We Review the Laowa Argus 25mm f/0.95 CF APO Lens for Fuji X Mount

Laowa now has a complete of six lenses with an aperture of f/0.95, so how helpful is it to have this aperture, and what are the outcomes? As a panorama photographer primarily, this most aperture is one thing I had by no means actually thought of, though I do perceive the usefulness of such an aperture for several types of pictures, particularly in low gentle and video. So, how does the lens carry out all through the apertures, and does it have the power to supply outcomes which can be consistent with or higher than comparable lenses on this worth vary? I examined it to seek out out. 

Construct and Dealing with

The Laowa CF 25mm f/0.95 APO has a full metallic building, and the lens does feel and look fantastically made. The oblong lens hood can be metallic, with a plastic slide-on lens cap, which slides and locks into place with an audible click on when seated on the lens. It has a filter thread of 62mm. There isn’t a picture stabilization on the lens, so you’re relying in your digicam’s IBIS if utilizing it handheld.

Weighing in at 575 g, the lens is hefty, however contemplating the utmost aperture, it’s nonetheless remarkably compact, with a size and diameter of 81 mm and 71 mm, respectively. With an aperture vary of f/0.95 to f/11, the lens presents itself with an entire host of photographic topic alternatives, from dreamy shallow depth-of-field pictures to wider vistas, which surprisingly, it carried out very well at.

This APS-C lens is on the market for Fuji X, Canon RF, Nikon Z, and Sony E. For the needs of this evaluate, I examined the lens on the Fujimovie X-T5, which supplies an equal focal vary of round 35mm on a full body sensor. The f-stops are clearly etched into the lens, and there’s a change that means that you can flip the aperture ring easily or allows a click on on the aperture stops. This isn’t an audible click on, merely haptic. Each the aperture and focusing rings flip easily, with the focusing ring noticeably having sturdy damping however clean friction when turning. I discovered this actually helpful, as you’ve gotten extra management when doing superb changes.

This apochromatic lens (APO) helps right chromatic and spherical aberrations, which is the fringing you typically get. This fringing is because of lenses solely focusing some colours on the similar level, which is corrected right here.

Efficiency

This lens is extraordinarily sharp, however for excessive sharpness, I might cease it right down to between f/4 and f/11, the place it actually shines. At f/0.95, it’s sharp however with a slight dreamy-like softness, which I believe can be nice for portraits and close-up nature pictures. Video at this aperture would even be very attention-grabbing and supply some distinctive outcomes. As soon as you start to cease down, the standard of the glass and the sharpness it produces actually begin to present. I discovered myself fairly shocked on the general sharpness of the picture, even on the edges.

The pictures above and beneath and have been photographed at a distance of 35 cm from the topic, which is the minimal focusing distance. With a mixture of the dampened focus ring and the main target peaking activated, it was a pleasure to make use of this lens. At each flip, you might see the peaking slowly transfer by means of the topic as a result of heavy glide of the main target ring. Sure, you might say that’s what it’s speculated to do, however with this lens, you actually discover the management given by the friction, which is a good factor for precision.

The sharpness and element this lens achieves at f/11 are extremely good, as you possibly can see within the picture beneath.

The lens does undergo from numerous vignetting till you attain f/4, then it’s barely noticeable. Nonetheless, this did not trouble me for the pictures I had taken at f/0.95, because it helps draw you into the picture. In a few of the photos beneath photographed at f/0.95, it is possible for you to to see the extent of the vignetting. 

I carried the lens round hooked up to the digicam for a few weeks, and it’s heavy, however I acquired used to it in a short time. When exterior with the lens, I deliberately determined to not take a tripod with me in order that I might see how rapidly I might react with the guide focus ought to the necessity come up. I did miss a few pictures due to this. That, after all, is merely right down to observe. When taking my time, the main target was spot on and the ensuing photos sharp.

The pictures beneath have been all captured at varied apertures starting from f/0.95 to f/11, with a minimal shutter velocity on a few of them at 1/30 second, and due to the IBIS of the digicam, they nonetheless remained sharp.

What I Preferred

  • Extraordinarily sharp 
  • Good dimension contemplating the utmost aperture
  • Capability to allow or disable the press of the aperture ring
  • The construct high quality
  • The damped focusing ring

What I Did not Like

  • No EXIF information
  • The load: not too heavy a lens, however you’re conscious it is on the digicam
  • No autofocus: admittedly, I am not a fan of guide lenses for on a regular basis taking pictures as I like the power to focus rapidly if wanted
  • No weather-sealing

Conclusion

I did actually take pleasure in utilizing the Laowa CF 25mm f/0.95 APO. The sharpness of the pictures and the construct high quality of the lens are nice, however after my time with it, I used to be left with a few ideas. If it was capable of autofocus, I believe it will excel by way of on a regular basis usability. With out the autofocus, is it one thing that I personally would use for my pictures? I am unsure. Conversely, when taking pictures landscapes, I as a rule shoot totally manually, so with the sharp photos achieved with the lens, it may very well be value it. 

There are different lenses on the market with the same focal size, maybe not this most aperture, and round the same worth vary which have autofocus, and I might are likely to lean towards them. That’s merely due to my very own choice for autofocus in a lens. If this isn’t an element for you on the subject of lenses, then it is positively value contemplating, not solely due to the utmost f/0.95 aperture however due to the sharpness when stopped down.