Venus Optics has a ‘Weird but Revolutionary’ macro lens. The company has a history of macro lenses which they have launched through Kickstarter. Their latest is noticeably different from traditional lenses. This is a lens with a 24mm field of view, which is pretty wide for a typical macro lens focal length. The aperture is a whopping F14 which is a lot of light to lose. While those specs are not typical of macro lenses, it diverges even further. The length of the lens is 40cm and the front is an ultra-narrow (2cm Ø) tubular barrel. That narrow front end has led lights built in and is waterproof so you can stick it into a river, rockpool or your drink if you like. This lens offers 2x magnification, so you can enlarge your subjects while at a 20mm working distance.

This lens “aims to be one of the most game-changing macro lenses on the market today”. There are a few things working in its favour in order for it to achieve that goal. Its unique features and properties result in images which are unlike what other lenses produce. Firstly, the lens does 2x magnification. This puts it in the realm of photomicrography, as opposed to macro which is 1:1. The tiny front diameter allows the lens to get different perspectives and vantage points other lenses can’t achieve. The field of view and depth of field are wider than typical macro work which gives more inclusion and detail of the surrounding environment. The front of the lens being water proof will also result in shots unavailable to other lenses.

Here are a few sample wildlife macro photos captured with the Laowa 24mm Probe:

Photo by Filipe Deandrade/Venus Optics


Photo by Zhang Qi/Venus Optics


Photo by John Hanson


An interesting lens with interesting possibilities. You can back the Venus Optics project which is currently running a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter to launch the lens and provide discounts to early supporters.