Laowa 50mm f/2.8 2x Ultra Macro APO MFT - Review / Test Report - Sample Images & Verdict
Lens Reviews - (Micro-)Four-Thirds

Sample Images

Click on an image for downloading the full-size variant.

MakeOLYMPUS IMAGING CORP.
ModelE-M5MarkII
ISO Speed200
Focal Length50.0mm
Aperture:f/2.8
Exposure1/640s

MakeOLYMPUS IMAGING CORP.
ModelE-M5MarkII
ISO Speed200
Focal Length50.0mm
Aperture:f/2.8
Exposure1/320s

MakeOLYMPUS IMAGING CORP.
ModelE-M5MarkII
ISO Speed200
Focal Length50.0mm
Aperture:f/2.8
Exposure1/125s

MakeOLYMPUS IMAGING CORP.
ModelE-M5MarkII
ISO Speed200
Focal Length50.0mm
Aperture:f/2.8
Exposure1/200s

MakeOLYMPUS IMAGING CORP.
ModelE-M5MarkII
ISO Speed200
Focal Length50.0mm
Aperture:f/2.8
Exposure1/1600s

MakeOLYMPUS IMAGING CORP.
ModelE-M5MarkII
ISO Speed200
Focal Length50.0mm
Aperture:f/5.6
Exposure1/800s

MakeOLYMPUS IMAGING CORP.
ModelE-M5MarkII
ISO Speed200
Focal Length50.0mm
Aperture:f/2.8
Exposure1/2000s

MakeOLYMPUS IMAGING CORP.
ModelE-M5MarkII
ISO Speed200
Focal Length50.0mm
Aperture:f/4.0
Exposure1/4000s

MakeOLYMPUS IMAGING CORP.
ModelE-M5MarkII
ISO Speed200
Focal Length50.0mm
Aperture:f/4.0
Exposure1/640s

MakeOLYMPUS IMAGING CORP.
ModelE-M5MarkII
ISO Speed200
Focal Length50.0mm
Aperture:f/13.0
Exposure0.6s

MakeOLYMPUS IMAGING CORP.
ModelE-M5MarkII
ISO Speed200
Focal Length50.0mm
Aperture:f/4.0
Exposure1/8s

MakeOLYMPUS IMAGING CORP.
ModelE-M5MarkII
ISO Speed200
Focal Length50.0mm
Aperture:f/5.6
Exposure1/6s

MakeOLYMPUS IMAGING CORP.
ModelE-M5MarkII
ISO Speed200
Focal Length50.0mm
Aperture:f/6.3
Exposure1/4s

Verdict

The Laowa 50mm f/2.8 2x Ultra Macro APO MFT is an impressive lens ... with a few hiccups. Its primary asset is the extreme sharpness starting at f/2.8 and peaking at f/4-5.6. The center resolution is essentially diffraction limited at f/2.8 already. The almost non-existing lateral and axial CAs contribute to the very high sharpness perception. Image distortions are basically absent as well. Most users will not spot any vignetting due to image auto-correction although there is some vignetting at large apertures present in RAW files. The bokeh could be a little better though. Other than at f/2.8 out-of-focus highlights are too edgy and the background blur could be a little smoother. Flare can also be an issue in contra light so better mount the provided lens hood in difficult light situations.

Laowa has finally progressed with the camera integration. Providing electronic coupling is a major step towards a mainstream offering. While the 50mm f/2.8 2x Ultra Macro APO MFT is still a manual focus lens, EXIF data and a camera-controlled aperture is finally possible. The focus ring can also automatically trigger a magnified focus view which makes accurate focusing fairly easy in static scenes at least. The build quality is in line with what we have seen from Laowa before. While light-weight, the lens feels very sturdy thanks to an all-metal body. There's no weather sealing though.

The question of the day is whether there's a case for preferring the Laowa Laowa 50mm f/2.8 2x Ultra Macro APO MFT over the Olympus M.Zuiko 60mm f/2.8 ED macro. If you are a macro "extremist" the answer is straightforward - the Laowa offers a max magnification of 2:1 vs 1:1. The Laowa is also sharper whereas the Olympus offers a better bokeh, less flare, and, of course, autofocus. Such is life - nothing is ever perfect.


Optical Quality:    
★★★★★
Mechanical Quality:
★★★★★
Price/Performance:
★★★★★

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