There’s a fast new lens in the Laowa Micro Four Thirds lineup. Venus Optics has today announced their new Laowa Argus 25mm f/0.95 MFT APO lens. Offering a similar field of view and relative depth of field to a 50mm f/1.8 on full-frame, but with two stops of extra light gathering ability, Laowa says the lens creates a nice soft bokeh and lets you shoot in very low lighting conditions with lower ISO values.
It contains 14 elements in 8 groups with one aspherical element, 1 extra-low dispersion (ED) element and three UHR glass elements, which Laowa says provides sharp crystal clear images at maximum aperture in both bright and dark conditions. It’s also a bit of a weighty lens, with a durable full-metal construction.
While it’s obviously a lens geared towards photography, the internal focusing of the Laowa Argus 25mm f/0.95 MFT APO means that it should work well for video, too. Staying the same length throughout the focus range allows it to more easily keep its balance on a gimbal no matter the focus distance setting – which can sometimes be a pain with lenses that change length and shift weight as they focus, especially on a smaller lightweight gimbal.
Laowa also says that the internal focusing design minimises focus breathing, allowing you to maintain as similar a field of view as possible throughout the range. There are a couple of examples of shifting focus in the video above, and it does look quite impressive. You also get a rather massive 300° focus throw, too, which is wonderful for video, although perhaps a little frustrating for photographers that might need to react quickly to refocus a rapidly evolving scene in front of them.
Although it’s a manual focus lens, it does have electronic communication with the body, so your EXIF data knows what lens was being used and its aperture setting. It’s quite hefty, weighing in at around 570g but its full-metal construction means that it’s going to be pretty durable for everyday outdoor use for things like street or travel photography. It takes 62mm filters and both the aperture and focus rings have deep grooves for easy handling and adjustment.
|Format||Micro Four Thirds|
|Angle of view||46.7°|
|Optics||14 elements in 8 groups|
|Aperture blades||9, rounded|
|Min focus distance||25cm|
|Dimensions||71 x 86mm|
|Mounts||Micro Four Thirds|
Here are a few sample images showing what the lens can do from photographers Felix Koschel, Robert Beasley and Udom Sathanurukkul.