Viltrox EF-M2 for MFT - First Impressions

Started Jan 20, 2018 | Discussions thread
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caterpillar Veteran Member • Posts: 7,548
Viltrox EF-M2 for MFT - First Impressions

First, I may get some things wrong as I only got this adapter about 3 hours ago. So, I apologize in advance! I am posting early because I was impressed by this adapter for MFT that does a good job at AF! And you don't have to pay a lot for the MB to get good performance.

Yesterday, I placed an order for the Viltrox EF-M2 to be delivered the following day for U$196. It arrived before lunch and I was surprised at the delivery. This model is a focal reducer/speedbooster. It has a 0.71x magnification and you get a boost of 1 stop in aperture.

The adapter comes in a white box. It comes with a simple manual, but is not really instructive on a lot of things, especially how to calibrate infinity or update the firmware. It has one allen wrench to remove the tripod mount, and a screw driver which I still have to figure out what it's for. At first I thought it was for the infinity focus, but there is a a slider switch and groove on the lens that is supposed to do that. With that, it seems simpler to adjust the lens.

The adapter also comes with a usb port with a nice rubber tab to keep the dust off. I still don't know how to go about the update. I may have to google this process later on.

- Build

The adapter is well built. Metal mount, with metal parts mostly. The glass and body look clean and solid. The gold electrical contacts well made. The adapter is not so heavy. Just right for something with 4 elements of glass.

- Operation

I used my g85 to test this this morning. My GF has the GX7, and I'll test it when I have it.

The EF-M2 is supposed to take in EF lenses only. EF-s lenses will not mount as the protruding lens/rubber at the back will hit the glass of the adapter. I did try to mount it by popping off the rubber cap on the rear of the EF-s lenses. The 10-22 worked well, but you cannot use the 10mm as the rear glass will still hit the adapter glass. You can probably use it at around 12mm and up. Then I mounted the 18-135 stm, again, removing the rear rubber cap on the rear element. This does not work at all. No AF. No electricity to the lens, so it won't even AF, nor manual focus (STM are focus by wire). So, that lens cannot be used at all. But the 10-22 will, and there is no vignetting, or any other issues except in focus a bit far, the 10-22 at the widest FLs, it can miss AF and go to infinity when it needs only to focus 7-10 feet. So be very careful and check your focus. Since this is ring usm, focus is fast. So, if you want to use this for EF-S, it is possible but with limitations. Some will work, and it may limit the FL in some. This should not be a problem because this adapter is really not for EF-s lenses. I just tried it out of curiosity.

Focusing is very fast with either ring usm, or stm, though the former is the fastest. It focus just about as fast as native MFT lenses. All will pulse or "breathe" as the CDAF hunts for the right focus. It will rack and go over then come back to lock on the sharpest image. It is a bit annoying, though for photos, this can be very quick with ring USM. The 50mm stm, did not focus as fast vs the 85 f1.8 usm and even the 70-200 f2.8L IS mark 1.

I have even tried my old Tamron 17-35 f2.8-4.0 and it works. The AF is noisy (DC motor), but it also works!

What one will be surprised is to see the aperture opening faster by 1 stop! It is a thing to see f2.0 on the huge and heavy 70-200 f2.8L IS! Or to see f1.3 on the 50mm f1.8 and 85 f1.8!

touch AF seems to be working too. You touch in an area, it focuses there. AF seems faster if you use less AF points. Though I found out that you have to find out which your lenses prefer or subjects you shoot. The safest bet is to still to use a few AF points (maybe 6-12). Single AF point may be good in some situations. So with the size of the AF point. Just experiment.

One thing I noticed though is with my Tamron 17-35 f2.8-4.0 Di. I got an f2.0 opening on 17mm. But zooming onto 35mm, I still get an f2.0 reading! I don't know how to explain this. But I am not complaining.

IS seems to be working too so, if the camera has it, you can use it. Though a good IBIS may be a better one to use. Just test it and disable one that is the least effective.

- AF Not good for video

Sadly, if you use the AF in video, you will not be happy. The breathing and racking focus that is so abrupt as the AF hunts for the target/subject is not a good sight to see in a video footage. It is jerky and sudden. No slow ar gradual blur to sharp transitions. It is made even worse when the AF overshoots the focus and racks back!

I don't know if a future firmware can fix this. Since this was released only last Dec and arrived in our country about a week ago, it is still too early to tell. Also, I still have to figure out how to upgrade the firmware. Anybody who can help me out, let me know!

- Conclusion

I have often wondered why there is no adapter that is much talked about for MFT cameras. But I let it pass because I am not in need of one, except maybe for my 10-22. The 7-14 and other wide angle native lenses are very expensive. So, I got a focal reducer for that that is manual focus and manual aperture. No big deal because I don't really need shallow DOF for that. I just need a wide fro group pictures in case the location is a small room or I have to fit in a large number of people in the frame.

But since early January, there has been a buzz and out of stock reports in the USA of this Viltrox EF-M2. I looked at youtube and was amazed at the AF on the 50 f1.4 and some lenses. There were about 2-3 reviews that were good that shows the potential of this adapter. Last week, one local vensor used an OLy camera and showed a video of how fast this adapter works. So, I knew that this thing really works well.

For video, it is not very good. That pulsing focus is going to be a nuisance! For photos, it can be very good. AF is very quick. Not as quick as native lenses but not slow either. You'll never know the difference in most situations as the difference can be minute fraction of a second.

If you have lots of EF lenses, or you like some EF lenses to cover your range and avoid the high cost of the the MFT equivalent, this Viltrox EF-M2 may work for you. The AF is fast. Really fast as if you are using a PDAF dslr!

But one can also use this to extend ones range or get wides angles for a lower cost and not lose AF from 3rd party lenses that has those FL but you have to go manual. For example, the Oly 75 f1.8 which is about U$750 in our country, I could get a 100 f2.0 usm for U$500 and get 141mm f1.4! Or a 50mm f1.4 usm and get a 71mm f1.0 usm for about U$380 only! For wides, I can use my 10-22 and get a 14mm-31mm f2.5-3.2 zoom (you just have to pop the rear cover because it will hit the glass and you can't mount the lens).

It's too early for me to say, I'd recommend this one. But most likely it will be good. I read somewhere that it is around U$225 in the USA now. And in some stores it is out-of-stock. I guess some people know something is good and are buying in droves. It got me curious. Now that I have one, it makes me very pleased. Except for my 18-135 stm (I don't need this range anyway as I already have a weather sealed Oly 14-150 ii) , I can use any canon or canon mount lens in my Panasonic cameras from now on.

For those who are curious, I think this is a good buy.

The slider where one can adjust/calibrate the infinity focus.

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- Caterpillar
'Always in the process of changing, growing, and transforming.'

- Caterpillar
'Always in the process of changing, growing, and transforming.'

 caterpillar's gear list:caterpillar's gear list
Panasonic FZ1000 Canon EF-S 10-22mm F3.5-4.5 USM Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM Canon EF-S 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 IS STM Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS4 +22 more
Panasonic G85 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7
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