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15/4 macro lens 1:1, fullframe, from Venus optics - opinions?
Some of them cease focusing at all in such conditions. The Sigma 14mm, the Canon 18-135mm STM at 18mm... I also think the 24/1.4L II doesn't work with extension tubes. The 16-35/2.8L II kinda works, at least at 25mm and longer, but not at 16mm.

Quote:As a poor man's alternative, could you just use an extension ring on a non-macro wide angle? Of course, you will lose infinity focus, and I suspect the small extensions needed may not be easily provided with off the shelf ones.
All in all, this new lens looks interesting, if only as a technical achievement (like the Sigma 24-35/2 announced recently). I hope that Klaus gets his hands on one someday. Smile



it's pretty interesting. I don't plan to buy stuff this year, anyway a UWA with 1:1 is interesting indeed. You can do neat stuff with flowers and insects.


The use of extension rings is difficult if not impossible with UWAs because they need to be very thin. For instance, I've experimented with the Samyang 8mm fish-eye and the required extension is less than 1mm. I ended up by buying a second lens and using the older one for experimenting: I inserted a cardboard spacer under the lens mount. 


Things improved when I switched to the Sony mirrorless - I could buy a Nikon-F/Sony-E mount adapter which includes a focusing helicoid, which means I can use the unmodified Samyang and return to normality with infinite focusing without changing lens. The problem is that the DoF is so thin that focusing is a hard job (especially when you have some wind moving the flowers). 


Having 1:1 in a normal lens preserving infinity focus is interesting. It all depends on sharpness and effective angle of view. Looking forward to see your photos. :-)


Sony a6300, Sony a6000, Sony NEX-6, Sony E 10-18mm F4 OSS, Sony Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm F4 ZA OSS, Sony FE 70-200mm F4 G OSS, Sigma 150-600mm Æ’/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary, Samyang 12mm Æ’/2, Sigma 30mm F2.8 DN | A, Meyer Gorlitz Trioplan 100mm Æ’/2.8, Samyang 8mm Æ’/3.5 fish-eye II | Zenit Helios 44-2 58mm Æ’/2 
Plus some legacy Nikkor lenses.
Delivering starts in late July and takes 18-22 days, they say - so maybe beginning September? I'm also wondering how this shift feature will turn out.

First shots, first flight, first pride


Yesterday I collected the parcel from èŒƒæ—­æ˜Ž (whatever that means)


Unpacked it and had the first round of playing around. All metal, except the plastic caps and the hood - all of them copies of Nikon caps and hoods and for the hood they didn't take the effort to find another name. HB-23: Nikon uses this ID-# for their hoods for the 10-24 and 12-24. The cheap copy struggeld when I tried to attach it to the Venus 15/4 wide macro.


Later, on a quick cycle trip I found out it's not a big problem: Direct backlight can lead to sort of psychedelic flare or to just normal flare marks. I wasn't expecting miracles from that glass. In none of those situations the lenshood would be of any assistance.


[Image: _DSC7985-M.jpg]


The shift function is, like other features of the lens, quite interesting (in the weird meaning of "interest"). It's sort of digital shift, either on or off. There's a very flimsy lever to unlock a 6 mm slide up or down. Shift is only possible in the vertical way when the camera itself is in landscape orientation. So no skyscrapers, at least no high ones. But usable. Aperture ring goes from f/4 down to f/32 with no single click in between - I never knew which aperture I used unless I check afterwards and pen it down.


[Image: _DSC7980%20-%20Arbeitskopie%202-M.jpg]


Manual focus is quite a show: Between infinity and 0,26 m only the rear element moves. The rest down to 0,12 m the front element is extending. The Nikkor's 14-24/2,8 closest distance is 0,28 m - so, 16 cm closer doesn't sound exciting? Maybe, but since the front element of the Nikkor is such a bulbous lens I always hesitate to go close or closer. A scratch could become expensive.  :blink:


Not as much with this Venus lens: The front element is curved, but far behind the M 77 filter thread - great. Performancewise it fullfilled my expectations, too, which were not super high. Its doing okayish, but the out of focus parts of the picture do remain pretty calm, that was kind of a surprise. Of course, manual focus, own body movement and enough light to the subject can be challenging. But sitting in a lounge chair and release a camera on a big tripod is not always leading to dynamics...  <_<


[Image: _DSC7983-M.jpg]


[Image: _JOJ2916-M.jpg]


What was really nice to see for me was: i can do with it what I want: Very very close up and still lots of background.


[Image: _DSC7988-M.jpg]


little detail of the apple:


[Image: _DSC7988%20-%20Arbeitskopie%202-L.jpg]


It it comes to wasps, I'm a coward. This was the last picture with the new lens. In my next post - cliffhanger :unsure:  - I tell you why.


Here's the link to the full-size versions: Venus 15/4 macro

This is the flight part.


After the apple shot I put the lens and the D810 in a small LowePro bag and that bag into my bicycle bags and tightened the flaps.


After such a sentence you can imagine what happens?  :wacko:  Right. 100 m later I wanted to take other close ups, but the bag with the camera was not in the cycle bag anymore. Could have chosen the grass around the path, but the stones were clearly more attractive to this party of heavy camera, thin bag and solid gravity.


The camera was fine, not so fine the lens.


[Image: _DSC5067-M.jpg]


The shift "mechanism" is k.i.s.s. (keep it simple, stupid) and the swallow-tail rails (1) on both sides are hold in place by two screws M 1.6 (2). Those chinese screws are new in business to withstand Swiss stones with millennium old experience in cracking things, even if they are in a bag. It was an unfair game.


Somehow I managed to bring the body home without body cap and the lens without some parts plus lens cap. In earlier times I would have started to grief for a couple of weeks. But here i felt a challenge and went on from the flight part to the pride part. Long story short, altough I'm tempted to tell in full detail the adventures of poor Venus lens: I fixed it. Made an attempt to get genuine parts from China and Kevin from é•¿åºšå…‰å­¦ whatever that means told me to send it in, but this takes time. The shipping costs are pricey and since I was called by "keep it simple, stupid" I felt the urge to improve things a little bit.


So, the shift action is a bit less sticky than it was before.  B)​ The rest of the lens is doing it's lens business as before, therefore I gained some experience (had Roger Cigala in mind...) and got some insights into, hrrrmmm, less sophisticated mechanical design. The optical design is really not bad. I see it as a kind of better lensbaby although I've no first hand impression of those.


[Image: _JOJ2922-M.jpg]


This battered flowers were less than 5 cm away from the lens.


[Image: _JOJ2948-M.jpg]


​Yes, the borders are nothing to write home about, but the inspection the middle is alright. There was some movement on the surface of the river in the right part of the picture, so the poor border could just be motion blur.


[Image: _JOJ2948%20-%20Arbeitskopie%202-M.jpg]


Finally, some more details:

  • yes, the shift functions is more for DX bodies - but it's possible to use FF and crop afterwards, the dark corners are usually no big loss.
  • On ay DX body, it needs to be one which can handle manual focus lenses. Nikon D5100 doesn't recognize a lens at all...
  • D750 is a pretty good machine behind the Venus: Tilt display and decent liveview makes it easie to get handheld pictures. Canon also has some tilt screens, I found that a big plus to get a better LV.
  • Will I take this instead of the Nikkor 14-24? No, of course not. Both serve a different purpose. This Venus lens will add  one pound to a bag's content (and I could always throw it to the ground as I know how to fix it...). For some photo strolls I have some ideas in mind...
So.. the 15mm indeed does not look like 15mm wide. And 1:1, not a chance. Hmm.

Of course, there are those persons who can identify easily if it's a true 1:1 15mm macro or only 0.8975:1 lens  :lol: Glad you put you finger on this scandalous issue. And before you get ideas: I haven't planned to reproduce my stamp collection with it. Mostly because I don't own one...


[Image: _JOJ2967-M.jpg]

This evening the idea occurred to compare that Venus/Laowa Macro wide angle (right) to another lens in this class, the Sigma 14/4 in front of a dp 0 quattro (left).


[Image: screen-63-X3.jpg]


Although Sigma doesn't sell this combination as macro lens, it easily performs better than the dedicated Laowa. I thought that would be a nice shift lens to the Fuji X-E2 and it might be so, but I don't expect spectacular pictures out of this combination. 

I had the Laowa in the lab a few weeks back.

It wasn't physically possible to mount the lens on the A7r II (it mounted ok on the old A7r mk I).

Hmmm, I did mount it with a metabones mechanical adapter to the X-E2. After all, the shift function is described as "for APS-C only" amd I can confirm that, although it was not real bad on the D810.


But when I see the quality coming out of the "lens with camera behind" dp 0 quattro I'd say I should have saved the money for the Laowa. There are still structures of the anodization on the metal, as well as some marks on the glass are simply sharper,


I don't think you missed a lot.


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