Laowa Argus 33mm f/0.95 CF APO for Fuji X-mount: Bokeh lovers, rejoice!

Laowa has been expanding their lens lineup with some really interesting glass for a while now. The Argus line is their new top-notch line of ultrafast primes. It currently features four f/0.95 lenses. The Laowa Argus 33mm f/0.95 is the only one of them built for APS-C cameras.

For the review, we obtained a Fujifilm XT-4 and the Argus 33mm in X-mount. This lens is perfect for Fuji cameras. However, it’s also available in Sony E, Nikon Z, Canon R and EOS-M mounts. This lens is well suited for both photography and videography. I’ve had it for a few weeks now and am excited to share how it did with you all.


  • Full of character
  • Solid, metal build
  • Smooth, long focus throw
  • Sharp even wide-open


  • No option to click or declick aperture ring, declicked only
  • Fairly heavy vignette wide-open
  • Focus throw may be too long for some

Laowa Argus 33mm f/0.95 CF APO — Tech specs

Laowa Argus 33mm f/0.95

All specifications have been taken from the B&H product page:

  • Aperture Range: f/0.95 to f/11
  • 1 x ED Element, 1 x Aspherical Element
  • 3 x Ultra-High Refraction Elements
  • Long Focus Throw, Internal Focus Design
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 13.8″
  • Stepless Aperture Ring
  • Filter Size: 62 mm
  • Aperture Blades: 9

Laowa Argus 33mm f/0.95 CF APO — Ergonomics and build quality

The Laowa Argus 33mm f/0.95 CF APO is an excellent feeling lens. It’s a solid metal build from the mount to the hood. While the focus ring is metal, the ribbed finish provides great traction. Even with sweaty hands, adjusting the focus is easy. The long, ultrasmooth throw also helps with this. As a result, focusing with precision comes easily.

The clickless aperture ring is similarly smooth. It turns like butter. However, it doesn’t turn so easily as to be accidentally changed. I rarely had issues with the lens being bumped into a different aperture without my knowledge. That’s nice when it comes to clickless aperture rings. This ring isn’t quite as well textured as the focus ring, though. I wasn’t really bothered by this, but your mileage may vary.

Otherwise, the Laowa Argus 33mm is a pretty simple lens. There are no autofocus motors. No electronic contacts, buttons, or switches are present to fuss with. It has a comfortable feel in the hand. Its reassuring weight, premium feel, and nice textures feel a class above its price point.

Build quality

Laowa Argus 33mm f/0.95 CF APO

As mentioned above, the Laowa Argus 33mm f/0.95 CF APO is solid metal in construction. Even the included squared lens hood is metal. The only major external part that is plastic is the slide-on lens cap that covers the hood. Speaking of the lens cap, it’s even built well. I never had issues with it coming off when I didn’t want it to. This lens should survive heavy use with no problem.

Laowa Argus 33mm f/0.95 CF APO

There is only really one low point when it comes to the build. There’s no mention of weather sealing on the Laowa Argus 33mm lens. That’s a little disappointing, as the lens’s $499 price point puts it toward the top end of manual lenses in this genre. Especially when considering how excellent the lens feels otherwise. Even a little dust seal on the lens mount would be appreciated.

Laowa Argus 33mm f/0.95 CF APO — In the field

Laowa Argus 33mm f/0.95 CF APO

Out in the world, using the Laowa Argus 33mm is easy as it gets. With its long and smooth focus throw, finding focus is easy. Especially when paired with Fuji’s great manual focus aids. With such a simple lens, there really isn’t much more to it. However, do keep in mind that f/0.95 yields a tiny area of focus. That presents its own challenges despite the lens.

Laowa Argus 33mm f/0.95 CF APO — Video performance and characteristics

With its long focus throw, stepless aperture, and low focus breathing, it’s pretty clear that the Laowa Argus 33mm was made with video in mind. To test that out, I brought it on a group bike ride and put together the edit above. Please ignore the crispy highlights and crazy shutter speeds, as I lost my step-down ring somewhere along the way.

When it comes to video, the Laowa 33mm f/0.95 lens performs admirably. The image it delivers is full of character when wide-open. It has a subjectively interesting look to the bokeh. The Laowa also does pretty well against the sun. However, it can flare at times. Its flaring can be quite unique as well. I personally found it to be pretty interesting. Focus breathing is minimal. Pulling focus is a cinch.

All in all, it’s very pleasing to use when filming videos. Just don’t be a dolt like me and forget or lose your 62mm ND filters and/or step-down rings. At f/0.95, you’re going to want them!

Laowa Argus 33mm f/0.95 CF APO — Image quality and characteristics

Laowa Argus 33mm f/0.95 CF APO

This is where the Laowa Argus 33mm f/0.95 CF APO gets interesting. I’ve had an absolute ball creating images with it. This is a modern lens with loads of character. It’s reminiscent of using vintage glass, but with less of the negatives. It’s sharp, has good contrast, and does pretty well with its coatings overall. Let’s dive a little deeper.

Distortion control and vignetting

The images above are a before and after corrections comparison. On the left is the photo straight out of the camera, the right is with distortion and vignette corrections. As you can tell, the lens displays some barrel distortion. However, it’s easily enough corrected. It also vignettes a good bit at f/0.95. This cleans up as you stop down, ultimately going mostly away by f/4.

Chromatic aberration, flares and ghosting

Flaring is interesting with the Laowa Argus 33mm f/0.95 CF APO. It only seems to happen at specific angles. When it does, it can be quite impressive and artistic looking. Whether that’s a con or not will be up to you, ultimately. Ghosting seems to be pretty minor. In the second mountain biking photo above, you can barely notice it below and right of the sun. There’s also a small flare ring that runs through the bike’s front tire.

When it comes to chromatic aberration, the Laowa Argus has earned its designation as an APO lens. There is hardly any present in most situations. I was able to get some slight longitudinal chromatic aberration to occur with the last two photos above. The lens produces slight green fringing behind the point of focus and some purple/magenta in front of said point.


When it comes to sharpness, the Laowa Argus 33mm f/0.95 CF APO does an admirable job. As long as you can nail focus, the lens is sharp enough in the center from f/0.95. There is some falloff in the corners, but that improves up until f/5.6. At its maximum aperture of f/11, it retains good sharpness.

Overall, the sharpness is better than expected for a lens this fast and this affordable. It likely won’t beat Fujifilm’s own 33mm f/1.4 lens, but let’s be real, you’re buying this lens for its character. Being able to get super sharp images stopped down is secondary. It’s also $300 less than the Fuji currently. Not bad, Laowa.


Now, this is the reason you’d want to buy the Laowa Argus 33mm f/0.95 CF APO. The bokeh on this lens is rendered so beautifully. I particularly enjoyed it when shooting video on the lens. However, I’m also in love with its rendition in stills as well.

As always, bokeh is incredibly subjective. However, I find the images from the Laowa to be gorgeous. The out-of-focus areas exude character without seeming too busy. I love the way it renders falloff from in focus to out of focus as well.

As far as bokeh balls go, it can produce cats-eye on specular highlights. That said, I never noticed any offensive onion ringing or roughness to them at all. Overall, the Laowa Argus 33mm f/0.95 CF APO produces some of my favorite bokeh I’ve seen from a modern lens.

Color rendition

When it comes to color, the Laowa Argus 33mm f/0.95 CF APO keeps it natural and clean. The above images are raw files edited in DxO and output to JPEG. However, I didn’t mess with the color outside of white balancing. The lens seems to keep everything pretty neutral and doesn’t appear to influence the color much.

Final thoughts on the Laowa Argus 33mm f/0.95 CF APO

Laowa Argus 33mm f/0.95 CF APO

The Laowa Argus 33mm f/0.95 CF APO is an awesome entry into the APS-C world. I applaud Laowa for making such a cool lens for this category. Other than Fuji and perhaps Pentax, the camera world has largely ignored APS-C when it comes to fun and interesting lenses.

Laowa really knocked it out of the park with the Argus 33mm. The build feels great, the images are beautiful and packed with character, and the price is right for what you get. I do, however, wish that the lens had the option to add clicks to the aperture when shooting stills. Outside of the one little niggle, if you’re interested in this lens, buy it! It’s the most fun I’ve had with a lens in a while. I doubt anyone would regret adding this beauty to their collection.

Laowa Argus 33mm f/0.95 CF APO

The Laowa Argus 33mm f/0.95 CF APO is an ultrafast prime lens built for APS-C cameras. With an excellent build quality, phenomenal bokeh, and a reasonable price, it’s hard to go wrong with this lens. If you’re after a lens full of character, look no further. This lens leans toward the videographers out there, but don’t let that deter you from picking it up for photography. If you’re all right with manual focus and a stepless aperture ring, the Laowa Argus is hard to beat.