It's nicknamed the 'Bokeh Dreamer', but is this Laowa lens worth purchasing for portraiture? Michael Topham puts this unique lens to the test
Laowa 105mm f/2 (T3.2) STF – Verdict
The Laowa 105mm f/2 (T3.2) STF is a niche lens that won’t appeal to everyone. The fact that it’s manual focus only lends it to subjects that are static, and with those that move unpredictably it’s unlikely you’ll find focus fast enough using this lens. But modern DSLRs aren’t best-suited to manual focus, so it would be more enjoyable to use with a mirrorless camera sporting better manual focusing aids.
The silky background blur this lens is capable of producing at wide apertures is particularly pleasing to the eye and helps to create a distinct separation between your subject and what lies in front or behind. Closing the lens down to f/2.8 produces impressive sharpness in the centre and the lack of chromatic aberration and distortion must be commended. The quality of its build is as good as you’d expect for the price, but it’s ultimately the quality of the bokeh and blur you’re paying for here. This lives up to our high expectations, and in the right hands can produce stunning results well suited to portraiture.