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Introducing a new perspective to your video, Laowa 24mm f/14 Probe is the weirdest but the most genius lens ever for creative shooting.
Introducing a new perspective to your video, Laowa 24mm f/14 Probe is the weirdest but the most genius lens ever for creative shooting.
756 backers pledged HK$ 8,002,571 to help bring this project to life.

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Revolutionize Macro Videography, Laowa 24mm f/14 Probe Lens

HK$ 8,002,571

756

The Story

Hello Kickstarter. We are Venus Optics. We are a team of photography enthusiasts and industry experts who aims to provide new tools for you to enjoy photography. Over the last 4 years, we have launched some very unique glasses to the market. This time, we are proud to introduce one of the weirdest but most genius macro lens ever, Laowa 24mm f/14 Probe.  

Canon EF, Nikon F, Sony FE, Arri PL mounts are available.

WHAT'S SO REVOLUTIONAL ABOUT THE LAOWA PROBE?

Macro lenses in the market tend to have a long focal length (from 60mm to 120mm) and the subject fills most of the frame, isolating it from the surrounding environment. Our Laowa 24mm, instead, allows you to focus really close (2cm @ 2:1) to the subject, showing a great amount of detail and texture. But at the same time, you can enjoy a compelling wide angle 'Bug Eye' view (84.1°) so that more background details can then be included in the shots. You can easily create a very informative and stunning macro bug-eye perspective that no other lenses can do. The fact that it can focus really close to the subject enables a lot of shooting possibility.

© Jie Ge
© Jie Ge
© Jie Ge
© Jie Ge

  © Jie Ge

Shooting in the wild © Jie Ge
Shooting in the wild © Jie Ge
Studio Shooting on onion © Shenzhen TV
Studio Shooting on onion © Shenzhen TV

 © Shenzhen TV

As macro photographers ourselves, we usually face the problem of not being able to shoot smaller subjects. With our Laowa probe, you can now take advantage of the 2:1 maximum magnification to shoot really small bugs and reveal details that cannot be seen by naked eye. It is particularly useful for videography as both finer details and environmental background can be captured in one shot.

Wide Magnification range (GIF) - Kiwi
Wide Magnification range (GIF) - Kiwi
© Packshot Factory Ltd, London UK
© Packshot Factory Ltd, London UK
© Clemens Wirth on PCB Board
© Clemens Wirth on PCB Board
Focus as close as 2cm (@ 2:1)
Focus as close as 2cm (@ 2:1)
                                                                                                            

The wide angle design also means much more depth of field at close distance (compared to the telephoto macro lens) so that more background details can now be seen. Being able to focus so close but still having a deep depth of field is a BIG advantage for both studio and wildlife shooting.  

DOF comparison against traditional tele macro
DOF comparison against traditional tele macro

For example, the bug below is around 4mm big and it was captured by our 24mm f/14 Probe at 2:1 Macro magnification. The greater DOF allows more leaves area to be clear in comparison to telephoto lens.

© Jie Ge
© Jie Ge
© Macro Room
© Macro Room
© Xi Gong Jiang Ren
© Xi Gong Jiang Ren

The less blurry background allows the habitat of the subject to be included in your photo.   

© Jie Ge
© Jie Ge
                                                                                                                        

Do not understand this weird design? For traditional macro lenses, you need to get so close to your subject in order to take a good macro shot but some areas are just simply inaccessible. Thanks to the 40cm (15.7") long barrel, you can focus really close to the subject but still keep yourself and your camera distance away. This feature is super useful and makes your macro shooting so much easier. Imagine how convenient it will be to shoot a frog hiding in the bushes using our Probe lens, compared to getting your typical 100mm macro lens super close to it to avoid leaves blocking your subject.

Shooting in the wild © Jie Ge
Shooting in the wild © Jie Ge

© Kuang Ren

Shooting lethal snakes? No problem. The long lens barrel also allows us to keep a safe distance away from shooting lethal snakes. Your big camera body and lens will no longer 'alert' your subject too.

Shooting lethal snakes in desert © Alex Jones
Shooting lethal snakes in desert © Alex Jones

 © Alex Jones  

From a filmmaking perspective, the Tubular Lens barrel also allows shooting a lot of "slide in" shots through tiny areas. Imagine sliding the lens between candles on your birthday cake or sliding the lens inside a drink bottle. Something that no other lenses in this earth can do. Our opening product showcase shot in the main video was also shot with this technique.

© Packshot Factory Ltd, London UK
© Packshot Factory Ltd, London UK
BTS of Kickstarter Video shooting
BTS of Kickstarter Video shooting
                                                                                                            

Getting proper lighting onto the subject is not always an easy task for macro photography. Typical macro lenses have large lens barrels (at least 60mm or above in diameter), blocking most of the light from hitting the subject. Our Laowa probe, on the other hand, features a 20mm diameter lens tip which makes it super easy to get sufficient illumination.

© Jie Ge
© Jie Ge

The tiny 0.2cm in diameter lens tip unlocks the possibility to get really close to your subject (OR very low to the ground level) to capture a 'delicious' perspective never seen before and maximise the visual impact . Your viewers are literally like walking on the pizza now.

 © Modernist Cuisine US

© Modernist Cuisine US
© Modernist Cuisine US

 Or you can insert it into caves, bottle, burrows or some tiny creepy wet holes for some footage. And its waterproof too!

© Macro Room
© Macro Room

 © Alex Jones

 You think this is cool enough? Think again. In order to bring you an even more exciting perspective and take your photos or video to the next level, we have made the front barrel of the Laowa probe waterproof. The waterproof design also implies shooting in dusty environment or with fine powders are not going to be a problem anymore. You can literally use it ANYWHERE.

 © Kuang Ren

Shooting in a pond
Shooting in a pond

  © Packshot Factory Ltd, London UK

© Packshot Factory Ltd, London UK
© Packshot Factory Ltd, London UK
© MHW Studio, Hong Kong
© MHW Studio, Hong Kong
© MWH Studio, Hong Kong
© MWH Studio, Hong Kong

P.S. The waterproof front barrel cover is not removable in the final version.

What, its a f/14 not f/1.4? Why is there a LED ring light at the front? Macro photography are about Depth of Field and so smaller aperture is usually used. A LED ring light (powered through the micro-usb slot on the barrel) is embedded in the lens tip to provide additional lighting for focus assistance. In most cases, the more lighting you have on your subject, the better your shot will look.

The Laowa 24mm f/14 Probe can cover both the standard 35mm full frame & Super35 image sensor.

With so many features equipped in one lens, Is this thing going to weigh as heavy as a big rock? Despite the weird look and long tubular tube, the Laowa probe is actually super light and easy to carry. It weighs only 1.04 pounds (474 grams), even lighter than a bottle of Coke.

From indie to professional. From macro to wide angle. From still to video. From studio to wildlife. This lens is designed for everyone. This lens is designed to bring each and every photographer and videographer a new striking perspective to shoot. Are your ready to infuse your creativity into this lens and create shots that nobody has seen before?

Specifications

How to Back this Project  

The USD amount shown above are for reference only. Please refer to the HKD amount as the final pledge amount.

If you want to add on another LAOWA product that you don't see in the Add-On Menu or you wanna get more than one piece, don't worry. We'll give you a chance to do that after our campaign ends.  

 Reviews

 ©Kaiman Wong

©DPReview

©Cinema5D

Sample Footages

What is this lens capable of doing? These are the 'POSSIBILITY' you have with this lens.

 © Macro Room

 © Jie Ge

 © Clemens Wirth

 © Geng Dong

 © Xi Gong Jiang Ren

 © Geng Dong

 © Packshot Factory Ltd, London UK

 © Packshot Factory Ltd, London UK

 © Ma zhiwei

© Packshot Factory

 © Kuang Ren

  © Jie Ge

 © MWH Studio

© Jie Ge

© Nathan Budd

Sample Images Gallery (Click the images to enlarge)

More sample images can be found from our Flickr album. Link: http://bit.ly/2KCB5h7

© Jie Ge
© Jie Ge
© Zhang Qi
© Zhang Qi
 
© Filipe Deandrade
© Filipe Deandrade
© Yu Tong
© Yu Tong
© Jie Ge
© Jie Ge
© Kuang Ren
© Kuang Ren
© John Hanson
© John Hanson
© Jie Ge
© Jie Ge
© Jie Ge
© Jie Ge
Wafer Cookie © Tse Hon Ning
Wafer Cookie © Tse Hon Ning

International Backers

We currently ship the lens worldwide with the exception of selected countries from our Hong Kong warehouse via Hong Kong Post Express Mail Service. Please note that you will be responsible for duties, fees and taxes applicable to your region, which may range from 0% to 20% in the US and EU countries, to as much as 200% for certain South American countries. Express shipping (via DHL/TNT/Fedex) quotes are available to provide upon request. Please add the VAT of your corresponding recipient countries on top of your pledge.

Estimated Delivery  

Each reward tier may have a different estimated shipment month. While we do not expect these to change, it is still possible that the delivery date may be postponed or advanced. We will provide updates if the estimated shipment date changes.

Warranty

We are very confident with our products and offered 3-year warranty.

About Venus Optics  

Anhui ChangGeng Optics Technology Company Limited (Venus Optics) is a new camera lens manufacturer from Anhui, China. We are formed by a group of photography enthusiasts and industry professionals who aim to provide photographers with more joy and fun to shoot. We will continue to develop unique, practical and high-quality lenses to the market and look for breakthroughs in lens development. Your support to this Kickstarter project will be greatly appreciated.

Quality Assurance

Unlike some other manufacturers in China for which quality may not be their primary concern, we instead put quality as the first and foremost item in our checklist. Designing a good lens is one thing, having it manufactured with the best quality standards is another. Our team puts a lot of time, effort and resources into the production and quality assurance to ensure every single LAOWA lens is up to the market standard. We take this very seriously and will never compromise the quality of our lenses for anything.

Thank you (Names not listed in order)

Modernist Cuisine, Packshot Factory Ltd, Clemens Wirth, The Macro Room, Alex Jones @ Wildlife Film Productions, Filipe Deandrade @ Nat Geo Untamed, Myke Clarkson, John Hanson, John Ellerbrock @ Gates Underwater Products, Cinema5d, Nicky Bay, MWH Studio HK, 阿零的攝影日常, 狂人, 杰哥, 马志伟, 耿栋, 行摄老师, 刘夙培, 张文庆, 阿祖, 不丑, 子意, 武欢, 王源宗, 张一哲, 胡俊, 顾莹, 乔研, 陶链勤, 张颀, 中视晨阳 , 北京电视台, CCTV, 深圳电视台, 8KRAW, 北京电影学院, Yukihiro Fukuda, Scott Dumas, Nathan Budd, Chris & Jordan @ DPReview TV, Kai Wong, Charles Haine @ Nofilmschool

Buzz

Risks and challenges

Venus Optics is composed of a very strong and experienced team of manufacturing, optical design and business professionals. We are already very far along in the development process and are looking for help from the Kickstarter community to expedite the launch of the Laowa 24mm f/14 Probe lens.

We have already finished all the testings on the prototypes and the results are very encouraging. The prototypes have been displayed in multiple photography exhibitions and received very positive feedback. We are currently working day and night to prepare the lens for mass production and our whole team is extremely confident that this will be the most successful lens ever built under our current product portfolio.

We have carefully evaluated and calculated all foreseeable risks and challenges and come up with the most conservative delivery schedule. However, there is still a slim possibility that we may face unexpected challenges which could potentially delay the shipment. We will put our greatest effort in order to resolve any unexpected challenges and to get the lenses shipped at earliest convenience and with the best quality.

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Support

  1. Reward no longer available

    Pledge HK$ 10 or more About US$ 1

    ONE and ONLY ONE at ONE dollar

    US: $1

    Early bird catches worm. The earliest bird can get our Laowa 24mm Probe for $1.

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    Reward no longer available 1 backer
    HK$
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  2. Reward no longer available

    Pledge HK$ 8,627 or more About US$ 1,104

    Crazy Super Early Bird Deal

    US: $1,099

    Get your Laowa 24mm f/14 Probe at the best possible price and receive it in Dec 2018. The lens will retail at US$1,499.

    Please add US$200 (HK$1,570) on top of your pledge for Cine PL-mount version.

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    Reward no longer available 5 backers
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  3. Reward no longer available

    Pledge HK$ 9,019 or more About US$ 1,154

    Super Early Bird Deal

    US: $1,149

    Get your Laowa 24mm f/14 Probe at a groundbreaking price. The lens will retail at US$1,499.

    Please add US$200 (HK$1,570) on top of your pledge for Cine PL-mount version.

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    Reward no longer available 30 backers
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  4. Reward no longer available

    Pledge HK$ 9,412 or more About US$ 1,204

    Early Bird Deal

    US: $1,199

    Get your Laowa 24mm f/14 Probe at a very good price and receive it in Nov 2018. The lens will retail at US$1,499.

    Please add US$200 (HK$1,570) on top of your pledge for Cine PL-mount version.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 100 backers
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  5. Reward no longer available

    Pledge HK$ 10,197 or more About $1,305

    Happy Deal

    US: $1,299

    Get your Laowa 24mm f/14 Probe at a discounted price and receive it in Oct 2018. The lens will retail at US$1,499.

    Please add US$200 (HK$1,570) on top of your pledge for Cine PL-mount version.

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    Reward no longer available 200 backers
    HK$
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge HK$ 10,982 or more About $1,405

    Final Chance

    US: $1,399

    Get your Laowa 24mm f/14 Probe at a nice price and receive it in Oct 2018. The lens will retail at US$1,499.

    Please add US$200 (HK$1,570) on top of your pledge for Cine PL-mount version.

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    Limited 315 backers
    HK$
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  7. Reward no longer available

    Pledge HK$ 11,767 or more About $1,505

    First to get the lens.

    US: $1,499

    'I can't wait anymore! Please send me the lens!'

    Be the very FIRST group of people to get the Laowa 24mm f/14 Probe Lens in EARLY Sept.

    Please add US$200 (HK$1,570) on top of your pledge for Cine PL-mount version.

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    Reward no longer available 20 backers
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  8. Reward no longer available

    Pledge HK$ 11,767 or more About $1,505

    'This is MY lens!' - Personalised

    US: $1,499

    Get your very unique and own Laowa 24mm f/14 Probe Lens with your suggested wordings laser-printed. (In certain format)

    Please add US$200 (HK$1,570) on top of your pledge for Cine PL-mount version.

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  9. Reward no longer available

    Pledge HK$ 11,767 or more About US$ 1,505

    Extra Low Serial (#1-#20) Package

    US: $1,499

    Every one of our lens has a unique serial number. Get a Laowa 24mm f/14 Probe Lens with serial numbers between #1 to #20 (Ship by random).

    Please add US$200 (HK$1,570) on top of your pledge for Cine PL-mount version.

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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge HK$ 11,767 or more About $1,505

    Pre-Order

    US: $1,499

    Pre-order the Laowa 24mm f/14 Probe Lens.

    Please add US$200 (HK$1,570) on top of your pledge for Cine PL-mount version.

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    3 backers
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Funding period

- (30 days)