OpticalLimits: Viltrox AF 23mm f/1.4 XF and Viltrox AF 33mm f/1.4 XF Review

Optical Limits posted their review for the Viltrox AF 23mm f/1.4 XF and Viltrox AF 33mm f/1.4 XF. Below are exhirpts from each review, but if you want to read the full review the Viltrox AF 23mm f/1.4 XF can be viewed here and Viltrox AF 33mm f/1.4 XF can be viewed here.

Viltrox AF 23mm f/1.4 XF

The Viltrox AF 23mm f/1.4 XF may not be as good as the competing Fujinon lenses but it easily beats both of them in terms of value…… Therefore you may forgive that it has a couple of weak spots. At f/1.4, you have to live with reduced contrast and weak corners but the center quality is pretty good…..If you want very sharp results across the image field, the Viltrox lens can provide this when stopping down to f/4. Lateral CAs could be a little better at f/1.4 and f/2 but you can, once again, tame them by stopping down a bit (or use CA correct in your favorite RAW converter). Image distortions are very low and that’s without any digital trickery. The vignetting characteristic is typical for such a high-speed lens thus there’s some visible light falloff at large-aperture settings. The bokeh has its ups and downs depending on the scene. Out-of-focus highlights are nicely rendered. The blur near the image center is very smooth but harsh contrasts in the image corners can be challenging for the lens.

The mechanical quality of the Viltrox AF 23mm f/1.4 XF is surprisingly high. It’s tightly assembled and most of the lens is made of metal including the lens hood….. The focusing speed is very high and AF operations are noiseless – just as it should be….. Viltrox keeps on updating the firmware of the lens (currently at v1.0.6).

So all-in-all, the Viltrox lens may not be perfect but if you can live with its limitations, you can get a lot of bang for your bucks here.

Viltrox AF 33mm f/1.4 XF

…In terms of resolution, it is quite sharp in the image center at f/1.4 and f/2 whereas the outer image field is soft. Stopping down results in a gradual increase in quality reaching its peak at f/5.6. Images are sharp across the board at this setting although there’s still some room for improvement here. Lateral CAs are low and nothing to worry about. If you are into architecture photography, you may spot a tad of pincushion distortion. There is also some vignetting when shooting at f/1.4 but it’s not out of the ordinary really….. A positive aspect is the quality of the bokeh. It deteriorates somewhat in the far corners but generally, it is pleasing. This is especially true for the out-of-focus highlights.

…..the mechanical quality is surprisingly high. Similar to its in-house cousins, the Viltrox AF 33mm f/1.4 XF is tightly assembled and most of the lens is made of metal including the lens hood. The AF is both speedy and noiseless….. Firmware upgrades are also possible. This can’t be done via the camera but instead, you have to connect a USB cable to the USB port at the mount of the lens…..

Overall, it may not the last word in terms of sharpness at large apertures but the Viltrox AF 33mm f/1.4 XF is a killer offering in terms of value and a serious alternative to the aging Fujinon XF 35mm f/1.4 R.

VILTROX 23mm f/1.4: B&H Photo / Amazon
VILTROX 33mm f/1.4: B&H Photo / Amazon

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