Metabones Ultra v Viltrox II in HighRes

16:9

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I've just uploaded the first draft of what is planned to be a shedload of new M43 reviews, all shot in HiRes on G9.
I wanted to know how much (if any) better the much more expensive Metabones Speedbooster is than the Mark II Viltrox equivalent. I tested them with Sigma 35mm f1.4 Art (giving 25mm f1.0) and the Nikon 14-24mm f2.8 (giving a familiar-sounding 10-17mm f2. The best combinations were compared against the Lumix 7-14mm at 10mm and the Panasonic 12-35mm f2.8 at 25mm. I also refer to how the adapted Nikon compares to the new Leica 10-17mm.
Flare and bokeh tests, and video, to follow . . .

http://blog.16-9.net/speedboosting-part-2
 

wimg

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I've just uploaded the first draft of what is planned to be a shedload of new M43 reviews, all shot in HiRes on G9.
I wanted to know how much (if any) better the much more expensive Metabones Speedbooster is than the Mark II Viltrox equivalent. I tested them with Sigma 35mm f1.4 Art (giving 25mm f1.0) and the Nikon 14-24mm f2.8 (giving a familiar-sounding 10-17mm f2. The best combinations were compared against the Lumix 7-14mm at 10mm and the Panasonic 12-35mm f2.8 at 25mm. I also refer to how the adapted Nikon compares to the new Leica 10-17mm.
Flare and bokeh tests, and video, to follow . . .

http://blog.16-9.net/speedboosting-part-2
Nice! Only needs a little work on (very few) typos :).

I really like to see this in a comparison, any reviews I have seen before your blog entry basically showed either/or, never both. Even so, based on what I saw, especially the differences outside the image center, I went for the Metabones versions, coming to the same cocnlusion you did.

As an Oly AND Canon-shooter I have been crazy enough to first get the Speedbooster Ultra, and based on the results obtained, the speedbooster XL and the glassless adapter as well. I was really impressed by the results I obtained with 50L F/1.2, 85L and 135L (resulting in 35 F/0.85, 60 F/0.85 and 96 F/1.4 with Ultra, 32 F/0.77, 54 F/0.77 and 86 F/1.3 with XL), where for the latter two with either speedbooster no equivalent is available in primes. I found that the 85L with either speedbooster gave even better results for portraiture than on a Canon FF body, especially for the OOF areas in front of the plane of focus ("feathering" anyone? :)). Quite interesting :).

Kind regards, Wim
 

16:9

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Thanks for that. Still proof-reading! Think I have all the bugs now, but let me know if I missed anything.
How do you find the XL compares to the Ultra? That's an interesting little review in its own right . . .
 

pdk42

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Very nice article. I enjoyed the writing style as well as its content! Interestingly, I've been musing these last days about getting a Speedbooster in order to get a decent wide-angle T&S lens. The Viltrox vs Speedbooster decision is part of that and as you say the price difference is significant. However, even a used Canon 17mm TSE lens is around £1800, so the cost of the adapter pales somewhat in the overall picture.
 

16:9

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Thanks Paul! After all these years, wide angles are still a problem: specifically re: corner sharpness and flare resistance. I'm midway through testing the Samyang 10mm f3.5 + SB now, and looking to obtain good samples of the Sigma 14mm f1.8 and Tokina 11-20mm to compare with the speedboosted Nikon 14-24 and the best of the native M43 wide angles.

I've already shot tests of the Olympus 7-14, Panasonic 7-14, Laowa 7.5, Panasonic 8-18, Leica 12 and Olympus 12/2. All good, none perfect. Only the Olympus 17mm f1.2 is perfect (with minor reservations over flare resistance) but you have to track down a good copy. Only one of four samples has delivered the goods so far . . .

I'm finding that much of the received wisdom on this subject is slightly wide of the mark when shooting at 80MP . . .
 

wimg

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Thanks for that. Still proof-reading! Think I have all the bugs now, but let me know if I missed anything.
It's a pleasure, and I will if you like. Will do so by PM in that case.
How do you find the XL compares to the Ultra? That's an interesting little review in its own right . . .
I think it is even better, but that could just be me :).

There may be one problem with it: offcially it does not fit most Olympus bodies. However, I found that it will fit some of the same model, but not all. F.e., I have a Pen F and an EM-1 Mk II to which it both fits (measured everything beforehand, prior to even try fitting it), but it does not fit on all bodies of the same model and may hit the shroud at the back of the lens mount inside the body. I heard from several people who had problems, as it just did not fit and would touch the shroud, which does not happen with my bodies.

Should be no problem with any Panasonic bodies, and neither with any Oly EP-L bodies, I think.

Kind regards, Wim
 

wimg

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Very nice article. I enjoyed the writing style as well as its content! Interestingly, I've been musing these last days about getting a Speedbooster in order to get a decent wide-angle T&S lens. The Viltrox vs Speedbooster decision is part of that and as you say the price difference is significant. However, even a used Canon 17mm TSE lens is around £1800, so the cost of the adapter pales somewhat in the overall picture.
As I mentioned in the T/S thread: do yourself a favour, and go with the Metabones version(s) :).
Especially with a lens like the Canon TS-E 17L :).

Kind regards, Wim
 

wimg

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Thanks Paul! After all these years, wide angles are still a problem: specifically re: corner sharpness and flare resistance. I'm midway through testing the Samyang 10mm f3.5 + SB now, and looking to obtain good samples of the Sigma 14mm f1.8 and Tokina 11-20mm to compare with the speedboosted Nikon 14-24 and the best of the native M43 wide angles.

I've already shot tests of the Olympus 7-14, Panasonic 7-14, Laowa 7.5, Panasonic 8-18, Leica 12 and Olympus 12/2. All good, none perfect. Only the Olympus 17mm f1.2 is perfect (with minor reservations over flare resistance) but you have to track down a good copy. Only one of four samples has delivered the goods so far . . .

I'm finding that much of the received wisdom on this subject is slightly wide of the mark when shooting at 80MP . . .
The 80 MP shots may actually highlight what is already visible at 20 MP. From that PoV I think it is a great test ;).

The Oly Pro 7-14 F/2.8 is IMO better than the Nikon 14-24 F/2.8 - I owned the latter for quite a while, with Canon adapter, until the TS-E 17L was released and found that despite the tests everywhere, where it supposedly was only better in the corners, it was clearly better overall than the Nikon 14-24, shooting them next to each other.
The Oly Pro 7-14 has a clarity that the Nikon cannot match, and OOF area transitions are much more pleasant as well. Maybe that is also depending on finding a good copy, and maybe I happen to have one of those.

Kind regards, Wim
 

16:9

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Good catch: wood, trees, etc! Fixed.
 

16:9

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Re: Olympus 7-14mm v Nikon 14-24mm: the first copy I tested was conspicuously soft in the corners and suffered notable field curvature. I have a second copy en-route from Olympus UK to re-test it.
By virtue of its larger image circle, it's not hard for a top-notch 35mm lens to deliver resolution right into M43 corners: a feat few native lenses manage.
As I said in the article, this won't matter at all if you're shooting video, but it's crucial for landscapes, interiors and architecture, which I now have to consider a specialty of pixel-shifting M43 cameras. But can the lenses keep pace?

Sample variation is one of the hidden blights of M43: even DXO thinks my slightly battered 12-35/2.8 is better than it should be: every profiled image comes out over-sharpened! Whereas I can't get a nominal 17/1.2 or 12/1.4 for love nor money. Actually, I've not tried love - just money: money isn't working.
 

16:9

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I'm struggling to obtain loan Sigma 14/1.8 from Sigma Imaging UK, who have been great with press loans previously - everything's on hold with the lockdown still. But I think that might deliver really benchmark performance with Speedboosters: if you're pocketing the Ultra and XL, it gives you very fast 17mm, 20mm and 28mm primes in 35mm terms.

I'd like to run a final test tomorrow to establish exactly what the speedbooster does to a target lens. The Viltrox is all bad news, but the Metabones, which I've only had for a week, claims to improve MTF. I'd like to demonstrate what that looks like, if possible. Anyone done the same?
 

wimg

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Re: Olympus 7-14mm v Nikon 14-24mm: the first copy I tested was conspicuously soft in the corners and suffered notable field curvature. I have a second copy en-route from Olympus UK to re-test it.
By virtue of its larger image circle, it's not hard for a top-notch 35mm lens to deliver resolution right into M43 corners: a feat few native lenses manage.
As I said in the article, this won't matter at all if you're shooting video, but it's crucial for landscapes, interiors and architecture, which I now have to consider a specialty of pixel-shifting M43 cameras. But can the lenses keep pace?
The 7-14 F/2.8 Pro should really be good. I was very pleasantly surprised, to be very honest. You do have to check carefully where you focus, however, but then that is always the case :).
Sample variation is one of the hidden blights of M43: even DXO thinks my slightly battered 12-35/2.8 is better than it should be: every profiled image comes out over-sharpened! Whereas I can't get a nominal 17/1.2 or 12/1.4 for love nor money. Actually, I've not tried love - just money: money isn't working.
It certainly looks like these lenses have better QC than lenses for larger formats, although the latest Canon RF lenses are really top notch as well.
12 F/1.4 is available - the PL one, and Oly the 17 F/1.2. Or do you mean FF? If so, there is the Canon 24 F/1.4L. That would give you 17 F/1.0 with the Ultra, 15.4 F/0.9 with the XL :). No T/S obviously.

Kind regards, Wim
 
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wimg

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I'm struggling to obtain loan Sigma 14/1.8 from Sigma Imaging UK, who have been great with press loans previously - everything's on hold with the lockdown still. But I think that might deliver really benchmark performance with Speedboosters: if you're pocketing the Ultra and XL, it gives you very fast 17mm, 20mm and 28mm primes in 35mm terms.
Slightly optimistic: 18 mm rather than 17 mm :).
I'd like to run a final test tomorrow to establish exactly what the speedbooster does to a target lens. The Viltrox is all bad news, but the Metabones, which I've only had for a week, claims to improve MTF. I'd like to demonstrate what that looks like, if possible. Anyone done the same?
All you need to do is look at the difference with a glassless adapter a speedbooster. Certainly with the Canon 85L II the images are distinctly sharper with a speedbooster. I can't show any samples, though, for privacy reasons - quite strict here -, and I do not have the lens anymore (traded in for an RF 85L).

Kind regards, Wim
 

16:9

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You are right: 14mm with the XL would be equivalent to 18mm. I've had several 12/1.4 and 17/1.2: none good samples.
 

wimg

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You are right: 14mm with the XL would be equivalent to 18mm. I've had several 12/1.4 and 17/1.2: none good samples.
Ouch!

Maybe time to try a Canon EF 24L Mk II? :)
Hmm, maybe I should check how that performs :).

Kind regards, Wim
 

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