Laowa RF 100mm F2.8 APO 2:1 Macro Review (D. Abbott)

Laowa RF 100mm

Here is a Laowa RF 100mm F2.8 APO 2:1 Macro review. A third party lens for the EOS R system that seems to be rather interesting, and has an interesting price.

At a glance:

  • RF-Mount Lens/Full-Frame Format
  • Aperture Range: f/2.8 to f/22
  • Two Low Dispersion Elements
  • Maximum Magnification: 2:1
  • Minimum Focusing Distance: 9.7″
  • Manual Focus Design
  • 13-Blade Diaphragm

Dustin Abbott posted his exhaustive Laowa RF 100mm F2.8 APO 2:1 Macro review. He says:

In conclusion, I’m more positive than ever about the Laowa 100mm F2.8 APO 2:1 Macro in the Canon RF mount.  It has the same flaws as before (too short of focus throw, being flare prone), but using the lens on mirrorless really mitigates some of its other shortcomings (manual focus only, no image stabilization) and I’m left with a lens that is generally fun to use and easy to focus.  The punchy colors and images in general remind me of much more expensive APO lenses. When used to its strengths, images from this lens really pop.

And, as a macro lens, it’s additional degree of magnification allows you to do things that lesser lenses cannot.  It unlocks an extra level of creativity, and that Apochromatic design allows you to shoot shiny metal textures without fear of chromatic aberrations destroying the image.

[…] This remains as one of Laowa’s best value lenses, and is certainly a blast to use on a good mirrorless body.

As usual Dustin Abbott’s reviews come with sample images, comparison charts, and all the information you might want to know. Dustin’s reviews are what I look for when I am about to purchase new gear. As usual Dustin Abbott also releases a complete video review. See below.

More gear reviews by Dustin Abbott are listed here. You can follow Dustin Abbott on Twitter, YouTube, or on his website.

Laowa RF 100mm F2.8 APO 2:1 Macro :

America: B&H Photo, Adorama, Amazon USA, Amazon Canada, Canon Canada, Canon USA
Europe & UK: Amazon DE, Amazon UK, Amazon IT, Wex Photo Video, Canon DE, Canon UK

Venus Optics Laowa 100mm f/2.8 2X Ultra Macro… Overview

Characterized by its close-focusing capabilities and apochromatic design, the Canon RF-mount Laowa 100mm f/2.8 2X Ultra Macro APO from Venus Optics is a unique and versatile short-telephoto prime. Featuring a pair of low dispersion elements, color fringing and chromatic aberrations have been virtually eliminated throughout the focusing range in order to achieve high clarity and color accuracy. The lens’s manual focus design also suits its macro capabilities, which permit working with subjects as close as 2:1 with a minimum focusing distance of 9.7″. Additionally, a 13-blade diaphragm contributes to a pleasing bokeh quality.

  • Telephoto prime is designed for full-frame Canon RF-mount mirrorless cameras.
  • Featuring an apochromatic designation, this lens uses a pair of low dispersion elements to effectively eliminate chromatic aberrations and color fringing for greater clarity and accurate rendering.
  • Greater-than-life-size 2:1 maximum magnification pairs with a 9.7″ minimum focusing distance to suit working with close-up subjects.
  • Manual focus design, along with focus distance and depth of field scales, aids in precise focusing control.
  • A 13-blade diaphragm contributes to a pleasing bokeh quality.

Laowa 85mm f/5.6 2x Ultra Macro APO Announced, World’s Smallest 2x Macro

Laowa 85mm

Venus Optics announced the Laowa 85mm f/5.6 2x Ultra Macro APO lens. The world’s smallest 2x macro lens, say’s the manufacturer.

The Laowa 85mm f/5.6 2x Ultra Macro APO is currently available to order on the official website of Venus Optics and their authorized resellers. Recommended Retail Price in the US is $449 (Canon RF, Nikon Z, Sony FE) and $499 (Leica M). Shipping starts from early December 2021.

Laowa 85mm f/5.6 2x Ultra Macro APO is a mirrorless-designed macro lens with 28.55° angle of view for full frame. It is the smallest 2x macro lens in the Full Frame market. It weighs just around 252g (Leica M mount without caps and hood) which is super portable and handy for macro shooters. It features an apochromatic (APO) characteristic that chromatic aberration at both ‘in-focus’ & ‘out-of-focus’ is compressed to minimum. This new lens is able to focus from 2:1 magnification to infinity which can serve as both macro and portrait lens with great image quality.

Black Friday: Venus Laowa 24mm f/14 2x Macro Probe Lens – $1389 (reg. $1599)

Laowa 24mm

Pretty good deal on the Venus Laowa 24mm f/14 2x Macro Probe Lens, for both the RF and the EF mount.

At a glance:

  • Aperture Range: f/14 to f/40
  • Two Extra-Low Dispersion Elements
  • One Extra Refractive Index Element
  • Magnification: 2:1 to Infinity
  • Min. Focus: 1.5′; Working Distance: 0.8″
  • Integrated Focus and Aperture Gears
  • Long Lens Barrel, Small Front Diameter
  • Built-In LED Ring Light, Micro-USB Power
  • Waterproof Front Lens Barrel

Adorama has a $210 instant discount (13%) on the Venus Laowa 24mm f/14 2x Macro Probe Lens for the RF and the EF mount:

Curated and selected Black Friday deals:

Refurbished lenses and DSLRs at Canon Store (best deals might be found here)

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Laowa Announces World’s Fastest 35mm lens for FF, Argus 35mm f/0.95 FF

Argus 35mm F/0.95

A new Laowa lens for your EOS R full frame camera system. The Laowa Argus 35mm f/0.95 FF. The lens is currently available to purchase via Venus Optics official website and authorized resellers. The US price for Laowa Argus 35mm f/0.95 FF is $899.

Press release:

Anhui China, Sept10, 2021–Venus Optics, the manufacturer specialized in making unique camera lenses, is proud to introduce Laowa Argus 35mm f/0.95 FF, the world’s fastest 35mm lens and widest f/0.95 lens ever designed for full frame cameras. It is a breakthrough of the camera lens industry,and it inherits Venus Optics’ objective to offer innovative and groundbreaking products. It provides awide63.4° angle of view together with superb shallow depth of field for both photography and videography.

Key Features:

  • Wide perspective with ultra-shallow depth of field
  • Ultra-fast f/0.95 aperture for low-light shooting
  • Superb sharpness at f/0.95
  • Aperture Ring Click Switc
  • Internal Focus design
  • Low Focus Breathing with extended Focus Throw
  • Exquisite Bokeh

Widest f/0.95 lens & Fastest 35mm lens for Full Frame Format

Laowa Argus 35mm f/0.95 FF is the FIRST full frame 35mm with f/0.95 ultra-fast aperture. Makes it the fastest 35mm and widest f/0.95 lens in the market. The optical performance is maximized by incorporating1 ED glass element, 1 aspherical lens element and 4 high-refractive-index glass materials. The extraordinary shallow depth of field and dreamy bokeh created by f/0.95 is the trump card for portraits. In the meanwhile, its unbeatable performance in low light conditions for obtaining sharp and outstanding images makes it a must-have tool for every photographer and videographer.The wide FoV allows more backgrounds being recorded into the image and thanks to the f/0.95 aperture, a shallow depth of field can still be achieved.

Aperture Ring Click Switch

Aperture ring click switch mechanism offers options for the photographer and videographer to choose either clicked or de-clicked aperture ring. No uneven exposure

Internal Focusing

Laowa Argus 35mm f/0.95 FF inherits an internal focusing characteristics from Argus 33mm f/0.95 CF APO. It maximizes the optical performance in both infinity focus and minimum focusing distance by enhancing the stability. Also, it prevents the dust or ashes falling into the lens. This feature is extremely welcomed by videographers as accessories like matte box will not move while pulling focus. Absolute advantage for both photography and videography.change when changing the aperture during shooting.

Low Focus Breathing with Long Focus Throw

The low focus breathing and long focus throw are perfect for narrative filming and selective focus control. It eliminates the distraction of the changes in angle of view when moving focus from one object to another. Along with the accurate focusing obtained by the 300° focus thread makes it become the ideal lens for videography.

Exquisite Bokeh

The 15-aperture blade produces silky smooth, round bokeh without hard edges. A dreamy Bokeh adds character to the images which is perfect for visually appealing images.

Technology breakthrough

f/0.95 and wide angle lenses with good optical performance are known to be heavy and bulky, making it inoperable in certain conditions. Dayong Li (Chief optics designer of Venus Optics) has managed to strike a balance between the ease of customer operation and optical performance. They push the optics design to another level by crafting a lens that can cover mainstream full frame sensor, have a good optical performance, offer a wide perspective and extremely shallow depth of field.

Pricing & Availability

Laowa Argus 35mm f/0.95 FF is currently available to purchase via Venus Optics official website (http://www.venuslens.net/) and authorized resellers. The US price for Laowa Argus 35mm f/0.95 FF is $899. Pricing varies in different countries. First 100 purchase in the webstore will get a free focus gear belt.

Laowa Argus 33mm f/0.95 For Canon RF Mount Announced (it’s for APS-C sensor!)

33mm F/0.95

Venus Optics announced a super fast lens for a series of camera mounts, RF mount included: the Laowa Argus 33mm f/0.95. But the lens is for an APS-C sensor.

Not sure what to think about the fact that there is an RF mount lens for APS-C sensors. Is it a sign that the rumored EOS R model with APS-C sensor is coming?

The Laowa Argus 33mm f/0.95 CF APO is currently available to purchase via Venus Optics official website and authorized resellers. The US price (ex-VAT) for Laowa Argus 33mm f/0.95 CF APO is $499. Pricing varies in different countries. Shipping starts from Early May for Fuji X and Sony E mount. The Nikon Z and Canon RF will be shipped from Mid May.

Venus Optics press release:

Venus Optics announce the first lens of the f/0.95 ‘Argus’ line, Laowa ‘Argus’ 33mm f/0.95 CF APO

Starts capturing chromatic aberration-free image at f/0.95

Anhui China, May 03 , 2021 – Venus Optics, the manufacturer specialized in making unique camera lenses, is proud to introduce the Laowa ‘Argus’ 33mm f/0.95 CF APO, a magnificent f/0.95 prime lens for APS-C cameras.

The ‘Argus’ name was originally from the Greek mythology and was the name of a vigilant guardian with a hundred eyes and an “all-seeing” sight. The name represents the ultra-bright f/0.95 aperture of the lenses and the exceptional image quality they deliver.

The 35mm f/0.95 is the first released lens of the much anticipated Argus line. Featuring the ultra fast f/0.95 aperture with APO design, the lens offers photographers and videographers a classic focal length for everyday shooting and a versatility to shoot at difficult lighting condition. The lens delivers exception image quality at wide-open and suppresses the chromatic aberration to the minimal. Couple with the 35mm (1.15 feet) minimum focus distance, a buttery smooth and exquisite bokeh rendering can easily be created. It also equips with multiple touches of videographer friendly features for narrative filmmaking.

Key Features of Laowa ‘Argus’ 33mm f/0.95 CF APO

• f/0.95 Ultra-fast aperture
• APO (Apochromatic Optical Design)
• 35cm closest focusing distance
• Exquisite bokeh
• Long focus throw
• Internal focus
• Low focus breathing
• Stepless aperture ring

APO (Apochromatic Optical Design)

The new Argus 33mm f/0.95 was designed to deliver impressive performance at wide-open aperture. It incorporates one Extra-low Dispersion Glass, one Aspherical Lens and three Ultra High Refraction Glass to suppress both lateral and longitudinal chromatic aberration (CA) to the minimal at all apertures in its class. It also delivers an exceptional image sharpness across
the frame.

Ultra-fast f/0.95 Aperture

The ultra-fast f/0.95 aperture adds a dreamy atmosphere to your image that no other lenses can compare. The shallow depth of field offers great versatility for selective focus and isolate the subject for a better story telling. The fast aperture also makes handheld shooting at low light situations much easier. You can now tell your story in any condition without compromising your image with higher ISO. It is perfect for everything from prestigious portraits, low light photography & videography to everyday & astrophotography.

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Laowa Announced New Manual Lenses For Canon RF and EF-M Mounts

Laowa

New manual Laowa lenses coming from Venus Optics. Canon RF and EF-M mount versions among others.

Venus Optics announced five new Laowa lenses. Three for full frame cameras, one for APS-C and one fopr MFT.

  • Laowa CF 33mm F0.95 APO (Canon EF-M, Fuji X, Nikon Z and Sony E mounts)
  • Laowa FF II Argus 35mm F0.95 (Canon RF, Nikon Z and Sony E mounts)
  • Laowa FF II 45mm F0.95 (Canon RF, Nikon Z and Sony E mounts)
  • Laowa FF II 12–24mm F5.6 C-Dreamer Ultra-Wide Zoom (Canon RF, Leica M, Nikon Z and Sony E mounts)
  • Laowa 25mm F0.95 MFT (m4/3 mounts)

More information can be found at DPReview. Here is a list of Laowa lenses for Canon mounts, with some rather exotic designs.