The Venus Laowa 15mm f/4 will stand as the widest 1:1 macro lens in production for the full frame format.
When discussing macro lenses, one would normally expect something in the 160-150mm focal range, image stabilization with a heavily compressed background.
The Venus Laowa 15mm f/4 offers a completely different slant of macro photography/film, enabling a maximum 1:1 magnification ratio on a wide 15mm lens.
The result is quite unique; small objects become large in frame whilst still retaining a large amount of background information.
Here are some images taken on the Venus Laowa 15mm f/4 (albeit none full at 1:1 magnification ratio):
You’ll be exceptionally close to your subject at 1:1, with a minimum working distance of just 0.47cm (perhaps a little too close for some 8-legged hairy subjects).
The Venus Laowa 15mm f/4 offers 110 degrees Angle of View on Full Frame, is manual focus only and compatible with the usual suspects of Canon EF, Nikon F, Sony A & FE and Pentax K.
Here’s the rest of the specification:
- Focal Length: 15mm
- Max Aperture: f/4
- Min Aperture: f/32
- Angle of View: 110/85 Degrees (Full Frame /APS-C)
- Shift (For APS-C): +/- 6mm
- Lens Structure: 12 Elements in 9 Groups
- Aperture Blades: 14
- Min Working Distance: 0.47cm (1:1)
- Min Shooting Distance: 12cm
- Max Magnification Ratio: 1:1
- Focus: Manual Only
- Filter Thread: 77mm
- Dimension: 83.8 X 64.7mm
- Weight: 410g
- Mounts: Canon EF, Nikon F, Sony A & FE, Pentax K
As you can see, both the promo video and images have gone with the consistent theme of nature, particularly small animals or insects as it really offers a unique perspective that would otherwise require extension tubes to achieve.
There are plenty of other uses however; enhancing the presence of your foreground with such magnification ratio yet retaining so much background information can help tell your story (AMC’s Breaking Bad utilizes this technique quite a bit throughout the seasons).
The lens will come in at a very attractive price point, sub $500 making it a handy tool to have in the kit box. Shipping expected mid to late July this year.