Reviewing the New Viltrox 85mm f/1.8 Lens for Sony E-Mount

Viltrox 85mm f/1.8 Manual Focus Prime Lens for Sony FE

During the past week, I've been having fun reviewing an almost obscenely low-cost lens that Viltrox just put out. The 85mm f/1.8 for Sony weighs in at close to two pounds, has an all-metal body construction, and, in general, is just one beast of a camera lens to work with.

I've been pleasantly surprised at the build quality and will probably review their new 20mm f/1.8 for Sony at some point in the near future after I finish my current testing of the Zeiss 18mm f/2.8.

Less the autofocus, I think this lens is close to being on par with the Sony FE 85mm f/1.8, but I personally don't think it can compete with the Zeiss 85mm 1.8 or Sony's 85mm GMaster. With the price disparity, this really shouldn't come as a surprise. On the other hand, I do think this new Viltrox lens is better than the slightly less expensive Samyang 85mm f/1.4, which is also a manual focus lens. Unlike the Samyang/Rokinon 85mm lenses for Sony, this lens has an automatic aperture that's controlled by the camera body. It's also is able to send EXIF data to the camera body much as you see with Voigtlander's current Sony lens offerings. I find this to be useful personally, as it saves me from having to write down aperture settings information when I need to save it.

One kind of odd thing about this lens is that CaptureOne currently applies a lens correction profile for the 85mm Zeiss Batis to it and On1 PhotoRaw 2019 applies a profile for Sony's FE 85mm lens. I suspect the software simply doesn't recognize it and so it's doing some guesswork.

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