Laowa's latest macro lens instantly makes all rivals obsolete

Laowa Aurogon FF 10-50x NA0.5 Supermicro APO
(Image credit: Laowa)

Laowa's developed quite the reputation for high-magnification macro lenses, but now it's made even its weird and wonderful probe lenses look positively mainstream. Enter the Laowa Aurogon FF 10-50x NA0.5 Supermicro APO: a full-frame lens set containing one 'objective lens', to which a choice of four different extension tubes can be attached, enabling 10x, 20x, 35x and a incredible 50x magnification.

Laowa Aurogon FF 10-50x NA0.5 Supermicro APO

(Image credit: Venus Optics)

Each lens tube facilitates the same 20mm working distance for ease of use, allowing you to standardise your lighting set-up regardless of the lens magnification being used. The objective lens measures 167mm long with a 50mm maximum diameter and weighs in at 447g. The length of each extension tube varies between 112mm and 253mm, meaning the combined objective lens + tube length ranges from 279mm up to 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. The lens uses Laowa's Apochromat (APO) design to control chromatic aberrations and improve overall image quality. Aperture range is measured numerically rather than in conventional F stops, and Laowa quotes a range between 0.15 and 0.5.

(Image credit: Venus Optics)

Of course with magnifications this high, mounting the set-up on a stable base is essential. To that end, Laowa also offers and optional Slip Ring set that can be used in a similar fashion to a tripod collar on a long telephoto lens, connecting the lens in two places to a solid base like a rail platform. With the correct placement and plenty of patience, it's then possible to capture macro images with the kind of magnification previously only possible with the aid of a microscope, revealing a level of detail completely invisible to most macro lenses, let alone the naked eye.

(Image credit: Venus Optics)

Even with 'only' 10x magnification, the level of detail on offer is incredible (Image credit: Venus Optics)

(Image credit: Venus Optics)

The Laowa Aurogon FF 10-50x NA0.5 Supermicro APO will be available for Canon EF and RF, Nikon F and Z, Sony E, L mount, PL mount and GFX, priced at USD $1,500. Considering this is roughly equivalent to Laowa's existing probe lenses, you're getting a heck of a lot of macro magnification for your money. The add-on Slip Ring set will retail for USD $150.

(Image credit: Venus Optics)

Read more: 

Best macro lenses
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Best cine lenses
Best anamorphic lenses
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Ben Andrews

Ben is the Imaging Labs manager, responsible for all the testing on Digital Camera World and across the entire photography portfolio at Future. Whether he's in the lab testing the sharpness of new lenses, the resolution of the latest image sensors, the zoom range of monster bridge cameras or even the latest camera phones, Ben is our go-to guy for technical insight. He's also the team's man-at-arms when it comes to camera bags, filters, memory cards, and all manner of camera accessories – his lab is a bit like the Batcave of photography! With years of experience trialling and testing kit, he's a human encyclopedia of benchmarks when it comes to recommending the best buys.