese spec sheet, but as far as we can make out, this is a single lens that's supplied with four extension tubes. The focal length of the lens itself is unclear, but the supplied extension tubes enable 10x, 20x, 35x, or an incredible 50x magnification. The lens appears to be 167mm long with a 50mm maximum diameter and weighs in at 447g. Minimum object distance is as close as 20mm, seemingly regardless of which tube is attached. The length of each of the extension tube varies between 112mm and 253mm, meaning the combined lens+tube length ranges from 279mm and 420mm. The focal length of the combined lens and extension tube is 18.8mm for the 10x tube, reducing to 5.56mm when the 50x tube is used.
As we've come to expect from Laowa's fully-manual lenses, the Aurogon FF 10-50x NA0.5 Supermicro APO looks as though it'll be available in a variety of mount options, including: Canon EF and RF, Nikon F and Z, Sony E, L mount, Fuji G mount, and ARRI PL mount.
The lens+tube set is expected to retail for 8999 Yuan, which converts to around USD$1250, £960, or AUD$1,840. That compares well to Laowa's existing probe lenses which are all over $1400. However, as anyone who's used conventional macro extension tubes will know, the greater the extension length and corresponding magnification, and the shallower the depth of field available at a given lens aperture. We'd imagine that with the 50x extension tube fitted to the Laowa Aurogon FF 10-50x, depth of field will be wafer-thin, while image quality is likely to only be sharp in the center of frame. But regardless of these potential limitations, a macro lens with such huge magnification opens up new possibilities for extreme, microscope-level close-ups.
Story credit: mirrorless rumors