This morning, as I was futzing about in the lab, I decided to give my Laowa 25mm f2.8 Ultra Macro 2.5-5.0x another shot. This is an amazing lens — look at the magnification on that thing — but I’ve been struggling to find a place for it in my workflow. It’s not an easy lens to use! Short working distance, narrow depth of field, requiring a lot of light, and having no aperture control in the camera…I haven’t got the hang of it at all. I initially thought maybe this would be a good lens to use in the lab, because it is so finicky, but has the potential for a lot of close-in detail, but no, in comparisons I did this morning, using my Wild dissecting scope with a camera tube gave me more mag, and was orders of magnitude easier to use. The Canon remote control software is dead easy: put a spider under the scope, you’ve got centimeters of working distance, and you can just click a button to capture images.
I could not imagine handing a student the Laowa and telling them to document the morphology of some spiderlings or embryos. I could show them the Canon software and scope and they’d be happily churning out data in minutes.
So it’s not a lab lens, for sure. Maybe a good field lens for tiny subjects? It would be a bit like carrying a microscope into the field, without the bulk and awkwardness. A bright sunny day, some little beast on a blade of grass, and a little patience and this thing might come into its own. All I need is a sunny summer day, which are a bit scarce right now, and I’ll take it out for some field tests.
For now, this is the best, which is far from any good, that I could capture this morning.
Maybe once we get a warm day with lots of sun, I’ll just stretch out in the grass in the backyard and play voyeur with any passing arthropods.