Home Long Term Review: Two Years with the Laowa 25mm 2.5-5x Ultra Macro...

Long Term Review: Two Years with the Laowa 25mm 2.5-5x Ultra Macro Lens

Two years ago, Venus Optics sent macro photographer Thomas Shahan their Laowa 25mm f/2.8 2.5-5X Ultra Macro lens for testing. Now, after two continuous years of real-world use and testing, he’s finally gotten around to sharing his thoughts in a thoughtful review that will be a huge help to any extreme macro photographers who are considering this lens.

To cut right to the chase: the lens has obviously impressed Shahan over the past two years and held up very well, becoming his go-to for extreme macro work.

Comparing the Laowa to one of its main competitors—the Canon MP-E 65mm f/2.8 1–5x Macro, which he has also used extensively—Shahan can’t help but point out that it’s really not much of a competition.

“The Laowa, aside from being less than half the price, weighs about half as much as Canon too, which is a big deal,” says Shahan. “Most macro lenses are really sharp lenses, so I often favor the lighter options above all else. You’ll also notice this weight difference when packing and after a long day shooting outside.”

In terms of downsides, Shahan’s main complaint is the lack of auto-aperture control or aperture coupling of any kind.

“This lens is completely manual,” explains Shahan, with an emphasis on completely. “Coming from a background of using reversed prime lenses, I’m used to is. And although it’s definitely not ideal, it’s not that big of an issue for me personally. But be forewarned.”

To hear all of Shahan’s thoughts on the lens, watch him use it in the field, and see many many more sample images captured with the Laowa 2.5-5x macro, watch the full video above. His conclusion, in the end, is pretty straight forward:

“I like this lens a lot,” he says at the end of his review. “And after years of singing the praises of reversed primes for macro, I actually grab this lens for most of my high-magnification work now […] Any lens that allows people to get closer than ever in an affordable, accessible package, is a huge leap forward and I support it.”


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Must Read

Tokina Unveils 17-35mm f/4 for Nikon F and Canon EF

While some might not find this announcement as exciting as a new mirrorless lens, Tokina has unveiled the atx-i 17-35mm f/4 full-frame lens for...

This Guy Watercooled His Canon R5 and Unlocked Unlimited 8K

The Canon R5’s overheating time limit has been the subject of much discussion and controversy. Regardless of how or why the overheating happens, Matthew...

Are These The Best Cameras You Can Buy for Under $1,000?

It’s probably easier for most photography fans to point to the best cameras on the market, not the ones that offer the most value...

Panasonic’s Firmware Updates For All S-Line Cameras Improves Autofocus Yet Again

Panasonic has published a firmware update for all four Panasonic S full-frame cameras. The S1, S1R, and S1H all see improvements to autofocus to...

Editors’ Picks: Best Photo Gear 2020

Our annual selection of the best photo gear for 2020 includes the top cameras and lenses introduced this year that we feel represent the...