It's nicknamed the 'Bokeh Dreamer', but is this Laowa lens worth purchasing for portraiture? Michael Topham puts this unique lens to the test

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Laowa 105mm f/2 (T.32) STF

Product:

Laowa 105mm f/2 (T3.2) STF review

Price as reviewed:

£649.00

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Laowa 105mm f/2 (T3.2) STF – Introduction

MT5D9834

We’re always on the lookout for new and intriguing lenses to review, and one that caught our attention when it was announced earlier this year was the Laowa 105mm f/2 (T3.2) STF. Designed as a medium telephoto lens specifically for DSLR cameras with a full-frame sensor, it’s primarily intended for portraiture and is rather niche in that it’s one of only a few lenses to feature an apodization element, which promises to deliver superior bokeh rendering and pin-sharp images.

For those wondering what STF stands for in the lens name, it refers to Smooth Trans Focus – a lens design that’s associated with producing a high level of sharpness at the plane of focus, and at the same time gradually melting away to form a soft, natural and beautifully diffused out-of-focus rendition. There are very few lenses that feature an apodization element – the only others that spring to mind are the Sony 135mm f/2.8 (T4.5) STF and the Fujifilm Fujinon XF 56mm f/1.2 R APD. Unlike the Fuji lens, the Laowa is manual focus only: just like the 135mm f/2.8 (T4.5) STF Sony produces for the A-mount.

  1. 1. Laowa 105mm f/2 (T3.2) STF - Introduction
  2. 2. Laowa 105mm f/2 (T3.2) STF - Features
  3. 3. Laowa 105mm f/2 (T3.2) STF - Build and handling
  4. 4. Laowa 105mm f/2 (T3.2) STF - Image quality
  5. 5. Laowa 105mm f/2 (T3.2) STF - Testing
  6. 6. Laowa 105mm f/2 (T3.2) STF - Verdict
  7. 7. Laowa 105mm f/2 (T3.2) STF - Full specification
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