New 25mm f/0.95 lens bij Venus/Laowa

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From 43rumors: https://www.43rumors.com/just-announced-new-argus-25mm-f-095-mft-lens/

Venus/Laowa/Argus 25mm f/0.95. Curious to see whether it will have electronic contacts, and how it will compare to the existing 25mm f/0.95 offerings by Mitakon and Voigtländer. I assume it will be manual focus (like the existing ones), so that can be tricky when shooting wide open with this focal length.

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isin

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I am expecting an f0.95 lens with AF... Not interested in another MF lens...
 

Hypilein

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Don't think it will have electronic contacts as it has a manual aperture ring. I agree that we really didn't need another 25mm manual lens. There are plenty on the market although I'm sure that Laowa's will be one of the better option, possibly the best other than the Voigtlander.
 

RS86

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Pretty heavy, should have better sunstars. Olympus 12-40mm f/2.8 is 70mm x 84mm and weighs 382g, same filter diameter and has 7 aperture blades.

"Venus Optics presented the new lens at the CP+ show. Here are the specs of the Laowa 25mm f/0.95 MFT lens:
  • Focal length: 25 mm
  • maximum aperture ratio: F0.95
  • angle: 46.7 °
  • Lens construction: 8 groups 14 sheets (1 aspherical lens, one special low-dispersion lens, including three high refractive lenses)
  • Number of aperture blades: 9
  • Minimum shooting distance: 25 cm
  • Maximum shooting magnification: 0.17 times
  • Filter diameter: φ62mm
  • Dimensions: φ71 mm × 86 mm・ Mass: Approx. 570 g"
https://www.43rumors.com/venus-optics-presented-the-new-laowa-25mm-f-0-95-mft-lens/
 

Bushboy

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Wow! That’s heavy.
I’ll be happy to get Olympus 1.8 one day...
 
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It even weights more than the fabled Voightlander 25mm Nokton, which comes at around 410g. Curious if the Laowa is optically superior to the Nokton and how they'll do the pricing. The Voigtlander sells for around 900 EUR at the moment.
 

BDR-529

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It even weights more than the fabled Voightlander 25mm Nokton, which comes at around 410g. Curious if the Laowa is optically superior to the Nokton and how they'll do the pricing. The Voigtlander sells for around 900 EUR at the moment.

Amazon US sells MFT version of Mitakon Speedmaster 25mm F/0.95 for $350 and the best price I can get it delivered to EU is around 320€.

Even if Laowa is a new design and somewhat better, it's still a fully manual lens from not-so-highly-reagarded brand and can't sell much above $400€ which would be in line with other Laowa lenses.

A word of warning for anyone who has not tried fast manual lenses before. Even $400-500 is a lot of money to waste if you discover that lens is not suitable for the use you bought it for.

I do like shooting old adapted manual lenses and even though I can't say I master something extreme like shooting sports (tried even sports video under very low light) I can still use them in some non-static situations and I know that manual f/0,95 lens would be all but useless in most cases where native 25mm AF primes are normally used.

My rule of thumb is this: the only reason to buy a "cheap" ($400+ is not cheap in my opinion) manual f/0,95 lens is that you have a specific need for f/0,95 and you are able to shoot in that setup manually.

Don't even imagine being able to shoot anything that is not bolted down and at f/0,95 even MFT DOF becomes so narrow that what you get is best described as "artistic". Regardles of brand, image is not very sharp even at the center so better make sure that the dreamy look is exactly what you were looking for in the first place.

If you need to step down to just f/2, there are plenty of cheaper native lenses which provide superior image quality compared to these chinese ultrafast lenses which have really been optimized to work wide open. Take for example Panny 25mm f/1.7 Asph which is sold around $100€. Step that down to just f/2 and there's absolutely no reason to invest 4-5x more to a chinese manual 25mm if you can only use it at f/2 or higher.

/edit: I just checked that I could get Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 25mm f/1.4 II ASPH delivered to EU for 350€. Unless I absolutely must have that one extra stop at all cost, there is flat zero reason to use the same amount for a no-brand chinese manual 25mm lens which I can use only twice a year.
 
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Mike Wingate

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I have a P25mm f1.7. A decent lens but not my most used lens. Mine is small, light, automatic focusing and was not expensive.
 
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RS86

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Even if Laowa is a new design and somewhat better, it's still a fully manual lens from not-so-highly-reagarded brand

Why is Venus Laowa not so highly regarded brand? You talk as if Mitakon is. For example I have seen many FF macro photographers use Laowa Macro lenses rather than their own brand.
 

Hypilein

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The moment Laowa gets some Autofocus lenses they will be a premium brand. The lens quality is already very high. But unless your name is Voigtländer, Zeiss or Leica it's difficult to ask premium prices without AF.
 

RS86

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Btw. To me it seems pretty clear that this lens will have some benefits over the other super-fast 25mm lenses, which are not as heavy. Why would Laowa otherwise make this lens in a crowded section?

A good guess is that it will be sharper wide-open, or something else over the other lenses.
 

BDR-529

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The moment Laowa gets some Autofocus lenses they will be a premium brand. The lens quality is already very high. But unless your name is Voigtländer, Zeiss or Leica it's difficult to ask premium prices without AF.

Could be but right now Laowa/Venus/Argus has wisely focused on special lenses where MF doesn't really matter like fisheye, ultrawide, ultramacro and cine.

For example MFT lenses below 10mm will have practically everything in focus from arms length to infinity anyway so MF isn't really an issue here. Focus ring is only required if you want to take that mandatory macro picture where dogs snout fills half of the screen or so.

Some special lenses like the 10mm f/2 Zero-D MFT are very aggressively priced for their quality and I could certainly buy this just for the occasional landscape and architecture shots if I find one sale. These are again cases where I would use MF even if AF is available. Unlike in 25mm Panny or Olympus can't offer anything with better IQ and lower price point here.
https://www.venuslens.net/product/laowa-10mm-f-2-zero-d-mft/

And of course Panny, Olympus and Sigma can't offer you anything at f/0,95 so Laowa is competing only against Voigtlander and Meike here. If 25mm at f/0,95 is an absolute must for you it doesn't matter how good Leica, Sigma or Olympus are at f/1,2-1,4.
 
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Hypilein

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If you replace doesn't matter with not that important I can agree. Still, a lot of people will not pay 500€ for a manual focus lens. I am one of them.
 
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