Viltrox camera lenses offer a budget-friendly alternative to those made by camera manufacturers. But are they worth using?
Once you’ve done photography as a hobby for a while, you’ll probably want to upgrade from your kit lens at some stage. However, the problem with that is that many camera manufacturers’ more advanced lenses cost a lot of money.
An alternative is to go for third-party producers, who often sell theirs for much lower prices. One emerging provider in this respect is Viltrox, which sells lenses in a wide variety of focal lengths.
But what exactly are Viltrox camera lenses, and which users can buy them? Let’s take a look.
What Is Viltrox?
is an online store that specializes in making photography and filmmaking equipment. The company was founded in 2009 and originated from China, though it operates worldwide, including in North America and Europe.
When it comes to lenses, Viltrox creates its own products and ships them to the user itself. On the Viltrox store, you can also buy lens adapters, video monitors, LED lights, and more.
Viltrox mainly sells prime lenses—which don’t zoom in or out. Some of the fixed-length lenses you can buy include 85mm, 24mm, and 33mm.
Which Cameras Can You Buy Viltrox Lenses For?
Viltrox sells lenses that are compatible with cameras from most of the photography industry’s leading manufacturers. These include:
Nikon users can also buy ready-made Viltrox camera lenses.
The Pros of Buying a Viltrox Camera Lens
Now that you’ve got a better idea of what Viltrox is and the types of lenses it creates, we can start looking at the pros and cons of buying these.
Let’s start by looking at the main benefits of using a Viltrox lens instead of one produced by your camera manufacturer. The three biggest pros are listed below.
More Affordable for Most Users
If you buy from a camera manufacturer, you can—in some instances—pay more for your lenses than the camera body cost. So, unsurprisingly, what draws many photographers into the Viltrox ecosystem is how affordable its lenses are.
As an example, the 85mm Viltrox lens for a Fujifilm X-mount camera costs $399. If you were to buy a 90mm XF lens for the same camera, you’d be looking at over double the price.
Buying a similar focal length lens from Viltrox enables you to start taking the kinds of pictures you want without needing to save up for a more expensive lens. If you decide that you need to upgrade later, you can always do that.
Good Image Quality
Of course, it’s important to remember that the key ingredient to an excellent image is the photographer. Having said that, your equipment can play an important role—which is why the best cameras sell for thousands of dollars.
When thinking about buying a new camera lens, image quality is an essential aspect for many photographers. And when you use a Viltrox lens, you’ll find that you can still take sharp images that look good when posting them on Instagram.
For the most part, you’ll get similar results with Viltrox lenses as you would if you shot in the same settings on your camera manufacturer’s lens. You might find some annoyances like chromatic aberration, but these are easy to fix in Adobe Lightroom.
Sometimes, buying inexpensive items also means that you get poor quality. With Viltrox’s lenses, however, that is not the case.
Viltrox lenses are made of metal, which helps to improve their durability. The lens isn’t weather-sealed but will be able to withstand a lot.
It’s also worth noting that these products come with another layer of coating, meaning you’ve got extra protection against the elements.
The Cons of Buying a Viltrox Camera Lens
Despite the pros of buying a Viltrox lens for your camera, it’s also worth keeping in mind the flaws you’ll run into. These might be minor annoyances for some but could cause enormous problems for others.
Below are three drawbacks you need to keep in mind when buying lenses from this manufacturer.
You’re at the Mercy of the Camera Manufacturer’s Software Updates
If you buy a lens from your camera manufacturer, you know that any software updates will ensure that your body and lens continue to work well together. However, that might not be the case if you use a third-party one instead.
Even if you’ve used your lens for years, there’s every chance that it might one day become unusable with your camera. If that happens, you’ll need to fork out the money to buy one that’s compatible with your device.
The chances of this happening are improbable. However, it’s still something to keep in mind. If you’re happy with taking the risk, you won’t find this much of an issue.
The Lenses Aren’t Weather Sealed
Most modern lenses are pretty resilient and can last through a lot of adversities. At the same time, though, it’s a good idea to have a weather-sealed lens if you’re going to shoot in harsh conditions.
Unfortunately, Viltrox’s lenses aren’t weather sealed. And because of this, you’ll need to be careful when shooting in different conditions. To reduce the chances of damage, consider taking a towel if it’s raining, and regularly stepping indoors to give your lens a break.
Viltrox Offers a More Affordable Alternative to Camera-Specific Lenses
Camera lenses are an expensive investment. And while it might seem like a good idea to buy a cheaper third-party lens, doing research is critical to ensure that you don’t waste money.
If you were previously skeptical of Viltrox’s low prices, you shouldn’t worry—its lenses are an excellent budget-friendly alternative to those made by individual camera providers.
While you’ll have to deal with some trade-offs, the image quality is very good for the most part. Viltrox also builds its lenses exceptionally well and provides software updates to ensure it works at its maximum potential.