New Adapter Makes Your Lenses Wider, Faster and Sharper!

New Adapter Makes Your Lenses Wider, Faster and Sharper!

Impossible, right? That's what I said too when I ran across Metabones' new Speed Booster today (currently only available for pre-order). One important thing to get out of the way first off though before you get as excited as I did... this adapter is currently only available to convert from EF, ALPA and Leica-R mounts, to Sony NEX and Fuji X mirrorless cameras.

That said, lets get to the details. (If you want to check out the white paper all the juicy tech bits are in there)

The Speed Booster is similar to a teleconverter with one major difference. A teleconverter increases magnification where the Speed Booster (a focal reducer) has a magnification of x0.71. As a result more of the image, and more light is able to fall on the sensor. When DX and APS-C DSLR's were first introduced the question of making "inverse" teleconverters that reduced magnification rather than increased it was as well. The technology is in active use for telescopes, so why not a DSLR? Well, because of the reflex mirror. According to Metabones the mirror essentially "makes the design of a true general purpose focal reducer impossible." However now we have more and more "mirrorless" cameras and that changed the limitations. Now using the Speed Booster your 50mm f/1.2 will essentially become a 35mm f/0.90!

You're going to have to use full-frame lenses due to the focal reduction, but micro four-thirds Speed Boosters are in the works. Those sensors are small enough that using a DX or EF-S lens shouldn't be a problem.

The price points for these adapters are $399, $449 and $599 depending on the specific conversion you are looking for. So far Metabones only offers support for EF, ALPA and Leica-R mounts however according to their site:

"Other mount combinations will follow shortly afterwards. Contarex, Contax C/Y and Nikon F (with aperture control for G lenses) will be supported, as will Micro 4/3 and Fuji X-mount cameras. Support for other mounts will be added in the future."

I don't know about you but I'm pretty excited by the ability to play around at f/1.0 and below.

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14 Comments

Phillip Bloom has a nice review of this. 

Fro's picture

useless as you lose your autofocus. Yeah, have fun manual focusing at f0.9

Jens Marklund's picture

 1. It does autofocus, but it is at the moment slow.

2. The f-stop only represent the amount of light in this case. It will still be like manual focusing a f/1.4 lens. The DOF and angle of view (1.07x crop) is still the same. Also, with focus peaking on the NEX cameras, I doubt it will be that hard to manual focus it.

Imagine this, a used NEX camera, and leica lenses. That's a M9 for you (minus the physical aspect of the body and rangefinder-ness). What I find most interesting, is that you could invest your money in lenses - which rarely looses value. And you don't have to worry about paying a 700 dollar price difference to get the latest features once new cameras gets onto the market. You could easily afford a backup body (it's like 200 bucks used).

This sounds wicked right? The only catch is I hear M-mount lenses wont work with this due to the back of the Leica lenses. I don't know much about Leica lenses but this is what I was read on Fuji rumors.

That's a pretty ignorant remark; just because you rely on autofocus for what you shoot doesn't mean others do.

 Newsflash .... people were able to focus fast lenses without autofocus for decades . . .

Typically they had a much different focus screen than the pure matte we get in today's SLRs. I prefer some variation of split screen and microprism ring and find it really slow to focus on a matte plain.

Hail Sagan's picture

Like every one else who loves MF lenses. ;)

 My 85 f/1.2 is basically always on manual and ti's rare that I miss what I'm focusing on. It just takes practice.

Useless - How come? Lots of people will find great use of this. Cameras like the FS100, FS700 etc. have APS-C sized sensors. Focus will be manually on them anyhow, and maybe people aren't interested in the f/1.0 - but the "full-frame look".

Tony Carter's picture

Ok, am I the only one confused by the interchangeable usage of the terms DSLR and mirror-less and what type of camera body these adapters are actually made for? lol.

Tony Carter's picture

 Whoops, nevermind..."Mounted between a mirrorless camera and a SLR lens" (Metabones webbie)

Focus peaking will aid tremendously in the use of this type of device. Sony has it, Fuji does not but the X100s does have white focus peaking which I don't understand why they don't also make it other colors, though I did read from a color blind photog that he can't see the colored peaking. Fuji also is using a new split screen focusing aid.

I would not worry about focusing the lenses at f.95 as there has been much success doing this with the SLR Magic 35mm lens due to focus peaking on the Sony Nex cameras. The other big question is, how will this effect the sales of the Sony RX1? If this device proves to be VERY good, it will surely change the marketing strategy of these companies. We could see a future of smaller bodied full frame cameras. I have wondered about purchasing an NEX 7 for a while and the answer always turned up no, maybe this could push me more towards yes as this would not only make it VERY close to full frames field of view, but would also be BETTER.

The Fuji x-trans has already been stated as out resolving many of the pre 5dmk3 and d800 full frames.The only problem I currently have with Fuji's x-trans is the raw file handling, beyond that, the camera are wicked. I can't wait till this hits the market and I get to see it in true action. 

This is great, but it's a viable business only because of the lack of really good lenses for mirrorless cameras. There are some very good lenses out there, specially fuji has very good quality lenses, but selection is very limited yet.