Laowa 90mm F2.8 2x Ultra Macro APO review

The Laowa 90mm F2.8 2x Ultra Macro APO will have you seeing double, with it’s 2.0x macro capability for extreme close-ups

Laowa 90mm F2.8 2x Ultra Macro APO
(Image: © Matthew Richards)

Digital Camera World Verdict

If you feel that bigger is better when it comes to macro magnification, you’ll be delighted that this lens can reproduce small areas at up to twice life size on a camera’s image sensor. That gives the scope for humungous enlargement on-screen or in print, and thanks to the Laowa’s excellent sharpness, it can capture near-microscopic levels of fine detail and texture. It’s a fully manual lens designed for mirrorless cameras but has great handling and all-round performance. All in all, it’s a sound choice for mirrorless cameras, at a very attractive price.


  • +

    Mighty 2.0x macro magnification

  • +

    High-precision manual focus ring

  • +

    Relatively compact and lightweight


  • -

    No autofocus

  • -

    No camera-driven aperture control

  • -

    No lens-based EXIF data with images

Why you can trust Digital Camera World Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out how we test.

The Laowa 90mm F2.8 2x Ultra Macro APO comes three years down the road from the TIPA award-winning Laowa 100mm f/2.8 2x Ultra Macro APO. The older lens was available in two broadly similar versions, one for Canon and Sony DSLRs, the other for Canon RF, Nikon Z and Sony E mount mirrorless cameras, all of them being full-frame compatible. The newer 90mm is designed purely for mirrorless cameras, adding Leica L to the line-up of mount options while still supporting the previous RF, Z and E threesome.

Quite compact for a 90mm macro lens, the Laowa is nearly one and a half inches shorter than the previous 100mm mirrorless lens, but only about a fifth of an inch shorter than the DSLR version. As with its predecessor, the it has a fixed physical length so there’s no externally telescoping inner barrel that protrudes forwards at shorter focus distances.


Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

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.