Venus Optics Laowa STF 105mm f/2 (T3.2) full review

Laowa STF 105mm F/2

Laowa STF 105mm f/2 (B&H Photo | Adorama) at a glance:

  • Canon EF-Mount Lens/Full-Frame Format
  • Aperture Range: f/2 (T3.2) to f/22
  • One Apodization Element for Smooth Bokeh
  • Three Low Dispersion Elements
  • One Extra Refractive Index Element
  • Manual Focus and Manual Aperture Ring
  • Dual Diaphragms: 8- and 14-Blades

Photographer and reviewer Dustin Abbott posted the full review of the Laowa STF 105mm f/2 (T3.2) lens. We featured his first impression last week. The manual focusing Laowa STF (Smooth Trans Focus) 105mm f/2 (T3.2) is made by Venus Optics and was announced back in March 2016. It’s currently available for pre-order at $699 (B&H Photo | Adorama).

The 18 minutes video below is the full review, which can also be read on Dustin Abbott’s site.

In the conclusion he writes:

Some lenses are safe and easy, while some are higher risk/higher reward. The reward from the Loawa STF (Smooth Trans Focus) 105mm f/2 (T3.2) is the ability to create beautiful images from a lens with a very nice resolution-to-bokeh ratio. Laowa refers to this lens as the “bokeh dreamer”, and while I don’t know how much the lens has influenced my dreams, I can certainly verify that it produces soft, beautiful bokeh that lacks hard edges (particularly in the background). This is a great portrait focal length on full frame, and you have the ability to produce very nice portraits with the lens with a little more flexibility in controlling aperture and depth of field. The focal length is good for a number of things, including landscape shooting. The lens also sports a very nice quality build that punches well above its price point. It is worth noting that the two alternatives to this lens on the market (Fujifilm 56mm f/1.2 and Sony 135mm f/2.8) are both nearly twice as much as the $699 asking price of the Laowa, so if you’ve wanted to experiment with an APD/STF lens, this is definitely the lowest cost of entry. Read the review…

You may also be interested in what Dustin Abbott thinks about build quality and handling of the Laowa 105mm f/2.

Laowa STF 105mm f/2 (B&H Photo | Adorama)

Laowa STF 105mm f/2

Venus Optics Laowa STF 105mm f/2 (T3.2) lens first impression video

Laowa STF 105mm F/2

Laowa STF 105mm f/2 (B&H Photo | Adorama) at a glance:

  • Canon EF-Mount Lens/Full-Frame Format
  • Aperture Range: f/2 (T3.2) to f/22
  • One Apodization Element for Smooth Bokeh
  • Three Low Dispersion Elements
  • One Extra Refractive Index Element
  • Manual Focus and Manual Aperture Ring
  • Dual Diaphragms: 8- and 14-Blades

This interesting lens was announced back in March 2016. The manual focusing Laowa STF (Smooth Trans Focus) 105mm f/2 (T3.2) is made by Venus Optics. It’s currently available for pre-order at $699.

In the video below, hotographer and reviewer Dustin Abbott breaks down the build, handling, and how the new Laowa STF 105mm f/2 (T3.2) works. He also posted a sample images gallery.

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Laowa STF 105mm f/2 (B&H Photo | Adorama

Laowa 105mm F2 STF lens announced

UK Optics announced the new Laowa 105mm f/2.0 STF lens. Press release:

LAOWA 105MM F2 (T3.2) STF LENS

UK OPTICS (LAOWA UK) is pleased to present the Laowa 105mm F2 STF Lens. STF stands for Smooth Trans Focus, in reference to its special optical system, which is intended to deliver smooth transitions between crisp in-focus areas and creamy defocused background or foreground areas. This unique manual focus only lens has an integrated apodisation filter that provides superior bokeh rendering and crystal sharp images.

Full frame compatible lens featuring 11 elements in 8 groups with a 14 blade aperture* and a minimum focus distance of just 0.9M. All metal alloy construction housing multi-coated glass elements throughout. At a focal length of 105mm and with the inherent softly diffused bokeh, this lens is perfect for portraiture.

The Laowa 105mm F2 STF lens is one of only a few lenses currently offering an apodisation effect. Available later in March with an MSRP of £649.99, in the following mounts: Nikon, Canon, Sony A, Sony E and Pentax.

See us at The Photography Show, NEC 19th to 22nd March Stand B91. For more details visit www.laowalens.co.uk

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Laowa STF 105mm f/2 (T/3.2) lens coming soon

Laowa STF 105mm F/2

Thanks to Canon Watch reader mistral75 for sharing this.

After the Laowa 60mm f/2.8 Macro 2:1 and the Laowa 15mm f/4 Shift Macro 1:1 lenses, the Chinese company Anhui Changgeng Optical Technology Company Limited, better known as Venus Optics (see http://www.venuslens.net/about), will announce shortly a new 24×36 lens: the Laowa STF 105mm f/2 (T/3.2).

It is a portrait lens with an apodization filter that gives a more progressive and velvety bokeh than an ordinary lens (STF stands for Smooth Trans Focus). This is the same principle as for the Minolta AF / Sony 135mm f/2.8 [T/4.5] STF and close to that of the Fujinon XF 56mm f/1.2 R APD.

The Laowa has the advantage over the Sony of being one EV brighter. Hereafter its main features:

– 11 elements, including the apodization filter, 1 element made of glass with high refractive index and 3 elements made of low dispersion glass, in 8 groups
– Manual focus (the apodization filter is hostile for phase-detection autofocus)
– Minimum focusing distance: 90cm
– Maximum magnification: 0.16x
– Filter diameter: 67mm
– Dimensions: 76 mm (maximum diameter) x 98.9 mm (length) (depending on lens mount)
– Weight: 745 g (depending on lens mount)
– Available mounts: Canon EF, Nikon F, Pentax K, Sony A and Sony E
– Available in black and silver
– Launch date: January 18, 2016
– Price in China: the equivalent of €500-550 (probably more in Western countries)

 

You can find more details and many pictures taken with the lens on two threads from the Chinese forum Xitek, here and here

A set of full resolution JPG pictures shot with a Canon EOS 5D Mark III can be dowloaded here (password: 9351). You will also find a number of images (pictures of the lens, optical formula, MTF curves and a dozen of sample images as full-resolution jpeg files) in this dedicated Flickr album.

Venus Optics announces the Laowa 15mm f/4 Wide-Angle 1:1 Macro lens, world’s widest 1:1 macro lens

laowa

Venus Optics announced the world’s widest 1:1 macro lens, the Laowa 15mm f/4 Wide-Angle 1:1 Macro. The Laowa 15mm f/4 wide-angle macro lens is currently available at authorized resellers and at the English official website (http://www.venuslens.net). The recommended retail price is at USD 479. Free shipping will be provided during the promotion period. Pre-order starts from today and shipping will start from late July. Sample photos are here.

Specs:

  • 110 degrees of view angle
  • 1:1 macro ability with infinity focus
  • +/- 6mm Shift ability
  •  12 elements in 9 groups with 3 pieces of High Refractive elements and 1 piece of Extra-low dispension lens
  • Multi-layer low-reflective coatings to avoid unnecessary flare
  • Carefully control on the sharpness both in the centre and the edge.
  • Limited barrel distortion
  • 14 pieces of aperture blades form a close-to-circular aperture
  • Flat Front element surface for filter installation.
  • The enclosure of the lens is made of metal to strengthen its durability.
  • Canon EF, Nikon F, Sony Alpha A, Sony FE & Pentax K mounts are available.
  • Full Frame Sensor Supported

The first 1:1 Macro lens with a 110° angle of view. It offers an impactful and unprecendented macro photography experience.

Anhui China, Jun 12, 2015 – Venus Optics, the Chinese camera lenses manufacturer who had launched the world’s first 2:1 Macro Lens in last Sept, has just released the world’s widest Macro lens for full frame cameras, Laowa 15mm f/4 Wide-Angled 1:1 Macro Lens.

The new Laowa 15mm f/4 1:1 Macro lens is the first lens in the market which posseses a ultra wide angle of view and 1:1 Macro ability. This allows photographers from around the world to start experiencing the rather undeveloped field of ‘Wide Angle Macro Photography’ without using an extension tube. Macro Lenses currently in the market tends to have a mid to long focal length and it limits users to take very close-up shots on the insect or flowers, without showing much of the background details like its habitat or environment.

The new Laowa 15mm f/4 1:1 Macro lens features an ultra wide angle of view of 110 degrees with 1:1 maximum magnification. Photographers can focus very close to the subject and let the foreground dominates in the photo but at the same time, have the background telling viewers about where and how the subject lives. You picture will immdiately become very informative and intriguing.

The lens can also serve as an excellent ultra-wide angle lenses with infinity focus for cameras with full frame sensors. A shift mechanism is added at the rear end of the lens with a maximum adjustment of +/- 6mm, which is extremely useful for landscape/architecture photography for distortion correction.

The lens houses with 12 elements in 9 groups with 3 pieces of High Refractive elements and 1 piece of Extra-low dispersion elements to deliver crystal sharpness both in the center and the edge. Barrel Distortion was also carefully controlled. 14 pieces of aperture blades form a close-to-circular aperture, capable of creating creamy shallow depth of view. The enclosure of the lens is made of metal to strengthen its durability. Canon EF, Nikon F, Sony Alpha, Sony FE and Pentax K mounts are available.

Sample photos and videos can be found in our English website (http://www.venuslens.net)

Pricing and Availability
The Laowa 15mm f/4 wide-angle macro lens is currently available at authorized resellers and at the English official website (http://www.venuslens.net). The recommended retail price is at USD 479. Free shipping will be provided during the promotion period. Pre-order starts from today and shipping will start from late July.

laowa

Laowa 15mm