Life is better when you stop to take in the little details. That’s why you should play with a probe lens whilst creating content this year!

With the recent release of the iPhone 13 Pro, and Apple‘s Shot on iPhone Challenge, it’s all about macro right now. The allure of seeing the weft and warp of a piece of cloth, or every pigment in a cat’s eye, has taken hold of many creators.

For those of you who want to explore this in video, and perhaps haven’t invested in the latest iPhone, it’s time to get friendly with the probe lens.

What Is a Probe Lens?

A probe lens is an elongated barrel that attaches to the lens of a camera. It offers a unique perspective and extreme close up shots. As the name suggests, you are able to get up close and personal with your subject, whilst maintaining a “bug-eyed” wide angle image.

As a speciality piece of equipment, a lens like this tends to be quite high end. This means its price points generally aren’t on the accessible side. However, if you’re a professional videographer looking to branch out, this is a seriously cool bit of kit to have in your arsenal.

How to Use Them?

The Laowa Macro Probe Lens from Venus Optics seems to be the popular choice for capturing these magical, super detailed shots. As shown in the video above, let’s take a look at just how you use this specific lens.

At around almost a foot and a half long, this lens looks pretty unusual compared to most you’re probably used to seeing. The majority of the barrel is just a few centimetres wide.

As for the specs, it’s full frame, fully manual, 24mm macro lens, f14-f40. Having the lens wide open at f14 does mean you need a lot of light in order to capture a decent shot. Cleverly, Venus have included LED lights on the end of the barrel, which are powered by an external battery, connected by micro USB.

Giving you heaps of versatility, the end of the barrel is also waterproof. This means you can submerge the lens for stunning underwater shots.

You can see from Marques Brownlee‘s video, there is a heck of a lot of light required. Experimenting with the LEDs is fine, but ensuring you have a well lit environment will pay off most. This lens is perfect for squeezing into spaces that even small cameras like a GoPro couldn’t manage.

Honestly, the main purpose of this lens is to just capture unique and amazing shots. It may be on the expensive side, but if you can spare the cash, it definitely pays for itself pretty quickly!