Third Party Lenses

Venus Optics announces the Laowa Argus 35mm f/0.95 for full-frame cameras, including the RF mount

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Anhui China, Sept 10, 2021 – Venus Optics, the manufacturer specialized in making unique camera lenses, is proud to introduce Laowa Argus 35mm f/0.95 FF, the world’s fastest 35mm lens and widest f/0.95 lens ever designed for full-frame cameras. It is a breakthrough in the camera lens industry, and it inherits Venus Optics’ objective to offer innovative and groundbreaking products. It provides a wide 63.4° angle of view together with superb shallow depth of field for both photography and videography.

 Laowa Argus 35mm f/0.95 FF Key Features:

  • Wide perspective with an ultra-shallow depth of field
  • Ultra-fast f/0.95 aperture for low-light shooting
  • Superb sharpness at f/0.95
  • Aperture Ring Click Switch
  • Internal Focus Design
  • Low Focus Breathing with extended Focus Throw
  • Exquisite Bokeh

Widest f/0.95 lens & Fastest 35mm lens for Full-Frame Format

Laowa Argus 35mm f/0.95 FF is the FIRST full-frame 35mm with f/0.95 ultra-fast aperture. Makes it the fastest 35mm and widest f/0.95 lens in the market. The optical performance is maximized by incorporating 1 ED glass element, 1 aspherical lens element, and 4 high-refractive-index glass materials. The extraordinary shallow depth of field and dreamy bokeh created by f/0.95 is the trump card for portraits. In the meanwhile, its unbeatable performance in low light conditions for obtaining sharp and outstanding images makes it a must-have tool for every photographer and videographer. The wide FoV allows more backgrounds being recorded into the image and thanks to the f/0.95 aperture, a shallow depth of field can still be achieved.

Aperture Ring Click Switch

The aperture ring click switch mechanism offers options for the photographer and videographer to choose either clicked or de-clicked aperture ring. No uneven exposure change when changing the aperture during shooting.

Internal Focusing

Laowa Argus 35mm f/0.95 FF inherits internal focusing characteristics from Argus 33mm f/0.95 CF APO. It maximizes the optical performance in both infinity focus and minimum focusing distance by enhancing stability. Also, it prevents dust or ashes from falling into the lens. This feature is extremely welcomed by videographers as accessories like matte boxes will not move while pulling focus. The absolute advantage for both photography and videography.

Low Focus Breathing with Long Focus Throw

The low focus breathing and long focus throw are perfect for narrative filming and selective focus control. It eliminates the distraction of the changes in the angle of view when moving the focus from one object to another. The accurate focusing obtained by the 300° focus thread makes it become the ideal lens for videography.

Exquisite Bokeh

The 15-aperture blade produces silky smooth, round bokeh without hard edges. A dreamy Bokeh adds character to the images which is perfect for visually appealing images.

Technology breakthrough

f/0.95 and wide-angle lenses with good optical performance are known to be heavy and bulky, making it inoperable in certain conditions. Dayong Li (Chief optics designer of Venus Optics) has managed to strike a balance between the ease of customer operation and optical performance. They push the optics design to another level by crafting a lens that can cover mainstream full-frame sensors, have a good optical performance, offer a wide perspective and extremely shallow depth of field.

Pricing & Availability

Laowa Argus 35mm f/0.95 FF is currently available to purchase via Venus Optics official website (http://www.venuslens.net/) and authorized resellers. The US price for Laowa Argus 35mm f/0.95 FF is $899.  Pricing varies in different countries. The First 100 purchases on the web-store will get a free focus gear belt.

aceflibble

EOS RP
May 8, 2015
350
177
The Zy 50mm f/0.95 is good fun on RF despite its general low quality, and I've long wanted a faster-than-f/1.4 35mm equivalent on any platform, after seeing some (photo) portraits of Augustus John taken on half plate, which worked out to be the equivalent of 32mm f/1.1. I don't usually like 35mm, but in this case, I'm game. Knowing Laowa's other ultra-fast lenses as well as the Zhongyi ones, I will not be expecting (or even wanting) high technical optic quality, but as long as it feels good in the hand, the focus ring isn't wonky (a problem Laowa have repeatedly had in the past) and it can get me that 1930s large format rendering, I'll be happy. £900 is a little bit on the high side for such a thing, but if they can drop it anywhere under the £800 mark, I'll grab one.

It will be interesting to see how the 35/0.95 performs for astro... if it can perform really well at f/1.4 or a bit wider, that would be an eye-opener!
Unless you build a lens the size of the NIkon 58mm f/0.95, it's not going to be anywhere near sharp or corrected-enough for astrophotography. You can't get good quality out of f/0.95 at the sort of size this lens (and the ZY Mitakon 50mm f/0.95) are built at. There's a reason things like the Nikon are so large, why the RF f/1.2 lenses bigger than the EF ones, etc.
 

kirbic

I'm New Here
CR Pro
Jun 20, 2016
12
14
The Zy 50mm f/0.95 is good fun on RF despite its general low quality, and I've long wanted a faster-than-f/1.4 35mm equivalent on any platform, after seeing some (photo) portraits of Augustus John taken on half plate, which worked out to be the equivalent of 32mm f/1.1. I don't usually like 35mm, but in this case, I'm game. Knowing Laowa's other ultra-fast lenses as well as the Zhongyi ones, I will not be expecting (or even wanting) high technical optic quality, but as long as it feels good in the hand, the focus ring isn't wonky (a problem Laowa have repeatedly had in the past) and it can get me that 1930s large format rendering, I'll be happy. £900 is a little bit on the high side for such a thing, but if they can drop it anywhere under the £800 mark, I'll grab one.


Unless you build a lens the size of the NIkon 58mm f/0.95, it's not going to be anywhere near sharp or corrected-enough for astrophotography. You can't get good quality out of f/0.95 at the sort of size this lens (and the ZY Mitakon 50mm f/0.95) are built at. There's a reason things like the Nikon are so large, why the RF f/1.2 lenses bigger than the EF ones, etc.

That is why I said it would be an eye-opener... ;-)
 
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jvillain

EOS RP
Sep 29, 2018
276
220
I love Venus for the crazy things they do.

I had a look at the video and while this thing is a bokeh machine I am not sure how I feel about the quality of the bokeh. I think I am going to have to see some thing shot by some one else before I make up my mind..

With Venus you don't really expect AF but this is a lens where it would really help.
 

Jethro

EOS R
CR Pro
Jul 14, 2018
541
449
Another really interesting lens from Venus (who I have good experience with). I'll be interested to see some detailed reviews - it's not a length I'm really in 'need' of, but the siren call of bokeh is loud ...
 

jvillain

EOS RP
Sep 29, 2018
276
220
That DP review was really useful. It explains why every thing seems so washed out in the Laowa video. Not sure why they didn't use focus assist on the R5.
 

aceflibble

EOS RP
May 8, 2015
350
177
Not sure why they didn't use focus assist on the R5.

The focus assists don't work when you're zooming in, and zooming in 15x with no assist is generally more accurate than using an assist zoomed out.
Also, some of the assists don't work well with these sorts of lenses, or at all; the focus guide requires information from an autofocus motor (it's actually just telling you want the autofocus would consider in or out of focus), and focus peaking is just mapping out points of high contrast, which are basically nonexistent with any f/0.95 lens unless you dial in extra contrast and sharpening in the picture style (which then means you're focusing based on post processing rather than actual information, and guys like DPR don't use those picture styles anyway as for video they want a neutral preview).
 
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entoman

wildlife photography
May 8, 2015
251
228
UK
the focus guide requires information from an autofocus motor
Oh really?

.... then perhaps you could explain why the focus guide on my R5 is fully functional when used with my EF 24mm T/S-E, which is a manual focus lens, and does not have a focus motor...

EDIT: My mistake - although the EF 24mm T/S-E is a manual focus lens, it does in fact have a "fly by wire" focus motor, so you may be right...
 
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GMCPhotographics

EOS 5D Mark IV
CR Pro
Aug 22, 2010
1,697
419
50
Uk
www.GMCPhotographics.co.uk
Its a sad day where Canon's extensive R&D budget didn't produce this lens. Sure we got the rf 28-70 f2 lens. But fast prime wise, it's like Canon has given up innovating and is just producing the products, only a bit sharper. When Canon introduced a new ef fast prime it was revolutionary at the time. No one else had a 50mm f1.0. A 24mm and 35mm f1.4. Certainly no one had an 85mm f1.2 or a 135mm f2. Fast forwards and now even Sigma has most of these and are very competitive lenses. We all remember or know of the car crash of the ef 50mm f1.2 L lens and what a colossal disappointment that lens was.
Nasa had a range of f0.7 prime lenses for Kubric's legendary candle scene in "Barry Lyndon". So one has to ask...where is Canon's development and innovation gone? Advanced state of the art fast primes were Canon's flagship products...now days...little has been innovated in their fast primes product catalogue for 20 years and all of the competition has caught up.
Where is the 135mm f1.8? Where is the 50mm f1.0? Where is the 35mm f1.0? Where is the 16mm f1.4, 21mm f1.2 or the 24mm f1.2? Even the mighty 200mm f1.8 L dropped a 1/3rd stop to f2.
 

entoman

wildlife photography
May 8, 2015
251
228
UK
Well, not something that has ever helped a dummy like me. I always found that to be tough at wide aperture and close up.
I agree - none of the focus aids are perfect, but each can be useful in specific situations - e.g. I find focus peaking is very useful for checking sharpness across the field when using a tilt-shift lens, but for most other situations (with fly-by-wire focus lenses) I find the Canon RF focus-aid is the fastest way to find focus manually. Magnification is excellent for tripod work, when you have time to scan across the image to check that it's razor sharp from corner to corner.

For wide aperture close-ups with non-electronic wide-angles such as the Laowa, possibly the best option would be to use focus-peaking or magnification, and to rock the camera back and forth until the subject is sharp in the viewfinder. This is generally much faster and more accurate than focusing back and forth with the focus ring. It's a technique that works extremely well for macro photography too.