Third party glass manufacturers seem to be more prominent now than ever. And looking to get a piece of the pie is Venus Optics, a Chinese lens manufacturer who has recently announced the Laowa STF 105mm f/2.
Designed for full-frame camera, the portrait lens features 11 elements in 8 groups, including 3 low-dispersion elements to reduce chromatic aberrations and ghosting. Also included inside is an apodization filter, said to give far smoother bokeh in images than traditional lenses.
The downside of the unique filter is that it almost entirely eliminates the possibility for autofocus, since it and phase detection don’t work so well together. Thus, this lens is purely manual focus, although it does feature what Venus Optics calls ‘Smooth Trans Focus’ for easy transitions.
The lens drops January 18th, 2016 in Canon EF, Nikon F, Pentax K, Sony A and Sony E mounts and is available in both black and silver.
Pricing isn’t clear for western companies, but from what Venus Optics has relayed, it’ll likely be between $550–750.
You can head on over to this Flickr album to check out some test shots taken with the lens on a Canon 5D Mark III.