21 April 2020

A TALE OF TWO LENSES – THE LAOWA 15MM MACRO VS THE NIKON 105 MACRO

I was able to get out in the woods a couple of days ago and photograph one of my very favorite Spring wildflowers Round-lobed Hepatica. These delicate beauties are one of the first to make an appearance here in Michigan and for me, they signal the official opening of the Spring photography season.

Having photographed these flowers each year for decades…literally – I am always looking to do something a bit different. One of the new weapons in my bag is the Laowa 15mm wide-angle macro lens. I decided to try it out with this subject. I found the results interesting and quite surprising.

While I knew there would be a significant difference between the two choices, I have to say I was blown away by just how dramatic the difference was when compared side by side! (click on image above to view full-size)

The image on the left is how I would traditionally shoot this scene with the 105mm. Shooting down from above, with a lot of depth of field, the 105mm tends to compress and flatten out the image making it appear more two dimensional.

With the 15mm I have a much larger field of view and therefore take in more of the surroundings. But more dramatic than that is how this wide-angle lens has the effect of exaggerating the distance between the individual elements of the image. This has the overall effect of “opening up” the entire image, giving an expansiveness and feeling of depth to the image.

In the end I really don’t think I like one over the other, but I am glad that I have both images.

The main take away here is to always push yourself, try to apply new tools and skills to familiar subjects and always work to expand your creative options.

Good Luck and Good Light!

Steve



2 Comments

  • Hello Steve, greetings from Laowa marketing team. This is Yannie. Thanks for the write-up. Do you mind if I borrow you photo from above and some of your thoughts for a post on our social media?

  • Nice comparison with quite different results. Compositionally I do prefer the 105 but your mileage may vary. Had a chance to use a Laowa 12mm on a trip to Asia (when that was possible!). Glass was clean and sharp with excellent color rendition. Very creative tool to have in the bag. I may have to check out the 15 mm macro version.

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