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Venus Optics Laowa 65mm f/2.8 2x Ultra Macro APO


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Hi community,

I have a question about this lens in particular. I plan to buy this manual lens for my xt5 or xpro3 for some macro and mostly portrets - street photography.

did anyone had the chance to test this lens? should I buy it?


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I bought the Laowa 65mm macro lens last year after discovering I enjoy taking macro photographs and I found the image quality is top notch.  It is quite a small lens with a relatively narrow body and blue markings on it so it sort of clashes with the retro style silver body, but hey ... function over form.  The only downside from my point of view is that the lens is fully manual and as such you can't make use of the automatic focus bracketing function in the body of the camera - you have to do any image stacking manually.  Which isn't all that much of a problem - the auto bracketing function might take 100 images where you can achieve the same effect with 15-20 images taken manually if you use the focus peaking to overlap them.

However, only two weeks ago I bought the Fuji 80mm macro lens and have been getting some wonderful images with it and I can clearly see the difference in the images I get.  You gets what you pays for, I suppose.  The downside with this lens over the Laowa, apart from the cost, is that the Fuji 80mm is only x1 magnification compared to the x2 of the Laowa.  I plan on keeping the Laowa for the short term as it will still come in handy for studio/product shots where that closer detail is needed, but I suspect that I might be selling it in the not-too distant future.

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I am marveled by this little gem. I used the EF 100 1:1 macro extensively for over 12 years and now that I am on Fuji and using a 2:1 it is blowing my mind. fwiw, I just cannot fathom using anything less than 100mm FF equiv for macro, wider is just a strange perspective imho. The Laowa is available dirt cheap used in Like New condition at MPB btw. Tack sharp, great smooth focus ring, nice clicking aperture ring as well. Can double as a wonderful MF portrait head shot lens. It's my only non Fuji lens and since it's macro I do not mind MF, it's all I use for it in fact. Do it.


The last 7 images on my flickr are with that lens, check them out...



Edited by Blue Zurich
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I couldn't agree more. I bought the Laowa to copy slides and negatives and take the occasional macro. It's pin sharp. Totally manual though. I used to own the Fuji 60mm. Beware though that it doesn't go to 1:1 and it loses its sharpness if you try an extension tube. Very sharp within its range though but focus is a bit slow.

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