Laowa adds another distinct lens to their lineup, the 105mm f/2 Smooth Trans Focus “Bokeh Dreamer”


posted Friday, March 11, 2016 at 1:21 PM EDT

Chinese lens manufacturer Venus Optics announced the completely manual Laowa 105mm f/2 (t/3.2) Smooth Trans Focus Lens, which they are referring to as "the Bokeh Dreamer." The lens utilizes an apodization (APD) element, similar to Fuji's specialied 56mm f/1.2 APD lens, to "produce images with smooth and creamy bokeh while maintaining excellent sharpness at the focal plane." The APD element is next to the aperture and becomes thicker toward its perimeter, which gradually decreases the light that's transmitted at the periphery, thus producing softer out-of-focus areas. 

Interestingly, the Laowa 105mm f/2 Smooth Trans Focus Lens has two separate diaphragms. There is a step-less 14-bladed circular aperture, which works with the APD element to produce smooth bokeh. There's also an 8-bladed aperture to determine the f-number and depth-of-field.

Diagram showing the effect of the APD element. Seen via PetaPixel.

In total, the 105mm f/2 lens has eleven elements in eight groups, including one high refractive element, three low dispersion elements, and the APD element. The lens has a metal body and weighs just over 26 oz. (745g).

Venus Optics Laowa 105mm f/2 STF lens

Available for preorder now, the 105mm f/2 STF lens will ship in April for Canon EF, Nikon AI, and Sony FE mounts. Sony A and Pentax K mount versions will start shipping in May. The lens costs $699.

Laowa 105mm f/2 STF lens sample image

This news comes less than a year after Venus Optics released their Laowa 15mm f/4 Wide Angle 1:1 Macro lens, the world's widest 1:1 macro lens. The 15mm macro lens offers 110 degrees of field of view, +/- 6mm shift ability (which allows for perspective adjustments), and is made of metal. Like the 105mm f/2 lens, it is also completely manual.

Venus Optics Laowa 15mm f/4 1:1 Macro lens

The 1:1 macro lens has twelve elements in nine groups, including three high refractive elements and an extra-low dispersion element. The lens has a 14-blade aperture diaphragm and has a flat front element, allowing for the use of 77mm filters.

To learn more about this distinct macro lens and its performance, watch the excellent video review below from macro photographer Thomas Shahan.

You can purchase the 15mm f/4 macro lens now for $499. It is available in Nikon F, Canon EF, Sony A, Sony FE, and Pentax K mounts.

(Seen via Photography Blog