Macro photography is such an intense rabbit hole to fall into. There are all kinds of weird and wonderful lenses to try, especially these days, for all manner of subject matter. And we get sucked into every one of them!
Laowa’s adding to the wide array of macro tools available – and Laowa’s own extensive lineup of macro lenses – with the new Laowa Aurogon FF 10-50x NA0.5 Supermicro APO lens set (buy here). A full-frame 10-50x zoom super micro kit for really small subjects.
Laowa Aurogon FF 10-50x NA0.5 Supermicro APO
The new lens (well, kit, but we’ll get to that) is essentially a microscope optic fitted into a lens housing. Microscope objectives with adapters to mount them to cameras have been a common pursuit of the extreme macro photographer for a long time. But you don’t often see manufactured lenses in this configuration, ready to go off-the-shelf.
There are a few, but it’s rare that you see them outside of scientific equipment suppliers. Laowa’s opening up the world of imaging the super small to a whole new audience. It’s not like most lenses photographers might be used to, though.
It’s a kit, not just one lens
Unlike other macro lenses, the Laowa Aurogon isn’t just a single piece of gear. It’s actually a kit, containing a single common lens piece with four different mounts fo 10x, 20x, 35x and 50x magnification.
Laowa says that the APO design of the lens offers exceptional aberration control for maximum image clarity. It features a numerical aperture (NA) of 0.5 to 0.15, allowing a lot of light to enter the lens while focusing, but then letting you stop down for more depth of field when shooting a photo or video.
Lens tube slip rings are also available, allowing you to support the lens when the camera is attached to rails, or other camera support systems. This helps to minimise any vibration in the lens due to movement from exterior influences, like wind.
No autofocus, no manual focus, no focus adjustment at all
The Laowa Aurogon is a fixed-focus lens. The reasons for this become quite obvious when you think about the nature of the lens, but it means that if your subject isn’t in focus, you have two options. You can either move the subject or move the lens.
You’ve got a fixed 20mm focus distance, which isn’t a lot of room to play in. However, given the size of the subjects this lens is intended for, you don’t really need a whole lot of room. While this is intended for a macro enthusiast market, it’s still essentially a scientific lens.
With up to 50x magnification, you’re looking at extremely small subjects, so you’re going to need to be close anyway. You might find that for many situations, mounting your camera on a copy stand and using it just like a microscope might be the best bet. But, you should also be able to use it just fine with a standard macro rail to get the right focus distance, too.
Laowa Aurogon FF 10-50x NA0.5 Supermicro APO Specs
|Laowa Aurogon FF 10-50x NA0.5 Supermicro APO|
|Adjustable numerical aperture (NA)||0.5 / 0.45 /0.4 / 0.35 / 0.30 / 0.25 / 0.2 / 0.15|
|Maximum objective diameter(mm)||50|
|Length of the objective lens(mm)||167|
|Weight of objective lens(g)||390|
|Maximum diameter of tube lens (mm)||70||70||70||70|
|Length of tube lens (mm) (excluded cover)||112||163||219||253|
|Weight of tube lens (g)||377||444||530||609|
|Image Field Diameter||Full frame (24 x 36mm)|
|Conjugate distance (mm)||299.4||370||420.2||465.1|
|Mount||PL / Canon EF / Nikon F / Sony E / Canon RF / Nikon Z / L mount / GFX|
Price and Availability
The Laowa Aurogon FF 10-50x NA0.5 Supermicro APO lens set is available to buy now for $1,500 and is already shipping.