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Lens review

Venus Optics LAOWA STF 105 mm f/2 (T3.2)

9 August 2016
Szymon Starczewski

4. Image resolution

The resolution test of the Venus Optics LAOWA STF 105 mm f/2 (T3.2) was based on RAW files from the Nikon D3x camera. In that case high quality fixed focal length lenses can get as high as 47-49 lpmm and the record value belongs to the Zeiss Otus 1.4/55 which, by f/4.0, as able to exceed a level of 50 lpmm.

Now let’s check how the tested lens compares.

Venus Optics LAOWA STF 105 mm f/2 (T3.2) - Image resolution

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The graph above indicates unambiguously that the tested Laowa is an excellent optical instrument. In the frame centre already at the maximum relative aperture the MTFs reach a very high level of 43 lpmm. On stopping down the aperture to f/2.8-4.0 the resolution rises to 47-48 lpmm so to a level worth the best contemporary system “primes”.

The performance on the edge of the APS-C/DX sensor is brilliant as well. At the maximum relative aperture the MTFs reach near 40 lpmm and on slight stopping down they can go even to 45 lpmm. Many older fixed focal length lenses could only dream about such results, even in the centre of the frame.

The demanding edge of full frame also proved to be problem-free for the Laowa. At the maximum relative aperture the image is fully useful. What’s more, on stopping down the aperture to near f/4.0 the MTFs exceed 40 lpmm. It is a sensational result!

To sum up, the resolution performance of the Venus Optics LAOWA-STF 105 mm f/2 (T3.2) doesn’t have weak points. The results are so brilliant that they look even better than the results of the Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 100 mm f/2, a lens known and appreciated for its excellent image quality

At the end of this chapter traditionally we present crops taken from photos of our resolution testing chart, saved as JPEG files along with RAW files we used for the analysis above.

Nikon D3x, JPEG, f/2.0
Venus Optics LAOWA STF 105 mm f/2 (T3.2) - Image resolution
Nikon D3x, JPEG, f/2.8
Venus Optics LAOWA STF 105 mm f/2 (T3.2) - Image resolution