The Unlikely Portrait Hero: We Review the Viltrox 13mm f/1.4 Lens

The Viltrox 13mm f/1.4 lens is a thoughtfully designed super wide-angle lens for Fujifilm X-Mount cameras. Featuring a physical aperture ring, compact design, and solid construction, it is an excellent option for Fujifilm users. In this article and the accompanying video, I will share my experience using the 13mm primarily as a portrait lens.

Fujifilm X-H2 and Viltrox 13mm f/1.4 lens

Build Quality & Handling

For a super wide-angle lens, the Viltrox 13mm f/1.4 is quite compact. It has a metal mount, a metal lens hood, and feels like a much more expensive piece of kit. The manual focus ring is large and easy to use, and those of you who love manual focus will appreciate the smooth focusing that does not have any of the jerky electronic feeling of some lenses. The aperture ring is large and has a satisfying click through each f-stop value, without being stiff. Although the lens is not compact, it is not large and handled well whether I was shooting on an X-T5 or X-H2, even when shooting with one hand, which I did for this review.

Viltrox 13mm f/1.4 for Fujifilm

Fujifilm X-H2 and Viltrox 13mm f/1.4 lens

Viltrox 13mm f/1.4 for Fujifilm


The 13mm has an STM motor, and I found the autofocus to be on par with Fuji’s Linear Motor lenses. I didn’t notice any difference in the speed and accuracy of the autofocus in the 13mm when compared with the Fuji 16-55 f/2.8, a lens I use regularly. It focuses fast, and it is silent too. Using the Viltrox 13mm on the X-T5 and X-H2 was a blast, and there was only one time when the autofocus struggled. While shooting tree leaves into direct sunlight with the autofocus set to tracking, the focus struggled to lock on to a leaf. Once set to single point, the issue was solved and the lens immediately locked on without any hesitation. The best part about the autofocus is that I barely gave it a second thought, since the camera and lens did their job and focused on my subjects right away.

Fujifilm X-H2 and Viltrox 13mm f/1.4 lens
I shot nighttime portraits using the Fuji X-H2, Viltrox 13mm & a Lume Cube light stick. I held the camera in one hand and the light in the other.

The Unlikely Portrait Lens

I was most impressed with the Viltrox 13mm f/1.4 when shooting an unlikely subject for a super wide-angle lens – portraits! I decided to give the Viltrox a try for some nighttime outdoor portraits at one of my favorite hangs in New York. Using the Fujifilm X-H2, Viltrox 13mm, and a Lume Cube Tube Light Mini, I asked a bunch of musicians if I could take their portrait in between sets. Admittedly, I was a bit nervous to use a super wide-angle lens for portraits, especially since I planned to hold the tube light in one hand and the camera in the other. I was afraid of distorting faces of course, but I also thought I would not be able to angle the light high enough that it did not appear in my photos. The VIltrox proved itself not only to be a great portrait lens, but a great lens, period. The images are sharp, detailed, with vibrant colors, and minimal distortion for such a wide field of view. The subjects pop from the background, and the lens even has very pleasing bokeh. The fast f/1.4 aperture made shooting outside at night an easy and enjoyable task.

Fujifilm X-H2 and Viltrox 13mm f/1.4 lens
Fujifilm X-H2 and Viltrox 13mm f/1.4 lens

Image Quality

The overall image quality of the Viltrox 13mm is excellent. In my testing I found the images to be sharpest around f/5.6, but also very good wide open. At f/11, the images do become softer. At f/1.4, there was some color fringing, but this also disappeared at f/5.6. Viltrox claims that the lens is designed to minimize distortion, and I found this to be true as well in my images, which, although clearly shot with a wide-angle lens, do not look overly distorted for portraiture. The 13mm does have quite a bit of vignetting at all apertures, but this is a simple fix in post.

Fujifilm X-H2 and Viltrox 13mm f/1.4 lens

Get It or Forget It?

The Viltrox 13mm f/1.4 did not disappoint. It looks, feels, and handles like a much more expensive lens, and there was no major sacrifice I could find in performance or quality while using this third-party lens. I personally found the 13mm to be quite a versatile lens, capable of capturing everything from portraits, to concert photos, family photos, and even flowers. In all of these situations, I was happy with the performance, and the results.

Fujifilm X-H2 and Viltrox 13mm f/1.4 lens
Fujifilm X-H2 and Viltrox 13mm f/1.4 lens


Focal Length: 13mm (35mm Equivalent Focal Length: 20mm)

Maximum Aperture: f/1.4

Minimum Aperture: f/16

Lens Mount: FUJIFILM X

Lens Format Coverage: APS-C

Angle of View: 94°

Minimum Focus Distance: 8.7" / 22 cm

Maximum Magnification: 0.1x

Optical Design: 14 Elements in 11 Groups

Diaphragm Blades: 9

Focus Type: Autofocus

Image Stabilization: No

Filter Size: 67 mm (Front)

Dimensions (ø x L): 2.9 x 3.5" / 74 x 90 mm

Weight: 14.8 oz / 420 g

What I Like

  • Image Quality
  • Robust, Compact Design
  • Fast, Silent Autofocus
  • Close Focusing Capability

What I Didn't Like

  • No Weather Proofing
  • No Image Stabilizer

Get a Viltrox 13mm f/1.4 lens for Fujifilm here.

Pete Coco's picture

Pete Coco is a portrait photographer and musician based in New York. When not performing as a jazz bassist, Pete can be found in his studio working with a wide range of clients, although is passion is creating unique portraits of other musicians and artists.

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1 Comment

I was happy to find this article because I absolutely love this lens as well. I mostly use it for indoor photography, street scenes, astrophotography (it's killer on the Milky Way), and the occasional landscape or architecture. If I only had this technology back in the early 70s! Even today, the cost is a fraction of equivalent FF lenses.