Lens Test: The Viltrox 33mm f/1.4 is a ‘Nifty Fifty’ for Fuji Photographers

If you’re a Fuji user looking for an equivalent to the “nifty fifty” lenses available for Nikon and Canon DSLRs, you’ve probably considered picking up Fuji’s old XF 35mm f/1.4 or the XF 35mm f/2. But what if there was a more affordable, faster option out there? The Viltrox 33mm f/1.4 wants to be that […]

Lens Test: The Viltrox 33mm f/1.4 is a ‘Nifty Fifty’ for Fuji Photographers

If you’re a Fuji user looking for an equivalent to the “nifty fifty” lenses available for Nikon and Canon DSLRs, you’ve probably considered picking up Fuji’s old XF 35mm f/1.4 or the XF 35mm f/2. But what if there was a more affordable, faster option out there? The Viltrox 33mm f/1.4 wants to be that lens.

In this video, photographer and YouTuber Andrew of Andrew & Denae reviews the soon-to-be-released Viltrox 33mm, explaining the pros and cons of this entry level lens for Fujifilm shooters. Unfortunately, it seems like there are mostly cons.

Over the course of the video, Andrew compares this $280 lens against the slightly more expensive and slower $400 XF 35mm f/2R WR, pointing out the various downsides that you’ll need to put up with in order to get that additional bokeh and extra stop of light, at a lower price point.

Here are few of those downsides, which he illustrates with chart shots and 100% crops:

  • The Viltrox lens has some noticeable chromatic aberration wide-open, which doesn’t entirely go away until about f/4
  • The Fuji XF 35mm f/2R WR has a much shorter minimum focus distance, allowing you to get closer to your subject
  • The Viltrox is a tiny bit softer in the center and the corners until you get to about f/2.8
  • In practice, you only really get about 1/2 stop more light compared to the Fuji XF 35mm f/2
  • There is currently an issue with auto-exposure, which Viltrox has promised to fix with a firmware update coming soon.

And here are some sample images so you can see how much these downsides do (or don’t) have an impact in the real world:

As with most affordable third-party lenses, the moral of the story can be summed up in a single (compound) word: trade-offs. There’s a performance and build quality penalty when you go from one of Fuji’s own XF lenses down to the cheaper Viltrox.

Yes, you’ll save some money—the Fuji XF 35mm f/1.4 costs $600 and the XF 35mm f/2R WR costs $400—but unless you need the faster aperture or the physical aperture ring, you can save even more money by going with the ultra affordable Fuji XC 35mm f/2. At least based on this review, it seems that the Viltrox 33mm f/1.4 is only worth it if you absolutely need that extra stop.

Check out the full review up top to hear more about this lens and dive deeper into the side-by-side comparison images. And if you want to see more Fuji lens reviews and tests like this, definitely check out Andrew & Denae’s YouTube channel.


Image credits: All photos by Andrew & Denae, and used with permission.

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iPhone 12 Pro to Feature Better Low-Light Photos, IBIS, and 120Hz Display: Report

Apple’s iPhone 12 models probably won’t arrive until September of October, but frequent Apple leaker Max Weinbach has just shared some very ‘exclusive’ information about the upcoming phones through the YouTube channel EverythingApplePro. It’s important to note up from that Weinbach’s reputation is mixed. As pointed out by Mac Rumors, he’s leaked accurate information before—about […]

iPhone 12 Pro to Feature Better Low-Light Photos, IBIS, and 120Hz Display: Report

Apple’s iPhone 12 models probably won’t arrive until September of October, but frequent Apple leaker Max Weinbach has just shared some very ‘exclusive’ information about the upcoming phones through the YouTube channel EverythingApplePro.

It’s important to note up from that Weinbach’s reputation is mixed. As pointed out by , he’s leaked accurate information before—about both design and software elements—but has also shared some information that was either scrapped or wasn’t accurate in the first place.

That said, all of the information contained in today’s leak seems completely reasonable and very likely to wind up in Apple’s next-generation iPhone.

In terms of the camera Weinbach claims that the iPhone 12 Pro models will feature a 3x telephoto zoom lens, improved Smart HDR software, even better low-light performance, auto white balance improvements, sensor-shift (i.e. IBIS) image stabilization, and a 2x to 3x boost in autofocus performance thanks to the LiDAR sensor that everyone expects to see on both of the Pro models—similar to the sensor on the newest iPad Pro.

Some of these features may be exclusive to the Pro models, including the 3x telephoto lens and IBIS, which might only appear on the larger iPhone 12 Pro Max at first, before trickling down to smaller models when Apple unveils the iPhone 13 in 2021.

Finally, Weinbach also “confirmed” that Apple will be adding a 120Hz Pro Motion display to the Pro models only. In order to help with battery performance, these models will also feature “dynamic switching” between 60 and 120Hz refresh rates depending on how you’re interacting with the phone, and both models will allegedly feature much larger batteries than the current iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max.

As with all rumors and leaks, nothing is actually “confirmed” until Apple gets up on stage and says the words out loud, but all of these updates represent major (and in some cases much-needed) steps forward for Apple in the smartphone photography space. To see all of the information that Weinbach leaked, and some incredibly detailed renders of the rumored iPhone 12 and 12 Pro designs, check out the full video up top.

(via Engadget)

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