Comparison Metabones Ultra v Viltrox M2

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MOD Tom Caldwell Forum Pro • Posts: 35,988
Comparison Metabones Ultra v Viltrox M2

Being in a position to test these adapters having bought my Metabones Ultra in 2016 and just taken delivery of a Viltrox M2 very recently.

Note I have tested these adapters on two GM5 bodies in parallel - both set up exactly the same way. It might be thought that the adapters may work better on more sophisticated camera bodies and that may very well be correct. I will get around to trying the Viltrox on such bodies as the G9 and the E-M1i in time but it is sufficient that I have used the Metabones Ultra on GM5 bodies for quite some time now and they have performed very well and I have not felt deprived by not using them exclusively on my other bodies. Therefore the present results between Metabones and Viltrox should be representative even if another body might be able to squeeze another pip out of the orange.

I have limited my testing to the reasonable difficulty of palm fronds in indirect light over a horizontal slatted fence. The light in general terms was Australian bright and excellent for photography. The foliage comments were based on palm leaf segments which were not moving and not smaller more imprecise leaves. To be fair they were a fair distance away for the wider lenses. The focus distance was approximately 18 metres but I used closer objects or walked closer as was appropriate.

My subject matter was very obviously either in or out of focus.

Here is a chart I prepared:

I must admit that I am disappointed by the level of AF compatibility that the Viltrox M2 exhibits. The Viltrox website claims compatibility with all EF lenses. Vendors on eBay include long lists of compatible lenses and M4/3 camera bodies.

The only two lenses that Metabones cannot handle have been bog-standard cheap plastic entry-level ones.

There have been many good reports on this forum and others of successful use of Viltrox adapters.

I have not upgraded to v2.3 of the Viltrox firmware. I cannot find an upgrade history for the firmware that Viltrox supplies. The text file that comes with the v2.3 firmware only specifies:

"EF-M2 verson2.3
Update date: 2018-04-03
update as follow:
1. Improved the auto focus problem of Olympus E-M2.
Attention: Please dismount the device when you upgrade."

But no doubt more lenses are supported as well as the previous upgrade was many months earlier. If anyone has a link to the firmware upgrade corrections history then I would appreciate it.

Furthermore my group of lenses might include more rarely used types and many only wish to use focal reduction adapters for cheap Canon EF zooms that I don't own to be able to test.

Basically - with Metabones I have effectively given up wondering if another type of EF lens will actually work with their adapters - they just do.  I bought four Sigma DC lenses in EF mount and they effective just clicked on and worked.  Not so with the same lenses on Viltrox (they don't seem to be listed as compatible to be fair) of which the 18-35mm and 50-100mm f1.8 pass the AF test.

I will welcome input from others as to which EF lenses will in fact perform reasonable AF with the Viltrox M2 and on which camera body.  I will try and incorporate responses in an extended chart so that there is some tested database available.

In the meantime if anyone wishes to buy a Viltrox then perhaps it is not a complete panacea just yet.

I note the apparent inability of the Viltrox to handle any of my lenses f1.4 and faster.  The "Dark Screen" effect seems to be because the aperture is not opening even though the camera readout says that the aperture is f0.95.  On the other hand with the same lenses Metabones is working perfectly with no concerns whatsoever.

In the meantime I will have to see if I can update the Viltrox firmware to see what improvements might be on offer.

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Tom Caldwell

Panasonic Lumix DC-G9 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM5
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