Viltrox AF 40mm f/2.5 review: A small, lightweight prime for both full-frame and APS-C mirrorless cameras

The full-frame Viltrox AF 40mm F2.5 lightens the load for Nikon Z and Sony E mount cameras, in both physical size and purchase price.

Viltrox AF 40mm F2.5
(Image: © Matthew Richards)

Digital Camera World Verdict

I really like the focal length of 40mm for street photography and everyday shooting, and the Viltrox AF 40mm F2.5 obliges. I love that it’s so compact and lightweight, yet well built and with respectable performance, all at a very affordable purchase price. Bargain!


  • +

    Compact and lightweight

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    Good performance

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    Very inexpensive to buy


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    No AF/MF switch

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    No aperture control ring

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    Not weather-sealed

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For me, the focal length of the Viltrox AF 40mm F2.5 neatly bridges the gap between a 50mm standard prime and a moderately wide-angle 35mm lens. I find it gives an ideal perspective for street photography and walkabout shooting, and that its compact, lightweight build makes it very easy to live with. Naturally, you can also use the lens on APS-C format Nikon Z or Sony E bodies, where it gives an ‘effective’ 60mm focal length.

I’m not one to be fooled into thinking that ‘cheap’ Chinese lenses are second-rate. I actually own all three of the compact yet fast, metal-bodied Viltrox AF 23mm F1.4 Z, Viltrox AF 33mm F1.4 Z, and Viltrox AF 56mm F1.4 Z primes, plus the slightly larger Viltrox AF 13mm F1.4 Z and the faster Viltrox AF 27mm F1.2 Pro, both of which are also metal-bodied. They’re all APS-C format lenses which I use on my Nikon Z fc and I’m continually delighted with them, one and all. Following on from the recently released Viltrox AF 20mm F2.8, the new AF 40mm is full-frame compatible and aims to be one of the most affordable of lenses for Nikon Z and lenses for Sony E.

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Mount optionsNikon Z, Sony E (FE)
Lens construction10 elements in 6 groups
Angle of view57.8 degrees
Diaphragm blades7
Minimum aperturef/16
Minimum focus distance0.34m
Maximum magnification0.14x
Filter size52mm
Nikon Z 40mm F2

The Nikon Z 40mm F2 has a faster aperture rating but is significantly more expensive to buy, and has a plastic rather than metal mounting plate. As with the Viltrox lens, the lack of optical stabilization can be a problem if you’re using it on Z DX bodies that lack IBIS.

Sony FE 40mm F2.5 G

For Sony shooters, the Sony FE 40mm F2.5 G is a more sophisticated lens that features an aperture control ring, customizable AF-hold button and AF/MF switch. However, it’s much more expensive to buy at around £629/$598.

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Matthew Richards

Matthew Richards is a photographer and journalist who has spent years using and reviewing all manner of photo gear. He is Digital Camera World's principal lens reviewer – and has tested more primes and zooms than most people have had hot dinners! 

His expertise with equipment doesn’t end there, though. He is also an encyclopedia  when it comes to all manner of cameras, camera holsters and bags, flashguns, tripods and heads, printers, papers and inks, and just about anything imaging-related. 

In an earlier life he was a broadcast engineer at the BBC, as well as a former editor of PC Guide.