Within the Fujifilm official lens lineup, of course, there is the Fujifilm XF 90mm f2 R LM WR Lens which is probably the closest “official” lens in terms of focal length and aperture.
I’m not really a portrait photographer, and I rarely shoot above 56mm at weddings, so I wanted to see how this lens would work in a street photography environment.
Caveat; the street photos below are just snaps, rather than considered shots, and in all cases, I’ve shot with continuous focusing to really test out the AF of the Viltrox lens.
As the Viltrox 85mm F1.8 lens works natively in Auto Focus, it also passes full EXIF data to the camera without the need for adapter rings.
The lens is made of metal (with a plastic lens hood) and feels nice and solid and well-milled. It’s a 72mm thread and I’d say reasonably decent size considering its ability.
It weighs around 636g, which is not something you may consider shooting with handheld all day.
The XF 90mm F2 weighs a fairly considerably less at around 540g.
Since the lens is large, it’s doesn’t balance brilliantly with the smaller X-Pro3 that I used it with, but it’s not a huge issue.
I would imagine with the X-H1 it would balance very nicely.
When focusing manually, the focus ring is nice. It’s well dampened and compliments the AF functionality if you need to override it.
One thing to be aware of with the Viltrox 85mm F1.8 is that there is no aperture ring.
This is something that will take getting used to if you are used to using the Fujifilm lenses.
It’s a simple process to use one of the command dials to control aperture, but if, like me, you ride the aperture a lot, it’s one extra step in the process.
That said, the AF on the Viltrox 85mm F1.8 lens is very very good. In my mind, it’s not quite as quick as the XF90mm, but there isn’t much in it.
It’s certainly fast enough and responsive enough if you were shooting portraits or landscapes. For Sports shooting, if you were using a prime at this length, then you may need to test it for yourself.
I was pleasantly surprised by the compression and bokeh effects of the lens.
A nice touch is the tiny micro-USB port housed near the contacts which will allow for any future firmware updates to the lens. I’m guessing this will be important should future Auto Focus technology or adjustments come to the Fujifilm cameras.
The lens is perfectly sharp enough and, although a little heavy, easy enough for me to shoot hand held.
The rendering is lovely, and even at high ISO like this 10,000 ISO image below of my Arsenal mad son the image quality is perfectly fine.
100% crop of the above image below. Nice and sharp with good detail. I have sharpened this image at the defaul 40 level in Lightroom.
Another tight crop of the above image.
All in all, I’d say the Viltrox 85mm F1.8 Lens is a really well crafted, and perfectly functional medium telephoto prime lens.
Optically, and speed-wise, it falls a tiny bit short of the XF90 F2, but it is cheaper and maybe a good choice for those who want to use the Fujifilm systems but don’t quite have the budget for the XF90.
You can purchase the Viltrox 85mm F1.8 for Fujifilm now for around £320.