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Viltrox AF 85mm F1.8 STM II Review

Dustin Abbott

July 20th, 2020

It is extremely rare to see a Mark II version of a lens only about 15 months after the release of the original lens, but that is what we have in the Viltrox AF 85mm F1.8 STM II.  I reviewed the Viltrox AF 85mm F1.8 STM only 13 months ago, but Viltrox has taken an unconventional path and decided to release an upgraded version of the lens very quickly.  I think that Viltrox realized that while they had a very competitive lens in terms of optics and price, it was, frankly, heavier than what it needed to be and needed some improvement to the autofocus performance.  Viltrox decided to leverage their investment in the optics of the existing lens and release a second, more competitive version of the lens that is signifanctly lighter (484 vs 636g), has better autofocus and Eye AF performance, and has some minor tweaks to the lens hood and focus ring.  While heavier than the Sony FE 85mm F1.8 (371g), the Viltrox STM II is now within the same class of weight rather than feeling like close to double the weight.  They’ve managed to retain the excellent feel of the build quality at the same time, however.  Here’s a look at the comparative specs:   

I’ve done this review on my Sony a7RIII and Sony a9 bodies, and you can see photos from both cameras in the galleries below.  You can also watch my definitive video review where I thoroughly break down the updates and changes, give a detailed analysis of the optical performance, and demonstrate the improvements to autofocus performance.

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Images of the Viltrox AF 85mm F1.8 STM II

Images taken with the Viltrox AF 85mm F1.8 STM II

 

Purchase the Viltrox AF 85mm F1.8 STM II @ B&H Photo | Viltrox Store  |  Amazon (use code 05VT85182 for 10% off) | Amazon Canada | Amazon UK | Amazon Germany

 

Sony a9 Camera:  B&H Photo | Amazon | Amazon Canada | Amazon UK | Amazon Germany | Ebay 
Sony a7RIV Camera: B&H Photo | Amazon | Amazon Canada | Amazon UK | Amazon Germany | Ebay 
Sony a7R III Camera: B&H Photo | Amazon | Amazon.ca | Amazon UK  | Ebay
Peak Design Slide Lite:  Peak Design StoreB&H Photo | Amazon | Amazon Canada | Amazon UK
Peak Design Leash Strap:  Peak Design StoreB&H Photo | Amazon | Amazon Canada  | Amazon UK
BenQ SW271 4K Photo Editing Monitor – B&H Photo  | Amazon | Amazon.ca | Amazon UK
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DISCLAIMER: This article and description contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small commission. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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