Venus Optics 'Argus' CF 33mm f/0.95 lens review with samples
Their new lauer argus 33 millimeter, f, 0.95 apo, a manual focus standard, prime lens, with an extremely bright maximum aperture. It costs 500 pounds in the uk or 500 in the us and its available for the following: mirrorless camera systems: fuji x, nikon, zed, sony e and canon eos, r and canon eos m. It offers an aps c image circle only as you can see from this image taken on a full frame. Camera id like to thank venus optics for loaning me a copy of this lens for review for a couple of weeks, although, as usual, this is a totally independent review, i will be checking out both its strengths and its weaknesses on an aps c. Camera 33 millimeter is the full frame equivalent of 50 millimeter a perfect standard focal length wide enough to get the bigger picture in your images just about, but tight enough to get a nice little emphasis on your subject and with an aperture as bright as f 0.95. The background separation, this lens offers lends itself to subject photography fantastically well that bright aperture also means itll work very well for shooting indoors or in any other darkest situation. The build quality of this fully manual lens is exceptional. Its body is entirely made of metal and it feels solid and weighty at about 600 grams. It has no autofocus, no camera controlled aperture and no image stabilization. The rear mount is metal with no electronic contacts and no weather sealing gasket, which is a slight shame at this price point.
The aperture ring follows turning completely smoothly, which is useful for video makers, but most still photographers prefer to have clicks, so you can feel how much youre stopping the lens down without looking at it. Something unusual is that this lens can only stop down as far as f11. After that comes the manual focus ring manually. Focusing a lens at f 0.95 is never going to be a walk in the park, but this things focus ring does turn very smoothly and precisely making the job much easier. As you can see from this footage, the lens does suffer from moderate focus, breathing zooming in a little as you focus more closely, the lens has a 62 millimeter filter that size. It comes with a nice metallic hood, which features a slip on plastic lens cap with a leather effect finish. It looks awesome, although its not quite as simple and practical as a normal lens cap. Overall, though, the build quality of this lens is very, very lovely and solid. It really feels like a high quality instrument. However, i do wish that aperture ring had clicks to it, and also you should remember that manually, focusing any lens at f. 0.95 will take you a little bit of practice. Lets take a look at image quality now its no trick for lens manufacturers to design an f 0.95 optic, and there are indeed many of them on the market. Nowadays, the problem comes in making them sharp im testing a sony e mount version of the lens here on my 24 megapixel sony, a5100 camera.
There are no in camera corrections available for this lens straight away. At 0.95, we see very good sharpness in the middle of your image, with average contrast, theres a touch of ghosting and purple fringing on contrasting edges, but nothing very serious lets. Look in the corners well, thats impressive. Normally, on a lens like this, the corner image quality falls apart at its brightest aperture, but this argus lens continues to look perfectly decent lets top it down a bit just to f 1.2. The corners look about the same now, but back in the middle sharpness and contrast have become absolutely excellent, although just a tiny touch of purple fringing does remain on contrasting edges, stop down to f 1.4 and the middle looks perfect, although the corners arent really improving. Yet, however, at f2 they are looking sharper f, 2.8 doesnt see any further improvement, but at f4 the corners now look very good and that have 5.6 theyre perfectly sharp, with very low chromatic aberration. The lens stays this sharp down to f11. Well, although it does need to be stopped down for the very best results, ultimately for an f 0.95 lens. This is a very sharp performance. In fact, the only f 0.95 lens ive tested, which is sharper than this is the nikon 58 millimeter of 0.95 knocked which costs 8 000 pounds. This argus lens puts in a very nice performance even at the brightest apertures. Alright lets take a look at the lenses, distortion and vignetting.
Now the lens projects a little barrel distortion, but nothing too dreadful at f 0.95, though, unsurprisingly theres a lot of vignetting those corners, look pretty dark, stop down to f 1.4 and they brighten up quite a lot at f, 2, f, 2.8 and f 4. We see further improvements which pretty much bring about even illumination from corner to corner lets, see about close up image quality. Now, venus optics warned me that the lens is not optimized for close focus shooting, but actually, if you look at the areas in focus even at f 0.95, the image quality does remain pretty sharp at f, 1.4 and f2. We see slight sharpness improvements and a reduction in color fringing now lets see how this argus lens works against bright lights, as you can see at f 0.95, its a bit of a disaster theres, a giant volcanic red ring intruding on the image and a monstrous loss Of contrast of the likes ive never seen before, stop down to f 1.4 and that flaring is reduced, as you can see, and stop down to f2 for the contrast to make a healthy return and that giant red ring is gone so yeah. This is the last lens youll want to use for shooting against bright light and, while were working in a dark lets, take a look at coma levels. Although in this picture, you can see some of the effects of that flaring again anyway over in the corners bright points of light, show an enormous amount of comer smearing at f 0.
95 at f 1.4, its reduced and at f 2. Its gone lets zoom out a bit and take a look at sun stars. Stop down to f5.6 and sun stars do begin to emerge on bright points of light at f, 8 and f 11. They begin to look particularly well defined. A very important question for this lens will be the quality of its bokeh and it gets a fairly clean bill of health here outer focus backgrounds generally, look lovely and soft. No nasty surprises lets see about longitudinal chromatic, aberration optics have given this lens an apo designation, meaning it should strongly resist all kinds of chromatic aberration. Well, that seems to be only lateral aberrations, because longitudinally things get pretty colorful at f 0.95 at f 1.4 colorful. Highlighting does remain but stop down to f2 and its gone overall. This argus 33 millimeter, f 0.95, is a very well done, optic its sharp, even at closer distances, with low distortion and attractive bokeh, and it has wonderful, build quality. It does have a couple of nasty surprises, though an alarming amount of flaring and high coma at the brightest apertures, and that could end up restricting its use as a lens for night time. Photography, although you can still use it for normal photography, to get some images with beautifully out focused backgrounds, something else i didnt mention earlier is that the lenses images seem to have a slightly green color tint to them that you will want to correct in editing because Of those issues which could affect your nighttime photography, i cant quite give the lens my very highest possible commendation, but it is still one of the sharpest f 0.
95 lenses out there with all the possibilities for photography that entails and its price of 500 is fairly reasonable. So it certainly does come recommended.