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01-12-2016, 08:31 PM - 3 Likes   #1
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LAOWA STF 105mm F2.0 (T3.2)

Looked through the forums and found a FF lens is coming out this year (it will be available in Canon, Nikon,Pentax K, Sony A and E mount). It is LAOWA Smooth Transition Focus (STF) 105mm F2.0 (T3.2) Manual Focus. A direct comparison of this lens is Minolta/Sony 135mm f2.8 [T4.50] STF.

LAOWA belongs to a Chinese startup, which makes 60mm F2.8 2:1 macro and 15mm F4 1:1 macro (which are also available in Pentax K). I learned that a 12mm F2.8 FF lens (in Pentax K again) will also be released soon!!!

STF 105mm F2.0 ( U.S retail price is estimated to be around $600 - $700):



MTF:


Design:


Sample photos:




Technical details: (sorry in Chinese, please guess:-))


Original link: (To a photography forum in Chinese)
http://forum.xitek.com/thread-1533456-1-1-1.html
http://forum.xitek.com/thread-1444928-1-1-1.html


Last edited by starjedi; 01-12-2016 at 08:43 PM.
01-12-2016, 08:43 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by starjedi Quote
Looked through the forums and found a FF lens is coming out this year (it will be available in Canon, Nikon,Pentax K, Sony A and E mount). It is LAOWA Smooth Transition Focus (STF) 105mm F2.0 (T3.2) Manual Focus. A direct comparison of this lens is Minolta/Sony 135mm f2.8 [T4.50] STF.

LAOWA belongs to a Chinese startup, which makes 60mm F2.8 2:1 macro and 15mm F4 1:1 macro (which are also available in Pentax K). I learned that a 12mm F2.8 FF lens (in Pentax K again) will also be released soon!!!

STF 105mm F2.0 ( U.S retail price is estimated to be around $600 - $700):
Pardon my ignorance, but are there any advantages to these lenses apart from the fact that they make some MF options available to those who buy the K-1 (or whatever it is called)???
01-12-2016, 08:47 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by reh321 Quote
Pardon my ignorance, but are there any advantages to these lenses apart from the fact that they make some MF options available to those who buy the K-1 (or whatever it is called)???
I think they are special purpose lenses. I assumed 105mm F2 STF and 12mm F2.8 Full frame should be interested to someone here, even for APS-C.
01-12-2016, 09:20 PM   #4
arv
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Great news. I'll have to get one for sure.

01-12-2016, 09:21 PM   #5
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There've been some reps from Laowa/Venus Optics who have showed up here when their various lenses have been released. Apparently, they make pretty decent lenses in exotic length/aperture combos.
01-12-2016, 11:32 PM   #6
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'Smooth Transition Focus' was a new term to me for lenses, so I had to Google it a bit.

Came up with some Minolta and Sony lenses, and their descriptions seem to indicate that STF lenses are bokeh specialists - :

QuoteQuote:
Smooth Transition Focus (STF) optics produce images with high resolution at the plane of focus, melting away to beautifully diffused out of focus rendition.
Sony 135 mm F2.8 [T4.5] STF lens

From the samples, the Laowa seems to do the STF job pretty well.
01-13-2016, 12:27 AM   #7
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Does anyone know if the K mount version will have KA contacts?
01-13-2016, 12:47 AM   #8
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An interesting lens, the silver version looks nice.

QuoteOriginally posted by jeffshaddix Quote
Does anyone know if the K mount version will have KA contacts?
unlikely

01-13-2016, 12:50 AM - 2 Likes   #9
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Interestingly, and somewhat coincidentally, I released a YouTube video last week about the Sony STF lens. It explains how an STF lens works, why the apodization filter causes the STF effect, and what the STF effect is. I'm also finishing up a forum article about it, and the forum article is much more detailed than the video.



---------- Post added 01-12-16 at 11:51 PM ----------

That lens looks like it's going to have two apertures, just like the Sony. That's very exciting. I hope the Pentax mount is PKA.
01-13-2016, 05:15 AM   #10
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In addition to the numerous but mid-resolution pictures in the Xitek threads referenced by the OP, sample images are available for download from:

- https://yunpan.cn/OcuWqL82CSKLPX password: 9351. 9 pictures taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mark III (full-resolution jpeg files)

- https://yunpan.cn/OcuWqBwTM7s9Bw password: CFAE. 1 picture taken with a Nikon D800 (full-resolution jpeg file) and 9 Canon RAW files (CR2)

You will also find a number of sample images (as full-resolution jpeg files) in the dedicated Flickr album I have set up: https://flic.kr/s/aHsksPyYgn

Last, a few thumbnail pictures, each linked to the corresponding Flickr page from which you will be able to see the full-resolution image:

01-13-2016, 05:21 AM   #11
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It's really got nice bokeh.
But for sure not a replacement of A*135/1.8
01-13-2016, 05:39 AM - 2 Likes   #12
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Great news!

It puzzles me why not more lenses using an apodisation filter are offered.

The existence of an apodisation filter should not necessarily cause a lens to be manual focus only, the latter obviously reducing market appeal.

Perhaps Ricoh can use their controllable glass patent one day, to build a lens that can switch an apodisation filter in and out, as desired.

Perhaps Ricoh -- but now I'm seriously fantasising -- can provide an apodisation filter simulator as a camera option that would allow the STF principle to be used with any existing K-mount lens (by dynamically changing the aperture during exposure). I've proposed the latter many times at a number of places, but the safest assumption is that the respective posts just diffused into the internet ether.
01-13-2016, 05:41 AM   #13
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In theory this should make an excellent portrait lens, but I really like AF for higher keep rate when doing portraits.

I hope this company makes a mirror lens too. Possibly an off axis design like Schiefspiegler or yolo to deal with the doughnut bokeh or a multiple folded design like the LSST telescope (click) to make unheard of f-numbers for short tele lenses.

Last edited by Simen1; 01-13-2016 at 05:47 AM.
01-13-2016, 05:55 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
Great news!

It puzzles me why not more lenses using an apodisation filter are offered.

The existence of an apodisation filter should not necessarily cause a lens to be manual focus only, the latter obviously reducing market appeal.

Perhaps Ricoh can use their controllable glass patent one day, to build a lens that can switch an apodisation filter in and out, as desired.

Perhaps Ricoh -- but now I'm seriously fantasising -- can provide an apodisation filter simulator as a camera option that would allow the STF principle to be used with any existing K-mount lens (by dynamically changing the aperture during exposure). I've proposed the latter many times at a number of places, but the safest assumption is that the respective posts just diffused into the internet ether.
That's a good idea! Make slow and portable aperture lens do something big!
01-13-2016, 07:06 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
(...)

The existence of an apodisation filter should not necessarily cause a lens to be manual focus only, the latter obviously reducing market appeal.

(...)
According to the available literature, phase-detection autofocus cannot work with an apodisation filter. Contrast-detection autofocus can though, as illustrated by the Fujinion XF 56mm f/1.2 R APD.
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