Lens review

Viltrox AF 13 mm f/1.4 XF

3 November 2023
Maciej Latałło

3. Build quality

The following chart shows clearly that the tested Viltrox has by and large no direct rivals. The Samyang we've already mentioned, is able to provide a tad wider field of view, but it is also by 1 EV slower. The situation is the same when it comes to the Meike. The owners of APS-C Sony bodies are in favourable position here because the Sony F 11 mm f/1.8 can actually compete with the Viltrox; it is a bit slower but its focal length is by 2 mm shorter, providing a field of view by over 10 degrees wider. Such a difference means a lot, especially if you are a fan of wide viewing angles.

It's also worth noticing that the Viltrox in this group of lenses is definitely the heaviest and the biggest instrument, undoubtedly because of its outstanding aperture fastness,. Still, it also offers you a possibility of using traditional 67 mm filters of still quite moderate diameter.

Viltrox AF 13 mm f/1.4 XF - Build quality

In the photo above the Viltrox AF 13 mm f/1.4 XF is positioned between the Samyang 12 mm f/2.0 NCS CS and the Fujinon XF 56 mm f/1.2R.

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The tested lens starts with a metal mount that surrounds a black bottom with embedded contacts. Its rear element is 19 mm in diameter, it doesn't move and is positioned on the same level as the contacts. The area around it is properly blackened.

Viltrox AF 13 mm f/1.4 XF - Build quality

The proper body of the lens starts with a black, metal ring that doesn't move. On the ring you can find information that the lens was made in China, its serial number and a red dot, making an alignment with a camera easier.

The next part is a ribbed ring that controls the aperture, 13 mm wide. It has markings every 1 EV and also an A value, allowing the camera to control aperture automatically. The ring moves every 1/3 EV step without any other working mode available.

Viltrox AF 13 mm f/1.4 XF - Build quality

Further on you see another immobile ring made of metal on which there are basic parameters of the lens, the logo of the producer, and a red mark with the production series.

A manual focus ring, as wide as 32 mm, is the biggest part of the lens. Its surface is completely covered by fine ribs. The ring is a focus-by-wire construction, it moves quite smoothly, and you can't find any distance or depth of field scale on it.

Viltrox AF 13 mm f/1.4 XF - Build quality

The working range of this ring can reach even 240-250 deg, a good value. Still you have to emphasize the fact that the majority (about 170 degrees) is dedicated to the range from 0.22 to 1.0 meter.

The lens ends with a metal hood mount; inside it you can find a non-rotating filter thread, 67 mm in diameter. The front element is convex, immobile, 46 mm in diameter, surrounded by a part of the casing with the name and basic parameters of the lens.

Viltrox AF 13 mm f/1.4 XF - Build quality

When it comes to optical construction you deal here with 14 elements positioned in 11 groups. Among them you can find two aspherical elements, as many as four made of low dispersion ED glass, and two elements with a high refraction index. Inside, you can also find an aperture with nine blades that can be closed down to a value of f/16 at the maximum.

Buyers get in the box with the lens: both caps, a petal-type hood, and a soft pouch of very average quality; anyway its protective properties are rather dubious. Personally, I would call it a thick optics cleaning cloth.

Viltrox AF 13 mm f/1.4 XF - Build quality