Today I found time for explorative disassembly of Viltrox 85mm F1.8 lens rear area to evaluate build quality. In this article I’m showing Viltrox 85mm F1.8 electronics and access to aperture chamber.
First step of disassembly is quite traditional – unscrewing four Torx bolts of the lens mount. I used T5 screwdriver on my sample.
Bolts are quite long and thick to properly secure Viltrox 85mm F1.8 lens weight (of about 1.5 lbs).
Next step is important – locate tiny silver bolt on the side of mount ring and loosen it by making at least 2 full turn (otherwise electronic contacts remain locked). After that unscrew three small black bolts around rear lens. I’d recommend to cover rear glass with protective film to avoid accidental scratches.
Accurately take out inner black ring. Nice – it is made of metal.
Now slightly elevate mount ring (be careful, there is ribbon cable under it, don’t stress it), then release electronic contacts and remove mount ring.
Viltrox are making very good quality adapters so it’s not surprise to see that Viltrox 85mm F1.8 lens has properly machined brass mount ring covered with chrome.
Now interesting part – there are four huge cylindrical calibrating shims made of brass. Remove them first, then detach electronic socket in the bottom board area and unscrew three black bolts marked with red arrows.
Note – there are three small metal shims under the electronic bolts, make sure you put them back during assembly.
Now unscrew three black bolts in the inner area marked with red arrows. I also unscrewed another larger three, but DO NOT do that, it is loosening rotation of rear lens body with “85F1.8” sign, which may damage lens ribbon cable if inaccurately rotated.
Now you can accurately pull out whole rear lens module. I realized that upper securing ring above rear element is also additionally secured with glue on factory. This is multi-elements lens with complex optical formula, so DO NOT disassembly this optical module.
There is rectangular socket on the inner side of rear lens module – it fits position of electronic board of aperture control inside, so fit it properly during assembly.
Now you have access to aperture chamber, blades and inner glass surfaces for potential cleaning if ever needed. Looks like there is also electronic drive which controls aperture.
I also noticed few long metal poles near the lens frame walls, looks like they are supporting internal focusing movement.
At this point I’ve stopped disassembly, because it’s fully functional lens and further explorations may cause unnecessary failures, so I accurately assembled everything back in a reverse order. Don’t forget to connect electronic board cable with extra caution.
I’ve realized that Viltrox engineers follow very high quality standards. Everything inside lens looks very clean and accurately done. All bolts are secured very tight and perfectly centered. It was very interesting to explore the build and I can compare it with disassembling Fujinon XF 56mm F1.2. It is nice to see that lens mount is secured to metal inner frame which also looks thick and very durable. Looks like only very little plastic is used for aperture module frame, but everything else is precisely machined from metal. Great job done Viltrox!
I also searched for details on micro-USB cable on Viltrox 85mm F1.8 lens, and found related Viltrox site page for Firmware Upgrade. Everything looks intuitive and they also have very clear Upgrade Guide which you can only find if check previous V1.01 version for Fuji X. I checked my sample and realized that it already has latest firmware version.
It is relatively easy to disassemble Viltrox 85mm F1.8 rear lens area if you have proper tools and experience. Looks like it’s better to avoid using Viltrox 85mm in a rainy weather because there is a risk that water may cause shortcut of electronic board. From the other side looks like that lens internal focusing does not require external air ventilation, so this Viltrox 85mm should not collect external dust during focusing which is great. The parts and frame construction look high end with very good precision and very accurate factory assembly. Looks like Viltrox mini-certificate of QA included in package really means that this sample was properly inspected, because I didn’t find any visual defects even during the partial disassembly. Now it’s time to run few weeks of extensive use of the lens and evaluate overall performance in different situations.