Viltrox AF 13mm F1.4 E-Mount Image Gallery
August 26th, 2022
Back in May of this year I spent extended time reviewing the Viltrox AF 13mm F1.4 STM for Fuji (on a FUJIFilm X-T4 camera). I concluded that it joined the 85mm F1.8 as one of their best lenses to date and was a very compelling option on Fuji if one is looking for a wide angle, wide aperture prime lens. Fast forward three months and I’ve been spending time with the Sony E-mount version of the lens. There is obviously a lot of crossover between the two versions of the lens, so this won’t be a completely new review, but I was interested to see how what I saw particularly in the autofocus department carried over to Sony. I also have the opportunity to see how well the lens covers the full frame image circle on Sony, something I didn’t have the opportunity to do on Fuji. So if you are a Sony E-mount (APS-C) shooter that is looking for a reasonably priced, high performing wide angle prime, read on and see if the Viltrox 13mm F1.4 STM is the lens you’ve been looking for.
Why do I consider the new 13mm F1.4 to be one of Viltrox’s best? Because it builds on the formula they’ve had to date but improves some key areas of weakness that I’ve consistently seen over my many Viltrox reviews. The Viltrox AF 13mm F1.4 has an evolution of autofocus performance that I’ve continued to see from Viltrox, where the gap between their lenses and first party alternatives is rapidly closing. They’ve done a great job of reducing distortion and chromatic aberrations relative to previous lenses. That’s particularly impressive when you consider that this is the widest lens that Viltrox has made to date and also when you consider how wide the maximum aperture is at this focal length (F1.4).
So how wide is this lens? Since it is designed for APS-C cameras, you have to apply the crop factor of the camera to the effective focal length. Sony’s APS-C crop factor is 1.5x, which gives us a focal length of 19.5mm full frame equivalent. This is a great focal length. It isn’t extreme but is rather in what I call the “sweet spot” for most landscape and architectural use. Interior spaces look wide but still natural in a way that wider focal lengths can lack.
You can see the low levels of distortion in the lines of the room. This will be a nice lens for those that want to do real estate video or photos.
And how well does it cover the full frame image circle? Here’s a view over beautiful Quebec City on my Sony Alpha 1 in full frame mode:
…and here’s the same view with the APS-C crop mode engaged:
You can see that the full frame image circle is not thoroughly covered at all, with some strangely shaped mechanical vignetting from the lens’ innards. The lens does cover slightly more than the APS-C image circle, however, particularly if you change the crop ratio.
It’s not a perfect lens, as we’ll see, and there are still a few of the familiar Viltrox weaknesses around, but I do think the new Viltrox AF 13mm F1.4 is one of Viltrox’s best efforts to date. The MSRP as it comes to market is $430 USD (though if you buy it from the Viltrox store and use code DUSTINABBOTT you can get 10% any Viltrox product, including this lens) . For that money you are getting a nicely built, versatile lens, though it isn’t a perfect performance. I break down the various strengths and weaknesses of the lens in my thorough video review or in my text review. Or…just enjoy the pretty photos below!
Thanks to Laowa for sending me a review loaner of this lens. As always, this is a completely independent review. *The tests and most of the photos that I share as a part of my review cycle have been done with the Sony a6400 along with the Sony Alpha 1 which will serve as my benchmark camera for the foreseeable future (my review here).
Photos from the Viltrox AF 13mm F1.4 E-mount
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