Laowa 24mm T8 2x Macro Pro2be lens has three different viewing modes
Laowa has officially announced its newest probe lens, the Laowa 24mm T8 2x Macro Pro2be (buy here). Teased at the beginning of the month, and as the name suggests, the new lens is a 24mm T8 focal length probe lens with 2x macro capability.
It’s the follow-up to the company’s original 24mm f/14 2x macro probe lens (buy here), offering a wider aperture to lessen the light requirements for shooting! Gaining two stops of light, however, comes at a significant cost increase.
Laowa 24mm T8 2x Macro Pro2be Lens
The original 24mm f/14 2x macro probe lens currently sells for around $1,450-1,600. It’s not an inexpensive lens, by any means, but it’s one that provides a lot of functionality and versatility. Functionality and versatility that no other lens could provide when it was first launched.
Since then, we’ve seen other manufacturers take on the probe challenge. AstrHori, for example, has released two of them. One for full-frame and one for APS-C, both coming in significantly less expensive than Laowa.
Laowa’s new 24mm T8 2x Macro Pro2be lens, on the other hand, pretty much doubles the cost of the original Laowa lens. The lens has, obviously, seen something of a redesign since the release of the first one, but are they worth the extra cost?
Three different viewing modes
Aside from the aperture, the big sell with the new lens is that it’s gone more modular. It has three different modules available to provide different viewing options. You’ve got the straight direct view, the periscope module and one which rotates the angle by 35º. The latter of those is ideal when you want to get right down to the ground when you can’t get the camera itself that (such as on a camera slider).
The stock lens is available in four kits. Three of these kits each include the complete lens with a single viewing module. Once you’ve got what you need, that’s what you’re locked into. The remaining contains all three modules, allowing you to swap between each at your pleasure.
Laowa 24mm T8 2x Macro Pro2be Specs
The Laowa 24mm T8 2x Macro Pro2be lens offers a wider maximum aperture than its predecessor, opening up to a relatively wide f/8. This is almost a two-stop increase. It stops down all the way to f/40, giving you a lot more depth of field control – assuming you can provide enough light for your subject!
|Arri PL, Canon EF, Canon RF, Nikon F, Nikon Z, Sony E & L mount
|Min focus distance
|33 elements in 24 groups (direct/35º) / 33 elements in 25 groups (periscope)
|30.4 x 500-507mm
It’s obviously a lot more capable and versatile than the original, but whether or not it’ll see the same level of demand remains to be seen. I’m curious to see if people are willing to pay twice the price to buy one of these over the original and who will be willing to part with their original to step up to this one.
Price and Availability
The Laowa 24mm T8 2x Macro Pro2be is available to pre-order in four different kits. The first three are with the direct view for $2,849, with the 35º view for $3,149, or with the periscope view for $3,349. The fourth kit contains all three viewing module and is available to pre-order now for a whopping $8,499.
John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.