Are you a Fuji X-mount camera user in search of the perfect prime lens? Look no further! In this blog post, we will be delving into a popular debate among photographers – the Sigma 23mm F1.4 vs Viltrox 27mm F1.2 showdown. Both lenses offer wide-angle capabilities and fast apertures, making them ideal for various photography genres such as street, landscape, and even portraits. With their sleek designs and exceptional image quality, choosing between the Sigma and Viltrox lens can be a tough decision. But fear not, as we will provide you with an in-depth comparison, highlighting the key features and performance of each lens, helping you make an educated choice that suits your photography needs.
Foreign, hi I’m Dustin Abbott and I’m here today to give you a comparison video of another versus episode. Between the new Viltrox ProAF 27mm F1.2 and the Sigma 23mm F1.4. Now, I realize that they aren’t the identical focal length or even have an identical maximum aperture, but what is nearly identical is their price. Both of them will cost you right under $550 US Dollars, which means that these are legitimate lenses that you could cross-shop even more so than the equivalent 23mm F1.4 from Fuji, which is going to cost you about $350 dollars more than either one of these lenses.
So today, we’re going to break down the different areas of performance and what I’m going to do is I’m going to give you what I consider to be the relative strengths of each lens, why you should choose one versus the other, and then for those of you that are interested in a deeper dive, I’ve got all the supporting evidence that I’ll follow up with after the conclusion. So we’ll do a deep dive into the image quality for those of you that want to hang around and watch at that point, and so you can actually see what goes on behind the conclusions that I have drawn.
So we’ll start, however, by taking a look at the general autofocus performance because a lot of you have asked me about that. And what I have found is that there are more similarities than differences in the autofocus performance between these two lenses. Now, obviously, if you’re looking for the optimum autofocus performance, probably the original Fuji 23mm with its linear motors is going to give you the best autofocus performance. But in terms of these, as you can see here, both of them focus relatively similarly in terms of just basic speed. Though, I will note that the Sigma has a little bit of a quirk where there’s almost a lag before you can start to make another autofocus change. And it’s almost like it hangs there for a moment and then you can start moving once again. But in terms of the actual speed going back and forth, they are roughly similar.
Likewise, when it came to video focus pulls, I found that both of them had fairly similar performance in terms of back and forth. The Sigma might show a few more steps than what the Viltrox does, but every now and then, the Viltrox will do an extra back pulse. And so they’re roughly equal when it comes to video pulls. And I would say they are roughly similar when it comes to the amount of focus breathing that is present between the two lenses. There’s very low focus breathing on the Fuji XF 23mm F1.4 LM lens.
So let’s talk about some reasons that the Sigma is the superior of the two lenses or areas that might advantage it. The first is a quite obvious one, and that is that it is considerably smaller than what the Viltrox lens is. It is 65.8 millimeters in diameter versus 82 millimeters in diameter for the Viltrox. The overall length is 77 millimeters versus 92 millimeters for the Viltrox. The Sigma is very close in size to the actual Fuji lens, whereas the Viltrox is obviously considerably larger. The Sigma is also much lighter. It weighs in at 340 grams versus 516 grams for the Viltrox. So they’re not even really quite in the same class of lens in terms of size and weight.
We’ll also note that something that Sigma does really well is lens hoods. And of the three lenses, including the Fuji, I would take the Sigma’s lens hood above them all. It has a greater variety of textures, it feels nicer in the hand, it just feels better made in general. Also, I found that in my comparisons back and forth between the two lenses, that I would say the Sigma is slightly sharper in the corner of the frame. And particularly at wide apertures, the Sigma has a slight advantage there. I also found that the Sigma had a nicer looking sunstar. It has nine aperture blades versus 11 aperture blades in the Viltrox. And while those 11 blades do have a very clear advantage when it comes to keeping a circular shape, when it comes to the sunstar, the Sigma has a better looking star that has 18 blades versus 22 blades. And it’s just cleaner and better defined.
However, there are also a lot of reasons to choose the Viltrox over the Sigma. First of all, when it comes to the basic build here, there’s no question that the Viltrox is the better made lens. Not that there’s a radical difference in the feel of the materials between the two, but whereas the Sigma has only a single gasket at the lens mount, the Viltrox is thoroughly weather-sealed. And as you can see from this diagram, there are actually 10 different seal points throughout the Viltrox lens. And so it is a more professional-grade build between the two.
The Viltrox also has the advantage of having an aperture ring, something that is pretty much standard on Fuji and something that the Sigma lacks at this point. I also found when it comes to autofocus, that while the overall speed wasn’t radically different, I did feel that in just real-world general use, I had better accuracy with the Viltrox, just more consistently well-focused results with it.
One thing that is hugely different between the two lenses is that the Viltrox has much nicer bokeh. It has less of a nervous quality, there’s much less outlining, less fringing around it. The bokeh is really, really nice from this lens, whereas the Sigma, while being a very sharp lens, it just doesn’t have fantastic bokeh in my opinion. The Viltrox also has lower chromatic aberrations. Not that either one of these lenses suffers badly from chromatic aberrations, but the Viltrox is more neutral with less fringing than what the Sigma has. It obviously also has a faster maximum aperture. F1.2 is about a third stop faster than F1.4. And while that’s not a radical difference, it means that in low light situations, you have that much more light that is coming into the sensor of the lens. It also has what I would claim to be a nicer overall rendering of images. It has very nice real-world contrast, as we’ll see on our breakdown, and there’s just a little bit more nuance to the optical performance that I personally strongly prefer versus the Sigma lens.
Now, I will just remember after my conclusion here, we will do an in-depth breakdown, and so you can see these two lenses side by side in a wide variety of situations. So if you’re interested, stay tuned for that. But my conclusion is that both lenses fortunately are definitely sharp enough to handle the 40-megapixel sensor that Fuji has moved to in some of its top cameras. There aren’t a lot of lenses that can do that at this point. And so, that means that we’re getting very good bang for the buck with either one of these lenses. If sharpness is the absolute priority, obviously, if your priority is to go a smaller lens as possible at this price point while still retaining high optical performance, the Sigma is a great choice. It is considerably smaller and lighter than what the Viltrox is, and so that could be a very strong reason to consider it. There’s also, of course, the difference in focal length in general, and that some of you will prefer the basically 35mm equivalent to right over the 40mm equivalent of the Viltrox. And so there are some reasons to consider it.
If absolute image quality is your priority, the Viltrox, I feel, is in another class. Not that it’s sharper, it, you know, there’s some slight differences in sharpness, but the Viltrox is sharper in the corners, but the overall image quality, the bokeh, the way that it renders, the nuance with the contrast, in my opinion, the Viltrox is in another class altogether, and so that’s going to be my recommended lens if you’re looking for the absolute image quality and you’re willing to deal with some of the quirks that it has, including, obviously, the larger size, the larger weight, and some other aspects that might be downsides to going with this lens. So I hope that this comparison has been helpful for you, and let’s dive in now and take a closer look at these two lenses.
Sigma 23mm F1.4 vs Viltrox 27mm F1.2 | Fuji X-Mount Showdown
Q1: What is the main difference between Sigma 23mm F1.4 and Viltrox 27mm F1.2?
A1: The main difference lies in the focal length and aperture. The Sigma 23mm F1.4 has a 23mm focal length and a maximum aperture of F1.4, while the Viltrox 27mm F1.2 offers a slightly wider focal length of 27mm with a larger maximum aperture of F1.2.
Q2: Which lens is better for low light photography?
A2: Both lenses have wide maximum apertures, making them suitable for low light photography. However, due to the larger aperture of F1.2, the Viltrox 27mm F1.2 may perform slightly better in extremely low light situations.
Q3: Are these lenses suitable for portrait photography?
A3: Yes, both lenses can be used for portrait photography. The Sigma 23mm F1.4 offers a slightly narrower focal length, which may result in a more flattering perspective for portraits. On the other hand, the Viltrox 27mm F1.2’s wider focal length allows for a wider field of view and may be preferred for environmental portraits.
Q4: Do these lenses have autofocus capabilities?
A4: Yes, both lenses feature autofocus capabilities, which can be handy for quick and accurate focusing. However, it is important to note that the performance of autofocus may vary between different camera bodies.
Q5: Which lens is more compact and portable?
A5: The Viltrox 27mm F1.2 is known for its compact size and lightweight construction, making it highly portable. The Sigma 23mm F1.4, while not significantly larger, may be slightly less compact in comparison.
Q6: Are these lenses weather-sealed?
A6: Neither the Sigma 23mm F1.4 nor the Viltrox 27mm F1.2 are officially weather-sealed. Therefore, caution should be taken when using them in adverse weather conditions to avoid potential damage.
Q7: Which lens offers better image quality?
A7: Both lenses are highly regarded for their image quality. However, the Sigma 23mm F1.4 is known for its excellent sharpness and overall optical performance. The Viltrox 27mm F1.2, on the other hand, delivers impressive image quality and smooth bokeh due to its larger maximum aperture.
Remember to thoroughly research and compare the specifications, features, and sample images of both lenses to choose the one that best suits your specific photographic needs.
I hope you find useful my article Sigma 23mm F1.4 vs Viltrox 27mm F1.2 | Fuji X-Mount Showdown, I also recommend you to read my other posts in my blog at this link.
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