Laowa 100mm f/2.8 2x Ultra Macro APO review

An amazing macro lens, this Laowa 100mm f/2.8 captures detail at up to twice life size

Laowa 100mm f/2.8 2x Ultra Macro APO review
(Image: © Future)

Digital Camera World Verdict

Available in Sony FE, Canon RF and Nikon Z mount options, this fully manual lens goes above and beyond regular macro duties, delivering an incredible 2.0x magnification factor at its shortest focus distance of 0.25m. It’s capable of capturing almost microscopic detail but the depth of field is very small even at the narrowest aperture setting of f/22. The lack of autofocus isn’t a major hurdle, as manual focusing is often preferred for extreme close-ups anyway, and the lens is capable of great results.


  • +

    Mighty 2.0x maximum magnification factor

  • +

    Smooth and precise manual focusing

  • +

    Good image quality


  • -

    No autofocus

  • -

    No electronic link to camera body

  • -

    Close working distance for full 2x macro use

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Sold as the Laowa 100mm f/2.8 2x Ultra Macro APO or Laowa 100mm f/2.8 CA-Dreamer Macro 2X, this remarkable lens from Venus Optics gives twice the maximum magnification of most macro lenses. 

There are two very similar versions of this lens. The original was designed for full-frame DSLRs, and is available in Canon EF and Nikon F mount. But a more recent mirrorless version was produced for Sony FE-mount mirrorless cameras and is now also available for Canon R-series and Nikon Z-series bodies. The DSLR-format lenses are physically a bit shorter and have a reduced diaphragm blade count of nine and seven, for Canon and Nikon mount respectively. All of the mirrorless format lenses have 13 diaphragm blades, producing a very well-rounded aperture when stopping down. We tested the Canon RF mount version.

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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.