Laowa 105mm f/2 (T3.2) STF Review

November 2, 2017 | Tim Coleman | Rating star Rating star Rating star Rating star

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Reviews of the Laowa 105mm f/2 (T3.2) STF from around the web. »

We’re always on the lookout for new and intriguing lenses to review, and one that caught our attention when it was announced earlier this year was the Laowa 105mm f/2 (T3.2) STF. Designed as a medium telephoto lens specifically for DSLR cameras with a full-frame sensor, it’s primarily intended for portraiture and is rather niche in that it’s one of only a few lenses to feature an apodization element, which promises to deliver superior bokeh rendering and pin-sharp images.
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Laowa are one of a few manufacturers who are producing very interesting and innovative niche lenses. The Laowa 105mm f/2 Smooth Trans Focus lens is one of a handful of optics that utilize an apodization element. This is said to help produce sublime bokeh whilst maintaining a critically sharp subject. Let's move deeper into the world of optics and see what this really means, and whether or not in practice there is a real benefit to be seen.
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When you look at the landscape of portrait lenses available for the full frame Sony E mount, you’ll see that they’re growing at a high rate–and the Venus Optics Laowa 105mm f2 lens is only one of those options. This lens is very special due to the design incorporating an apodization element to produce images that the company claims will give you “smooth and creamy bokeh while maintaining excellent sharpness at the focal plane.” To that end, it loses some light gathering abilities and has a T rating of T3.2–meaning that the photographer loses more than a full stop of light.
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