Laowa 105mm f/2 (T3.2) STF Review

November 2, 2017 | Tim Coleman | |

Sharpness at 105mm

For this test, the Laowa 105mm f/2 (T3.2) STF lens was attached to a Nikon D850 body, which was in turn mounted to a sturdy tripod. Exposure delay mode was activated. Tonal and colour variance across the crops are due to change in natural light during the session.

The full frameThe full frame at 105mm

In these test images we can see that the sweet spot of the lens is f/4 and up to f/8, where detail is sharpest across the entire frame. However, this lens will often be used in its wider f/2 and f/2.8 apertures.

Detail wide open at f/2 is not as sharp in the centre of the frame but it’s impressive. There is greater softness in the edges too, though it’s a combination of depth of field and minor fall off in edge sharpness. 

We feel that just as with light fall-off in the edges, sharpness fall-off further draws your eye to the sharp centre section of the frame. Of course it’s all down to personal taste, but any loss of clarity in the edges in a lens like this is not necessarily a bad thing.

If you get the focusing spot on at f/4 - which as mentioned is no mean feat with this lens - then it is capable of exceptionally sharp detail.

Aperture Centre Crop Edge Crop

f/2

f2.jpg f2.jpg
f/2.8 f2_8.jpg f2_8.jpg
f/4 f4.jpg f4.jpg
f/5.6 f5_6.jpg f5_6.jpg
f/8 f8.jpg f8.jpg
f/11 f11.jpg f11.jpg
f/16 f16.jpg f16.jpg
f/22 f22.jpg f22.jpg