I have always laughed at early adopters. In case you don’t know who they are, those are folks that buy stuff as soon as it appears, usually on the strength of a hype raised in the social media, usually by the manufacturer or its sycophantic following: the fan boys. Ha-ha, I would say. Let them waste their hard earned cash on a thing that may well be hot air in a pretty package… I’ll read their reviews, and if it’s good, I’ll buy it at half the price when the hype peters out.
However, one doesn’t always do what one preaches. I have used an antique portrait lens (50mm/f1.4, vintage 1964) for years and years, putting up with its stiff focusing ring, lack of autofocus and the fact that it is a full frame lens. I have come across Viltrox 33/f1.4 and was thinking hard of buying one, but 33mm is not the portrait focal length (85mm equiv) to which the said vintage lens was close.
And suddenly, on 20 September Viltrox announced one!
56mm f/1.4 in X-mount, with autofocus. Costs ~300 bucks (dirt cheap, unbelievable). The other Viltrox offerings, the aforementioned 33mm and the 85mm/f1.8 had fetched glowing reviews and were well established Fuji alternatives. Damn it, I said to myself. I want a proper portrait lens. I haven’t had one for a long time. I am buying it, come hell or high water.
So I sold the 50mm/f1.4 and also the stupid Leica Hector (a useless 135mm/f4.5, soft, heavy and, well, did I say useless?). And it was just enough.
One problem is that there’s no human available for a portrait. We can’t be deterred by this nonsense. We have a lens. So here’s an abstract instead: a walkie-talkie on a Victorian cast-iron radiator (a genuine item 150 years old). And both things have similar grills, would you believe it.
Fully open, the bokeh is gorgeous, creamy and soft.
I can sleep now. Well done, early adopter!