Pages: [1]   Go Down

Author Topic: Laowa 25mm f/2.8 2.5x - 5x macro lens  (Read 6791 times)

keithcooper

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 310
    • Northlight Images
Laowa 25mm f/2.8 2.5x - 5x macro lens
« on: January 23, 2018, 02:06:26 PM »

I've been sent a new macro lens to try out (partly because I use the Canon MP-E65) on my 5Ds.

The Laowa 25mm f/2.8 2.5x - 5x macro lens is a very solidly built and distinctly smaller than the MP-E (but no electronics).

It'll be a while until I can get a review sorted, but if anyone has any queries, please do let me know?

Much like the Canon, it's a fixed focus lens, but has a slightly longer working distance.

As I'd expect from the MP-E, the DOF is razor thin, so this is definitely a lens I'd pick for studio use (I've a stackshot rail).

muntanela

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 610
    • BRATA
Re: Laowa 25mm f/2.8 2.5x - 5x macro lens
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2018, 12:10:20 PM »

As a Nikon user, I'm keen to know  something about this lens, I would like to use it in the mountains (yes, in the mountains...) next summer (if my brand new mitral valve will allow it). While I wait for your review, the first questions are: how much does it weigh? Do you already have any idea about its optical quality?
Logged

keithcooper

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 310
    • Northlight Images
Re: Laowa 25mm f/2.8 2.5x - 5x macro lens
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2018, 05:35:11 AM »

As a Nikon user, I'm keen to know  something about this lens, I would like to use it in the mountains (yes, in the mountains...) next summer (if my brand new mitral valve will allow it). While I wait for your review, the first questions are: how much does it weigh? Do you already have any idea about its optical quality?
The EF mount lens weighs 418gm (437gm with caps) - or so says my digital kitchen scales...

Whilst I'd expect eventually to see it in F mount etc, the only one I know of at the moment is Canon EF (I have no connection with the mfr.)

It's difficult to say too much about quality without setting stuff up to test, but as a user of the MP-E65 I see no obvious issues (the manual stop down may make working a bit more difficult in some uses)

muntanela

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 610
    • BRATA
Re: Laowa 25mm f/2.8 2.5x - 5x macro lens
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2018, 07:50:32 AM »

It's light (digital kitchen scales are usually accurate) :D. The manual stop down wouldn't be a problem, provided the lens doesn't suffer from focus shift. Thanks Keith, I'm following your testing also in DPR.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2018, 09:29:33 AM by muntanela »
Logged

muntanela

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 610
    • BRATA
Re: Laowa 25mm f/2.8 2.5x - 5x macro lens
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2018, 08:27:45 AM »

It seems to be a little better than the MP-E65, good news for Nikon shooters. If I have good (or not bad) prospects for survival at the follow-up examination on May 25th, I'll buy it to celebrate. https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/60733159
Logged

keithcooper

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 310
    • Northlight Images
Re: Laowa 25mm f/2.8 2.5x - 5x macro lens
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2018, 10:41:07 AM »

It seems to be a little better than the MP-E65, good news for Nikon shooters. If I have good (or not bad) prospects for survival at the follow-up examination on May 25th, I'll buy it to celebrate. https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/60733159

Yes, the maximum sharpness is just a tad sharper than the MP-E65 I have here - not much, but if you stack at 5x and f/2.8 the image is better.

Curiously, the MP-E images are magnified a tiny bit more than the equivalent setting on the Laowa 25mm

OOF highlights also benefit from the 8 blade aperture on the 25mm compared to the six blade MP-E

at f/5.6 5x (100%)

NancyP

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Online Online
  • Posts: 2265
Re: Laowa 25mm f/2.8 2.5x - 5x macro lens
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2018, 11:33:22 AM »

For a long time, the Canon MPE has been the standard for field (live) insect macro, due to sturdiness and availability of twin flash support.

Next issue will be a suitable field-use lighting rig for the Laowa. The Canon twin flash (optical -24 or radio -26 versions) has the convenient front-of-lens flash mount, which is field-worthy and just needs a home-made diffuser rig. Someone or other in the macro world will be building a DIY rig suitable for the Laowa soon.... I haven't checked Fred Miranda Forum lately, but the macro forum there has a ginormous "show your rig" thread with at least 10 different designs (and many more variations) of DIY flash / diffuser rigs, and someone may have posted a Laowa version.
Logged

keithcooper

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 310
    • Northlight Images
Re: Laowa 25mm f/2.8 2.5x - 5x macro lens
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2018, 11:53:59 AM »

This is something they are working on

The bit at the front is a LED light unit.

Once someone machines one, you can have an adapter plate that fits the bayonet of the lens in the same way the (metal) lens cap does  and offers a slot like the MP-E65


BTW if anyone can translate...

muntanela

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 610
    • BRATA
Re: Laowa 25mm f/2.8 2.5x - 5x macro lens
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2018, 05:22:14 PM »


Curiously, the MP-E images are magnified a tiny bit more than the equivalent setting on the Laowa 25mm


I noticed it, I thought also that the higher resolution of the Laowa may be only apparent, usually a smaller image appears to be sharper than a larger one...  ::) ;D
Logged

keithcooper

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 310
    • Northlight Images
Re: Laowa 25mm f/2.8 2.5x - 5x macro lens
« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2018, 06:01:27 PM »

I noticed it, I thought also that the higher resolution of the Laowa may be only apparent, usually a smaller image appears to be sharper than a larger one...  ::) ;D
I've done quite a few deep stacks with the Laowa at f/2.8 and 5x and the extra sharpness is real. Once you stop down, the diffraction softness quickly shows and the differences are much less.

I'll try and show this when I write stuff up

Here's a couple of views of one deep stack ( 5x f/2.8 )

NancyP

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Online Online
  • Posts: 2265
Re: Laowa 25mm f/2.8 2.5x - 5x macro lens
« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2018, 06:09:08 PM »

Laowa has been pretty innovative, I give them a lot of credit.
Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up