The Viltrox AF 85mm f/1.8 STM ED IF Z mount is an autofocus mid-range telephoto, which is popular for portrait photography on full-frame cameras. Viltrox originally made this lens for Sony E-mount cameras, but later they managed to improve and produce it also for Fuji X, Nikon Z, and Canon RF mounts. Viltrox is the only manufacturer that has been able to produce Nikon Z mount lenses with full lens-camera communication and autofocus in the most common focal lengths. 85mm is a focal length that seems easier for manufacturers to design and make lenses with good optical qualities. There are quite a number of those nice and sharp lenses available and it seems that the price, in relation to how good/fast they are, goes up exponentially. Let’s see how good Viltrox has done with this one!
Viltrox AF 24/1.8 Z, is the only AF prime 24mm lens for Nikon Z cameras besides the Nikon Nikkor Z 24/1.8 S (Also available with Sony FE mount). The full name is “Viltrox AF 24mm 1:1.8 STM ASPH ED IF for Nikon Z“. 24mm on a full frame camera is quite wide at the verge of ultra-wide angle, which can create dramatic images but at the same time it is not so wide that it makes composing images difficult. It is great for landscape photography, but due to its f/1.8 wide aperture, it can also be easily used indoors or in other low-light situations. It costs less than half as much as the Nikon 24mm lens, which makes it a very attractive alternative, but is it good enough? Let’s find out!
If you are a regular reader you know I only rarely review APS-C lenses – I only use fullframe cameras and therefore have no personal use for APS-C lenses – but Viltrox played it smart by just sending this 75mm 1.2 AF to me without asking first. I guess they were hoping a fullframe equivalent of 113mm f/1.8 coupled with the raving reviews from the Fuji-X users would be enough to convince me to have a closer look at this lens. As you are reading this now, it seems their plan came together. Update: lens is available to order from the manufacturer’s shop (use the code PRnet for 8% discount) | ebay.com (affiliate links) now
It is a bit odd that the manufacturers of E-mount lenses seemingly abandoned the 28mm focal length, especially when it comes to AF lenses. The only ones available for the FE system are the mediocre Sony FE 28mm 2.0 and the huge designed-for-DSLR Sigma 28mm 1.4 Art – both released in the early days of the FE system and nothing came since. Until now, as Viltrox is offering an alternative with this 28mm 1.8 AF lens. The recently reviewed Viltrox 16mm 1.8 AF proved to be an astonishingly good lens, will this 28mm lens be similarly good? Let’s find out.
In 2023 there are plenty of lens manufacturers originating from China speaking to various different target audiences. While some are the Primark of the lens industry – simply trying to offer cheaper alternatives to the reknown manufacturers of lower quality – others have become the actual innovators in the photography lens business.
Having used more than 60 of those lenses from 14 different manufacturers I thought it is a good time to highlight the best ones I came across.
Sony α | Leica M | Nikon Z New article every Tuesday
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