I spent a few weeks testing the new Viltrox 75mm f/1.2 lens for Fujifilm, and in the accompanying article and video, I share my thoughts on one of the most exciting third party lenses on the market today.
Focal Length: 75mm (35mm Equivalent Focal Length: 112.5mm)
Maximum Aperture: f/1.2
Minimum Aperture: f/16
Angle of View: 21.35°
Minimum Focus Distance: 34.6" / 88 cm
Maximum Magnification: 0.1x
Optical Design: 16 Elements in 11 Groups
Diaphragm Blades: 11
Focus Type: Autofocus
Image Stabilization: No
Filter Size: 77 mm (Front)
Dimensions: (ø x L) 3.4 x 4" / 87 x 101 mm
Weight: 23.6 oz / 670 g
Build Quality and Design
The Viltrox 75mm f/1.2 autofocus lens is the first in their high-end PRO series line, and it is clear from first opening the box that this lens means business. It is all metal and feels extremely robust, with a smooth focusing barrel and an aperture ring that has just the right amount of resistance to click into place without feeling cumbersome. The lens is certainly not small or light, but I found it quite comfortable to use. I really like the way it pairs with the Fujifilm X-T5, not only aesthetically but more importantly it balances nicely with the camera, especially for a lens with a full frame focal length equivalent of 112.5mm. The aperture ring and focusing ring and both are large enough to make them easy to find without searching with your fingers while looking through the viewfinder. The lens also features water- and dust-proofing, with a number of rubber gaskets located throughout the body as well as around the mount. Viltrox calls it a “professional level waterproof and dust-proof design.” The lens hood is a hard plastic and matches quality of the lens nicely. Overall, the 75mm is quite rugged and even features a PRO badge that is etched into the metal barrel, a nice touch that enhances the premium nature of the lens.
All of the images in this review were taken using a Fujifilm X-T5. I first tested the 75mm at my studio using a number of different lighting setups. In this image of my photographer friend, Alex, I used a parallel setup and shot wide open at f/1.2, focusing on his camera-right eye. I was impressed not only by the overall sharpness, but also by how well the Viltrox resolves the X-T5's 40-megapixel sensor. There is a ton of detail, excellent color rendition, and good contrast.
In this next image of my bandmate, Jesse, I switched to a Rembrandt-style light and used a single Westcott flex panel and again shot wide open. The Viltrox was once again sharp, with excellent natural colors and a pleasing transition from lights to darks. The skin tones are rendered well and the color is pleasing without having to make any adjustments in post. Once again, I focused on the subject's camera-right eye.
For this last image from my studio, I used a Nanlite in a reflector set very close to my subject. Check out the detail in his sunglasses. As before, the image is extremely sharp, with all the detail I could ever want. I was also happy with how well this image handled my editing process, in which I crushed the blacks quite a bit. This image was shot at f/2.5.
Next, I took the Viltrox 75mm with me to a venue in Astoria in order to capture some concert photos in low light. And this particular venue had very little in the way of stage lighting, so it was the perfect challenge for the lens. When shooting at ISO 3,200, 4,000, and higher, I was able to create excellent results with acceptable grain. The black and white image below was captured at ISO 3,200 and once again shot wide open at f/1.2. The speed of the lens came in handy in such a poorly lit room.Finally, I took the X-T5 and Viltrox 75mm with me on a family outing and took a bunch of portraits of my kids. The 112.5mm full frame focal length equivalent begs you to take portraits, and as this is a true portrait lens through and through, here, it really shines. As before, the sharpness and overall detail impressed me. But what I loved the most were the beautiful colors, pleasing skin tones, and excellent contrast. Portrait photographers will absolutely love the bokeh, and as someone who enjoys shooting wide open, this lens hits the spot. Regarding image quality, this is one of the best lenses I’ve tested and certainly rivals the quality I get with my Fujifilm lenses.
I upgraded the firmware to version 1.0.2 after my studio session, and there was a noticeable difference in the autofocus performance. I thought that the autofocus was good even before the update, so having the slight bump in performance was a nice touch. One thing I really appreciate is how quiet the lens is. The STM motor is fast and almost silent, and when using it with eye tracking, I was able to achieve excellent and consistent results with the X-T5. When using the camera in single shot focus mode, I did notice that the AF is a bit snappier than when using it in AF-C, so if you prefer to use continuous autofocus as I do, you will lose a touch of the speed. But there was never a time when using the 75mm that I felt like the autofocus speed and accuracy impeded my ability to get the shot. In my studio, where most of the ambient lights were turned off, the lens easily tracked my subject’s eye even when it was obscured in shadow. Again, when shooting dim stage, the lens did not hunt for faces, and easily locked on to the subjects who were lit by a very minimalist stage lighting. Shooting in a terribly poor lighting condition was really no problem at all for the lens. Outside in the daytime, pretty much all but a handful of the shots I took were in perfect focus, even when shooting wide open. I also took some backlit portraits against the sun, and this didn’t create any problems for the autofocus system.
Until now, I’ve been singing the praises of this lens, and with good reason. I have, however, found one area where the lens falls a bit short. When shooting with the setting sun directly behind my subject, there was quite a bit of flaring. Although the lens had no trouble focusing and even tracking my subject, I was a bit surprised by the amount of flare. Bear in mind that I purposely put the lens in a very difficult situation in order to see how well the autofocus worked against heavy backlight.
Outside of some flaring when shooting in direct sunlight, I really can’t find anything negative to say about the Viltrox 75mm f/1.2. In fact, from the moment I put it on my camera, I fell in love with it, because it handles like a much more expensive Fujifilm lens in terms of design, performance, and most importantly, image quality. I think that Viltrox has hit a home run with this lens, and for those of us who shoot with Fujifilm cameras, it is a very appealing lens in terms of focal length, autofocus, and overall quality.
What I Like
- Superb image quality
- Fast, quiet autofocus
- Robust build quality
- Thoughtful design throughout
What I Didn't Like
- Flaring when shooting into the sun
- No built-in image stabilizer
To purchase a Viltrox 75mm f/1.2 for your Fujifilm camera, go here.
I don't have a use case, but my GAS still wants this lens. :-)
Typo in header.
Thanks for spotting that!
This is probably the next lens I will purchase for my X-T5. So far I've had the 13mm, 23mm, 33mm, 56mm and 80mm. I enjoyed them all except the 33mm. Since then, I have replaced them all with the native Fujifilm equivalent. This 75mm look particularly appealing considering the price vs performance ratio.
It's a great lens for the price, for sure.
Why would you need lens stabilisation, when you have 5 way IBIS in the cam?
Some parts of the test resemble more the XT-5 performance rather than the one of the lens.
How about the resolution/f-stops, how about chromatic aberration? How about MTF , thick line vs thin line resolution. What did Viltrox specifically do to create a good bokeh?
This 'test' shows - yes it can take photos.... ;-) , but thx for the effort anyway.