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Olympus 25mm F/1.2, LAOWA 105MM F/2, Great Vintage Lenses Under $80 {Daily Roundup}

By Anthony Thurston on March 10th 2016

Welcome to our roundup series where we will hit on several gear news and rumor topics each day. This gives you a chance to get caught up on all of the day’s news and rumors in one place. Make sure to check back daily for the latest gear news, rumors, and announcements.

Olympus F/1.2 Announcement Will Be 25mm

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We have talked about this Olympus F/1.2 lens series rumor a few times now over the last several months, and today we finally have an idea what the first lens in this new series will be.

According to a new report over on 4/3 Rumors, which cites a reliable and credible source, the first lens in this upcoming F/1.2 lens series will be a 25mm. I think that is a good choice; it’s fairly wide and is also pretty much interchangeable with the popular 24mm focal length. The question now is, will this be a full frame lens as some of the rumors have suggested, or will this be a micro four thirds lens?

Personally, I would love to see Olympus make some full frame E-mount lenses, but I fully admit that is sort of a far-fetched idea at this point. Regardless, this F/1.2 lens series from Olympus looks to be off to a good start, and I am excited to see what comes next.

Venus Optics Announces New Laowa 105mm F/2

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Our friends over at Venus Optics have a new lens announcement for us this morning, in the form of the new Laowa 105mm F/2 Smooth Trans Focus Lens. Smooth trans focus may not mean anything to you, but basically, this is similar to Fuji’s 56mm APD F/1.2 lens.

This means that your bokeh is smoother, creamier if you will. The lens features 11 elements in 8 groups, with the key feature being that apodization element, which is responsible for the smooth and creamy bokeh the lens is hoping to be known for.

The new lens will retail in the US for $699 and is going to come in Canon, Nikon, Sony A, Sony E, and Pentax K mount options.  You can check out some sample images shot with the lens below:

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The new lens can be pre-ordered now over on the Venus website for those of you interested in giving this new lens a try.

Three Vintage Lenses Under $80

Caleb Pike from DSLR Video Shooter has another great video out this week, this time featuring three vintage film lenses that are great for video that you can find each for under $80.

I have one of the Olympus 50mm F/1.8 lenses that he mentions in this video, and I can confirm that it is everything he says it is. I absolutely love it, and it’s dirt cheap on eBay as well.

What are your thoughts on today’s roundup? What news/rumors did we miss? What would you like to see covered in future roundups? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think!

Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Andrew Leinonen

    It’s pretty absurd to even suggest that the Olympus 25mm/1.2 will be anything other than a Micro Four Thirds lens. In which case it’s not “fairly wide” at all, just another 25mm / 50mm eq. normal lens. Of which M4/3 already has 3 autofocus versions (one that is already f1.4!) and 3 f0.95 manual focus versions.

    I think it’s a mistake. They should have made it a 17mm to distinguish it from the underwhelming 17/1.8, and also separate it from the huge crowd of very competent 25mm lenses that already exist.

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    • Dave Haynie

      I guess, when the 12th+ lens of the same focal length range (ok, that’s including cinema lenses) comes along for your mirrorless system, you can consider that system “mature” at least :-) That’s a high-class problem… I’ll stick with the Olympus 25mm f/1.8 for the time being. But it will be interesting to see how this compares to the Panny/Leica f/1.4 and all those f/0.95s!

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  2. Timothy Petrovic

    Could someone help me understand what a full frame lens vs micro four thirds lens means? I’m trying to wrap my head around what I’d see/get if I put a 25mm micro four thirds “Specific” lens on a Full frame DSLR? Can someone point me to a good article at all?

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    • Phil Bautista

      If you put a lens meant for a smaller mount onto a larger mount (through the use of adapters) It’s going to vignette or lose resolution, depending on the camera. I was introduced to this phenomenon with the Tokina 11-16/2.8, a lens designed for APS-C sensors. Because Tokina makes all their Canon lenses with an EF mount, it is possible to mount APS-C lenses on full frame cameras. I could thus use it on my 1Ds. There would be heavy vignetting from 11mm to about 14mm but almost goe at 15-16mm. I also tried adapting a Sigma 18-35/1.8 to a Sony a6000 via a focal reducer adapter and this resulted in heavy vignetting through most of the lens with only 35mm being somewhat usable although it got better once stopped down. I have no experience adapting lenses to Nikon F mount or Sony A7 series but I hear that there will be a drop in resolution as the camera applies the “crop factor.” A micro four thirds lens would be so small it would vignette like crazy if you stuck it on Canon but I’m not sure what would happen if it was adapted to Sony or Nikon.

      BTW Do NOT use EF-S lenses with full frame Canons. The design of the lens will just mess up your camera.

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  3. adam sanford

    Surely, those Olympus f/1.2 lenses are for m43. Why would Olympus start pumping out glass for Sony?

    Canon’s not exactly making L lenses with FX mounts, amirite?

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    • Anthony Thurston

      No I agree with you, but one of the rumors was that they were going to be full frame lenses. So I was just saying I wouldn’t mind some FE mount versions.

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  4. Matthew Saville

    Funny thing, I just picked up a $25 manual focus lens on Ebay, a Tokina 80-200 f/3.5-4.5, for lightweight landscape shooting. It’s just one pound, and super incredibly sharp when stopped down just 1-2 stops!

    One of the conveniences of being a video or landscape shooter is, manual focus is so much more ubiquitous, and this greatly opens up your options for classic lenses!

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    • Kyle Stauffer

      One of my hobbies – Finding and searching for older used manual focus lenses for a steal when the only difference (Won’t use disadvantage) to latest and greatest is the lack of AF and VR. I’ll have to check out this Tokina. For $25, i’d gladly take that risk for a chance at sharp glass! The latest buy of mine was the old 55mm 2.8 macro. Loooove that lens!

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