AstrHori 18mm f/8 2x Periscope Probe Macro review

The AstrHori 18mm f/8 2x Periscope Probe Macro is a niche lens for crop-sensor cameras that gives a whole different perspective on shooting extreme close-ups

AstrHori 18mm f/8 2x Periscope Probe Macro
(Image: © Matthew Richards)

Digital Camera World Verdict

Taking a leaf out of Laowa’s book and building on its own 28mm full-frame compatible probe macro lens, this 18mm optic is designed specifically for crop-sensor cameras. The idea is that you can poke your nose (or rather the front of the long, thin probe) into tight spaces and take macro shots like never before. The front section is waterproof too, so you can even explore rock pools or get up close and personal with aquatic life. It’s a great idea that translates into a really neat lens, and at a very competitive price.


  • +

    2x (2:1) maximum macro magnification

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    Comfortable working distance from camera

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    Built-in dimmable LED light


  • -

    No electronic link to the camera

  • -

    Distance from lens front to subject can be tiny

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    LED light needs a USB power source

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Although niche and rather oddball, the AstrHori 18mm f/8 2x Periscope Probe Macro isn’t a new concept. It’s essentially a newer version of the company’s full-frame compatible 28mm f/13 2X Micro Probe lens, but designed for crop-sensor cameras. As such, it has an ‘effective’ 27mm focal length on APS-C format bodies (28.8mm for Canon) and gives virtually the same field of view as using the preceding 28mm lens on a full-frame camera.

AstrHori 18mm f/8 Probe Macro comes as a kit of parts in a polymer hard case with cutout foam inserts. (Image credit: Matthew Richards)

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Matthew Richards

Matthew Richards is a photographer and journalist who has spent years using and reviewing all manner of photo gear. He is Digital Camera World's principal lens reviewer – and has tested more primes and zooms than most people have had hot dinners! 

His expertise with equipment doesn’t end there, though. He is also an encyclopedia  when it comes to all manner of cameras, camera holsters and bags, flashguns, tripods and heads, printers, papers and inks, and just about anything imaging-related. 

In an earlier life he was a broadcast engineer at the BBC, as well as a former editor of PC Guide.