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Opticallimits Viltrox 85mm f/1.8 Review: “A Surprisingly Mature Product”

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Viltrox 85mm f/1.8

The Viltrox 85mm f/1.8 was the best selling third party lens of 2019 here on FujiRumors, and that it was a good choice.

The cusotmer reviews are mostly very positive:

Now also renowned review sites, such as opticallimits (former photozone), have declared it a great alternative to the Fujinon optics, which remain superior in terms of IQ and AF speed, but you also pay them significantly more.

The Viltrox PFU RBMH 85mm f/1.8 STM is an attractive medium tele lens for Fujifilm cameras. It is sharp across the image field – especially at medium aperture settings – and it doesn’t show any substantial weakness across the other characteristics either. Lateral CAs are low as are image distortions. There is a bit of vignetting at f/1.8 but it’s nothing out of the ordinary (on an APS-C sensor at least). A very positive aspect is the quality of the bokeh. Image highlights are nicely rendered at f/1.8 and the blur in the focus transition zones is very creamy. Bokeh fringing (LoCA) is present at large-aperture settings but that’s hardly surprising.

The build quality feels very “tanky” due to the all-metal design. Pro photographers may miss weather-sealing but that’s a different market segment anyway. Unlike other small manufacturers, Viltrox managed to implement an autofocus motor (STM = stepping motor). The speed is decent but action photography is a bit out of scope. However, such a lens is more aligned to portrait or street photography anyway.

It is quite surprising than Viltrox was capable of designing and manufacturing such a mature product as their first shot into the market. Other newcomers struggled much more during their first years (and some still do). Of course, designing a 85mm f/1.8 isn’t science fiction but getting all the required acts together at a very attractive price point is an achievement. Thus if you can’t or don’t want to pay the premium price for a Fujifilm XF 90mm f/2 LM R WR, the Viltrox lens is a worthy candidate for your shopping list.

Now I can’t wait how the next Viltrox Fujifilm X autofocus lenses will perform, the Viltrox 23mm f/1.4, 33mm f/1.4 and 56mm f/1.4.

You can read the full review at opticallimits.

Viltrox Video Reviews

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