There are more lens manufacturers than ever before which means, for the most part, prices and quality are improving. This little prime lens is a great example of that.
I mean no disrespect to Viltrox when I say they are part of a wave of newcomers in the industry that offer affordable but quick glass. There has been somewhat of an influx of these sort of manufacturers and, as far as I can tell, there's little downside for consumers and prosumers. Viltrox are spread a little thinner than I like with what they produce, making everything from lenses and lights to camera cages and monitors. However, their latest APS-C prime lens, the Viltrox AF 56mm f/1.4 for Fujifilm X mount and Sony E mount is turning heads, and it's easy to see why.
Fast prime lenses — and a f/1.4 certainly qualifies — are desirable at almost all focal lengths, but particularly 56mm on a crop sensor, which works out at around 85mm. 85mm primes are tremendously popular for portraits and certainly one of my favorite focal lengths, but add into that a widest aperture of f/1.4, and I'm sold. The trade-off for these sort of new, fast primes is that they keep the price down, but it won't have autofocus. Well, Viltrox has kept the price at $329 for Fujifilm and $299 for Sony, but it does have autofocus. The performance of said autofocus isn't staggeringly impressive, but with that widest aperture and price, you really don't have the right to complain!
The example images and videos I have seen from reviewers has been overwhelmingly positive, with the results looking superb. I hope to try one of these in the coming weeks.
Do you own a Viltrox lens? What are your thoughts?