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 must be thought of by each macro photographers and videographers. 

For videographers, the lens may open up new ideas for several types of inventive work inside a mess of genres. For macro photographers, the tip diameter of the lens will can help you {photograph} in actually tight areas, and even to a submerged depth of 25cm in water as a result of its water sealing. 

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

Construct High quality

The lens building is of strong steel and weighs in at 668g. Housing 23 parts in 17 teams the lens produces detailed macro pictures 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 simple to scratch.

The aperture and focus markings on the lens on the lens are engraved and clear. The focusing ring is superbly 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 totally so one other small flip will guarantee this.

The entrance probe of the lens is water-sealed for the primary 25cm from the entrance ingredient enabling you to shoot underwater or another particular setting with out worrying. Though there is no such thing as a mark to point out you the place that is, visually it is about 5cm in entrance of the USB socket.

The USB Sort-C on the second barrel of the lens permits for an influence financial institution to be connected to energy the LEDs on the finish of the lens. A protracted cable is required for this as I discovered it a lot simpler with the longer cable to easily put the ability financial institution in my pocket, if standing or lay it on the bottom for low-down photographs. There are 9 LEDs in whole which have 10 ranges of brightness adjustment through the cable. The adjustment cable will be connected to the USB port after which the ability financial institution to permit for brightness adjustment.  The USB connection additionally comes with a small rubber seal that you simply put in place to avoid wasting 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 further rubber seals. The tip barrel of the lens is protected by a steel lens cap.


That is the place it will get fascinating 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 will 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 begin photographing something I may get my palms on, to be sincere; something that will give me a brand new view of the world. At first, I might hold what I thought of to be a good distance from the item I used to be capturing however as my confidence grew and I may see that the lens had no issues at this distance I might transfer the lens nearer, and nonetheless have the ability to focus.

 It is a totally handbook lens with no switch of EXIF information. I did be aware of the primary apertures I shot with for this text nonetheless 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 may get the most effective pictures at f/14.

The depth of area with this lens is slender and it turned obvious in a short time how shut I could possibly be to the topic relying on its floor and texture. The lens has a detailed 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 pictures within the article is a visible information to how shut I used to be with the probe lens. After all, you will see my flaws by way of lighting and composition, however it’s performed solely to can help you see the relative distance from the tip of the lens to the topic.

The GoPro pictures right here present the extent of the slender area of focus. Within the first picture, specializing in the middle of the lens itself within the first picture, and within the second the emblem. With the main focus peak spotlight of the FujiFilm X-T5 engaged I may see the purple spotlight sweep throughout from my first focus level to the second, highlighting every part in its path. This I would 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 emblem. So the chances for focus stacking with the lens, if in case you have the endurance I believe would produce some actually nice outcomes.

On this world of two:1 magnification, every part was honest recreation and numerous enjoyable. Admittedly not every part labored and I’ve solely included a handful of the photographs from every part that I attempted. This new viewpoint, to me anyway, requires endurance and calls for non-movement in any type. On quite a lot of events, I would both bump the lens or transfer and a floorboard would regulate the angle ever so barely. 

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

The LED ring gentle on the finish of the lens got here in very helpful for among the pictures, at occasions nonetheless I did want among the pictures the daylight-balanced desklamp supplied which was because of the floor texture of among the objects. Matte surfaces labored with each the desklamp and the LED ring gentle, whereas any floor with any type of reflectivity would blow out and lose all element. Some diffusion items for the LEDs could be very helpful. You’ll be able to management the brightness through the LED adjustment cable that can be within the arduous case which is a good characteristic, however once more relying in your floor you might get an undesirable spotlight configuration. Nonetheless, that is simply eliminated in submit.

For matte and painted surfaces like the photographs 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 submit.

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 targeted; Endurance is required and the outcomes are price it.

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

I am on no account a macro photographer so please forgive the photographs as I do not suppose they provide the lens the justice it deserves. Within the palms of a macro photographer, nonetheless, I believe the story could be a lot completely different.


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


  • Value
  • Resulting from dimension is ready to get into smaller locations
  • Waterproof for the primary 25cm
  • Stable building
  • 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 believe it will work higher coupled with a focusing rail
  • The value could possibly be thought of a con for some if solely used among the time, however contemplating the following nearest comparable lens is double the associated fee you might be onto a winner with this one.

I can not actually discuss what I favored and did not like concerning the lens as utilizing any such lens introduced with it a brand new strategy 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 could be finest utilized. 

It really works nice on a sturdy tripod however not so on a light-weight one. I suppose this could possibly be thought of a con however on the identical time if you’re investing in gear like this to your macro work you’ll have already bought a worthy tripod.


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

The lens does what it is meant to do and I do consider that this lens within the palms of a seasoned macro photographer would produce superb outcomes. In case you are a macro photographer this lens is certainly price occupied with contemplating the tip diameter of 23mm and that the probe a part of the lens is water-sealed, it may possibly open up a brand new world of prospects for you. For videographers once more I believe the inventive photographs that may be achieved with the lens would definitely add to your portfolio.

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

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