Laowa has released more information about their new Laowa 100mm f/2.8 2x Ultra Macro APO Lens that we reported about last year. This 2:1 magnification macro lens expends Laowa’s line of macro lenses next to the Laowa 60mm f/2.8 2:1 and Laowa 24mm f/14 Probe Lens which we reviewed. Let’s take a closer look at this world’s first 100mm 2:1 macro lens!
World’s First 2:1 100mm Macro Lens
The Laowa 100mm f/2.8 2X Ultra Macro APO photo lens was announced back in September 2018 with very little information. Eight months later, we now know everything about the world’s first 2:1 100mm macro lens.
This lens is Full Frame compatible and can focus from infinity up to 2:1 magnification. The 100mm f/2.8 2:1 is the second lens in the Laowa 2:1 macro line-up, next to the Laowa 60mm f/2.8 2:1.
If you ever shot macro footage, I guess one of the most popular lenses out there is the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM. While this lens is pretty decent, it’s only a 1:1 magnification ratio lens. If you are shooting microscopic objects or insects, a 2:1 magnification could be a must-have. It means the magnification factor is doubled, making lens shadows less of an issue with such lenses.
The Laowa 100mm f/2.8 2x is relatively compact considering it’s a 2:1 lens. Next to the 100mm from Canon and Sony, it’s only slightly longer, but it doesn’t feature image stabilization.
Laowa 100mm f/2.8 2x APO Characteristics
This lens features 12 elements in 10 groups. Also, it is apochromatic, so chromatic aberration should be nearly invisible. According to Venus Optics, the lens should suppress almost all chromatic aberrations, at both ‘in-focus’ & ‘out-of-focus’ areas.
The Laowa 100mm f/2.8 is available in Canon, Nikon, and Sony FE mount. The Canon version is the only one to feature a CPU chip and motor for aperture control via the camera motor. No autofocus for any mounts, but a focus indicator will appear in the camera to help you get a perfectly sharp shot.
The f/2.8 aperture is standard for this type of lenses, and the number of aperture blades – 9 for the Canon version, 7 for the Nikon one, and 13 for the Sony FE – should provide a pleasing bokeh.
The focusing mechanism is internal, so the lens front element does not expand when you change focus. The filter thread is 67mm, and the lens measures Ф72 x 125 mm (Sony version: Ф72 x 155 mm) for a total weight of 638g.
Pricing and Availability
The lens is available for pre-order for $499. It should start shipping from late May/early June.
In terms of comparison, the Laowa 100mm f/2.8 2x retails for the same price as the Rokinon 100mm f/2.8 Macro Lens at $499. The Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM retails for $749, and the Sony FE 100mm f/2.8 STF GM OSS Lens is $1,498. So, this lens is an affordable option considering its the only 2:1 glass available.
What do you think of this new Laowa 100mm f/2.8 lens? Do you consider buying in replacement of your current macro lens? Let us know in the comments below!