Shooting macro imagery transports photographers into a different world where everyday objects can take on a whole new look. However, let’s face facts, macro lenses of the past haven’t been the most portable of lenses. Well, that’s about to change thanks to Laowa’s new 85mm f/5.6 2x Ultra Macro APO lens.
Designed for use on full-frame mirrorless cameras and available in Canon RF, Sony E, Nikon Z and Leica M mounts, the diminutive optic measures only 53 x 81mm and tips the scales at just 259g, which is lighter than many smartphones.
Macro photographers will appreciate the close minimum focusing distance of just 16.3cm, enabling users to capture incredibly magnified images that make tiny subjects appear huge in the frame. The advantage of such as compact macro lens is that not only is the lens more portable and easy to carry around without weighing you down, but it will also provide better balance to your camera set up as more weighty macro lenses can cause your set-up to become ‘front heavy’.
Featuring a ‘13 elements in 9 groups’ design that includes no less than three extra-low dispersion elements that Laowa explains help eliminate colour fringing at both in-focus and out-of-focus areas. The lens also features an internal focusing system so that the lens barrel doesn’t protrude out , which can be far more of an issue when shooting macro imagery.
Bokeh fans will be pleased to hear the 85mm f/5.6 2x Ultra Macro APO features a 7-bladed aperture design to really make the most of the out of focus backgrounds in your frame and the maximum aperture is limited to f/5.6, which also helps keep the weight of the lens down.
In terms of weight comparison, Canon’s RF 100mm f/2.8 L Macro lens weighs in at 730g – nearly three times the weight of the Laowa optic. Other features include a 46mm filter thread, which will allow users to screw in filters and an APO design to reduce Chromatic Aberration. The Laowa 85mm f/5.6 2x Ultra Macro APO is available now and carries a price-tag of around $449.