Venus Optics has announced the availability and pricing of the new Laowa 100mm f/2.8 2X Ultra-Macro APO lens.
Followed by the success of the Laowa 60mm f/2.8 2:1 Macro, the 100mm f/2.8 2:1 Macro is the 2nd member of Laowa 2:1 macro line-up. This new 100mm lens can cover full frame sensor and focus from 2:1 magnification to infinity. 100mm is a more popular focal length for macro photographers. However, all of the current 100mm macro lenses in the market can only achieve 1:1 (life-size) or even smaller magnification. Shooting with smaller bugs is usually a challenge for macro photographers. The wider magnification range of the new Laowa Macro allows photographers to capture subjects at any size, making it one of the most versatile macro lens in the market. Despite having the wider range, Venus Optics manage to compress the size of the lens to the minimal and it is similar to other 1:1 macro lens in the market.
Laowa 100mm 2:1 Macro lens also features an apochromatic (APO) characteristic that chromatic aberration is invisible. Chromatic aberration (CA) is one of the most challenging topic for optics designer as it can usually ruin a perfect image. Some of the macro lenses in the market controls the chromatic aberration at the ‘in-focus’ area really well but the CA is uncontrollable in ‘out-of-focus’ rendition. The Laowa 100mm, however, delivers an exceptional performance on chromatic aberration suppression, both at the ‘in-focus’ area as well as ‘out-of-focus’ area. The subject in the image will not be polluted of any unwanted color fringing.
The Canon version of the Laowa 100mm f/2.8 2:1 Macro lens is integrated with a CPU chip and aperture motor. Photographers can now control the aperture and exposure through the camera itself and record the EXIF data into the photos. A focus indicator will also be shown in the camera to assist focus. This new feature also benefits macro photographers when composing at smaller f-stop as the aperture will only close when shutter is released, making the viewfinder so much brighter.
Not only it is an exceptional macro lens, the Laowa 100mm f/2.8 is also a very decent portrait lens when focus to infinity. The 12 elements in 10 groups optics design delivers a crystal sharpness image in both macro and infinity distances. The bright f/2.8 and circular aperture renders softly diffused bokeh and isolates the subject from its background. The lens has an internal focusing structure that will not extend when focus is changed. A multi-layer coating has also been applied to reduce lens flare and ghosting for increased contrast. Canon EF, Nikon F and Sony FE mounts are currently available.