Laowa’s Argus T1 Cine Series Promises Affordability and Speed

Venus Optics has announced the Laowa Argus T1 Cine Series, including what Venus Optics claims are the world’s first ultra-fast T1 aperture 28mm and 35mm T1 lenses for full-frame cameras.

Although the 28mm and 35mm T1 full-frame lenses are especially notable, the new Laowa Argus T1 Cine Series comprises eight total lenses across multiple sensor formats. Beyond the Argus 28mm T1 FF and Argus 35mm T1 FF primes, there is also a longer Argus 45mm T1 FF cinema lens.

Two black camera lenses are shown on a dark surface. The lens on the left is labeled "Argus 45mm T1.0 Full Frame," while the lens on the right is labeled "Argus 35mm T1.0 Full Frame." Both lenses feature blue accents around the edge of the mounts.

For Super35 cameras, there is the Laowa 18mm T1 S35, Laowa 25mm T1 S35, and Laowa 35mm T1 S35.

Three camera lenses are displayed against a dark background. From left to right, the lenses are labeled 30mm, 50mm, and 18mm, with T1.0 written on each. The lenses are black with blue accents, and numerals marking focal distances are visible on each lens.

The final Argus T1 Cine Series lenses are 18mm T1 and 25mm T1 primes for Micro Four Thirds cameras, equivalent to 36mm and 50mm lenses.

Two black camera lenses labeled "Argus" are positioned side by side on a dark surface. The lens on the left is a 25mm T1.0, while the one on the right is an 18mm T1.0. Both lenses are designed for MFT (Micro Four Thirds) cameras and feature blue accents.

There are many available lens mounts, so it can be a bit tricky to keep track of everything. The three full-frame Argus Cine lenses are available for Sony E, Nikon Z, and Canon RF-mount mirrorless cameras. The three Super35 lenses come in the same mounts, with the addition of Fujifilm X Series compatibility. As for the pair of Micro Four Thirds lenses, it’s straightforward — they come in Micro Four Thirds mount.

Across the entire Laowa Argus T1 Cine Series, Venus Optics promises shallow depth of field and dreamy bokeh. While the depth of field will be most shallow with the 45mm T1 lens on full-frame cameras, they should all offer strong subject separation. Given the fast apertures, all lenses are well-suited to low-light scenarios.

The lenses have been designed to offer low focus breathing, consistent color reproduction, and strong resolving capabilities. Further, unlike the Laowa Argus lenses for still photography, the new Cine Series lenses feature cinema-oriented housing and controls, including unified gear positions across individual sub-series. The lenses include 0.8 mod gearing for both aperture and focus rings — they are manual lenses, by the way — and 80mm outer diameters across the board. They also focus internally, meaning that a gimbal doesn’t require rebalancing due to focus changes.

Although precise size and weight vary by the lens, the Argus T1 Cine Series is reasonably compact and lightweight, given that they are T1 cinema lenses. The full-frame lenses range from 4.1 inches (104 millimeters) to 4.8 inches (122 millimeters) in length and weigh between 2.1 and 2.65 pounds (950 to 1,200 grams).

The Super35 lenses range from 3.7 to 4.2 inches (94 to 107 millimeters) and weigh between 1.5 and 2.1 pounds (700 and 950 grams).

The smallest and lightest of the bunch, the Micro Four Thirds lenses are both 3.8 inches (98 millimeters) long and weigh about 1.5 pounds (659 to 690 grams).

Complete specifications for each of the new lenses are available on Venus Optics’ website.

The new Laowa Argus T1 Cine Series lenses are available now. The full-frame lenses are $1,499 each, or $3,999 in a three-lens bundle. The Super35 lenses are $899 each, or $2,399 for the trio. Finally, the Micro Four Thirds primes are $699 each, or $1,259 for both.

Image credits: Venus Optics / Laowa

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