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Laowa 85mm f/5.6 2X Ultra Macro Lens Released

November 30th, 2021 Jump to Comment Section 1
Laowa 85mm f/5.6 2X Ultra Macro Lens Released

Macro photography is a niche subject matter, but one that has expanded in the last few years. Leading the charge is Venus Optics, which created some specialized tools. Their 24mm Probe Lens has seen wide use in the commercial space, as well as in miniature photography. With the release of the Laowa 85mm f/5.6 2X Ultra Macro lens, the miniature world has gotten a whole lot bigger.

Venus Optics rose to recognition in the lens market with low distortion wide-angle lenses. Their intriguing Probe lens looked to be a gimmick but was soon welcomed into many tool kits that fulfilled various production needs. The new Laowa 85mm f/5.6 Macro lens is another step into a niche market. It offers shooters an opportunity to capture miniaturized details at a fraction of the cost. Let’s take a look at the new lens from Venus Optics and see what it brings to the table.

Laowa 85mm f/5.6 2X Ultra Macro Lens
The New Laowa 85mm f/5.6 2X Ultra Macro Lens. Image Credit: Venus Optics/Kiva

Small lens, small world

The Laowa 85mm f/5.6 2X Ultra Macro Lens is a compact full-frame lens built for one thing only — Macro Photography. Built with 13 elements in 9 groups, the new 85mm has an apochromatic optical design. Three extra-low dispersion elements help eliminate color fringing and chromatic aberration. All of this is packed into a package that weighs only 259g, at least for the Sony E-mount version. Venus Optics will also release the 85mm in Canon RF, Nikon Z, and Leica M.

Laowa 85mm f/5.6 2X Ultra Macro Sample Shot.
Laowa 85mm f/5.6 2X Ultra Macro Sample Shot. Image Credit: Venus Optics/Kiva

While shooters won’t be taking any portraits with this tiny aperture lens, the f/5.6 is a perfect companion to the 2x magnification and close focus distance of 16.3cm (or 6.41in). To make better use of this close focus, all focusing is handled internally. Here’s a full spec sheet if organized tables are your thing:

Laowa 85mm f/5.6 2X Ultra Macro Specs
Laowa 85mm f/5.6 2X Ultra Macro Specs. Image Credit: Venus Optics

Do you need it?

If you have to ask, you probably don’t, as this lens is made for a very specific type of work. Venus Optics has cut themselves a nice piece of the lens market pie by focusing on interesting lens designs for very specific applications. Their products are well built and are now opening up a whole new world for photographers and cinematographers alike. While this lens may not be for everyone, it is definitely a worthy contender if you plan on exploring macro photography.

The Laowa 85mm f/5.6 2X Ultra Macro Lens is now available at $499 through the Venus Optics website.

What do you think of this offering from Venus Optics? Would this be something you add to your toolkit? Let us know in the comments!

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