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Odd experience ... SL601 / SL 24-90mm / 3rd party VILTROX L Mount Extension Tubes


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Recently received a set of VILTROX L Mount extension tubes i.e one 12mm and one 24mm tube ... which worked fine with my Leica T when fitted with Sigma 45/2.8 and Panasonic 20-60mm L mount lenses. Today when trying the VILTROX 24mm tube with the SL601 and SL 24-90mm, the camera immediately generated the message, "LENS UPDATE IN PROGRESS" .... or a very similar message ... plus a revolving 'ball' which, with the message, continued for what appeared to be 'an eternity' ... so decided to 'abort' and turned the camera off ... whence the message and revolving ball continued to show on the monitor ... so then removed the battery. After removing the extension tube and reattaching the lens, the camera was working and focusing fine. The extension tube and lens was then reattached and no further 'message' was generated ... so decided to try a very Q&D close-focus experiment with a 3" / 8cm tall Tipp-Ex bottle ... illuminated by awful late afternoon window light plus a reflecto. Results as follows: :

 

1) At the camera/lens native 90mm closest (ish) focus

 

 

 

2) Closest (ish)  focus using 24mm extension tube

 

 

3) Closest (ish) focus using 24mm and 12mm extension tubes in tandem i.e. 36mm extension

 

The SL 24-90mm lens / tubes combination auto-focused fine  .. but I'm still worried about the 'lagging' lens update message ... and also wondering, given the 'lens update' message, if it's really safe to continue the extension tubes close-up experiments. The 24-90mm is an expensive lens to 'mess about with' by adding additional third party electronic contacts.

No AF 'hunting' was experienced using '1 point AF field size' directed by the joy stick. 

Likely will try further experiments using the SL 24-90mm plus VILTROX tubes ... but in much better light ... and using a sturdier tripod plus a focusing rack.

Above images lack sharpness which can likely be improved with firmer support and improved approach to hit the optimum close focus distance using a focusing rack ... or use of a firm copy stand.

If experiment is repeated, will calculate actual magnification possible at closest focus. 

If anyone wants to try this it's at your own risk ...SL  lens AF motors are not designed for use with auto extension tubes. 

dunk

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, dkCambridgeshire said:

The 24-90mm is an expensive lens to 'mess about with' by adding additional third party electronic contacts.

Dunk- Personally, I wouldn't mess with any 3rd party (other than Sigma or Panasonic) mounts, adapters or extension tubes with electronic contacts. This is looking for trouble. Dumb adapters or ext. tubes are fine. Some time back a user here fried his SL with a Fotodiox EF-L adapter with electronic contacts. There are many other similar horror stories.

Sigma has 2 excellent, affordable L mount macro lenses for close up work, 70mm f2.8 & 105mm f2.8

Best, Mike

Edited by michali
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5 hours ago, michali said:

Dunk- Personally, I wouldn't mess with any 3rd party (other than Sigma or Panasonic) mounts, adapters or extension tubes with electronic contacts. This is looking for trouble. Dumb adapters or ext. tubes are fine. Some time back a user here fried his SL with a Fotodiox EF-L adapter with electronic contacts. There are many other similar horror stories.

Sigma has 2 excellent, affordable L mount macro lenses for close up work, 70mm f2.8 & 105mm f2.8

Best, Mike

Yes, you're right in warning ref use of third party electronic L mount accessories ... I've no further plans to use the VILTROX extension tubes ... I consider myself 'lucky' that the 'hiccup' I experienced has caused no damage. Previous experiments using the tubes with Panasonic and Sigma lenses gave good results ... but the "SL lens / VILTROX tubes" experience suggests caution is needed.  I am aware of Sigma's macro lenses but they are not 'on my radar' ... I have several legacy macro lenses for use with my L mount cameras ... and also use various achromatic supplementary c/u lenses including Leitz Elpros and various Marumi and Canon achromats ... all of which enable excellent results. 

dunk

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Posted (edited)

First I was glad that there are now macro adapters available for L-mount. But after your report I am now quite unsettled. I would like to use them with the SL 90-280. But this is an even more expensive lens ....      So you say you would not recommend to use them with expensive Leica lenses ?!

Or I would like to try it with the Leica SL 75 or 90mm Apo lenses. (Or even try to stack two of them. 2x 24mm)

Btw did you get them on eBay or amazon, or in a local shop ?

I actually do not really understand why it should matter to the lens motors if there are “foreign” adapters in use. Could you try to explain your thoughts ?

You tried them on the SL601. Would the SL2 make a difference ? (I assume you have no SL2 because you were happy with the S1R, correct ?)

Edited by caissa
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Posted (edited)

By chance I just found out that viltrox is now also offering an EF-L adapter. (For 200 $). To attach EF lenses to L with autofocus (as far as I see). Would be interesting to hear from people who have tried it.

Edited by caissa
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Posted (edited)
51 minutes ago, caissa said:

By chance I just found out that viltrox is now also offering an EF-L adapter. (For 200 $). To attach EF lenses to L with autofocus (as far as I see). Would be interesting to hear from people who have tried it.

Please read #2 above ref "a user here fried his SL with a Fotodiox EF-L adapter with electronic contacts".

 I ordered my VILTROX tubes from AliExpress https://www.aliexpress.com ... but they are probably also listed on eBay and Amazon

Anyone trying the tubes on an SL2 does so at their own risk ... My experience refers to the SL601.

Following the experience with my SL601 I've no plans to use the tubes with my SR1 

Using the tubes with the SL 90-280 is I.M.O. inadvisable  ... the lens is too heavy to use with VILTROX tubes which are made of lightweight plastic but have alloy mounts 

Ref the 'lens motor" comment ... I have mislaid part of the instructions which advised against over-use of the lens AF motors in some situations ... if I find it will advise further but from memory the instruction recommended manual focus in those situations. 

I am planning to sell my tubes via eBay but will also advise potential buyers of my experience.

In future I will use Marumi achromatic c/u lenses for SL 24-90mm close focus ... achromats are 'safe' . 

 

Edited by dkCambridgeshire
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Posted (edited)

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If a lens is big, then usually I hold the lens. (So not the lens is dangling from the camera, but the camera is dangling from the lens. And the weight of the camera is not terribly big and the lever not very long.) (The same occurs when using the 150-600 with a Sigma extender.)

So I am not worrying about the mechanical ruggedness. But of course I worry about the electric/electronic problems or rather potential problems.

I will probably wait until I find a report in the web and then try first a smaller lens (like 75 or 90). Btw in the webstore they show a Pana 85mm.

But you said that with Sigma lenses (e.g. 45) it was working well. So let’s hope for more positive news.

On the viltrox store it is unfortunately sold out. No wonder if you take the typical prices (54$ at viltrox) for Leica stuff.

 

By the way, your citation from Cartier-Bresson is a difficult one. I could understand it in a friendly but also completely unfriendly way. Where could I find the original, to try and understand what he had genuinely in mind ?

Edited by caissa
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1 hour ago, dkCambridgeshire said:

Please read #2 above ref "a user here fried his SL with a Fotodiox EF-L adapter with electronic contacts".

 

36 minutes ago, caissa said:

But of course I worry about the electric/electronic problems or rather potential problems.

Here's the original thread I was referring to:

 

 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, caissa said:

By chance I just found out that viltrox is now also offering an EF-L adapter. (For 200 $). To attach EF lenses to L with autofocus (as far as I see). Would be interesting to hear from people who have tried it.

Why would anyone take a chance with this adapter?

For the same money one can buy the MC-21 EF-L adapter made by Sigma & part of the L mount alliance. I've used the MC-21 for 3 years on the SL2 &   SL2-S with no issues whatsoever.  If it's for use on the the SL601 then the discontinued Novoflex adapter is the one to go for, there are several available online.

Edited by michali
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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, caissa said:

By the way, your citation from Cartier-Bresson is a difficult one. I could understand it in a friendly but also completely unfriendly way. Where could I find the original, to try and understand what he had genuinely in mind ?

... scroll forward to 6 minutes ... shortly thereafter hear Cartier-Bresson utter his actual words ... "After a certain age you got the face you deserve I think".  ... not a universal truth but maybe gives an insight into CB's perception of people. 

Edited by dkCambridgeshire
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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, caissa said:

 I would like to use them with the SL 90-280. But this is an even more expensive lens ....      So you say you would not recommend to use them with expensive Leica lenses ?!

 

For lenses with greater focal length one needs longer adapters too. Just only mathematics.

For instance a lens with a focal length of 50mm needs an adapter of 50mm to reach 1:1. A lens with a focal length of 200mm - however - would need an adapter of 200mm for the same imaging scale!

Edited by jankap
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For macro, I use the Leica 100mm/f2.8 APO Macro Elmarit-R on my SL601 with the Leica R to L adapter and an LED ring light. Sadly the one that finally arrived from New Zealand was missing the ELPRO ultra close adapter (the original ROM 100 APO Macro lens with ELPRO was lost by New Zealand Post, who were too lazy to check round their warehouse in Auckland). However, in reality, it is as macro as I am ever likely to need. I believe with the ELPRO you can get around 1:3 magnification. 

Wilson

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34 minutes ago, wlaidlaw said:

For macro, I use the Leica 100mm/f2.8 APO Macro Elmarit-R on my SL601 with the Leica R to L adapter and an LED ring light. Sadly the one that finally arrived from New Zealand was missing the ELPRO ultra close adapter (the original ROM 100 APO Macro lens with ELPRO was lost by New Zealand Post, who were too lazy to check round their warehouse in Auckland). However, in reality, it is as macro as I am ever likely to need. I believe with the ELPRO you can get around 1:3 magnification. 

Wilson

Wilson, I have the 100mm/f2.8 APO Macro Elmarit-R and matching Elpro ... max mag with the Elpro is 1.1:1 ... the extra 0.1 permits mounted slide copying with no slide border showing. With the R 2x  APO extender, 1:1 is possible without the Elpro. Need to use mine more often ... plan to use it more this year. I have too many macro lenses acquired over a 40 year period ... need to 'thin them out'  ... all are usable with any mirrorless camera. 

dunk

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After few weeks of waiting the macro ring came in the mail.

I am using SL2 and 24-90 and 75 and 50SL lenses with it. I didn't try the 90-280.

The work well in 1 ring configuration, they are wight aluminum mounts and some king of plastic.

I have mostly used it with Summicron 75 SL.  I think this lenses are not optimized for macro work, by attaching the extension you are loosing some IQ.

When using 2 rings at the same time the IQ is almost not with it with this lenses. you are better off getting a proper macro lens optimized for close focus.

 

Most of the new adapters don't seam compatible with 601 cameras, so no big surprise if they don't work on it.

 

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Posted (edited)

A Summary:  

The adapters are not designed for use with the SL (the 601). So this “odd experience” was no surprise (was in a way to be expected) and it is not possible to come to negative conclusions about use with SL2, S1R or other “modern” cameras.

So the adapters are designed for modern cameras and seem to work correctly with these. (As far as tested).

So there is no logical way to jump to the conclusion they are dangerous with modern cameras or modern lenses.

If they are worth using (regarding resulting IQ) is a different question. (But they are really inexpensive, compared to other equipment.)

So this is now really a completely different result. (Compared to the first impressions. And the conclusion of one/two user/s that he did not want to try them on a modern camera like the S1R (or S1 or S5 or S1H or SL2 or SL2-S or fp or fp L).)

Edited by caissa
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2 hours ago, caissa said:

A Summary:  

The adapters are not designed for use with the SL (the 601). So this “odd experience” was no surprise (was in a way to be expected) and it is not possible to come to negative conclusions about use with SL2, S1R or other “modern” cameras.

So the adapters are designed for modern cameras and seem to work correctly with these. (As far as tested).

So there is no logical way to jump to the conclusion they are dangerous with modern cameras or modern lenses.

If they are worth using (regarding resulting IQ) is a different question. (But they are really inexpensive, compared to other equipment.)

So this is now really a completely different result. (Compared to the first impressions. And the conclusion of one/two user/s that he did not want to try them on a modern camera like the S1R (or S1 or S5 or S1H or SL2 or SL2-S or fp or fp L).)

'Your' conclusion is too dogmatic and ill-founded. Viltrox instruction leaflet does not agree with your 'conclusion'. Viltrox instructions state: DG-L automatic Extension tube is for Leica. Panasonic, Sigma and L-mount cameras ... '     ... no 'specific' L-mount cameras / lenses are mentioned or excluded. 

My experience is enough to ring 'alarm bells' ... no wish to risk e.g. 'frying my camera(s) ' ... so no plans to use again ... Camera electronics are vulnerable when used with third party accessories. 

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7 hours ago, dkCambridgeshire said:

Camera electronics are vulnerable when used with third party accessories. 

I gather that most such items are 'reverse engineered' as generally manufacturers do not share their electronic/software design information. This was certainly true in the past and seems to have affected many third party makers more recently too. I am very wary about using anything other than dumb adapters if made by anyone other than the maker of the camera. Some do seem to work and numerous positive reviews probably suggest that they are ok. But 'reverse engineering' does not always provide a thoroughly compatible product depending on how much time and expense is put into understanding everything.

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I want to calm the waters down and say that this macro adapter does not have any electronic in it. The pin just need to be extended to to reconnect lens contact to the camera. that is all.

Please having firmware compatible issues may be just a coincidence  and related to something else.

 

Keep on shooting and be Happy!

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Posted (edited)
On 3/17/2022 at 10:45 AM, dkCambridgeshire said:

'Your' conclusion is too dogmatic and ill-founded. Viltrox instruction leaflet does not agree with your 'conclusion'. Viltrox instructions state: DG-L automatic Extension tube is for Leica. Panasonic, Sigma and L-mount cameras ... '     ... no 'specific' L-mount cameras / lenses are mentioned or excluded. 

My experience is enough to ring 'alarm bells' ... no wish to risk e.g. 'frying my camera(s) ' ... so no plans to use again ... Camera electronics are vulnerable when used with third party accessories. 

Ringing alarm bells is ok. But calling others opinions dogmatic and ill-founded is a little stupid in itself.

I am simply surprised that you react in this personal way. I think you need to calm down and find back to your/our usual way of looking at things from further away.

My summary is still valid, I think. And apart from unfriendly words you have unfortunately not added anything of substance.

Keep on shooting (with the camera ).

Edited by caissa
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