See a New Macro World With the AstrHori f/8 Probe Lens

The AstrHori 18mm f/8 macro 2:1 lens launched just a few months in the past is the closest competitor to the Laowa Optics probe lens and at half the value, it’s one thing that ought to be thought-about by each macro photographers and videographers.

For videographers, the lens might open up new ideas for several types of inventive work inside a mess of genres. For macro photographers, the top diameter of the lens will will let you {photograph} in actually tight areas, and even to a submerged depth of 25cm in water resulting from its water sealing.

We examined the lens out on a Fujifilm X-T5 to see how it could carry out with the 40mp sensor, primarily for photographic use. There’s additionally a locked-off quick video instance on the finish of the article to will let you see the video high quality it captures. Did the lens produce the products?

Construct High quality

The lens development is of strong steel and weighs in at 668g. Housing 23 parts in 17 teams the lens produces detailed macro photographs at a 2:1 magnification and offers an aperture vary of f/8-f/28. The entrance lens is manufactured from sapphire materials which is wear-resistant and has a excessive hardness, which means it should not be straightforward to scratch.

The aperture and focus markings on the lens on the lens are engraved and clear. The focusing ring is fantastically dampened to permit for micro-adjustments. Each the aperture ring and focus ring have excessive knurling to permit for constructive connectivity for focus-pulling attachments when filming.

The lens is available in two components, the physique attachment and the probe attachment which very simply and securely lock collectively. If it strikes even the tiniest, you have not locked it collectively absolutely so one other small flip will guarantee this.

The entrance probe of the lens is water-sealed for the primary 25cm from the entrance component enabling you to shoot underwater or every other particular surroundings with out worrying. Though there isn’t a mark to point out you the place that is, visually it is about 5cm in entrance of the USB socket.

The USB Kind-C on the second barrel of the lens permits for an influence financial institution to be hooked up to energy the LEDs on the finish of the lens. An extended cable is required for this as I discovered it a lot simpler with the longer cable to easily put the facility financial institution in my pocket, if standing or lay it on the bottom for low-down pictures. There are 9 LEDs in whole which have 10 ranges of brightness adjustment by way of the cable. The adjustment cable may be hooked up to the USB port after which the facility financial institution to permit for brightness adjustment.  The USB connection additionally comes with a small rubber seal that you simply put in place to save lots of any filth or moisture from coming into when not utilizing the LEDs. To keep away from dropping mine I put it within the carry case when it was eliminated.

The lens is neatly and securely packaged in a tough case which incorporates covers for each components of the lens and additional rubber seals. The top barrel of the lens is protected by a steel lens cap.


That is the place it will get attention-grabbing as you possibly can most likely guess. At a size of 452mm, you want a sturdy and regular tripod head to keep away from any downward creeping. I first tried the lens on a lighter tripod to see how that may have an effect on the picture, and guess what, it started to drop, solely barely however nonetheless noticeable. As soon as I had switched to my heavier tripod and Artcise ball head any motion had however disappeared and I used to be prepared to start out photographing something I might get my arms on, to be sincere; something that may give me a brand new view of the world. At first, I’d hold what I thought-about to be an honest distance from the thing I used to be capturing however as my confidence grew and I might see that the lens had no issues at this distance I’d transfer the lens nearer, and nonetheless be capable to focus.

It is a absolutely guide lens with no switch of EXIF knowledge. I did be aware of the primary apertures I shot with for this text nevertheless with a majority being at f/14 and some f/28. I did shoot with all of the apertures however discovered, for me anyway, that I might get the perfect photographs at f/14.

The depth of discipline with this lens is slender and it grew to become obvious in a short time how shut I could possibly be to the topic relying on its floor and texture. The lens has an in depth working distance of 5mm and in some circumstances just like the picture of the mic’s lifeless cat beneath, I used to be in a position to be proper in opposition to the fibers and nonetheless deal with the opposite fibers nestled just some millimeters additional in.

Included with most photographs within the article is a visible information to how shut I used to be with the probe lens. In fact, you will see my flaws by way of lighting and composition, however it’s performed solely to will let you see the relative distance from the top of the lens to the topic.

The GoPro photographs right here present the extent of the slender discipline of focus. Within the first picture, specializing in the middle of the lens itself within the first picture, and within the second the brand. With the main target peak spotlight of the FujiFilm X-T5 engaged I might see the crimson spotlight sweep throughout from my first focus level to the second, highlighting every thing in its path. This I might such as you to notice was in micro changes. First the lens itself, then the outer ring of the lens, then the 2nd and third outer rings then the outer casing; you get the image. Till it lastly reached the brand. So the probabilities for focus stacking with the lens, when you have the persistence I feel would produce some actually nice outcomes.

On this world of two:1 magnification, every thing was truthful sport and a variety of enjoyable. Admittedly not every thing labored and I’ve solely included a handful of the pictures from every thing that I attempted. This new viewpoint, to me anyway, requires persistence and calls for non-movement in any type. On various events, I might both bump the lens or transfer and a floorboard would alter the angle ever so barely.

Focusing as talked about was in micro changes and for a few of the topics I might both have spotlight peaking on or split-screen to make sure what I believed was in focus really was. If macro pictures is one thing that you simply do regularly I am certain you will have a macro focus rail which I can see can be very useful when utilizing this lens.

The LED ring mild on the finish of the lens got here in very helpful for a few of the photographs, at instances nevertheless I did choose a few of the photographs the daylight-balanced desklamp supplied which was because of the floor texture of a few of the objects. Matte surfaces labored with each the desklamp and the LED ring mild, whereas any floor with any type of reflectivity would blow out and lose all element. Some diffusion items for the LEDs can be very useful. You may management the brightness by way of the LED adjustment cable that can also be within the arduous case which is a good characteristic, however once more relying in your floor you could get an undesirable spotlight configuration. Nonetheless, that is simply eliminated in publish.

For matte and painted surfaces like the pictures beneath the LED supplied detailed outcomes and the scale of the probe lens with a diameter of round 23mm allowed me to get into some fairly tight areas, one thing I could not do with a traditional lens with out cropping the picture in publish.

The lens demanded that I {photograph} a stitching needle, which took just a few makes an attempt because of the slender focusing leading to both the thread earlier than the needle being in focus or the thread exiting the attention being centered; Persistence is required and the outcomes are price it.

The gallery photographs beneath had been taken in my yard and supplied me with a brand new appreciation for macro photographers and every thing that they do in addition to the persistence they’ve for his or her craft. As soon as the lens was in place and the tripod not moved, I took a collection of pictures of primarily spiders, who for more often than not had been comfortable to take a seat nonetheless even with the LED mild a centimeter away from them.

I am under no circumstances a macro photographer so please forgive the pictures as I do not suppose they offer the lens the justice it deserves. Within the arms of a macro photographer, nevertheless, I feel the story can be a lot completely different.


You have greater than doubtless seen a few of the movies produced by this and different probe lenses and though I solely filmed the spiders on the time of scripting this assessment I can see why this lens would enchantment to so many videographers and creators because of the measurement and discipline of view it employs. A slide rail with the lens does produce some distinctive views of the world after which it is merely all the way down to your personal creativity to what may be produced. The video high quality even from the spiders I filmed I wasn’t anticipating and in addition because of the measurement confirmed me how a lot precise motion there was in what I believed was a zero-wind day.


As a result of measurement is ready to get into smaller locations
Water resistant for the primary 25cm
Stable development
Finish parts LEDs
Simply connects to focus pull setup
Nice for a brand new perspective on video creation


Not of the lens itself however I feel it could work higher coupled with a focusing rail
The value could possibly be thought-about a con for some if solely used a few of the time, however contemplating the subsequent nearest comparable lens is double the associated fee you’re onto a winner with this one.

I can not actually discuss what I appreciated and did not like concerning the lens as utilizing this kind of lens introduced with it a brand new approach to seize particulars. I am not a macro photographer however the lens taught me fairly just a few issues concerning the accuracy of focus at such shut proximity and the place a spotlight rail can be greatest utilized.

It really works nice on a sturdy tripod however not so on a light-weight one. I suppose this could possibly be thought-about a con however on the similar time in case you are investing in tools like this in your macro work you’ll have already bought a worthy tripod.


Most likely probably the most uncommon lens I’ve ever used, and but on the similar time one of the enjoyable. I’ve additionally garnered a newfound respect for macro photographers and every thing they do to make sure their photographs are sharp by way of setup and focusing. The lens is an effective way to get a novel view of the character and element of the macro world round us.

The lens does what it is meant to do and I do imagine that this lens within the arms of a seasoned macro photographer would produce wonderful outcomes. If you’re a macro photographer this lens is certainly price serious about contemplating the top diameter of 23mm and that the probe a part of the lens is water-sealed, it will possibly open up a brand new world of prospects for you. For videographers once more I feel the inventive pictures that may be achieved with the lens would definitely add to your portfolio.

If the AstrHori probe lens is one thing you’re contemplating, it’s obtainable for E/Z/L/RF/FX/M43/EF mounts and you should buy one right here.