Laowa 58mm f/2.8 2x Ultra-macro APO - Review / Test Report
Lens Reviews - Canon EOS (Full Format)

Review by Klaus Schroiff, published December 2022


Laowa, one of the better-known Chinese players in the market, is specializing in ultra-wide, cine and macro lenses. In the latter segment, their website lists no less than six dedicated macro lenses for various systems and sensor formats. Among them is the new Laowa 58mm f/2.8 2X Ultra-Macro APO. APO stands for apochromatic design here or, in order words - superior color fringing correction. We tested a bunch of their previous APO lenses and were impressed most of the time - so let's see what this "standard" macro lens can give you. Price-wise, the 58 is a bit on the expensive side at $499 but unlike most of its cousins from more mainstream players, it can focus down to an object magnification of 2:1.

Just like all other Laowa lenses, the 58mm f/2.8 has a metal body with an exceptionally smooth focus ring and a dedicated aperture ring. The latter is required because there's no electronic coupling, unfortunately. For macro work, this isn't a drama but we'd wish that at least the aperture could be controlled via the camera - a few Chinese players are starting to move towards AF lenses already, so Laowa is lagging here. The lens is unusually long for a 58mm macro lens - and basically identical in shape, size, and weight to their 90mm f/2.8 2x Ultra-macro APO. Unlike other lenses in this class, the lens does not extend during focusing towards closer focus distances, so while it doesn't feature any formal sealing, it should help in keeping the inner system dust free. And there's the additional benefit of avoiding critters getting nervous by an extending inner tube moving towards them. A petal-shaped lens hood was provided by Laowa - but it's unclear whether this shape is also supplied in regular boxes.

Optical construction14 elements in 11 groups (3xED, 3xHR)
Number of aperture blades13 (rounded)
min. focus distance0.185m (2:1 max magnification)
Filter size67mm
Hoodpetal-shaped (bayonet mount, supplied)
Available MountsCanon RF, L-mount, Nikon Z, Sony FE