Review Comparison: Metabones vs Novoflex “straight” adapters

connloyalist

Mu-43 Regular
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Real Name
Christine
Recently I came into possession of two Olympus OM to Micro Four Thirds lens adapters: a Metabones and a Novoflex. Both are “straight”, no glass.

Why two? I decided to explore some Olympus OM lenses. All of my adapters are Novoflex but I couldn’t find the Novoflex OM – M43 so decided to pick up a Metabones. Then the other day I saw a new Novoflex OM-M43 being offered on eBay so I picked it up. That gives me the chance to compare these two adapters.

Construction
Metabones
The Metabones consists of at least three main parts: the main body of the adapter (gloss painted black metal) and the lens and camera mount rings (shiny metal). The mount rings are screwed to the main body. It has a foot to attach it to a tripod which can be removed by two screws. I have taken mine off; in the discussion here I will assume this foot has been removed.

The inside of the Metabones has black felt on it. When you angle the adapter against a light source this felt appears to be very effective in reducing reflections.

When attaching the Metabones to a lens or to the camera body it is a very tight fit requiring some effort. On the lens side attaching or removing the adapter is accompanied by a crunchy, scraping sound. I haven’t found any scratches, but it certainly sounds that way. Suffice to say there is absolutely no movement between the adapter and the lens or body.

The Metabones weighs 107.7 grams (without the foot) and costs 129 euros at the online camera store I frequently use.

Novoflex
The Novoflex is constructed from at least two main parts: the camera mount section, which makes up the largest part of the adapter, and the lens mount section. My impression is that Novoflex produces various lens mount sections for Nikon F, Canon FD, Olympus OM, etc. and camera mount sections for Micro four thirds, Fuji X, etc. They then combine various parts to create the appropriate adapters. The two parts are joined with screws on the lens mount. Both of these parts appear to be machined from single pieces of metal and painted semi- flat black.

The Novoflex does not have a foot for a tripod. They do however sell a separate ring that can be fastened around their adapters with an integrated Arca Swiss foot. If memory serves these rings are specific to each camera mount. So a ring for M43 will work for all Novoflex adapters to micro four thirds.

The inside of the Novoflex consists of a series of metal ridges integrated into the lens mount section of the adapter. Angling the adapter against a light source there is definitely more shine on the inside of the adapter than with the Metabones. However, when doing the same thing with a lens attached I can’t notice a difference.

The fit against the lens and the camera is good and snug, but doesn’t feel as tight as the Metabones. The action is also a lot smoother. Perhaps the impression of it being easier to attach is a result of it being smoother. Either way, there is no movement between the lens, the adapter and the camera body.

The Novoflex weighs 91.1 grams and costs 109 euros.

Infinity Focus
I have noticed that the Novoflex is about a millimeter longer than the Metabones. Consequently, in testing using an Olympus OM 50mm 1.4 focusing on something just under 3 meters away, using the Novoflex you have to focus a bit further out than on the Metabones to get the same point in focus. Measuring the distance from camera to target the distance numbers on the lens are closer on the Novoflex than on the Metabones.

Both adapters focus beyond infinity. The Novoflex will focus fractionally beyond infinity. In my test with the Novoflex infinity focus was achieved with the focus in the middle of the first loop of the infinity mark on the lens (the “horizontal 8”). The hard stop on this lens is in the middle of the infinity mark. With the Metabones infinity focus was halfway between the 5 and 10 meter marks on the lens. The meter marks on this lens are 0.45 – 0.5 – 0.7 – 1 - 2 – 3 – 5 – 10 – Infinity. As you can see the Metabones will focus significantly beyond infinity.

Personal preference
Owning both of these adapters I will probably be using the Novoflex mostly. The smoothness with which it mounts and unmounts from lenses and camera body as opposed to the grinding feeling of the Metabones, combined with the excellent build quality and equally good optical performance are the most important factors.

Regards, C.
 
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