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Venus Optics ‘Laowa’ 105mm f/2 (T/3.2) STF Lens Review


Photographer Christopher Frost recently published a review of the new ‘Laowa’ 105mm f/2 (T/3.2) lens by the innovative Chinese manufacturer Venus Optics.

Venus Optics knows how to produce high quality optics – we have seen that in the past and this review seems to be a testament for this yet again. This time we are looking at another interesting lens from the company which brings to the relatively “normal 105mm f/2 lens an apodization (APD) element which is designed to improve the look of the out of focus areas.

This is not the first lens to have this – a small number of lenses included this in the past and more recently we tested the Fujifilm XF56mm F1.2 R APD lens which was the first AF lens to have such a filter (although the lens is great otherwise – the AF – especially in low light leaves a lot to be desired). In this case there is only manual focus (and a very good one at that) so these issues are not relevant.

What is relevant is the image quality and according to Frost it is spectacular – across the frame almost from the widest aperture – very impressive.

Here are the main specs for the Laowa’ 105mm f/2 (T/3.2) lens:

  • Focal length: 105mm (full frame coverage with apodization (APD) element).
  • Aperture: max f/2 (min f/22).
  • Construction: 11 elements in 8 groups.
  • min shooting distance: 90 cm.
  • Max magnification 1:6.25.
  • Manual focus only.
  • Filter size: 67mm.
  • Weight 745 grams.
  • Aperture blades: 14 (!).
  • Mounts: Canon/Nikon/Sony FE & A/Pentax/MFT/Fuji X.
  • Price: $700 (online).

This isn’t the first time that we bring you a review of a lens made by Venus Optics actually Frost himself reviewed their interesting 60mm super macro lens and there is one more review of that lens we have published – both very positive so Venus Optics are apparently doing something right.

You can find many more previews and reviews on our Photography review section here on LensVid and you can find more of Frost’s videos here on LensVid.

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