Opticallimits examined the Laowa Argus 33mm f/0.95 lens and concluded
The Laowa Argus 33mm f/0.95 CF APO is making an attempt the seemingly inconceivable by offering shallow depth-of-field capabilities just like full-format to APS-c class customers. And, surprisingly, they succeeded on this quest – principally a minimum of. The optical efficiency is on a excessive degree, even at most aperture. The broader heart is sharp straight from f/0.95 and the borders can sustain properly. Solely the corners are a bit smooth. The background distinction is barely lowered at this setting however this may be boosted by way of an imaging instrument. Stopping right down to f/1.4 leads to fairly a raise in high quality even within the corners, and the height efficiency round f/2.8 could be very spectacular certainly. Picture distortions are very low and nothing to fret about. As you would possibly anticipate the vignetting could be very excessive at large-aperture settings. Lateral and axial CAs are properly managed, though they aren’t completely as absent because the “APO” designation might counsel. RSAs are additionally one thing to concentrate on. The technical high quality of the bokeh is a little bit of a combined bag. Relying on the digital camera that you simply use, out-of-focus highlights can endure from an odd mechanical vignetting impact as much as f/1.4 and there are imperfections within the basic blur as properly. Nonetheless, this isn’t fairly as apparent in real-life situations just because the lens can produce an immense quantity of out-of-focus blur in the appropriate situations a minimum of. Flare will also be a weak spot so higher mount the lens hood when taking pictures.
The mechanical high quality of the Argus lens is, once more, spectacular. The all-metal building feels very reassuring and the dampened management rings are a pleasure to make use of. The inner focus mechanism is appreciated and we’re additionally a fan of the brand new hood design. It’s not all glory, although, as a result of there’s no digital coupling thus additionally no AF and no climate sealing.
Sadly, the dearth of AF shall be a showstopper for a lot of photographers. Because of focus magnification and peaking, the lens is definitely usable with out however it’s in all probability extra aligned to video use. The clickless aperture ring can also be pointing to this. General it’s a reliable and reasonably priced lens inside its area of interest.