It'd be easy to classify the 'probe' lens as a niche device, or even a novelty, but this isn't stopping the likes of Laowa and now Astrhori from releasing a steady stream of different probe lens models. As recently as November 2023 Astrhori gave us the 28mm F13 2X Macro Periprobe: a full-frame probe lens with a front element angled through 90 degrees, enabling the lens to 'see round corners'. Now the manufacturer has released an APS-C version of this lens: the 18mm F8 2X Periprobe.
As with its full-frame sibling, you get the same rotating barrel tip with its perpendicular viewpoint (relative to the main lens barrel), enabling you to shoot in four different directions. This opens up some intriguing new creative effects, like the ability to point the lens straight down into the undergrowth or a flowing stream, while that 90-degree lens angle captures a horizontal bug-eye view of the scene ahead.
This latest APS-C revision also retains the full-frame version's ability to be submerged in water to a depth of up to 25cm, while the entire lens construction measures 470mm and weighs around 712g. The full lens is comprised of a long, slim probe section, and a shorter, larger diameter barrel containing a 23-element optical stack arranged in 17 groups. The 18mm focal length is said to provide an 80-degree field of view when paired with an APS-C sensor, with a working distance of just 5mm. As with the 28mm, full-frame version of the lens, this APS-C version is capable of a 2:1 magnification ratio.
The Astrhori 18mm F8 2X Periprobe Lens is available for Sony E, Fuji X, Canon RF, Nikon Z, L-mount and MFT cameras, priced at USD $789 / £759 / €1049. Alternatively, the Periprobe lens can be purchased as a bundle with Astrhori's regular, forward-facing probe extension. This package price is USD $1,169 / £1,119 / €1,499.