In this series of posts, I intend to set out my early experiences with the LaoWa Venus optical co 15 mm f/4 macro lens as I get to know it and before I write a detailed review. Every few days I run a moth trap, home-built with a mercury vapour lamp and, just after dawn, check the contents. It has proved extremely exciting to find out just how many species have been living within reach of our house unbeknownst to me. In particular, there are the 9 species…

The phone call from the courier came late afternoon on Tuesday 7th July – a familiar scenario since we live, hidden away, off the main road and the usual practice is to arrange a rendezvous on the main road rather than our track and go and meet them. The Italian customs had finally deigned to release the lens from its clutches for the payment of a few tens of euros… In record time, the package was opened and a new lens, much awaited, was in my hands. This is the revolutionary Venus Optics…

It took many years (and a not a small amount of pleasure) before I had to concede that I was not really a night person. Perhaps it is a consequence of the ageing process but I wake with the dawn and the riotous chorus the local avian fauna provides. There is some residual song from the nightingales, those that I suspect are nurturing a second brood, but the current most impressive choristers are the families of golden orioles that fly to the side of the fig tree facing from…