Laowa Argus 45mm f/0.95 FF review

The Laowa Argus 45mm f/0.95 FF is a mirrorless bokeh machine, but does its sharpness match its softness?

Laowa Argus 45mm f/0.95 FF
(Image: © James Artaius)

Digital Camera World Verdict

The Laowa Argus 45mm f/0.95 FF does exactly what it says on the tin, offering a near-standard field of view with an outrageously wide aperture. The trade-offs for the bokehlicious aperture come in terms of wide-open and across-the-frame sharpness (though the center sharpness is very good at a still super-fast f/1.4), along with the all-manual operation. Once you've mastered the art of shooting with this lens, though, you will be rewarded with uniquely rich, deep and characterful images.


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    Lightning-fast f/0.95

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    Click / declick aperture

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    Long focus throw


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    All manual operation

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    Soft wide open

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    No weather sealing

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The Laowa Argus 45mm f/0.95 FF is the latest in Venus Optics' line of signature Argus lenses, all of which feature a monstrously wide f/0.95 aperture. In short, every Argus lens is a bokeh machine – and the 45mm is no exception. 

The choice of a 45mm focal length is an interesting one. Obviously this puts the Laowa Argus 45mm f/0.95 FF roughly in nifty 50 territory, but the extra width makes the field of view tangibly different.

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James Artaius

The editor of Digital Camera World, James has 21 years experience as a journalist and started working in the photographic industry in 2014 (as an assistant to Damian McGillicuddy, who succeeded David Bailey as Principal Photographer for Olympus). In this time he shot for clients like Aston Martin Racing, Elinchrom and L'Oréal, in addition to shooting campaigns and product testing for Olympus, and providing training for professionals. This has led him to being a go-to expert for camera and lens reviews, photo and lighting tutorials, as well as industry news, rumors and analysis for publications like Digital Camera MagazinePhotoPlus: The Canon MagazineN-Photo: The Nikon MagazineDigital Photographer and Professional Imagemaker, as well as hosting workshops and talks at The Photography Show. He also serves as a judge for the Red Bull Illume Photo Contest. An Olympus and Canon shooter, he has a wealth of knowledge on cameras of all makes – and a fondness for vintage lenses and instant cameras.