Laowa 65mm f/2.8 2x Ultra Macro APO - Review / Test Report
Lens Reviews - Fujifilm X

Review by Klaus Schroiff, published January 2020


A while ago, we reviewed the Laowa 100mm f/2.8 2x Ultra Macro APO and we were pretty impressed. Now, that's a full format lens optimized for DSLRs but there's a new kid around now - the Laowa 65mm f/2.8 2x Ultra Macro APO for APS-C format mirrorless cameras (Fujifilm, Sony, Canon EF-M). Being shorter in focal length and covering a smaller image circle, it is obviously a much more compact and light-weight lens. Unfortunately, we are still talking about a fully manual lens without AF nor any electronic coupling. If your primary use-case is macro photography, this is probably not a huge deal but it's a limitation nonetheless. There are, however, two obvious advantages compared to native Fujifilm offerings - the Laowa lens offers a maximum magnification of 2:1 and it's also much more affordable at around 399USD/479EUR.

The Laowa 65mm f/2.8 2x Ultra Macro APO is a curious little lens in shape - the diameter is comparatively small but it's also fairly long - probably a side effect of the 2:1 max. magnification. The build quality is very high. Besides the dampened focus ring (amount of throw ca. 220 degrees), there is a clicked aperture ring that allows you to stop down in full stops down to f/22. However, our test results do not suggest that f/22 is f/22 but more like f/16, maybe even f/14. However, keep in mind that diffraction effects are massive at very small apertures so you don't really want to stop down beyond f/16 anyway. The lens uses an internal focusing mechanism so the size remains constant throughout the focus range. A barrel-shaped, metal lens hood is provided.

Equivalent focal length (full-format)"100mm"
Equivalent aperture (depth-of-field, full-format)"f/4.3"
Optical construction14 elements in 10 groups inc. 3x ELD element
Number of aperture blades9
min. focus distance0.17m (max. magnification 2:1)
Filter size52mm
Hoodbarrel-shaped (bayonet mount, supplied)
Other features-
MountsFujifilm X, Sony E, Canon EF-M

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