Venus Optics has announced a new member for their Argus lens lineup – the Laowa Argus 45mm f/0.95 FF, available for Sony E, Nikon Z and Canon RF Mount.
Just before the end of the year, Venus Optics – the company behind the Laowa brand – released their new Argus 45mm f/0.95 FF. It’s a fully manual lens covering full frame on Sony E, Nikon Z, and Canon RF Mount cameras.
Compared to Laowa’s usual focus on wide-angle and macro lenses, their Argus lenses have “normal” focal lengths, but feature very fast apertures – currently, all three available Argus lenses feature an aperture of f/0.95.
If you’re an attentive CineD reader, you might remember we’ve already written about this lens in February. This was a development announcement by Venus Optics, and while the Argus 35mm f/0.95 FF (Check our lens review here) and Argus 33mm f/0.95 CF APO (APS-C) already came out, the 45mm is becoming available now.
Side note: another Argus lens that was already announced is the Argus 25mm f/0.95 for MFT cameras, which will presumably come out in 2022.
Argus 45mm f/0.95 FF Sample Footage
Venus Optics has uploaded a video containing sample footage shot with the new lens:
Judging from the footage, the lens seems to be quite sharp wide open (at least in the center). At aperture values like f/0.95 or even f/1.2 (especially on full-frame), a lot of lens projections lose sharpness, contrast, and overall quality. This doesn’t seem to be the case with this lens, color fringing and distortions are minimal.
The lens has 15 “smooth” aperture blades, but let’s be honest, if you buy an f/0.95 lens, you will use it wide open as often as possible. I find the bokeh very pleasing, while Venus Optics calls it “dreamy and romantic”.
Aperture ring de-click switch
Just like with the Argus 35mm, the new 45mm f/0.95 has an aperture ring click switch to switch between a clicked or de-clicked aperture, which many filmmakers prefer in order to reduce noise and obvious exposure steps while recording.
The lens is focussing internally, so filters and matte boxes attached in front of the lens won’t move or put stress on the focus mechanism.
Focus breathing is minimal with this lens. The 300° of focus throw also makes it very convenient for precise focus pulling.
Pricing and Availability
The lens is currently available at authorized resellers and Venus Optics’ official website. The MSRP is US$799 for either the Sony E, Nikon Z, or Canon RF variant.
You can find more info and sample images on the Venus Optics site.
Do you often use extremely fast apertures like f/0.95 or do you favor stepped-down images? Let us know in the comments below.