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Viltrox AF 23mm f1.4 review for Fujifilm cameras

In 2020, Viltrox has delighted users of the Fujifilm X System with new high-aperture lenses. These are the Viltrox AF 23mm f1.4, 33mm f1.4 and 56mm f1.4 line. I checked out the 23mm version as soon as it became available for purchase.

The problem with the Fujifilm X-mount crop system is that the line of native optics is quite expensive and, in my opinion, is clearly overrated by the manufacturer. Prior to the release of this line from Viltrox, users of the system had a choice to wear adapters and non-native optics or go broke on the native Fujifilm.

By the way, the Viltrox lenses already exist for the system Canon EF-M.

So what is the Viltrox 23mm f1.4?viltrox 23mm f1.4

This is an autofocus lens weighing 260g in a tightly assembled sturdy metal body. It looks stylish, feels in the hands - I'm not afraid of this word - premium. The included metal hood is a luxury even for native optics from many manufacturers.

It has the same manual aperture ring as native lenses. Minus - no clicks when rotating, value change f-stop happens as in video optics.

The lens is average in size. As for a full frame lens at f1.4, it's just tiny. As for a lens for a small camera, it is rather big, but also not huge. Its weight does not burden, although in the background XC 15-45mm f3.5-5.6 certainly not easy. Everything is relative.viltrox 23mm f1.4Image quality

Center Viltrox 23mm f1.4 is sharp at all times. The edges suffer from unsharpness up to about f4. At f5.6, detail is excellent across the entire frame.

I do not recommend shooting group portraits with this lens at apertures up to f4 - people around the edges will suffer from blur.

Chromatic aberration is present at open aperture. We close the aperture a little and they disappear - a classic of the genre. Quite normal behavior for an f1.4 lens. There is no such perfectionism that lenses give Sigma ART on the open. But there is also no characteristic glow inherent Canon EF 50mm f1.4 on the same open f1.4.

If compare it to Canon EF 35mm f2 IS (and this full-frame lens has the same field of view and equivalent aperture), Canon's 35k optical quality will leave no stone unturned from Viltrox. But do not be upset, because with the native Fujinon 23mm f1.4 these lenses go side by side.

fujifilm x-t3 + viltrox 23mm f1.4

Boke

The lens with a focal length of 23mm is not the best possible lens. But the aperture f1.4 when shooting at a distance of up to 1 meter allows you to quite well separate the subject from the background. The nature of the bokeh is ambiguous and depends on the shooting distance. If the bokeh is strong - if you are shooting something or anyone large enough - then the drawing is pleasing. But if the bokeh is not very pronounced - that is, when shooting from a distance of 1.5 meters - the bokeh looks ragged and unpleasant.

Auto focus

The Viltrox 23mm f1.4 lens is equipped with a stepper motor (STM) focusing motor. This means that it focuses smoothly (as much as possible on Fuji) and fast (no problem with that). Autofocus is silent, unlike Fujinon 23mm f1.4, which is inferior to this lens not only in autofocusing mechanism, but also in design.

Total

The lens has some optical flaws that can be more forgiven, given the cost of $ 300. or about 1/3 of the price of the native Fujinon 23mm f1.4, which is also not devoid of flaws and not to say that it is clearly superior to Viltrox optically. But in terms of constructiveness and autofocus, the native lens is straightforward to merge with the new Chinese competitor.

viltrox 23mm f1.4

Overall I'm happy with this lens. It is pleasant to take it in hand, it looks beautiful on a carcass and removes it decently. I appreciate the aesthetics of Fujifilm cameras, this lens does not spoil it, but successfully complements it. Plus, it is a highly functional prime lens for all occasions. The combination of a versatile focal length and good aperture makes it the main camera for my Fujifilm X T3... This is a lens that can be used 80% of the time on the camera and you will not feel discomfort in any conditions - whether it is evening shooting, shooting in a tight room, landscape photography or even wedding.

23mm cropped or 35mm full-frame equivalent - a very useful and comfortable focal length for a wide range of tasks. The lens focuses confidently on photos and video, and in general not so bad optically. I can recommend to everyone in a row for everything :)

An overview of the entire current Viltrox line for Fujifilm.

November 2020