I recently reviewed the newer Viltrox 13mm F/1.4 lens for Fujifilm which I bought at the same time as the Viltrox 56mm F/1.4 lens. While there is a lot similar between the 56mm and the 13mm, there are also differences. Let’s take a look at the Viltrox 56mm F/1.4 in a bit of detail and give you some thoughts on this lens.
I love prime lenses, and I love the mindset that they put you in when you’re using them. Some prime lenses are easier to use than others, while some prime lenses are great for purposes that others are not so good at. Generally I use wider focal length lenses such as the 23mm F/1.4 that’s been glued to my Fujifilm X-T3 for the last 18 months or more recently my new Viltrox 13mm F1/.4 lens. The 56mm is a focal length I use for more specific photography. On the Fujifilm X system, the focal length is equivalent to roughly 85mm full frame, making the lens a short telephoto. The focal length is perfect for people, portraits, flowers and occasional landscape or street photography images.
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 used 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.
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.
Lens build quality
If you’ve seen one Viltrox lens, you’ve seen them all. The 56mm is of excellent build quality, very similar in size to the Viltrox 23mm F/1.4 and smaller than the recently reviewed 13mm F/1.4 lens. It’s the usual metal build, with a metal lens mount and a look and build of something more expensive.
The lens weighs 290 grams and measures 2.6 inches by 2.8 inches (65x72mm). The is an aperture ring as always is the case for Viltrox lenses. The aperture ring is clickless, so does not have tactile response like the clicky Viltrox 13mm aperture ring.
There is quite a large lens hood supplied with the 56mm. Its metal and fits perfectly both when attached as a lens hood, and when reversed for storage.
The 56mm autofocus is fast and reliable most of the time, it is well above the speed and accuracy of the Fujifilm 56mm F/1.2 APD that I have used, however, on occasions it did fail to find objects that were within the minimum focus distance quickly and hunted a bit in these situations. Generally though, when not looking for close distance, it was very good.
Lens image quality
The 56mm focal length is the full frame equivalent of 84mm full frame. This makes it perfect for portraits, so one would expect a nice sharp image with this lens. Thankfully, the lens doesn’t disappoint, its a very sharp lens. As mentioned in other reviews, I am not a pixel peeper. I use images for websites, social media and printing, and with this lens I’m more than happy with its output.
The lens is extremely sharp in the centre, and from wishing with the files, without pixel peeping for the sake of it, it looks excellent in the corners also. The lens can display a touch of chromatic aberration on very high contrast images, however it’s rarely noticeable, and can be removed with a single click in editing software, so its really not an issue.
The minimum focus distance of this lens is 60cm (2 feet) which isn’t the closest focusing, but it’s good enough for most occasions.
The Viltrox 56mm F/1.4 gives you nothing short of beautiful results. It is ideal for portraits, street photography and flowers etc, where separating the subject from the background can be important.
As it’s a focal length I don’t usually use on a daily basis, I made sure I used this lens exclusively on a number of occasions to really push the lens to is6 limits. And, do you know what? I really enjoyed using it! I think it has given some of my favourite images this year. It just has a character that our lenses do not have.
These examples are full size images and all EXIF can be found within each photo. Some have had exposure correction, but no other changes.
As always, the reviews are all my opinion and I spent my own money on the equipment. The results were after substantial testing in the real world. I do not get paid to promote these items.