Venus Optics has officially launched its latest lens: the Laowa Argus 33mm f/0.95 CF APO prime lens for Sony, Fujifilm, Canon, and Nikon mirrorless APS-C cameras.
The company says that the “Argus” name is derived from the name of a Greek mythological guardian with a hundred eyes and “all-seeing” vision. The Argus series of lenses will supposedly embody this idea of incredible vision with bright aperture and “exceptional” image equality and the 33mm f/0.95 is the first optic in this new line.
The new lens is relatively small and lightweight at just 3.26-inches long and weighs just 1.3 pounds.
The Argus 33mm f/0.95 features a 62mm front filter thread, a 300-degree long focus throw, and is made up of 14 elements in nine groups and incorporates one extra-low dispersion element, one aspherical element, and three high refraction glass elements to suppress both lateral and longitudinal chromatic aberration, hence its apochromatic moniker (APO).
Venus Optics says that this suppression is so effective that the Argus has the best performance in this at all apertures in its class, and delivers “exceptional image sharpness across the frame.”
Venus Optics says that the f/0.95 maximum aperture provides an extremely shallow depth of field that offers great versatility for subject isolation and very good low light performance. The diaphragm is nine-bladed which produces a smooth, round bokeh with no hard edges. The lens also features a stepless aperture ring for use in videography. Speaking of videography, Venus Optics says that the company attempted to compress the focus breathing of the new lens to the most minimal level in its class.
The Laowa Argus 33mm f/0.95 also has a very close 1.15-foot close focusing distance, which the company says will allow photographers to create “buttery smooth bokeh with breathtaking close-up details.”
Below are a set of samples images taken with the lens:
While it is only manual focus, the lens does feature fully internal focusing elements which keeps the lens the same length across the focus range. While this is helpful to keep dust out of the internal mechanisms, Venus Optics also says that it is useful for videography applications where add-on accessories such as a matte box are often used.