New kid on the lens manufacturers’ block Viltrox just announced a new affordable lens designed for Canon EF-M mount, Sony E-mount and Fujifilm X-mount APS-C mirrorless systems. Best known for their high quality mount adaptors and LED lights Viltrox made their first foray into lenses last year when they released a full-frame 85mm f/1.8 prime for Sony E-mount. Following the success of that, the company announced the development of three fast f/1.4 APS-C primes – 23mm, 33mm and 56mm.
The Viltrox AF 33/1.4 is the first of the three to hit the market later this year. Equipped with a fast and silent STM autofocus motor and a nine-blade rounded aperture, the new lens punches well above its category, at least on paper. The optical configuration features ten elements in nine groups. These include an extra-low dispersion (ED) element and a high-refraction element to control aberrations and distortion.
A moderately compact lens, the Viltrox AF 33/1.4 is listed as 270g (9.5oz) albeit some variations between the different mounts are to be expected. The lens hits a sweet spot between price and features, but it’s up against stiff competition. If quality is good it’s bound to sell well, but that’s still to be seen.
List price is expected to be $279.99 which compares favourably to current offerings from major manufacturers. As an example, the Canon EF-M 32mm f/1.4 STM currently retails for $479 while Fujifilm’s XF 35mm f/1.4R is over double at $599. At the lower end of the spectre there’s manual focus primes like the 7artisans 35mm f/1.2 and Meike 35mm f/1.7. The Viltrox sits nicely in the middle, bridging the two classes both in specs and price. The lens can be preordered on Viltrox’s website and is expected to be available later this year.