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Loads of Bokeh for APS-C Photographers: The 7artisans 25mm f/0.95 Lens

Loads of Bokeh for APS-C Photographers: The 7artisans 25mm f/0.95 Lens

Chinese lens manufacturer 7artisans has just released a very fast, manual focus prime lens for a wide range of crop-sensor format cameras.

The 7artisans 25mm f/0.95 is available for Sony E, Fujifilm, Canon EOS-M, Micro Four Thirds, Nikon Z, L-mount, and Canon EOS R and is on sale for $369. You’d be forgiven for being confused, however, as the 7artisans website lists “Fuji FX” as one of the available mounts, and Canon’s R-mount cameras are all full frame (for now, at least).

25mm works out as a full frame equivalent of around 37-40mm, with crop factors varying slightly between manufacturers. 11 elements sit in 9 groups, 3 of which are HOYA ultra-low dispersion elements to control chromatic aberrations. The lens features 13 aperture blades and has a minimum focusing distance of 9.8 in (25 cm). The maximum aperture of f/0.95 will offer users a very shallow depth of field. The lens barrel is an all-metal construction and features engraved depth of field and focusing scales.

Loads of Bokeh for APS-C Photographers: The 7artisans 25mm f/0.95 Lens 1

7artisans has been making affordable fast primes for various mounts for more than five years now, creating relatively niche products and making fast apertures available thanks to simple designs and a lack of electronics.

Will you be placing an order? Let us know in the comments below.

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A 50mm f/0.95 Full Frame Lens for Under $400?

A 50mm f/0.95 Full Frame Lens for Under $400?

As secondary lens manufacturers keep cropping up, they appear to be racing each other to who can make the most impressive lens with the lowest price tag. This is a race I can get on board with.

The swell of manufacturers of cheap, manual focus lenses has been staggering in the last decade. It feels as though every week I see a new, interesting lens from a company I have never heard of in Asia. If autofocus is non-negotiable for you, the news pieces about these various lenses will be disappointing every time you click one, but if manual focus isn’t a barrier for you — like it isn’t me — then the lenses are welcome.

I will freely admit, I had never heard of Brightin Star before this video by Arthur R. After a little research, it appears they make lenses that the word “budget” doesn’t quite cover. For example, they have a 35mm f/1.7 for APS-C cameras for $56. I can’t imagine how the profit margins are possibly workable on that!

Well, the 50mm f/0.95 is by far their quickest lens and also their most expensive, which I take some solace in. However, $400 for a brand new f/0/.95 prime is not a lot even if it is manual focus only. The example images in the video are pleasant, and with some retouching to play to the strengths of the lens, I have no doubt you could get some great shots. However, I know from experience that using lenses this fast means shooting wide-open is one strong breeze away from missing focus. There are also a lot of artefacts in the images which would be irritating to deal with, but it’s still a lot of lens for the meagre price.

What do you make of this lens?

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Laowa Argus 35mm F/0.95 FF Has Arrived

Laowa Argus 35mm F/0.95 FF Has Arrived

Laowa has introduced its first full-frame 35mm lens with an ultra-fast f/0.95 aperture that creates beautiful bokeh.

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Interchangeable Lenses

Laowa Argus 35mm f/0.95 FF

Venus Optics has launched the Laowa Argus 35mm f/0.95 FF for full-frame cameras which captures images with extraordinary shallow depth of field and creamy bokeh.

As well as picture-perfect bokeh, the Argus 35mm f/0.95 FF offers excellent low light performance, a 63.4-degree angle of view and it comes equipped with an aperture ring click switch, internal focusing and low focus breathing with long focus throw. 

Argus 35mm f/0.95 FF Specs:

  • Format – Full Frame
  • Focal Distance – 35mm
  • Aperture Range – f/0.95-16
  • Angle of View – 63.4°
  • Lens Structure – 14 elements/ 9 groups
  • Aperture Blades – 15
  • Min. Shooting Distance – 50cm
  • Max. Magnification – 0.1X
  • Focusing – MF
  • Filter Thread – 72mm
  • Dimensions – 76.8mmx103mm
  • Weight – 755g
  • Mounts – Sony E / Nikon Z / Canon R

 

The Laowa Argus 35mm f/0.95 FF is available now priced at $899. 

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World’s First Laowa Argus 35mm F0.95 FF Lens Announced

World's First Laowa Argus 35mm F0.95 FF Lens Announced

Laowa (from Venus Optics) has announced the Laowa Argus 35mm F0.95 FF lens, the world’s first full-frame 35mm lens with f/0.95 aperture.

Laowa are known for making unique lenses, such as the Laowa 15mm f4.5 Zero-D Shift lens, and the close-up 65mm F2.8 2x ultra macro lens, to name a few.

The new 35mm F0.95 lens features internal (manual) focus, and the option to use the aperture ring with clicks or de-clicked, with the apeture stopping down to f/16.

Laowa 35mm f0.95 FF Lens

The lens is made up of 14 elements in 9 groups, with 1 aspherical lens, 1 ED glass, and 4 UHR elements. Wth 15 aperture blades, the lens is designed to produce round and smooth bokeh, that is said to be “dreamy”.

There is a minimum shooting distance of 50cm, and the maximum magnification is 0.1x. The front of the lens has a 72mm filter thread, the lens measures 103mm x 76.8mm (diameter), and weighs 755g without hood or caps.

Laowa 35mm f0.95 FF Lens Rear

Designed specifically for full-frame mirrorless cameras, the lens is available to order in E-Mount, Z-Mount, and RF-Mount, with a price of $899.00.

Laowa’s most recent lens before the 35mm F0.95 is the Laowa Argus 33mm F0.95 CF APO lens for APS-C mirrorless cameras.

From LAOWA: Laowa Argus 35mm f/0.95 FF is 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.

Laowa 35mm F0.95 on Nikon

The extraordinary shallow depth of field and dreamy bokeh created by f/0.95 is perfect 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 to be recorded into the image and thanks to the f/0.95 aperture, a shallow depth of field can still be achieved.

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7Artisans Launches a 50mm f/0.95 Lens for Multiple APS-C Mounts

7Artisans Launches a 50mm f/0.95 Lens for Multiple APS-C Mounts

7Artisans Launches a 50mm f/0.95 Lens for Multiple APS-C Mounts 2

Chinese camera lens manufacturer 7Artisans has announced the affordable $236 APS-C 50mm f/0.95 lens for Sony E, Nikon Z, Fujifilm X, EOS-M, and Micro Four Thirds (MFT) mounts.

The new 50mm lens joins what appears to be a consistently growing lineup of interesting and affordable manual lenses for mirrorless systems giving photographers and videographers even more choices for creative tools to add to their arsenals.

7Artisan’s new 50mm lens will feature a “de-clicking” aperture with a range of f/0.95 to f/16. The design should make it useful especially for videographers. According to the technical specifications, the lens has a minimum focusing distance of 0.45 meters (17.7 inches), has a 31.8-degree field of view, a 62mm filter thread, and a 13-bladed aperture diaphragm. The lens is constructed of seven elements in five groups, and 7Artisans says that it features two HOYA ultra-low dispersion glass elements. The company says the lens body is made entirely of metal (including the lens cap) and weighs 416 grams. Additionally, 7Artisans claims that when attached to a mirrorless system, the lens and body are very equally balanced — a challenging task given the sheer number of mount options that the lens is available for.

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It is worth noting that the new manual-focus lens, like most of the 7Artisans line, does not come with vibration or shake reduction features. To keep the lenses budget-friendly, most of the lenses the company produces are pretty bare-boned: other than featuring fast apertures, the lenses are pretty devoid of other features. Additionally, while the “clickless” aperture ring is beneficial to videographers, still-photographers will have to double-check before shooting to ensure they have the appropriate setting for the shot they plan to take.

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The Indonesian photography YouTube channel InfoFotografi already has a review of the lens available (with english subtitles) which gives the best look at the lens and its capabilities so far.

The 7Artisans lenses have proven to be some of the most affordable ways to get an incredibly “fast” glass that performs impressively well despite the low cost and in spite of the limitations that come with the all-manual design. To get an idea of how the lens performs, especially the quality of the out-of-focus areas (or bokeh), 7Artisans provided a set of sample images that can be seen below.

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The 7Artisans APS-C 50mm f/0.95 manual lens will be officially available from the company’s website and vendors starting on August 8th for approximately $236.

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Venus Optics reveals Laowa Argus 33mm f/0.95 CF APO

Venus Optics reveals Laowa Argus 33mm f/0.95 CF APO

Chinese lens maker Venus Optics has been incredibly creative of the past few years, mostly specialising in ultra-wideangle and super-macro lenses under its Laowa brand. Now it’s introduced the first in a new line of ultra-fast f/0.95 optics. The Laowa Argus 33mm f/0.95 CF APO for APS-C mirrorless cameras promises minimal chromatic aberration and will cost £499. As with most of the firm’s lenses, it employs entirely manual operation with no electronics.

Optically the lens comprises 14 elements in 9 groups, including one made from Extra-low Dispersion (ED) glass, three from Ultra High Refraction Glass and one aspherical element. The stated aim is to eliminate unwanted colour fringing due to longitudinal chromatic aberration – hence the APO designation in the lens name.

Venus Optics reveals Laowa Argus 33mm f/0.95 CF APO 12

With an angle of view equivalent to a classic 50mm standard lens, the lens is designed with both stills and video in mind. It employs an internal focus design, with a long throw to the focus ring and 35cm minimum focus distance. Its 9-bladed aperture employs rounded blades for attractive bokeh, and is controlled by a ring on the lens barrel that operates without any click-stops. The lens accepts 62mm filters and is supplied with a rectangular hood. Physically, it measures 71.5 x 83mm and weighs in at 590g.

Fujifilm X and Sony E mount versions of the lens are available to pre-order now, while Nikon Z and Canon RF mount versions are due in the middle of the month.

Venus Optics reveals Laowa Argus 33mm f/0.95 CF APO 13

Laowa Argus 33mm f/0.95 CF APO: Full specifications

  • Price  £499
  • Filter Diameter  62mm
  • Lens Elements  14
  • Groups  9
  • Diaphragm blades  9
  • Aperture  f/0.95 – f/11
  • Minimum focus  35cm
  • Length  83mm
  • Diameter  71.5mm
  • Weight  590g
  • Lens Mount  Canon RF, Fujifilm X, Nikon Z, Sony E

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Laowa Argus 33mm f/0.95 CF APO Review: So. Much. Bokeh.

Laowa Argus 33mm f/0.95 CF APO Review: So. Much. Bokeh.

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Venus Optics’ Laowa lenses have been growing in both notoriety and popularity over the last few years thanks to their nearly constant stream of new and interesting optics for a wide variety of mounts. The company’s latest is backed by the high-quality promise of its new Argus line: the Laowa Argus 33mm f/0.95 CF APO for APS-C systems.

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The incredibly fast $500 50mm equivalent manual lens boasts an Apochromatic (APO) design — which should prevent or correct any chromatic and spherical aberrations — and is targeted at video shooters using APS-C systems. APS-C sensors generally means smaller optics, but the Argus bucks that trend and is by no means small. Weighing in at 590 grams (~20.8 ounces), you’ll definitely notice it making your camera a tad front heavy when attached on pretty much all modern APS-C cameras.

As for using with it, since my own work focuses mostly on still images instead of video (and PetaPixel as a whole focuses on still photography first and foremost), this review will be mostly from the perspective of a still shooter.

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Build Quality and Design

The 33mm Argus is a great feeling lens with a solid metal build and mount giving it a “high-end” feel. Even though this lens is meant for smaller APS-C systems, the lens looks and feels just like its bigger cinema counterparts. The lens itself is quite sturdy with a smooth “clickless” aperture and focus ring, a sleek blue ring at the end of the barrel, and is finished with a rectangular lens hood for a little cinematic flair. The focus ring has just enough tension to feel a little resistance when making adjustments, while the aperture ring is left feeling slightly looser by comparison. Overall though, it’s wonderfully machined and feels great.

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The only thing that threw me off on the aesthetic was the lens hood. Maybe my review sample is an outlier, but for some reason, it just does not sit symmetrically on the lens. That is to say, it sat just ever so slightly skewed to the right, and while this had absolutely zero impact on the shots I took, this tilt just kicked my OCD into overdrive and drove me crazy every time I had it mounted on the lens. It bothered me to such a degree that I just did not end up using it.

Focus and Aperture

Like many of the Laowa lenses in Venus Optics’s lineup, the 33mm f/0.95 Argus is a manual focus lens only. After weeks of using and testing cameras that specifically tout the speed of their autofocus systems, using this manual lens was actually kind of refreshing. Enabling focus peaking is a must when shooting at such wide-open apertures as the f/0.95 offered here, but even then, simply breathing can make you miss the shot so, be prepared to fire a few extra frames in order to assure you’ve nailed that perfect focus.

A bit of a frustrating point with this lens is despite the large and smooth focusing ring, there is an excessive amount of throw in it.

I practically have to stop and take a break every time I’d adjust from near to far focusing. You effectively have to rotate the focus ring almost entirely around (270 degrees) to go from the close 0.35 meter to infinity focus. If this were in a cinema rig that takes advantage of a pulling unit, this wouldn’t be an issue, but most shooters will definitely have to take two twists when quickly adjusting focus distance and likely you’ll miss some key moments if you’re shooting anything that’s not sitting still.

The extra pull does have some usefulness when you’re focusing up close as it allows you to really fine tune things, but if you’re using it as more of a walkabout lens, get working on your forearm strength.

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As I mentioned above, the aperture ring is clickless which is ideal for video and will work great if the lens is mounted in a focus pulling kit or gimbal, but as a photographer, it was incredibly easy to accidentally shift the f-stop without immediately noticing. There were countless times while using this lens that I would set it to f/0.95 and it would shift to f/1.4 or f/2.8 by accident and I wouldn’t see it until I reviewed the shots. While I can see that having a clickless aperture is hugely useful in some cases, I think Laowa would have been better served giving us a click and de-click switch to make the lens more versatile like Sony does with its lenses. When in permanent de-clicked mode, it just feels like a cinema lens and not one that is tailored for photographers, which is a shame given the quality of images (more on that below).

Image Quality

How does this lens perform, especially considering the APO designation they claim? While we have not directly compared it yet to Mitakon or 7artisans rivals, from what I did shoot with the lens I found it to be surprisingly good, especially wide open in hard lighting situations. It was rather windy when I did some of the floral shots so nailing the focus was a challenge wide open, but the images were still pretty sharp and clean in the corners stepped up to f/2.8 but beyond that things got a little soft.

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Does it perform the best here? No, but let’s be real: people don’t buy f/0.95 lenses for sharp images edge to edge at all apertures. They buy them for that super dreamy bokeh to draw attention to a subject that is very likely more centrally located in the frame. If it’s decently sharp there, that’s a win when the quality of the defocused area is nearly as important as what is in focus. While you can stop down with a lens like this, it’s not why you get one.

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And speaking of those defocused areas, the bokeh on this lens is the reason to get it: it’s so dang nice. I did not notice any glaring rings or harsh spotting and only appreciated a soft, buttery goodness that the bokeh-addicts will absolutely love. I can see the Argus being used to create some incredibly dreamy portraits and even more interesting texture-driven and printable works of art.

The Apochromatic design of the lens supposedly ensures less color fringing and a much better color performance overall when compared to other fast lenses of similar focal length and aperture. This does not mean it will be sharper, only that you can expect better color accuracy in those extra shallow depth of field moments. Will there be vignetting when shooting wide open? Absolutely, but nothing unfamiliar and unexpected from a lens this shallow. The difference from the center to the corner edge is maybe about a stop of light when shooting closer objects and about two stops when shooting wide open for “landscape” images, but in both scenarios, the loss is easily recoverable in post.

Sample Images

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Things I Liked

  1. Gorgeous bokeh
  2. Solid metal body and lens hood
  3. Smooth focus ring
  4. Sharper than I expected
  5. Chromatic abberation was minimal
  6. Great when set in a focus/aperture pulling kit for video
  7. Affordable price for a nifty fifty equivalent lens at f/0.95

Things I Didn’t Like

  1. Heavier than I expected for an APS-C lens
  2. Clickless Aperture ring seems like a cool idea, but is frustrating in practice
  3. The amount of focus throw is almost obscene
  4. Crooked Lens hood drove me crazy
  5. Great for video, iffy for still work

Super Bokeh, But Is It Useful For Still Work?

The Laowa Argus 33mm f/0.95 CF APO is the company’s first entry in its series of “high quality” lenses under the Argus branding. It seems like a fantastic lens for videographers and is definitely a good sign of things to come from the company. While there are a few things I did not enjoy about this lens — the tilted lens hood, the amount of focus throw, and the “loose” aperture ring that would occasionally mess up my shots — I still think it can be a fantastic addition to have in your APS-C kit. This opinion leans even more positive if you’re a video shooter. For photographers specifically, its quirks can be annoying, but perhaps worth it for the bokeh it produces.

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Are there Alternatives?

This lens is rather unique in its positioning with its only real rivals being similar lenses from Mitakon and 7artisans which have pretty good reputations for the most part. Venus Optics claims its control of aberrations is superior and has many samples to back that up, but it will be up to you to decide based on the images I show here and any samples the company has shared.

Should You Buy It?

Yes, for the most part. If you are a hybrid shooter that does both video and stills, then the Laowa Argus CF 33mm f/0.95 APO lens would definitely be a welcome addition to your kit for only $500. On the other hand, if you focus solely on stills, there are other options out there with autofocus that will treat you better for “in the moment” and action-based shooting situations. You’ll just have to settle for f/1.4 or f/1.8 and miss out on some of that extra bokeh found here.

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We Review the Laowa Argus CF 33mm f/0.95 APO for APS-C Cameras

We Review the Laowa Argus CF 33mm f/0.95 APO for APS-C Cameras

Laowa is a company that never stops amazing me with their creative approach to lens design and cornering of a market sector that appreciates their unique designs. Today, we’ll be taking a look at their latest offering for APS-C cameras, the ultra-fast Laowa Argus CF 33mm f/0.95 APO. 


With its de-clicked aperture, stiff turning focus ring, and almost completely absent focus breathing, the Laowa 33mm f/0.95 APO seems to be aimed squarely at video work while producing excellent stills. Since I’m a photographer and not a videographer, I’ll be looking at this lens from a stills perspective, but will try to mention anything I feel might be relevant for our video-shooting readers. 


Build Quality and Handling

Laowa has, as usual, done a great job of making a premium product with the 33mm f/0.95. The entire lens barrel is made of metal and that extends to the square bayonet hood and mount as well. The hood has space for one thin filter to be mounted to the lens before it is attached, so something like the B+W UV Haze filter fits nicely. The hood is much nicer and more durable than the flimsy aluminum hood Fujifilm provides with their (more expensive) XF 35mm f/1.4. Much like Fujifilm’s offering, Laowa includes a slip-on lens cap that goes over the hood. Just like Fujifilm’s, though, it also slips off too easily and may as well just be left at home. 


Focus Ring

I’m always wary of metal focus rings as they can be tough to turn with sweaty hands or any moisture on them. However, the deep grooves on this ring allow for easy turning even with clammy hands. This is great because the focus ring, while smooth, has quite a bit of resistance. 

This resistance was actually quite surprising at first and took a little getting used to. It certainly doesn’t lend itself to quickly making large changes in focus. But if you’re already in the ball-park, the precision that it affords makes for an easier time focusing wide open. It will also allow for slow and deliberate focus pulls in video. 

While we’re on the subject of focusing, it’s important to note that there is almost no focus breathing at all with this lens. This is yet another win for those who might want to use it for video. 

Aperture Ring

The aperture ring has a similar level of resistance to the focus ring. One of my chief complaints when I owned the Mitakon 35mm f/0.95 was that the aperture and focus rings were far too loose and too easy to knock out of position. This lens does not suffer from that at all. 

The aperture ring is placed in the more common position, the rear of the lens barrel, which makes it blend seamlessly with the Fujifilm shooting experience. However, it is de-clicked, which is likely to polarize some users. Personally, I’d have preferred a clicked aperture (or at least the option) so I could know where I was at without having to look at the lens barrel. 

One thing to note is that Laowa has limited the minimum aperture to f/11. Honestly, on an APS-C sensor, f/16 is an aperture setting to avoid most of the time anyway due to diffraction. Also, this lens is one that is made to be used at wider apertures, so few people are likely to miss the small increase in depth of field that would result from closing the aperture one more stop.


Size and Weight

Weighing in at 590g, the 33mm f/0.95 is no featherweight in the Fujifilm X world. That’s just over 3 times what the XF 35mm f/1.4 weighs and it is definitely noticeable when holding the camera. With an X-T4, I’ve found that the lens is a little front heavy and I spend all my time supporting the entire weight with my left hand much like I would with one of the larger zooms. This lens would surely balance a little more evenly on something like the X-H1 with its larger grip.

When it comes to size, it’s actually smaller than I expected. As initial images hit the internet, it seemed to be quite a large lens. In reality, however, it’s almost exactly the same size as the XF 56mm f/1.2, which fits very comfortably on the front of any of the X bodies.

That’s enough about build, however. Let’s jump into the juicy part of this review. 

Image Quality

In this first super-fast offering from Laowa, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Their wide-angle and macro lenses are typically excellent and offer something unique when compared to the competition, so it was sure to be interesting. I just wasn’t sure how. 

The optical construction involves 14 elements including three high refractive index elements, one aspherical element, and one extra-low dispersion element. All of this comes together to form a lens that Laowa has given the APO (apochromatic) designation. This should mean the lens is very well corrected for chromatic aberrations. Although, of course, we should not be expecting Zeiss Otus-like performance at this price point. Let’s dig in.

Sharpness

This performs quite well for such a fast lens. At f/0.95, as you’d expect, there’s a drop in sharpness and overall contrast. By f/1.1, it gets significantly better and by f/2 is rendering all the fine details you’d want from an APS-C sensor. The extreme corners do lag behind a little, but are up to par with the center of the frame by f/4. As expected from a lens on this sensor size, that sharpness falls off again to diffraction at f/11. 

However, as with all ultra-fast lenses, we’re usually looking for their specific optical characteristics rather than their technical performance. So, let’s explore a few of the qualities that I have found while working with this lens. 

Red Rings

One of my favorite artefacts to look for in a new lens is the way it renders flare and ghosting. The Laowa does not disappoint in this regard. When used wide-open and pointed directly into a light source, it produces red rings centered around the light. These can be tough to place in your composition but are a lot of fun to work with. 


Hazy Flare

Another characteristic of this lens wide open is a haze that appears over the image when a bright light is just outside the edge of the frame. It only happens wide open and quickly disappears by the f/1.1 marking on the aperture ring, but I enjoyed working with it for a slightly nostalgic feeling in black and white. 

Vignette

The vignette produced by this lens is, as we would expect, quite significant wide open. At f/0.95, I see around a 1.7 stop vignette that graduates smoothly to the center of the frame. By approximately f/4, this is reduced to around 1/3 stop, but never completely goes away. It’s easy enough to remove in post if you’d prefer not to have it, but it is something worth keeping in mind when exposing shots wide open as 1.7 stops is quite a bit to recover in either direction. 


Sunstars

Laowa’s recent lenses have had some excellent sunstars and the 33mm f/0.95 is no slouch in this department. When stopped all the way down to f/11, the lens produces soft-edged, but well-defined sunstars that are exceptionally pleasing.

Bokeh

While of course highly subjective, I’d place the bokeh that comes from this lens in the realms of excellent. When it comes to foliage and backlight, I found that it produces a beautiful soft transition. When it comes to closeups, this is amplified and produces, to use a platitude, buttery smooth out-of-focus areas. In something like a 3/4 length portrait, plenty of separation is possible at wide apertures and the bokeh remains pleasing. 

When working at night, the bokeh takes on a swirled character with cats-eye shaped balls around the edges of the frame and perfectly round balls towards the center. As we stop down, the 9 blades of the aperture do begin to show, but are not harsh or jarring in any way. 


Chromatic Aberration

Very fast lenses tend to perform poorly in terms of CA when used wide open. However, with the APO designation, we’d expect this one to perform a little better. While Longitudinal CAs are present in extreme conditions (like rippling water with the setting sun bouncing off it), for the most part, they are all but absent in everyday shooting. 

Wide-open, small amounts of magenta or green can be seen around extremely high-contrast edges, but a quick slider in post-production removes them in an instant. By f/2, these are all but done even in the most extreme scenes. 


In Conclusion

Laowa has produced a great option for a super-fast nifty-fifty on APS-C systems at a competitive price. While there are plenty of options out there, I think most people will be comparing this to the Mitakon 35mm f/0.95. Having owned the Mitakon for a year in the past, my money would be on the Laowa for purchasing in this focal length. The construction is far superior and the resulting images have more character. Check out this lens in its various mounts here

Things I Liked

  • Good sharpness
  • Pleasing bokeh
  • Interesting flare and ghosting
  • Smooth but tight focus ring
  • Metal hood
  • Gorgeous sunstars
  • Very little CA for a fast lens


Things I Felt Could Be Improved

  • A little too heavy for my liking
  • De-clicked aperture ring
  • Slip-on lens cap (no pinch cap included)
  • Vignette can be a little too dark at times
     

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Using LiDAR to Add Autofocus to an f/0.95 Manual Focus Lens

Using LiDAR to Add Autofocus to an f/0.95 Manual Focus Lens

Filmmaker Josh Yeo of MAKE.ART.NOW. recently tested DJI’s LiDAR Focus module for the new RS 2 gimbal to see if it could accurately focus his manual Mitakon Speedmaster 50mm f/0.95 III lens. If it can handle this, that means you can pretty much add autofocus to any camera and manual lens combination you want… and the results look VERY promising.

Using LiDAR time-of-flight sensors for autofocus and depth mapping is hardly a new idea. Smartphone makers have been using these sensors for a few years, and a LiDAR sensor is one of the major features added to the new iPhone 12 Pro. The 3D Focus module that DJI released for the new RS 2 gimbal simply turns LiDAR into an optional accessory… and a pretty cool one at that.

“Autofocus for any camera and any manual lens combination?! You read correctly,” explains Yeo. “This is an add on to the RS 2 bundle, it requires the focus motors bundle, and is $170 and gives very fast and pretty damn good autofocus to any manual lens using LiDAR [Time of Flight] T.O.F. sensor technology. Mind is blown.”

Using LiDAR to Add Autofocus to an f/0.95 Manual Focus Lens 72

Of course, there are some limitations—read: reasons this doesn’t already exist as a built-in feature or add-on module for every camera on the market. You have to re-calibrate the sensor with each lens you attach, the focus target has to be in the center of the frame, and it’ll only work up to about 22ft from your camera… just to name a few issues.

But if your subject is close enough, this idea does promise to add highly-accurate distance-based autofocus to any lens in your bag regardless of light levels. For video shooters, this could be an indispensable piece of kit. For photographers, at the very least it sounds intriguing as a hot-shoe mounted accessory that can drive you focus in special circumstances like a dim wedding reception.

Check out the full video up top to see the module in action and hear Yeo’s thoughts on the speed, accuracy, pros, and cons of using a LiDAR module for autofocus, and then let us know what you think in the comments down below.

(via Sony Addict)

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7artisans Debuts $255 35mm f/0.95 Lens for APS-C Mirrorless Mounts

7artisans Debuts $255 35mm f/0.95 Lens for APS-C Mirrorless Mounts

7artisans Debuts $255 35mm f/0.95 Lens for APS-C Mirrorless Mounts 75

If the typical 35mm f/1.4 or even f/1.2 lens isn’t fast enough for you, then 7artisans might have you covered. For just $255, you can pick up a 35mm f/0.95 APS-C lens for any one of these five mounts: Sony E, Fuji X, Canon M, Nikon Z, and even Micro Four Thirds (MFT).

The lens is constructed of 11 elements in 8 groups, has an aperture range of f/0.95 – 16, and has a minimum focusing distance of 14.5 inches. It has a declicked aperture ring and is manual-focus only.

7artisans Debuts $255 35mm f/0.95 Lens for APS-C Mirrorless Mounts 77

Below are a few images of the lens:

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7artisans Debuts $255 35mm f/0.95 Lens for APS-C Mirrorless Mounts 81

7artisans Debuts $255 35mm f/0.95 Lens for APS-C Mirrorless Mounts 83

7artisans Debuts $255 35mm f/0.95 Lens for APS-C Mirrorless Mounts 85

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Here are some images shot with the lens via the PhotoRumors Flickr:

7artisans 35mm f/0.95 sample photos

Photo Rumors is an official distributor of the lens and you can find more information on it via their announcement post here.

We have featured 7artisans optics before, as they have released lenses made for a variety of mirrorless mounts in the past. In testing other 7artisans lenses, results seem pretty good especially considering the low price. For $255, this might be the most affordable way to get an incredibly fast lens that, if past results are any indication of future performance, performs admirably.

The 35mm f/0.95 is currently available for pre-order and will begin shipping at the end of November internationally from any 7artisan retailer.

(Via DP Review via Photo Rumors)

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