Lens review

Venus Optics LAOWA Argus 33 mm f/0.95 CF APO

21 September 2021
Maciej Latałło

11. Summary


  • solid, metal casing,
  • excellent resolution in the frame centre,
  • sensible image quality on the edge of the APS-C sensor,
  • very low lateral chromatic aberration,
  • moderate distortion,
  • out-of-focus areas nice to look at,
  • unique parameters.


  • awful performance against bright light,
  • distinct vignetting,
  • noticeable astigmatism,
  • too high coma,
  • problems with spherical aberration.
The Venus Optics LAOWA Argus 33 mm f/0.95 CF APO is undoubtedly a very interesting lens and a joy to use. Its price, amounting to $500, cannot perhaps be called low but, taking into account its unique parameters, I suppose remains on a sensible level. The image quality by f/0.95 leaves a bit to be desired but it improves really quickly on stopping down so, after a while, it reaches record-breaking levels. Overall, I think anybody who purchases this lens will be pleased with its performance.

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As the situation is far from perfect some critical remarks wouldn't be out of place. Dear Laowa managers, it's really time to stop treading water. You got a very good start as a company - you managed to launch a lot of interesting constructions and many of them proved to be really good. Now, you should think about entering a higher level and shape up, e.g. learning how to blacken properly edges of your glass elements and the whole interior of the lens. It would be also very nice to see a Laowa lens with a contact plate so it can communicate with a camera. It's not as difficult as, say, adding autofocus but it would certainly be a step in the right direction. You can turn a blind eye on some flaws when you deal with a new company on the market, just beginning their production; still six years have passed from the launch of your first lens so now the standards should be raised a bit. I hope that, after such a solid start, You will be able to keep up a high level without such slip-ups as that concerning flares of the Argus 0.95/33.