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The Weird but Genius Lens You May Want to Add to Your Camera Bag

Photographers are always trying to stay one step ahead of the pack when it comes to making images. If you're currently out of ideas for your next shoot, maybe a new lens will help get the juices flowing.

There's something about acquiring a new piece of kit that can really help with creativity. This statement is especially true for camera lenses, as they quite literally allow you to take pictures differently. Enter the Venus Optics Laowa 24mm f/14 Probe Lens, which has to be the strangest lens I have seen in a long time. In a nutshell, it is a macro lens designed for close-up shooting. What makes it different from other macro lenses is that it has an incredibly long, slender barrel that allows the shooter to get into spaces where a traditional lens might not be able to go. This week, the team over at TMS Productions is back to give this very lens a good test.

While written reviews of products have their place, I much prefer to see things in person or at least on screen. This is why I like the video by TMS, as they show many possible applications for such a niche product. The guys shoot all manner of things from eyeballs, to typewriters, to nature. They even take advantage of the lens' waterproof qualities to capture root beer like you may have never seen it before. Is this product going to become your new go-to lens? Probably not. Could this lens complement your existing shooting repertoire? I would say yes. I can see many different genres of photography taking advantage of such a lens, from wedding shooters capturing tiny details on the big day to product photographers getting a very different perspective on things. Check out the video and see for yourself. I'd be curious to hear in the comments what sort of applications come to mind when you see such a crazy-looking lens like this.

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11 Comments

Ryan Cooper's picture

Everytime I see footage taken with this lens I just want it soooo bad then have to smack myself in the head and be like: "No, you have no use for it!"

PS: I'm always curious about what frames look like taken with this lens at a more normal distance. I know that isn't what it is designed for but it does have infinity focus. Does it just look like any other lens at f/14 but with poor IQ if you take say a headshot with it? Or does it have some sort of super unique look to it?

Ryan Cooper's picture

It really is mostly a product videography lens. There are some outlier cases for sure as well but I'd be willing to guess that over 95% of the use of this thing is in commercials showcasing some candy or other small product from an epic angle.

Ryan Cooper's picture

Absolutely! :) I also think it would be super fun to use for that. I think the challenge the lens faces is that the price tag makes it a bit restrictive to use as a "fun" lens which is why I think it probably ends up mostly being used commercially.

Timothy Gasper's picture

Oh I soooo want this lens. I mean no...no I do not want this lens. So let me be clear.... I Soooo want this lens. No, no....I DON'T want this lens. Whew. Glad I cleared that up.

Rick Rizza's picture

I wonder why the porn industry hasn't used this lens? Or?

Ryan Cooper's picture

Are you sure they haven't? ;)

Rick Rizza's picture

I'll put the link if I find it

Hunter Chan's picture

Mr.Moderator? Are you there? 😂😂😂

Mark Pelloth's picture

I'm sorry, people, but an article about a lens with no photos? I'm currently in a setting where I can't watch the video without bothering other people. If there are photos here that I missed, I apologize for the comment, but still an article about a lens and no photos? Really? Sigh.

Ryan Cooper's picture

To be fair this is an article about a video that is about the lens. A website like Fstoppers (or PetaPixel or SLR Lounge, etc) doesn't have the rights to embed photos taken by others with the lens.

Rob Waller's picture

Mark, check out the article Fstoppers did on this lens 2 years ago. There are some sample shots. https://fstoppers.com/originals/fstoppers-reviews-laowa-24mm-f14-macro-p...