Viltrox 23mm F/1.4 review for video – tested on the Fujifilm X-T4

After using it for two months we decided to do a quick video review of the Viltrox 23mm AF 23mm F/1.4 lens.

The Viltrox AF 23mm F/1.4 for Fujifilm X-mount has a swirly bokeh when shooting wide open. Green and magenta color fringing is visible at F/1.4, not just in the corners but even in the center. Vignetting in the corners is very noticeable between F/1.4 and F/2 but pretty much disappears at F/8.

When it comes to sharpness the images are a bit soft at F/1.4 but sharpness improves at F/2, so it’s comparable to Fujifilm’s F/2 version. Sharpest results can be achieved between F/5.6 and F/8.

Barrel distortion towards the edges is visible but overall acceptable, even when shooting wide open.

When closing the aperture, flares or lights get a star shape which is especially visible in long exposure night photography and timelapsing.

The minimum focusing distance of 30cm is okay but not ideal when trying to capture something up close.

Auto focus is not always performing the same. Continuous AF on the Fujifilm X-T4 can be accurate when face and eye tracking is active. Sometimes the lens suddenly focuses on the background. Luckily firmware has already improved this issue.

When holding the lens it feels well built. The aperture ring is clickless but the aperture will still change in steps and not smoothly, so this is not an advantage when shooting video. The focus ring is rather large and does a great job compared to original Fuji glass when it comes to smooth focus pulls.

Characteristics like bokeh, contrast and the starburst effect are clearly subjective factors so there’s no right or wrong but it’s simply a question of preference.

Whether to choose the Fujifilm F/1.4 or the Viltrox lens really comes down to two factors:

Auto focus vs. sharpness at F/1.4. The Viltrox’ AF performance is good, especially for video work and it’s quiet. But it’s not as sharp and optically perfect as the Fuji, so if image quality matters the most, the Fujinon wins.

Written by filmmaker Moritz Janisch on October 5, 2020

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