This 5x macro is possibly the strangest lens you’ve ever seen
There are a lot of oddball lenses out there these days. And I mean that in the nicest possible way. Look at Laowa’s crazy lookin’ 24mm f/14 2x macro probe lens, for example. I’ve played with that one myself and it’s a lot of fun and pretty awesome. The Yasuhara Nanoha Macro Lens for Sony, though, takes the reach much further, going all the way to 5x. And the best bit? It costs a mere $399.
You might wonder what’s so unusual about it. Well, for a start it’s got a strange removable hood thing that houses several LED lights, powered by USB (yup, it’ snot for firmware updates, just powering LEDs). But that’s not all. This thing… Well, Arthur Reutov’s made a video about it. So, why don’t you have a watch?
The idea of a macro lens with built-in lights isn’t really all that strange. It’s even gone mainstream, with Canon releasing the EF-S 35mm f/2.8 Macro IS STM that has a built-in ring of LED lights around the lens. But this one isn’t a ring. It’s just three little LEDs around the lens and you power them by plugging it into a USB power bank. And while it’s removable, you need to unscrew it to get it off.
It has an extremely tiny focusing range of only 11 to 19mm, which would explain why there are LEDs on the front. It’s difficult (although not impossible) to really get any other kind of light in there. And the depth of field is so tiny that it’s going to be virtually impossible to get any kind of depth at all, even at f/32, without focus stacking multiple images.
The notches on the front are for using one of four supplied frames for photographing subjects handheld at a fixed distance in front of the camera. Yes, for anything else you will need a tripod, or you’ll literally never get anything in focus – that’s how thin the depth of field is.
I’d love to play with one of these, but unfortunately, it looks like it’s only available for Sony E mount. If you want one, though, and you shoot Sony, you can pick one up for $399.
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.