The Viltrox 13mm f/1.4 Versus the Sigma 16mm f/1.4

These two wide angle third-party prime lenses are both ultra-fast, with a maximum aperture of f/1.4. But which of the two should you go for?

When I first started with digital photography close to 20 years ago, third-party lenses barely existed. Indeed, the biggest choice a new buyer had to make centered around which brand had the better native lenses or at least more choice. Ultimately, that's why I went for the Canon ecosystem all those years ago. I felt that Canon had a better range, and I was also swayed by a few friends at university who had also invested in the Canon ecosystem. Today, that's not really an issue because most brands make wonderful native lenses for their bodies in all sensor sizes, but more importantly, the advances of third-party lens makers have come in exponential leaps.

And that brings us to this great video by Dave McKeegan, in which he compares the Viltrox 13mm f/1.4 lens to the Sigma 16mm f/1.4. I must point out that both of these lenses are for APS-C format cameras, so they're not true 13mm and 16mm focal lengths, but they're still plenty wide enough. I own a number of Sigma lenses but have never used a Viltrox, so I was curious to see how the two matched up. Quite surprisingly, based on my prior biases, McKeegan gave the edge to the Viltrox after all his testing, including astrophotography, but I'll let you find out exactly why. Let me know your experiences with Viltrox lenses, because I'm always on the lookout for more affordable quality lenses.

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Iain Stanley is an Associate Professor teaching photography and composition in Japan. He has presented at conferences globally and written for Japan Travel and the Japan National Tourism Organization. If you'd like to learn more about his work, his life in Japan, or how he edits his award-winning images, please click the website link above.

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Maybe I’ve just been out of the 3rd party lens game for a while but it’s crazy that Viltrox is holding its own against the much more well known Sigma. Also crazy that’s it’s more expensive.

Have had the Sigma on several of my Fuji X series bodies.
Been very happy with it and, for me, the marginal difference in focal length is not an issue- just move your feet!

The review is lack of an important test. And that's back-lid scene.
Most of Chinese lenses is weak on back-lid.