Just announced, the Laowa Argus 25mm F0.95 APO lens for APS-C sensors already has a full review.
At a glance:
Aperture Range: f/0.95 to f/11
50mm (35mm Equivalent)
Internal Focus Design
1 Aspherical Element, 1 ED Element
3 Ultra-High Refraction Elements
9 Aperture Blades
62mm Filter Thread
Dustin Abbott posted his exhaustive Laowa Argus 25mm F0.95 APO review. From his conclusion:
The Laowa Argus 25mm F0.95 APO is both similar and different than the Argus 35mm F0.95 full frame lens that I reviewed. The APO design does alter the formula, which results in more usable sharpness results at huge aperture values like F0.95.
It also means that the bokeh isn’t quite as soft, however, which might turn off some of the core audience that is interested in a lens like this.
These are all a matter of preference, however, and what is definite is that there is always room for more premium prime lenses for APS-C, a space that often gets overlooked. This is a serious lens, and it is interesting to see Laowa bring some of their APO experience that they’ve developed in their macro lens designs into a more extreme lens like this. You’ll have to determine for yourself whether or not the end result is something you’re looking for, but I will say this: the list of F0.95 lenses with an Apochromatic design and a price tag of under $550 USD is a VERY short one.
All reviews by Dustin Abbott come with test charts, sample pics, dynamic range tests, and much more. D. Abbott also provides a video-review that someone might prefer to the written review. It’s here (below) for your viewing pleasure.
Venus Optics announced a new lens for the Canon EF-M and RF mount, the Laowa Argus 25mm f/0.95 APS-C APO. I wonder why companies continue to make EF-M lenses since some people has already decided that the EOS M system has to be dead. Might those characters be wrong? ;-)
Laowa Argus 18mm f/0.95 MFT APO & Laowa Argus 25mm f/0.95 APS-C APO
Anhui China, 25 October, 2022 – Venus Optics, the innovative camera lens manufacturer had already released a series of f/0.95 ultra-large aperture lens under the name “Argus” in last year. And today the company adding two new lenses to the Argus series:
Laowa Argus 18mm f/0.95 MFT APO – MFT
Laowa Argus 25mm f/0.95 APS-C APO – Sony E / Nikon Z / Canon RF / Fuji X / Canon EF-M
The new additions provide MFT and APS-C users with an option of about 35mm equivalent focal length. The ultra-fast f/0.95 on them makes shooting in low-light environments easier than ever and easily creates a dreamy look with the exceptionally shallow depth of field. Both lenses also have the APO design, which performs very well at combating chromatic aberration and provides outstanding sharpness even at wide open. The minimum focusing distances are 20cm and 34cm respectively for the 18mm f/0.95 and 25mm f/0.95. Helping photographers to easily capture close-up details. The two new Argus lenses also design to be video-friendly.
Both have the “Aperture Ring Click Switch” for freely transforming between clicked and de-clicked aperture. A low focus breathing eliminates the distraction of the changes in angle of view when moving the focus from one object to another. The weight of the lenses is 500g(1.1lbs) and 575g(1.26lbs) for 18mm and 25mm respectively. With the affordable pricing of USD449(18mm) and USD549(25mm), these lenses are a must-have item for both photographers and videographers.
Ultra-fast Aperture of f/0.95
From an eye-catching portrait to stunning low-light photography, an f/0.95 ultra-fast aperture is perfect for creating impactful images with its shallow depth of field. Creating great background separation for the main subject so that the viewers can focus on the essence of your images. The lenses are built to offer an incredible low-light shooting performance. Both lenses can create excellent contrast from centre to corner. Perfect when you get limited time at dark sites or wants to increase the shutter speed.
Equivalent to 35mm Focal Length
A focal length of 35mm (equivalent) is one of the most popular choices among photographers. It is extremely versatile due to the semi-wide but comfortable images produced. Apart from portrait photography, it also works for landscape, street photography and as an everyday lens. Pair with the ultra-fast aperture and the short minimum focusing distance of Argus lenses, photographers can create some really unique shots.
Apochromat (APO) design
Both the 18mm and the 25mm are engineered with an Apochromatic Optical Design (APO) which suppresses longitudinal and lateral chromatic aberration across in-focus & out-of-focus areas. Purple fringing is controlled to the minimum even wide open. The APO design reduces the post-editing time substantially, giving photographers and videographers the best image performance.
Stunning Bokeh and Rendering
The lenses are assembled with 9 aperture blades, which can create round and pleasing bokeh. Alongside the shallow depth of field, it can produce glamorous and dreamy images.
Short Minimum Focusing Distance
The 18mm and 25mm lenses have a minimum focusing distance of 20cm and 34cm respectively. Having a short minimum focusing distance can create an extremely blurry background, allowing the photographer to capture in different perspectives with details of the object. A breath-taking close up shot with shallow depth of field can be easily captured.
Both lenses are also built with features that would be a plus for videographers.
Aperture Ring Click Switch Mechanism
The Aperture Ring Click Switch Mechanism offers options to photographers and videographers for choosing either clicked or de-clicked aperture ring, a great option for videographers when adjusting the aperture during shooting.
Low Focus Breathing
Both lenses have a relatively low focus breathing. It eliminates the distraction of the changes in the angle of view when moving the focus from one object to another, which is perfect for video shooting.
As with other lenses in the Argus series, the two new lenses also have the same internal focusing characteristics. It maximizes the optical performance in both infinity focus and minimum focusing distance. Also, it prevents dust from getting into the lens. And compatible with accessories designed to be set to a specific position like polarizers.
Anhui China, 6 October, 2022 – Venus Optics, the camera lens manufacturer that has been endeavouring to invent unique lenses, is now releasing 2 new cine macro lenses:
1) Laowa 65mm T2.9 2X Macro APO Cine (Super 35) – Fujifilm X / Sony E/ / Nikon Z / Canon EF-M
2) Laowa 100mm T2.9 2X Ultra Macro APO Cine (Full Frame) – PL / Sony E / Canon EF / Canon RF / L mount
The 2 lenses offer up to an exceptional 2X magnification which can barely be found on the market. Providing cinematographers higher flexibility in shooting subjects of different sizes. With an APO design, the lenses render quality images without chromatic aberration. Greatly reduce the effort for post-editing, especially for macro shots. Both the 65mm and the 100mm have a T2.9 large aperture for not just creating a shallower depth of field, but also good for low light situations. Make ready for professional use, the focusing ring and the step-less aperture ring are all equipped with industrial standard 0.8 mod gear. A 77mm filter thread is on both lenses so the cinematographers can choose between screw-in filters or using matte boxes. The weight of the two lenses is respectively 550g and 957g for 65mm and 100mm. With the competitive price of USD599 for 65mm and USD999 for 100mm, these lenses would be perfect for all sorts of commercials or cine productions.
The 2:1 magnification is rarely found in the market. It allows cinematographers to capture rich macro details of the subject. From capturing wildlife, product closeup or anything that needs an immersive perspective, both lenses would offer stunning image quality. Being able to focus to infinity, the 65mm and 100mm can also use for portrait shots. Minimum focusing distance of 17cm (6.69″) and 24.7cm (9.7″) respectively for 65mm and 100mm when shooting 2X macro.
The 65mm and 100mm also inherited the excellent APO design as most of the Laowa macro lenses do, effectively eliminate both lateral and longitudinal chromatic aberrations in the frame. Greatly reduce the amount of effort in post-editing.
Both lenses deliver stunning details and contrast from centre to corner even when using a wide-open aperture. These two professional prime lenses are built to deliver exceptional resolution and sharpness.
Here is a Laowa 58mm f/2.8 APO 2x Macro review by one of the most serious and professional gear reviewers you may find. The The Laowa 58mm f/2.8 2x Ultra-Macro APO has been just announced, and sells at $499 at Venus Optics.
Dustin Abbott posted his exhaustive and complete Laowa 58mm f/2.8 2x Ultra-Macro APO review. From Mr. Abbott’s conclusion:
[…] I’m delighted with the Laowa 58mm F2.8 APO 2x Macro. While it is very similar in many ways to the 90mm F2.8 APO 2x Macro, the wider focal length opens up a lot of different and unique opportunities. Very close macro is a little more difficult due to the closer working distance, but I do think that is compensated for by the versatility of the focal length for other subjects.
It is that versatility that makes this such an appealing option, much like my Voigtländer 65mm but with more macro capabilities […]
When you look at the price tag (about $500 USD) relative to the competing lenses, the Laowa really starts to feel like a great value, particularly if you tend to do your macro work utilizing manual focus anyway. Modern mirrorless bodies eliminate a lot of the sting of doing macro work, and you can’t argue with the kinds of results you can get from this lens. This is a top-notch value lens, and should be near the top of your macro list if you own a Canon, Sony, Nikon, or Leica mirrorless body and would prefer a slightly wider angle of view in your macro lens.
Anhui China, 22 September, 2022 – Venus Optics, the lens manufacturer that has been always endeavouring to invent unique lenses, is stoked to release the Laowa 58mm f/2.8 2x Ultra-Macro APO. This mirrorless-designed macro lens offers a 40.9° angle of view on full frame sensors. And like many other Laowa macro lenses, it can focus from 2:1 magnification to infinity which makes it suitable for professional macro, portrait or a walk-around lens. It features an apochromatic (APO) design that chromatic aberration is compressed to the minimum. With 3 ED elements and 3 Ultra-High Refractive Index elements, the lens delivers an outstanding sharpness. Despite its metal housing, the lens only weighs 595g which is extremely portable. It comes with 4 mount options: Sony E / Canon R / Nikon Z / L mount and a price of USD499.
Up to 2x magnification
This new 58mm lens has the capability to focus from 2X magnification to infinity. The minimum focusing distance is 7.29” (18.5cm). Giving you more flexibility in subject selection. From tiny ant to larger dragonfly, you can capture it with one single lens.
More than a macro lens
Being able to focus infinity, the 58mm focal length (40.9° AoV) pair with the f/2.8 aperture give the lens more usage than just a macro lens. You can also use it for portrait, product photography or use as walk-around lens.
Apochromat (APO) design
The lens is engineered to suppress both longitudinal and lateral chromatic aberration across in-focus & out-of-focus areas. Purple fringing and ghosting are controlled to the minimum throughout the aperture range. The APO design greatly reduces your post-editing time substantially especially in macro photography.
Outstanding sharpness and image quality
Specially designed for mirrorless system, the lens packed 3 ED elements and 3 Ultra-High Refractive Index elements. With a shorter flange distance, it is not only improving the image sharpness but also makes the lens more compact. It brings you a whole new macro shooting experience.
Deeper depth of field
The shorter focal length relative to 100mm would give greater depth of field. You can get more in-focus details from your subject under the same aperture. This gives you more control when creating unique visual narratives.
Smooth and Pleasant Bokeh
The 13 aperture blades would create smooth and pleasing bokeh. A stunning background can easily achieve.
This lens weighs only 595g with the dimensions of Ø74 x 117mm, making it much smaller than other main-stream option in the market. You can carry it around without burden.
The internal focusing design avoids collision of the lens and your subject. It also reduces the chance for dust particles getting into the lens.