Weekly News Round-up: Laowa 33mm F0.95 and the “cheap” Leica 24-70mm F2.8

After months of teasing and an early announcement in China, Laowa has finally unveiled the specifications and price of the 33mm F0.95, a manual focus lens designed for APS-C sensors. What’s more, Leica has revealed the new 24-70mm F2.8 for L-mount along with a firmware update for the SL2-S.


Venus Optics Laowa ‘Argus’ 33mm f/0.95 CF APO

The 33mm F0.95 inaugurates the new ‘Argus’ series. It is designed for APS-C cameras (50mm equivalent) and is available for the Fujifilm X-mount, Sony E-mount, Nikon Z-mount and Canon RF-mount. The RF mount is a curious choice since there are no Canon APS-C products in the RF line-up, except for the EOS C70 cinema camera. Perhaps adding the EOS M-mount would have made more sense.

hand holding the Laowa 33mm lens with blurred background

The lens has an apochromatic optical design to deliver optimal performance at the fastest aperture and reduce chromatic aberration. It has a minimum focus distance of 35cm and the company promises minimal focus breathing for filmmakers.

Other characteristics include:

  • 14 elements in 9 groups
  • 1 Extra-low Dispersion, 1 Aspherical and 3 Ultra High Refraction elements
  • 9 circular aperture blades
  • stepless aperture ring
  • 62mm filter thread
  • 83mm long, 590g

The Laowa 33mm F0.95 will be available this month for the price of $500 (excluding tax). Below you can see a couple of official sample images taken with the Laowa 33mm F0.95.

portrait of a woman with black hair and out of focus street at night in the background
© Alex Cheng
woman looking through a window
© Jhon Nathan
cat in the streets at night
© Jimmy CHan

Leica Vario-Elmarit-SL 24-70mm and SL2-S firmware update

It’s surprising that Leica, whose L-mount system debuted in 2015, has only just released a 24-70mm F2.8. (The first SL camera was launched with the 24-90mm F2.8-4.)

You might expect a very high price behind a Leica product, but the 24-70mm 2.8 will be sold for $2,795. Granted, it is $600 more expensive than the Panasonic equivalent but, coming from Leica, I would have expected a much higher price. To put things into perspective, the 24-90mm is currently listed at $5,595.

Leica SL 24-70mm 2.8 on white background

The main characteristics include:

  • 19 elements in 15 groups
  • 3 aspherical elements
  • quiet stepping AF motor
  • min. focus distance: 18cm
  • 82mm filter thread
  • Weather-sealed
  • 856g

There is also a new firmware update (version 2.0) for the SL2-S full frame camera which adds a new autofocus algorithm that improves tracking as well as face, eye and body detection. Then it brings 10-bit 50/60 4K recording internally and a new feature called Automatic Follow Focus. The latter allows you to set three different focus points and have the camera go from one point to another while recording video. Another interesting feature is the Tally mode, which is a red frame around the LCD display.

Until next week!


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