What is this now, a 2:1 macro lens? I hadn't come across such a lens before until I was asked to review the Laowa 60mm f/2.8 2:1 Ultra Macro lens. It was a test I gladly accepted because I love reviews with a difference.
I've used other 60mm macro lenses before and each one doubles up nicely as a portrait lens or even used for landscapes. Yet, in this case the Laowa 60mm f/2.8 2:1 Ultra Macro lens feels more specialist for the macro genre.
It’s manual focus only which makes it inherently more difficult to use for moving subjects. Then there is severe vignetting in landscape images when using full-frame.
With the lens around the same price as other autofocus versions, a lot hangs on its USP feature of a 2:1 maximum magnification. When all the conditions are there to make the most out of this feature, it is possible to capture the macro world to a wondrous scale.
This is a lens that is quite difficult to use for its intended purposes and even more so for additional purposes such as portraiture.
Image quality wise, I have been disappointed with how visible pincushion distortion is and the lens is not the sharpest I have seen of its kind. In it’s favour, out-of-focus areas are rendered beautifully, thanks to the 14-blade aperture. I do not know of a more complex aperture diaphragm for a lens of this kind and the results are lovely.
All being said, the Laowa 60mm f/2.8 2:1 Ultra Macro lens is packed with character and I have really enjoyed testing the lens. I love a good challenge and the lens has certainly given me that. The lens is solid and durable and I'm happy with the images that I have (eventually) been able to create with it.
For the full review, head over to Photography Blog.