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Laowa 25mm F/2.8 2.5x-5x ultra macro lens
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Macro_Cosmos



Joined: 15 Jan 2018
Posts: 138
Location: Sydney

PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 7:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I constructed a simple setup to test the lens. The resolution chart goes up to 400 lines/mm, and it resolves it with perfection. The setup isn't perfect and I have way better specialised Thorlabs stuff coming in soon. This is really promising however!

I am looking forward to taking actual photos with it, normal people don't take photos of silly quartz glass.





Two photographic translation stages where used. I struggled a bit with getting perfect focus, these rails are just not precise enough! Translation stage adapter is going to be made soon too... I currently have no proper way to mount my stages on the 95mm slider.

Here's some screenshots, lens at 5x, aperture is f/2.8. Both from the same exposure. The 400 lines/mm section is a bit blurry because it wasn't in the centre. My setup is also not precise enough and the test chart may not be perfectly parallel to the sensor plane.



360 lines/mm:


400 lines/mm: *This is on the side*


At f/2.8, there is slight CA:

Then again the text isn't as sharp as the lines which are in the middle.

I have to emphasise here again that my setup is far from perfect, and normal people don't take photos of charts. There could be various mechanical and human reasons that contribute to this. The clamp that holds the chart is used to hold mobile phones and mount them on selfie sticks or tripods, this is the best I currently have. I will rerun the test at various apertures and magnifications when better parts arrive.

Going to start using it! No more reschartography for now. Very Happy
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Doppelgänger



Joined: 11 Feb 2018
Posts: 15

PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Macro_Cosmos wrote:
I have to emphasise here again that my setup is far from perfect, and normal people don't take photos of charts.


Exactly. Nobody cares about photos of letters in bad Jansjö lighting Razz

The key elements of this lens are 1) it is brand agnostic; 2) it is much more compact than the MP-E 65; and 3) it has more/better aperture blades than the venerable Canon.

None of these advantages has anything to do with photographing black and white letters in bad light Confused

If you could set up something with a bokeh-revealing background, and run a stack comparison wide open, or compare on live subjects with a diffused flash, it would mean more to most folks, I think.
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Macro_Cosmos



Joined: 15 Jan 2018
Posts: 138
Location: Sydney

PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 7:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Doppelgänger wrote:
Macro_Cosmos wrote:
I have to emphasise here again that my setup is far from perfect, and normal people don't take photos of charts.


Exactly. Nobody cares about photos of letters in bad Jansjö lighting Razz

The key elements of this lens are 1) it is brand agnostic; 2) it is much more compact than the MP-E 65; and 3) it has more/better aperture blades than the venerable Canon.

None of these advantages has anything to do with photographing black and white letters in bad light Confused

If you could set up something with a bokeh-revealing background, and run a stack comparison wide open, or compare on live subjects with a diffused flash, it would mean more to most folks, I think.


Up to know, I have made several stacks with the lens, 3 of which I am happy about. I find macro at beyond 2:1 to be extremely difficult, it is really demanding on lighting! I can't seem to get the light where I want, which is an indication of lack of practice. Gotta practice more!

I own various strobes and speedlights, but I am using Janjsö lights for my stacking, I think they are perfect Smile My setup is very stable and reliable, not going to fiddle with strobes.

Here's the 3 I am happy with:
Grape Chalcedony by Macro Cosmos (DH)

Heulandite on Apophyllite Crystals in Half Vug by Macro Cosmos (DH)

Purple-Blueish Fluorite by Macro Cosmos (DH)

I appreciate any feedback on lighting, I lost all my setup photos though due to accidental deletion Crying or Very sad

Pic2 and Pic3 feature heavy diffusion. They look really nice to me, and some obvious problems will be:
1. Dirty sensor
2. Dirty specimen
3. Lazy photographer

I spent quite a while cleaning those trails of spots in photoshop.

A confusion orb test would be interesting! I should set one up. What's the best approach? I'm thinking about photographing some tiny shells with those crafting shiny glitter things in the background, and a light pointing to it? Could work.
https://images.duckduckgo.com/iu/?u=http%3A%2F%2Fi.ebayimg.com%2Fimages%2Fi%2F181334887456-0-1%2Fs-l1000.jpg&f=1

Wide open, the secondary longitudinal CA is pretty horrible in my opinion. I close mine down to f/5.6 for stacking, produces great results. There's still signs of slight CA here and there, but nothing dramatic and unfixable.
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anvancy



Joined: 05 Dec 2009
Posts: 351
Location: India

PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 4:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

With multiple reivews pouring in positive for this lens, now does the MPE become a sensible buy for "in field" macrography?

If you leave aside the auto aperture, is there any other major advantage of the MPE against this lens? Resolution is at par. Size the Laowa wins. Handling it wins, so where does the MPE sit?
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Macro_Cosmos



Joined: 15 Jan 2018
Posts: 138
Location: Sydney

PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 6:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Drill Bit by Macro Cosmos (DH), on Flickr

Here's a noobish bokeh test. Did not work out at all. I'm going to set up another one.

The drill bit looks pretty good but there is an obvious lack of detail when zoomed in. The wemacro rail I am using has impreciseness on the horizontal axis. It will shift ever-so slightly which is not a problem for say below 2:1, but stacking really demonstrates the issue.


Stackshot is coming soon too. I wonder how the 2 compare.
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Doppelgänger



Joined: 11 Feb 2018
Posts: 15

PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 8:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for your efforts and work in posting these findings.

The 'horrible' CA is worrisome, but perhaps would be minimized with natural subjects, photographed with harmonious backgrounds, rather than 'edgy' subjects photographed against harsh backgrounds?

I am still excited about this lens, but perhaps cautiously-so Smile

Thanks again and will still pick one up to test for myself when they become available. Any idea when this will be?
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Macro_Cosmos



Joined: 15 Jan 2018
Posts: 138
Location: Sydney

PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 5:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Doppelgänger wrote:
Thank you for your efforts and work in posting these findings.

The 'horrible' CA is worrisome, but perhaps would be minimized with natural subjects, photographed with harmonious backgrounds, rather than 'edgy' subjects photographed against harsh backgrounds?

I am still excited about this lens, but perhaps cautiously-so Smile

Thanks again and will still pick one up to test for myself when they become available. Any idea when this will be?

LoCA decreases dramatically when the aperture is stopped down. Photographing these metallic objects and resolution charts really unfairly pushes the lens. These are situations most photographers will not find themselves in.

The lens will be available after Chinese New Year, which is around the end of this month and beginning of March. The retail price is $320-$400 in China, it will be more expensive obviously when exported due to regulations, duties, shipping cost... service... so on and so forth. Smile
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Doppelgänger



Joined: 11 Feb 2018
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Macro_Cosmos wrote:

LoCA decreases dramatically when the aperture is stopped down. Photographing these metallic objects and resolution charts really unfairly pushes the lens. These are situations most photographers will not find themselves in.

The lens will be available after Chinese New Year, which is around the end of this month and beginning of March. The retail price is $320-$400 in China, it will be more expensive obviously when exported due to regulations, duties, shipping cost... service... so on and so forth. Smile


Thanks Smile
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Macro_Cosmos



Joined: 15 Jan 2018
Posts: 138
Location: Sydney

PostPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2018 10:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not the best stack. Top and bottom left were black petals and I didn't want to adjust for exposure and etc. At 5.6, I probably knocked the specimen a bit -- silly me. The lens seems to perform the best at f/4 in terms of sharpness and resolution. At 5.6, there is already signs of Evil or Very Mad diffraction kicking in.

Laowa 25mm f/2.8 Ultra-Macro Performance

I tried to include the full resolution version but it just ruined the formatting of the entire thread.

Here is the link to the full resolution version:
https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4614/26469876698_6cf66fb001_o.jpg

Maybe shiny butterfly wings are not the best here. I'll get another set of photos taken with my resolution chart when better stuff comes in regardless. I also heard that printing out some dots on paper is also a good way -- I will look into it.
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Yawns



Joined: 20 Dec 2015
Posts: 155
Location: Portugal

PostPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2018 2:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

anvancy wrote:
With multiple reviews pouring in positive for this lens, now does the MPE become a sensible buy for "in field" macrography?

If you leave aside the auto aperture, is there any other major advantage of the MPE against this lens? Resolution is at par. Size the Laowa wins. Handling it wins, so where does the MPE sit?


The MP-E 65 does 1 - 2,5 X ... as simple as that.
This is not an alternative to the MP-E 65 .. in fact it's only "half" of it ...

To me ...The lack of range of this lens is very disappointing ...

Most of the creatures you can find in the wild fall in that range of magnification ... at 2,5 on apsc sensor everything bigger than a ladybird will not fit in the frame. So if you take this lens to the field you will only shoot at tiny things or details .. but the MPE- 65 can do it too ... and more...

The lens looks great by itself .. but trying to sell it as an alternative to the MPE - 65 looks a bit exaggerated ... it's far to be an alternative...[/u]

the small size of the lens is just another irrelevant thing ..
what's the point??... if you will need to take 2 lenses with you? .. this one + a Laowa 2:1 or a 1:1 and tubes to cover the lack of 1-2,5x range ... isn't it much better to take only one covering 1-5x?..??
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anvancy



Joined: 05 Dec 2009
Posts: 351
Location: India

PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 7:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yawns wrote:
anvancy wrote:
With multiple reviews pouring in positive for this lens, now does the MPE become a sensible buy for "in field" macrography?

If you leave aside the auto aperture, is there any other major advantage of the MPE against this lens? Resolution is at par. Size the Laowa wins. Handling it wins, so where does the MPE sit?


The MP-E 65 does 1 - 2,5 X ... as simple as that.
This is not an alternative to the MP-E 65 .. in fact it's only "half" of it ...

To me ...The lack of range of this lens is very disappointing ...

Most of the creatures you can find in the wild fall in that range of magnification ... at 2,5 on apsc sensor everything bigger than a ladybird will not fit in the frame. So if you take this lens to the field you will only shoot at tiny things or details .. but the MPE- 65 can do it too ... and more...

The lens looks great by itself .. but trying to sell it as an alternative to the MPE - 65 looks a bit exaggerated ... it's far to be an alternative...[/u]

the small size of the lens is just another irrelevant thing ..
what's the point??... if you will need to take 2 lenses with you? .. this one + a Laowa 2:1 or a 1:1 and tubes to cover the lack of 1-2,5x range ... isn't it much better to take only one covering 1-5x?..??


The number 1 question curious photogs are asking is "how does it compare against the MPE". The tendency or the atmosphere behind that question is, If I buy the MPE tomorrow, I will be a fool cause the Laowa is giving sort of the range, probable lesser price and in a smaller package.

For Nikon, no doubt their world has opened to similar MPE lens.

But then If a normal macro lens does 1:1, Raynox 150/250 upto 2.5x and then the Laowa ahead, thats what is generally in photogs bags. The working distance can also play a difference? 1:1 of 100mm around 7inches, MPE at 1:1 is 4.
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enricosavazzi



Joined: 21 Nov 2009
Posts: 1073
Location: Stockholm, Sweden

PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 9:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One of my questions about the Laowa 25 mm is how much distortion it displays. I am well aware that a simple pincushion or barrel distortion can be corrected in post-processing. The reason I am asking is because I happen to be testing the Laowa 60 mm 2x and Oshiro 60 mm 2x lenses, and this is what I get from the Laowa at 2x on full frame (Sony 7R II), unprocessed except for size reduction:


Distortion is much the same at all magnifications and apertures. The Oshiro 2x is virtually identical in this respect.

Distortion is of course less noticeable on APS-C, and even less on Micro 4/3. With these cameras, corner vignetting is also absent. I am not completely sure whether the vignetting I am seeing on full frame is caused by the lens adapter (Metabones, camera side Sony E, lens side Canon) and/or also by the lens, in this case either by the internal baffle near the base of the lens or by some other effect. With the Printing Nikkor 105 mm on Metabones Nikon adapter, I get no vignetting on the same full-frame camera, so my bet is on the Laowa and Oshiro lenses causing the vignetting.
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Macro_Cosmos



Joined: 15 Jan 2018
Posts: 138
Location: Sydney

PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2018 12:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

enricosavazzi wrote:
One of my questions about the Laowa 25 mm is how much distortion it displays.

...

Distortion is of course less noticeable on APS-C, and even less on Micro 4/3. With these cameras, corner vignetting is also absent. I am not completely sure whether the vignetting I am seeing on full frame is caused by the lens adapter (Metabones, camera side Sony E, lens side Canon) and/or also by the lens, in this case either by the internal baffle near the base of the lens or by some other effect.


If there's a cheapish way to test distortion for the LW25, I'd like to know. Test charts are too expensive for me.

As for the 60mm, it's a crop sensor lens. So expect ample distorted edges and vignetting in the corners. The lens does cover full frame at close focusing distances.
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Pau
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Joined: 20 Jan 2010
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2018 1:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Macro_Cosmos wrote:
If there's a cheapish way to test distortion for the LW25, I'd like to know. Test charts are too expensive for me.


www.freeprintablepdf.eu/files/es-papel-milimetrado-negro.pdf
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enricosavazzi



Joined: 21 Nov 2009
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2018 4:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Macro_Cosmos wrote:
As for the 60mm, it's a crop sensor lens. So expect ample distorted edges and vignetting in the corners. The lens does cover full frame at close focusing distances.

I remember reading on the Laowa site that the 60 mm will vignette on full frame when focused at infinity, but not when used in macro. They say nothing about distortion.

Even on Micro 4/3, distortion by this lens is probably more than I have ever seen in any other macro lens. It may pass unnoticed with biological subjects, and especially with scenes that contain peripheral details of plant materials, but might be noticeable with geometric shapes like mineral crystals, and is definitely obvious with ICs, coins and other technological subjects. It is a lens characteristic that one should be aware of (and disregard if irrelevant to one's favorite subjects), in order to make an informed purchase.
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