In this part of our 2019 seasonal gift guides, we’re moving on from cameras to focus on lenses. There have been some great ones released over the last year. And there have also been one or two unusual ones. Here are some of our favourites.
The Laowa 24mm f/14 2:1 Probe lens is definitely the weirdest macro lens I’ve ever seen. It was presented at Photokina way back in in 2016, and now it’s finally available for preorders. Venus Optics has launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund this “weird, but revolutionary” lens and the funds have already gone through the roof. The company has also published a video with plenty of sample footage, and seeing that, I’m not surprised that so many people want to own this crazy lens.
Back in June, I was given the opportunity to test the new crazy lens by Laowa – the Laowa 24mm f/14 2:1 Relay Lens. It measures about 40cm in length and looks more like an endoscope rather than a traditional lens. While such relay lens designs are not entirely new with a few other examples in underwater macro photography, there are rarely any readily available options for terrestrial macro photography.
I only managed to spend a few hours with it during an inter-tidal shoot, and compiled some clips in the intro video here: