Part of the allure of wildlife filmmaking for me is the technology, often wildlife filmmakers get to play with best and the latest toys! Like any craft you need the right tool for the job, an electrician wouldn’t use a hammer to connect cables in a socket just as a filmmaker wouldn’t use a super-telephoto lens to film close-ups.
So if you do want to film close-up macro shots you need to rely on special lenses, my current favourite one of these is the stunning Laowa 24mm Probe lens.
The Laowa is available in a number of different lens mounts to fit a range of different cameras, alternatively you could buy it in Canon EF mount and a selection of adapters to fit it to Sony E or Canon RF.
The probe lens is fully manual so it makes no electronic connection to the camera body. It has two rings, one for iris and one for focus. The very nature of this lens means it won’t be fast, by that I mean it needs light. Wide open the Laowa has an aperture of F14.
Fortunately the manufacturers have integrated a dimmable LED light source in the very tip of the probe which means poking it into holes and dark corners poses no challenge whatsoever.
The Laowa also happily pokes into water as the probe is water-proof. Further expanding the flexibility of an already amazing tool. Put the probe onto a motorised slider and you can expect shots that are extraordinary.
Wildlife filmmaking is full of amazing tools like this and constant innovation allows us to continue documenting the natural world in new and unique perspectives.