The Laowa Argus 25mm f/0.95 MFT APO fully manual prime lens features a full-metal body with 62mm front filter thread, internal focusing system, APO optical structure, and 300° long focus throw. The lens is now available for Micro Four Thirds cameras at $399.
An ultra-fast prime lens is a useful tool, especially for sub-full-frame sensors as it can help in getting a shallower depth of field on these smaller sensors. The Chinese lens manufacturer Venus Optics announced a series of ultra-fast Laowa Argus manual prime lenses over a year ago. One lens of the series was the Laowa Argus 25mm f/0.95 for Micro Four Thirds sensors. Now, the lens has become available and we know more about it. Let’s dive into the features and specs.
Laowa Argus 25mm f/0.95 MFT APO lens: overview
As Panasonic showed us with the recent LUMIX GH6 announcement, Micro Four Thirds is a long way from being dead. Many people might not agree with me, but I think MFT is still suitable for certain scenarios and it is good that we keep getting capable tools to work with in this market segment.
The new Laowa Argus 25mm f/0.95 MFT APO lens from Venus Optics is not the first ultra-fast 25mm lens for Micro Four Thirds. The “legendary” Voigtlander Nokton 25mm f/0.95 has been around for ages and other companies such as Mitakon or 7artisans have their own 25mm f/0.95 contenders. How does Laowa fit in this game?
Optical design and video-centric features
Optically, the Argus 25mm lens sports an APO design and it consists of 14 elements in 8 groups with 1 aspherical lens, 1 ED (extra-low dispersion) glass, and 3 UHR (ultra-high refraction) elements. Thanks to this optical structure, Venus Optics claims that the lens is able to produce sharp images even when wide open and it minimizes chromatic aberration across the frame.
The lens has a 9-blade aperture that ranges from f/0.95 to f/11. The minimum focusing distance is 25cm (9.8″). To make this fully manual lens more suitable for video use, Venus Optics equipped it with the following features:
- Internal focusing system – This ensures that the front element is not spinning and it is not moving back and forth when focusing. It also prevents dust from falling into the lens.
- Low focus breathing – Thanks to the internal focusing system, the lens shows less focus breathing. That is useful as the lens will “zoom in or out” less when changing focus.
- 300° long focus throw – Longer focus throw is useful for getting more accurate manual focus with or without a follow focus system.
Build quality, size, and weight
The body of the lens is fully made out of metal and it has a 62mm front filter thread. The aperture and focus rings have deep grooves for better handling. The dimensions of the lens are 71 x 86mm (2.8 x 3.4”) and the weight is 570g (1.25lbs).
Price and availability
The Laowa Argus 25mm f/0.95 MFT APO lens is now available for purchase on CVP. Its official retail price is set to $399 (around €395 plus VAT in Europe).
Do you currently use a Micro Four Thirds camera for your work? Do you have any ultra-fast lens for it already? What do you think about the new Laowa 25mm f/0.95 lens? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section underneath the article.