I’ve never really been one to use third party autofocus lenses, but a while ago I purchased the Viltrox 23mm F/1.4 and fell in love with it. In fact, so much so, that for the last 18 months or more that I’ve had it, it has been almost glued to my Fujifilm X-T3. I also purchased the Viltrox 85mm F/1.8, which was a fantastic lens, but I sold it to purchase a different lens that I needed at the time. There was nothing wrong with it, it was just too long a focal length for my usage.
I have been after the Viltrox 13mm F/1.4 lens since it was announced. I love my wide and super-wide angle lenses, indeed my TTArtisan 7.5mm F/2 gets a lot of use. I looked at the Fujifilm XF10-24mm F/4 for a long time, but that F/4 just doesn’t suit my photography or my photography roadmap of super large aperture lenses. As I already have the 7.5mm, which can be straightened and cropped to give me a 9mm at F/2, I thought the Viltrox 13mm could really fill the void, keeping wide aperture capabilities (which are needed for low light and bokeh).
I purchased the Viltrox (and other Viltrox lenses) from AVMPhoto who are very competitive and give amazing customer service. I had my lens within a few days of ordering, and I’ve managed to use the lens in a variety of scenarios. I’m not going to spout technical specs, but just tell you about real world usage and results.
Lens build quality
The lens keeps up with Viltrox’ tradition of building quality bodies at a great price. The lens feels sturdy, has a nice weight (420g) and is not much bigger than the Viltrox 23mm or 56mm lenses (as seen in the below image).
There’s a nice surprise with this lens, not only does it have a “real” aperture ring (unlike a few Fujifilm cameras where the ring is unmarked), but it’s the first Viltrox lens I’ve used with a clicky aperture ring.
The lens has a 67mm filter thread which is quite typical for these lenses and it’s easy enough to buy filters for this size.
Lens image quality
First thing to know is, I’m not a pixel peeper. I publish my work online, on social media and my website, plus I print a lot of images, usually from 6×4 for photos albums, 7×5 and A4. Occasionally I will print large poster sizes.
Looking at the images I’ve taken with this lens, the quality and sharpness throughout the frame is extremely good. Images have a lot of detail, with good contrast. In fact, it’s probably one of the sharpest lenses I’ve ever used! However, none of that really matters if you only share your work on social media of course.
13mm is equivalent to 19.5mm on a full frame camera, so it’s very wide. The benefit of choosing this focal length over a 10mm is that there is a lot less distortion, which is perfect for landscape and architecture. Natural looking images, and you can fit everything in, even in the tightest of spaces.
The 13mm focuses very fast, and very quietly and works well with the X-T3’s face and eye detection. It also has a really close minimum focus distance of 8.7 inches (or 22cm), so you can get some great bokeh in your images.
Chromatic aberration (CA) is extremely well controlled, and I’ve found it really hard to find any on most images. This is impressive, as lenses that are much more expensive can suffer quite badly with this issue.
I’m not going to lie, I really like the Viltrox 13mm F/1.4 lens. It perfectly compliments my TTArtisan 7.5mm, Viltrox 23mm and 56mm lenses. It’s a formidable setup of F/1.4 (and F/2) glass that is good enough to use for any occasion.
It’s built well, focuses fast, has a great aperture ring and is sharp. What more could you want in a lens? It’s a lens you can use as a main prime lens for a day out in a town/city or a landscape. A lot of people can’t work with wide angle lenses, but for those of us who love them, this is a lens that should be in everyone’s kit bag.
Camera image samples
Below are full resolution, brightness adjusted camera images for you to view. They were shot on the Fujifilm X-T3 and all EXIF data is included in the images. Click on the images to make them full screen.
I hope you found this review interesting. Please feel free to ask any questions, share the review or use the review as you like. No money is made from my reviews, and all the views are my own opinion.