Wide angle E-mount lenses, that also have autofocus are still not that common. So when Viltrox gave offered to send me their 23mm f1.4 APS-C autofocus lens to review, I jumped at the chance.
So Viltrox has sent me this lens to review, but I’ve not been paid for the review and I can and will be honest about the lens.
This lens is 23mm for APS-C sensor, which is 35mm equivalent on full frame. It has a very bright maximum aperture of f1.4, making this a fast lens, letting in a lot of light.
It also has autofocus which is a huge plus, putting it on par in terms of specs with the popular Sigma trio of lenses.
The price is currently around $279 from their official site or Amazon. So not the cheapest lens in the world, but for a wide angle bright aperture lens, with autofocus you’re unlikely to find these specs much cheaper.
The lens comes nicely packaged in a small box, with the details, APS-C 23mm f1.4 autofocus for e-mount.
The lens comes with a warranty card and documentation, a branded carry bag, and of course the lens. The box is foam lined so it’s very secure.
Looking closer at the lens it has a metal body, but is fairly light to hold.
Under the lens cap, we can see the lens information AF – Autofocus F1.4
A minimum focus distance of 0.3m or 0.98ft
And it has a 52mm filter thread
The lens hood is metal and petal shaped
The aperture ring is quite heavy but moves smoothly once it’s moving, it being heavy is good as there are no notches at each aperture, just one slight one at F16, it would have been nice to have one at each aperture as it is still possible to knock the ring out of position.
The focus ring is much larger and moves continuously, its movement is much lighter than the aperture ring moving much easier. Of course, this lens is autofocus, so you may not use the focus ring much if at all.
Under the rear lens cap, you can see the electronic connection for the autofocus.
The petal-shaped lens hood isn’t much wider than the lens, so does not increase the lens profile much.
Compared to the Sony 16-50mm kit lens which comes with most APS-C Sony cameras, so it’s around 3 times longer, and a similar width to the kit lens.
And mounted to a camera like the ZV-E10 the finish matches the camera nicely and doesn’t feel too large or heavy.
So I’ve been using the Viltrox 23mm for a few months and am starting to get used to it. I’m pretty happy with its performance.
The f1.4 gives nice professional-looking out-of-focus backgrounds, and that wide aperture suits indoor shooting as it performs better under low light. So if you’re looking for a lens for shooting YouTube videos, this lens could be a good choice.
Many lens reviews do not talk about what they’ll use the lens for going forward, but for me, I’ve found myself adopting this lens as my video conferencing lens. Previously I was using the 16-50mm kit lens as it is small and easy to leave on my camera for video calls. But I’ve been using the Viltrox for the last few months and am really happy with how it looks.
It has a good focal length and the quality is sharp with professional-looking out-of-focus backgrounds, this will blow any webcam out of the water and looks a lot better than the kit lens, so worth considering for a professional-looking video call lens.
Photos and video from this lens are decently sharp and it’s a good performer for video and photos, let’s have a closer look at the autofocus, as you can see it’s reasonably fast but I wouldn’t say it’s as smooth as sony’s own lenses. It is fairly quiet though the sound of the autofocus motor can be heard so worth noting if you’re using this lens for video.
So overall the Viltrox 23mm is a sharp, wide aperture lens with autofocus available for under £/$300. For that set up it is very well priced and performs well, it’s good for shooting video, as I mentioned earlier I’ve been using it to record this video, so its an option for a YouTube lens, and I’ve also been using it for video calls and have been happy with the quality.
If you have a use case that matches this lens’s strong points then I’d definitely consider picking this up it is comparable in performance and price to other lenses, namely sigma lenses which I’ve found very high quality.
Have you used this lens? Let me know in the comments below, and you If you’re interested in picking one of these lenses up click here to buy on Amazon*
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