Lens review

Venus Optics LAOWA 100 mm f/2.8 2X Ultra Macro APO

9 September 2019
Arkadiusz Olech

10. Focusing

In a manual lens of good quality a properly designed depth of field scale helps a lot. In the case of the tested Laowa you deal with a new idea of DoF scale which, to be honest, I failed to grasp. Perhaps something had gone wrong, so wrong that I suppose, they used a DoF scale from another lens in an effort to save more money,or maybe they allowed a political officer to design it - if you have to work in our plant and you earn a salary, make yourself useful once in a while...

Enough jokes - let's look at the photo below.

Venus Optics LAOWA 100 mm f/2.8 2X Ultra Macro APO - Focusing

According to that scale if you set your focus at about 0.6 of a meter by f/22 aperture you'll get a sharp image from 0.3 of a meter to infinity. Unfortunately if you use any DoF calculator available online you'll know that at the 100 mm focal length, f/22 aperture, and a distance of 0.6 of a meter the depth of field amounts to just 4 centimeters! I don't understand how on earth the image can be sharp from 0.3 of a meter to infinity?

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Now let's pass to the macro scale and set the focus at 0.3 of a meter. The depth of field scale indicates that by f/11 aperture you'll get sharp images in a range from about 26 to 45 centimeters. Applying the DoF calculator again you find out that in that case the depth of field is just 4 mm wide and stretches from 29.8 to 30.2 cm.

One final proof: in order not to base our accusations on calculations only let's check what photos you are able to shoot if you employ the values, indicated by the scale. Below you can find a series of three photos we took by f/2.8. In the case of the middle one we set the focus on our own; images on the left and on the right were shot taking into account the DoF indicators by f/2.8 provided by the lens's scale, provided on the barrel.

Venus Optics LAOWA 100 mm f/2.8 2X Ultra Macro APO - Focusing