I was a tad skeptical the first time I took this glass out but now I’m 100% sold on this amazing Macro lens. Made by new lens manufacturing company ‘Venus Optics‘ who have since changed their name to Laowa and are based in China. That is why I was reluctant, not to knock all Chinese products but they don’t have the strongest of track records when it comes to build and strength quality. I’m floored.
60mm f2.8 (to infinity) 2:1 Macro capability is just awesome. The above image is a still taken from some video footage shot yesterday on my day out to find nature in the middle of Tokyo. The lens itself takes some getting used to as there is no communication between it and the camera. Both Iris and Focus are manual, a la cinematography and cameras of ‘old’, love it. The results are fantastic and for less than US$400 it sure gives its closest competitor the Canon MPE65mm f2.8 at US$1400+ a run for its money. To be fair though the Canon does go to 5:1 Macro ratio, that is five times life size magnification on the sensor. I’ve got both these lenses in the kit bag and for ease of use up to 2:1 I think I’ll find myself reaching for the Venus at any given time from here on in.
If as a macro or product photographer you are contemplating this lens I’d personally say go for it. If you really want to get funky on the magnification side of things you can always clip on a Raynox DCR-250 Macro Lens and you’re into the world of crazy achromatic macro at a fraction of the Canon price. Go for it and don’t forget to share you images on Twitter with me. Use #NatureInADay for any shots taken that same day and if I see them I’ll retweet out to my humungous and wonderful Twitter following.