Hands on: Laowa 24mm f/14 2x Macro Probe lens review

'Anteater' macro lens is even weirder when you experience it up close

Laowa 24mm f/14 2x Macro Probe lens

Early Verdict

Venus Optics continues to prove it's possible to succeed in the lens business by producing enough niche lenses to attract attention, and evidently buyers. There's no doubt that the Probe lens will never be an essential optic in every kit bag, but if you value uniquely creative shots over lens portability and everyday versatility, the 24mm Macro Probe may well be worth its serious asking price.


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    Unique concept and perspective

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    Illuminated tip

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    Rugged, waterproof build


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    Inconveniently long

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    Narrow max aperture requires good light

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    Won't replace a conventional macro lens

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One of the most unusual lenses at Photokina 2018, Laowa’s radical Probe lens rips up the macro rule book with its unusually wide 24mm focal length and 2cm close focusing distance. 

Traditional macro lenses usually have longer focal lengths and focusing distances to deliberately keep you away from a subject, minimizing the chance of you and your camera casting shadows, or disturbing a camera-shy insect.

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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.