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Venus Optics Announces New 15mm F/4 1:1 Macro Lens, Worlds Widest 1:1 Macro

By Anthony Thurston on June 23rd 2015

Venus Optics is quickly making a name for themselves in the macro photography world with some unique offerings, and they continued that trend today with the announcement of their new Laowa 15mm f/4 Wide Angle Macro Lens.


The new 15mm F/4 is currently the world’s widest 1:1 macro lens, allowing for photographers to get super close for some rather unique points of view. Optically, the lens is made up of 12 elements in 9 groups and even includes a shift mechanism for +/- 6mm, making this also a great lens for landscape and architectural photography. The lens also features 14 aperture blades for an incredibly circular aperture for appealing out of focus areas.

Made completely of metal, the Venus Optics Laowa 15mm f/4 will be available for $479 USD, and come in Canon EF, Nikon F, Sony Alpha, Sony FE and Pentax K mounts. You can pre-order the lens now from Venus Optics Directly. The lens is expected to begin shipping in late July.

Venus Optics Laowa 15mm f/4 Sample Images

A1 A2 A3 A4 A5 A6

Some things to note about such a wide angle macro lens are that you will HAVE to be extremely close to your subject in order to get the sort of shots that you see above. This means that you will need to get creative with your lighting as to not cast a shadow on your subject.

While there are some unique challenges to using a macro lens of this type, as you can see from the images, it is a very unique and in some cases, amazing perspective to take your macro photography.

As I mentioned, the 15mm F/4 from Venus Optics will be available in late July for $479 and you can pre-order yours now from the Venus website here.

What are your thoughts on this unique lens? Is this something you would see yourself picking up to experiment with? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think!

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Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Jason Boa

    Close up distortion – interesting ?/

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  2. Dave Haynie

    Interesting lens. However, I always figured the reason most macro lenses are long is to give you a little room to the subject. In some cases, it’s just to control the lighting, but some of the best creatures to shoot up close aren’t going to sign your model release. Or remain still, if they notice you. Some, like spiders and hornets, are beautiful, but might sting you if you get that close.

    I had a 35mm macro for my Canon system for awhile, which also made a pretty nice and sharp street shooting lens. But I did run into a number of situations in which I was just too close to the subject. So this seems more of a special-purpose lens to me.

    Nice images, though, and definitely different than those shot with a long macro.

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  3. Aidan Morgan

    My favourite may be the spider shot. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a macro shot with a background.

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  4. Cyril Charpin

    Very very interesting one !

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  5. Scott Kretschmann

    Definitely want to see a few true 1:1 shots. I would really worry about the shadows, but it would be a neat perspective. I also worry about center point distortion at true 1:1 distances.

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  6. Lauchlan Toal

    Would definitely want a protective filter for this – with that MFD you’re going to be bumping into flowers every time the wind changes direction.

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    • Tom Johnson

      Yeah that’s one of the reasons I’m afraid to use my fisheye zoom lens. I wouldn’t be interested in investing in another lens that I have anxiety about using. That said, it looks like this thing could be pretty killer.

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  7. Brandon Dewey

    I like all of the images but i really like the frog image.

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    • adam sanford

      Environmental portraiture for little things, it really cracks me up. It’s a good shot.

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  8. Jesper Ek

    It is great to get the whole family in one shot!

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  9. adam sanford

    Love the cow’s-nose-in-the-pasture ultrawide look for macro, but isn’t the working distance an epic constraint here?

    Most 1:1 macros in FF are in that 90-100mm length to give the photographer some working distance for lighting, I thought. But I also seem to recall Zeiss figuring something vital out about 1:1 macro ages ago and everyone has since cloned that concept — and something about that concept wasn’t readily transferrable to shorter FLs. (I want a Knowledge Time with Stan response on this one: why are there so many 100mm macro lenses?)

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  10. Tom Johnson

    Nice, in my opinion this lens is priced about right given is uniqueness. The perspective is really cool but having to be so close to the subject may be a limiting factor in what’s shot.

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  11. Stephen Velasquez

    Wow, these are some amazing shots with some fresh close up perspectives.

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    • Lauchlan Toal

      I don’t think any of them are true macro shots though, most other UWA lenses can get as close as is featured in these photos. Hopefully we see some 1:1 images soon to really get a feel for the unique abilities of this lens.

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