Chinese lens manufacturer Venus Optics has released the latest lens under its Laowa brand. Venus Optics announced the full-frame Venus Optics Laowa Argus 45mm f/0.95 lens early in 2021. It finally came on to the market just before the end of the year. The company states that it chose the 45mm focal length, giving the lens a 51.3-degree field of view. This means that it is very close to the human eye’s perspective. The new 45mm lens joins the full-frame Venus Optics Laowa 35mm f/0.95 and Venus Optics Laowa APS-C 33mm f/0.95 lenses in the Argus range.
Super-wide maximum aperture
The standout feature of the Argus family of lenses has to be the super-wide maximum aperture of f/0.95. This gives you more than one full stop of extra light when compared to an f/1.4 lens. This can be very useful when you are filming in low-light situations.
300-degree focus throw
You need to remember that when the lens is wide open, focusing will be a challenge. For example, with a subject at a distance of three feet, your depth of field will be less than an inch. However, the focus ring on the Venus Optics Laowa Argus 45mm lens has a 300-degree throw. This will make it much easier for you to achieve precise focusing. The minimum focus distance is 19.7 inches.
The focus and aperture rings on the Venus Optics Laowa Argus 45mm have deep groves to make them easier to handle. Since this is a fully manual lens, it’s a helpful feature to have. You can also switch the aperture ring to work de-clicked, which is essential for video work.
Low focus breathing
The Venus Optics Laowa Argus 45mm lens has internal focusing. This means that the length of the lens doesn’t change when you pull focus. The company also claims that the lens has very low focus breathing, meaning the angle of view doesn’t alter when you move the focus from one object to another.
The Venus Optics Laowa Argus 45mm lens has 15 aperture blades to create smooth, circular bokeh. The lens also has one aspherical lens, one extra-low dispersion glass element and three ultra-high refractive index glass elements. The company claims that these combine to deliver incredible sharpness and high-contrast images even when wide open. They also state that the lens gives accurate color reproduction and minimal distortion.
The Venus Optics Laowa Argus 45mm lens is made of metal and weighs around 1.84 lb. The body of the lens is a little over 3 inches in diameter and 4.3 inches in length. The filter size is 72mm.
Pricing and availability
The Venus Optics Laowa Argus 45mm f/0.95 lens is available now in Sony E, Canon RF and Nikon Z mounts. It will sell for $799.