Viltrox 85mm Fuji Lens Review

Viltrox 85mm Fuji Lens Review


– So, one of the really cool things about this Viltrox 85 millimeter lens is that you can easily update the firmware by plugging in a USB
connector right into here. That got me thinking. (laughs) What would happen if you
dragged another file, say a music file and drop it on the lens? The world’s first MP3
music file is now installed on this lens. – [Female Announcer] And
now, in his first ever worldwide music video, Pal2Tech. ♪ Mmhm ♪ ♪ Mmhm ♪ ♪ Mmhm ♪ ♪ I was made for this ♪ ♪ You know that I was made for this ♪ ♪ I was made for this ♪ ♪ You know that I was
made for this (oh yeah) ♪ ♪ I was made for this ♪ ♪ You know that I was made for this ♪ ♪ All right ♪ ♪ Runnin’ great, now we’re showing up ♪ ♪ You’re lookin’ at the chosen one ♪ ♪ I was made for this ♪ ♪ You know that I was made for this ♪ ♪ I was made for this ♪ ♪ I was made for this ♪ (upbeat music) – Hi everyone, and welcome to Pal2Tech. Viltrox is a Chinese company
that started manufacturing camera accessories in 2007. Viltrox was kind enough to send out to us their 85 millimeter F 1.8
telephoto portrait lens to test out and review, but just like always, this
review is completely unbiased. I’m not being paid by
Viltrox to do this review. One thing to keep in mind
with any review that you see, online or elsewhere, is
that with third party lenses such as this one, they are
reverse engineered, okay, so the version of the firmware
that you have installed for the lens makes a huge
difference in the features and the performance of the lens. So, just to be clear,
for this review today, I am using the most current
firmware available from Viltrox and that’s firmware version 1.0.3. Before I even opened the box, I could tell they put some
thought into the packaging. It’s very solidly wrapped and protected, and right out of the
box, the build quality, the packaging, the overall
solid feel of this lens is very, very good. The lens weighs in at 636 grams, that’s 1.4 pounds. The focal length is 85
millimeters, that’s approximately 127.5 millimeters for a full
frame 35 millimeter sensor. First thing I noticed is
that Viltrox definitely wants you to know that
it’s an 85 millimeter lens. In fact, I read that one of
the astronauts on the ISS could actually see the
85 right up from orbit, it’s that big, it’s amazing! The focusing ring on the lens is solid, and it’s a real pleasure to use, has a really good feel to it. It’s connected to the
camera electronically and therefore it’s
electronically controlled. The glass itself has 10 elements. It’s gorgeous, it’s got 10
elements in seven groups, and while it has a water resistant coating on the front lens element,
it’s not weather sealed like you would find on the
Fuji Film WF line of lenses, so keep that in mind. The minimum focusing distance
of this lens is 2.62 feet or 80 centimeters, and
it takes a 72 millimeter filter ring size, and what’s nice, the enclosed
lens cap, it’s solid, goes right on there, really. There are nine aperture
blades on this lens and it provides F 1.8 to F 16. Now, there’s no aperture ring. The lens utilizes the camera’s
electronic aperture control, and this is very
important to keep in mind. When you have the lens on
the camera, for example, you need to be sure that
your front command dial is set so that it is
controlling the aperture and what you do, hold it
down, press and hold down the front command dial, and you will see this menu appear here. Go into one, right there, and make sure that it’s on aperture. Once you do that, you then can control the aperture of the lens by
turning the front command dial, as I am doing right here. So, on one end, you’re at F 1.8, and what I really love
is that you can’t, like, go around in a circle. See, I’m at F 1.8, and I’m
turning turning turning and it stopped right there and it remains at that end of the spectrum. Now, as you turn and
rotate the command dial, you’re moving through the F stop until you get to F 16. The next one over is auto aperture, see? See how it changes like that? It’s auto aperture, so that’s
how you control the aperture on the camera using the Viltrox lens. Let’s talk about image quality. I think the Viltrox is best between F 5.6 and F 8, and I think it gives kinda cooler results in terms of colors than other Fuji Film lenses
with a bit less contrast. In some cases, I noticed,
it’s a little bit more on the neutral side,
and of course, you know, that depends a lot on what
your shooting scenario is and your lighting and so forth. I compared it to the 90
millimeter and, overall, I found it to be, kinda
the middle of the lens, I found it to be a bit softer with the edges even more so. Let’s take a look at a few pictures now. Okay, with this first set of photos, I locked the camera down on a tripod, I used a fill light and a key light, no image editing was done, and both photos were imported straight into Lightroom, same exact camera settings. The photos were taken
about 20 seconds apart. The photo on the left is
the Viltrox 85 millimeter and the photo on the right
is the Fuji 90 millimeter. Let’s take a look. It is slightly softer
with the Viltrox and, moving around, a bit sharper
with the Fuji, absolutely. As you can see from the focus on the skin, clearly the 90 is slightly sharper, but honestly, with a photo like this, I’m not so sure it needs
to be so tack pin sharp. I think this looks good. These two lenses stacked
together side by side at this aperture look really good. So, that was a controlled setup. Now what I did was I grabbed
the lens and I threw it on face eye auto detect and
I wanted to just take a quick photo without any
setup, spur of the moment, just grab and shoot,
and here’s what I got. So, this photo was shot
with both the 85 millimeter and the 90 millimeter
at 1/250th of a second at F 2.0. Zooming into the eye, you can
clearly see that the Viltrox is slightly softer, although, as I said, this was face eye auto detect and this is a Shetland sheepdog. (laughs) So, maybe it didn’t quite detect it. So, I mean, I told you, I
literally grabbed the camera and just boom, went like that, but this is what I got. I want to show you in the
real world what you get. It’s not bad, and in some cases, like I think it focused
right here, it’s sharper than the 90 millimeter, but on the eye, clearly the 90 millimeter wins
out on face eye auto detect. Next, I tested this on a
model shoot in location in the woods, actually, with
very difficult lighting, darker than normal. I want to also test out
face eye auto detect and auto focus in that type
of portrait shooting scenario. This is what I got. Here we are at F 1.8 at
1/420th of a second right here, face eye auto detect. Again, these pictures are a little cooler, they’re on the little cooler side. These are all raw photos
straight out of the camera. Here’s F 2.5. It did nail the eyes fairly well, and you have a pleasing
background right there, with F 2.5. Here’s F 1.8, again, you have a really nice muted background. Zooming in, and I’m at,
let’s see, I’m at one to one, so I’m 100%, and it nailed
the eyes fairly well. Is it as tack sharp as the 90? No, it’s not, but it’s
really impressive considering how dark it was there, how
fast things were going, and the fact that I solely used
it for face eye auto detect on that shoot. Okay, now we have some color
fringing, clear as day, but listen, you just click develop, you go into lens corrections,
and you just drag this little thing like that. There, done, fixed. (laughs) It’s not such a big deal, it really isn’t, but let’s put it back so we can see it. That is the full effect
of the color fringing right there at F 1.8. Clearly, you have color fringing at F 1.8, but as you start to stop down the lens, at F 2.5 it starts to go away, and it’s actually, F 2.5
it’s pretty much gone. Let’s look at another example here. This is at F 1.8, and now we’re at F 2.2, completely gone at F 3.2. Again, this can be fixed in Lightroom, I don’t think it’s a big deal. I thought that the bokeh in this lens, the background isolation, is beautiful. I love it, have a look at this. I love what it did to these colors and these bokeh balls right here. I found them to be just soft and pretty. Photo on the left is the
85 millimeter Viltrox, photo on the right is
the 90 millimeter Fuji. These photos have exactly
the same settings, and as you can see from the background when you kinda zoom in,
the little bokeh balls in the back are a little
bit, little bit nicer, little bit, not a whole lot though, and again, you know, I’m pixel peeping, I’m, you know, zooming in all the way. If you step back out and
have a look at it, you’ll see that they’re really
close, you know. (laughs) I mean, there’s not much of a difference. Of course, zooming into
the face right here, and you can see that the 90
is just a little bit sharper, no question about it, but again, when you pull back out, you have yourself pretty similar backgrounds
with both of these lenses. Next up is action auto focus,
testing on AFC and AFS, and what I found was that,
compared to the 90 millimeter, (chuckles) the AFC was just okay. It wasn’t incredible, it
wasn’t horrible, either, it was just okay. I felt that the 90 millimeter
is obviously much faster. I took a series of shots of two subjects running toward me with both
the 85 millimeter Viltrox and the 90 millimeter
Fuji, this is what I got. This is first with the 85. It got a few of ’em, but not a lot. This is a hard shot to get, and now here’s with the 90 millimeter, it got a few more. So, you get, I don’t
know, maybe I got like, in the series of 10 shots,
I got maybe five keepers or four keepers with the Viltrox and maybe seven keepers with the 90, but the 90 did perform
better, as I expected it to. This lens has face eye
auto detect with video. Let’s check it out. Checking… Does it focus? Checkin’ back… And forward… And back. I need to look at this
in post to really give an analysis of it, but there… We… Go. Hi, I’m Mr. 90 Millimeter. How are we lookin’ here,
okay, moving forward, boom. And back… And forward… And back. This is the Fuji Film 90 millimeter lens performing face eye auto detect on video settings at 24 frames per second. I did notice a bit, not
much, but a bit of flickering in the video, but here’s the thing, if you lock down your
shutter speed and don’t, you know, don’t set it to
automatic but have it locked down, which, frankly, you should be doing anyway when you’re shooting video, that seemed to solve the problem. Now, basically, if you’re shooting video, quick lesson, quick lesson,
if you’re shooting video, what you need to do is set
your shutter speed to be double your frame rate. So, if you’re shooting 30 frames a second, your shutter speed should be 1/60. If you’re shooting 24 frames a second, your shutter speed should be… 1/48, and so forth. There is color fringing,
and it is a bit more prone to lens flaring than the 90 millimeter. Also, you’re probably want
to address the cooler colors that it will produce in post, and again, these are easily fixable in Lightroom but something that you should be aware of. The other thing about this lens is it’s a full frame lens,
okay, for an APS-C camera, but it’s a full frame lens. So, you’re carting around
more glass than if it had been a dedicated APS-C only lens. Now personally, that didn’t bother me, but I would see it being
maybe an issue for some for portability and travel. I mean, it’s a fairly heavy lens. What would happen if Fuji
released a future firmware update that would break the
communication of this lens to the camera? I think that’s extremely unlikely. I think that Viltrox,
if there was a problem, would be on point to
release a firmware update. They’ve been very good about
their firmware updates, but I felt that it needed to be mentioned. It is a reverse engineered lens. Number four, auto focus is overall good. Bit of a lag, especially
in low light, I noticed, and I would not use this
lens for any indoor sports, but (laughs) that’s not what
this lens is for anyway, right, think about it. It’s a telephoto portrait lens. So, to sum up, the 90
millimeter Fuji lens is $850.00. The Viltrox is less than half the price at about $400.00. Do I think that the 90
millimeter is twice as good as the Viltrox 85 millimeter? No, I don’t. The 90 millimeter, it’s better
for sure, in all categories, but it’s not twice as good. If you’re a serious
professional photographer that wants to invest every
single penny you have into the highest quality
glass, the lightest weight, the sharpest and fastest auto
focus performance, et cetera, then the 90 millimeter will
still be your best choice. However, if you’re looking
to pick up a third party lens option for telephoto
portraits that can really tick all the boxes, such
as very good auto focus, great background, and solid,
well-designed construction, I strongly recommend this Viltrox lens. I think it’s great, and it’s
among the best value I’ve seen in a third party lens for Fuji. The Fuji 90 millimeter, it’s sorta like the Terminator model T1000, it’s, (laughs) it’s faster, it’s
sleeker, it’s sharper, it’s lighter. (laughs) The Viltrox is sorta like the T800. It’s a bit slower, a
little bit less sharp, but absolutely will get the job done, and for the price, this is a clear winner. Thank you so much for watching, and I will see you in another video. So long. Okay. That’s enough of that. Back to you in the studio, I mean, back to me in the studio. Where you goin’? Hey, I’m shootin’, this
is a live set here. Okay, all right. What kinda lens is this, do you know? – Canon. – Canon, Canon you say! No!
– That’s a Fuji Film! – Canon, what is the matter with you? Have I not taught you well? (laughs) (upbeat music)

72 thoughts on “Viltrox 85mm Fuji Lens Review”

  1. I'm an amateur photographer who recently invested in an X-T3 and the Viltrox 85mm. Currently that's actually my only lens but I'm having a lot of fun. This channel has already been super valuable to me and taught me a lot so I just wanted to say a big thank you. Btw. someone had fun with that intro.๐Ÿ˜„

  2. That intro was dope. Looks like you got a new job in the future. You came pretty close to the same conclusion as my review. Nice job.

  3. Clicked on "like" first; watched the video second. Entertaining, yet very informative and detailed as always. Thank you.

  4. I have been looking forward to this review, I bought this lens 6 months ago and it really has impressed me it feels and performs like a premium lens and for me it was wife approved when it came to price unlike the fuji …. so your great comparison review has made me feel even more contented with my purchase ..love your presentation style as always and looking forward to your channel growing in 2020…happy new year to you all.

  5. Awesome review Chris! Best one I've seen for this lens! Could you do a 50mm f2 wr lens review. I'm looking to buy one for my xt3 and I want to know if it suits my needs:)

  6. Damn Chris, you really are pumping up the quality of your videos in a short span of time. I received my Fuji X-T3 the 25th as a Christmas gift and… as you're probably are expecting, I wouldn't have bought it if I hadn't discovered your channel. Thank you so much for this unbiased review.

  7. Im thinking of getting this lens for it price. but will you use it for any of your professional work? like may weddings?

  8. you are too funny! and thx for this, I was wondering about Viltrox as a possible alternative, and you have confirmed it is. Great Video!

  9. Hi Sir , i am shopping for an external display screen for my Fuji Xt-3 ,
    what do you recommend ??? I found this one on Amazon ( FEELWORLD F6 +
    Storage Case + F750 Battery + Charger, 5.7" for $139 )

  10. Great intensive review!!! 85mm viltrox makes slot of sense if buying new but… You can buy the Fuji 90mm used in mint condition for around 450 to 500 dollars!! Or in January you get 200 dollars off as cashback promotion from Fuji!!
    Anyway I've bought the 80mm macro rather than these 2 lenses and the 80mm is better than both 85mm and 90mm because it's a macro and and can shoot portraits but it's very expensive. So it all comes down to price.

  11. Love love love the intro and outro on this one Chris. We were on a gondola yesterday and a guy asked me what kind of camera I had. My 14 year old answered for me โ€œitโ€™s a Fuji and please donโ€™t ask him any more questions cuz we wonโ€™t get off this thingโ€. ๐Ÿคฃ

  12. Thank you for an entertaining and valuable review. FWIW this lens underexposes about 1/3rd stop compared to other Fuji lenses on my XP3 and about 2/3 stop compared to what my flash meter gives that is just right for my Nikon lenses. Looking at your photos I don't see this, maybe it's sample variation or a quirk of the XP3. Anyone else use this with the XP3? What's your experience? I am using the newest firmware for the lens as you indicated.

  13. Cool intro, Chris… very impressive. Thanks for the excellent review on the Viltrox 85mm. May you and your family have a great new year and may you have clarity of your YouTube plans with twenty, twenty vision.

  14. By far, it's the best lens review I have watched..seldom do I laugh out loud watching a lens review.. please do more such review..well done๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป

  15. Informativ and entertaining as usual! Just wrote an email to the ISS to make sure your are not spreading fake news ๐Ÿ˜‰

  16. I am loving the 3rd party lenses for my Fuji. Samyang 12mm, Mitakon 35mm. I use some adapted manual focus lenses too with great results. But when you want the best overall performance the Fuji lenses are tough to beat. Thanks for the detailed review. This lens looks wonderful for its purpose.

  17. I follow a lot of reviewers and film makers on YT and your content is amongst the very best. You should have way way more subscribers.

  18. Great review. You mention you don't recommend for indoor sports, what lens do you recommend besides the 90 f2 for this type of environment/shooting?

  19. What about a match between a Fujinon 90mm f:2 versus a Tamron 90mm f:2.8 macro vc + Fringer ef-fx adapter?

  20. Will this work on the Fujifilm x-t100? I can't see how the digital aperture would work as it can't be allocated to a dial

  21. Great video and intro…I noticed you used a long throw reflector for your sample shots…how did you like the light output

  22. you have the most informative and honest review of this lens, unlike other youtubers who keeps shooting mugs , dogs, flowers, and random stuff, you actually went from portrait studio, outdoor portrait, and live shot with your dog to which this lens matter and what is made for….thank you

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