Laowa's New Argus Lens Series Will Thrive in Low Light

The lens series will feature a fast F0.95 aperture. 

As reported by Sony Addict, Venus Optics recently held a virtual event to detail its 2021 lens roadmap and teased a new series of lenses called Argus, plus a slew of new cine lenses and a 12-24mm F5.6 zoom for Sony E, Canon RF, and Nikon Z mounts. 

Venus Optics has grown in popularity because of its Laowa series and the new Argus lenses aim to promise a very fast F0.95 aperture at wide focal lengths—a staple of the company. At the moment, there isn't much info about Argus to go by besides preliminary specs.

No Film School reached out to Venus Optics to confirm features, availability, and price, but we haven't received an official word. 

In the meantime, what seems to separate Argus from its Zero-D series is the fast aperture. This is not to say the Argus lineup won't minimize distortion (we hope it does) but what delineates the series is the F0.95 aperture. 

Venus Optics lens roadmap

In the roadmap above you can see there are four F0.95 lenses, a new 12-24mm F5.6 zoom, and several cine lenses. Let's take a look. 

Argus Lenses

  • Laowa Argus 25mm F0.95 (MFT)
  • Laowa Argus 33mm F0.95 (APS-C)
  • Laowa Argus 35mm F0.95 (full-frame)
  • Laowa Argus 45mm F0.95 (full-frame)
Laowa Argus series

Argus lenses won't just be a full-frame series, but will have lenses for both APS-C and MFT sensors. Out of the group, the 33mm APS-C lens is one of the more interesting focal lengths. 

Cine Lenses

  • Laowa 10mm T2.1 (MFT)
  • Laowa 17mm T2.9 (MFT) 
  • Laowa 7.5mm T2.9 (S35)
  • Laowa 9mm T2.9 (RF mount in white)

Probably more exciting for video shooters is the potential for seeing new cinema lenses from Venus Optics. Their first cine zoom, the OOOM 25-100mm T2.9, has been a hit, and their wide angle primes handle distortion very well for the price point. 

The 10mm T2.1 and 17mm T2.9 will join the existing 7.5mm T2.1 and 9mm T2.9, which are also available for MFT. This is good news if you happen to shoot with the Panasonic GH series or original Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera

The Super 35 7.5mm T2.9 will have company alongside the 12mm T2.9 and 15mm T2.1—both of which are Zero-D lenses. We'd expect these new cinema lenses to also have little distortion as well. It'd be surprising if they don't. Plus, if you're a Canon shooter, it looks like Venus Optics will make its 9mm T2.9 available in white.

If color isn't a preference, the black version is available now for $599. 

Zoom Lenses

  • Laowa 12-24mm F5.6

If you're a Sony E, Canon RF, Nikon Z, or Leica M shooter, the Laowa 12-24mm F5.6 zoom will cover full-frame mirrorless cameras. While the lens isn't super fast for low-light conditions, what will be interesting to see is where the price point lands. 

This will be Laowa's first zoom for mirrorless cameras, and it will most likely compete with the Sigma 12-24mm F4 DG HSM Art, which sells for $1,599. If Venus Optics can price it around $1,000, the 1.5 stops of aperture difference might be worth the savings based on optical performance. 

As we learn more, we'll keep you updated.

What do you think of the Venus Optics lenses? Let us know in the comments below.      

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