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Micro 4/3 Metabones Speed Booster Optical Lens Adapter Delayed Until Later in 2013

Just a few months ago, a company many are familiar with for their smart Canon EF to Sony NEX adapters, Metabones, introduced a brand new adapter with an optical component that can make full-frame lenses faster, wider, and sharper by focusing them onto a smaller format like APS-C/Super 35mm. Metabones also announced they were going to be releasing a Micro 4/3 to Nikon, Leica R, Contax C/Y, Contarex, ALPA, and Rollei Speedbooster adapter. Originally set to be released in the first half of 2013, it looks like we’re going to have to wait a bit longer.

You can watch a review of the Metabones EF adapter below from Bryant Naro:

Here is Metabones on the MFT Speedbooster:

We apologize but the m4/3 schedule is slipping. Manual focus lenses such as Nikon, Leica R, Contax C/Y, Contarex, ALPA and Rollei will be supported in the second half of 2013.

Canon EF lens (but not EF-S) support is planned in the future, but we do not have an estimated date yet.

The m4/3 version also reduces focal length by a 0.71x factor. So, the combined focal length multiplier of a m4/3 camera and Speed Booster is 1.4x. (2x from camera x 0.71x from Speed Booster.) The optics are optimized for the smaller sensor size.

If you’re wondering how the adapter actually makes lenses wider and faster, they’ve gone on to explain just that:

Does the Speed Booster™ increase only T-stop of the lens leaving F-stop unchanged?

This is one of the common misconceptions about the Speed Booster™. However there is a contradiction right within that assertion since T-stop cannot be any faster than F-stop. It is not possible to experimentally observe a T-stop increase unless the lens has a corresponding F-stop increase.

The logic of the allegation is that since the depth-of-field of the lens does not change, therefore neither does the F-stop of the lens (untrue). What had never been under any dispute was that the T-stop of the lens did increase, as could be seen with the increased exposure in the resulting footage or photograph.

Before we clear up this misconception, let’s find out why there is so much confusion in the first place. Focal length, maximum aperture and depth-of-field are physical quantities that are independent of sensor size. These quantities do not care whether a full frame, APS-C or m4/3 sensor sits behind the lens.

Speed Booster™ makes the focal length 0.7x shorter. F-number is simply focal length divided by entrance pupil diameter. Since the former reduces by a factor of 0.7x but the latter remains the same, F-number also becomes 0.7x smaller, or one stop faster. The F-stop increase is real.

Note that a 35/1.0 lens (from 50/1.4 + Speed Booster™) will always have shallower depth-of-field than a straight 35/1.4 lens at any given distance.

Eventually I’m sure we will see a Speed Booster for Canon, but if you’ve got one of the other lenses that will be supported, you’ll have to wait until the second half of 2013. The Micro 4/3 adapter will work well for cameras like the GH2, GH3, AF100, Blackmagic Cinema Camera MFT, and the newly announced Blackmagic Pocket Camera, which has an MFT mount and a sensor about the size of Super 16mm. The Micro 4/3 Speed Booster also has the advantage of being able to take lenses that were designed specifically for APS-C sensors, since MFT is smaller than APS-C.

You can find more info about the Speed Booster line and buy one for NEX or Fuji cameras using the links below.


[via 4/3 Rumors]


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  • meanwhile, this alternative might have an earlier delivery:
    great to see this market is growing fast

  • I’m a bit disappointed that it appears like EF-S lenses won’t be supported for the MFT adapter. That kills off nice wide IS-enabled zooms like the 17-55 2.8 IS, 15-85 3.5-5.6 IS, or even the ultra budget option of squeezing more IQ and light out of the basic 18-55 3.5-5.6 IS kit lenses.
    Reading comments on other sites, it seems like the reason for this might be that EF-S lenses protrude further back into the lens mount than regular EF ones, so I’m not sure if this is an issue that can reasonably be resolved.

    (Really though, I’d just like to use that new Sigma 18-35 1.8 on both my Canon DSLR for stills (with auto focus) and on an MFT camera for video without having aperture control issues…)

    • Chris Lambert on 04.22.13 @ 3:55AM

      Wouldn’t the MFT + Speedbooster coverage be to wide for EFS though? 1.4 vs 1.6…

      Pop an EFS on a 5d and you’ll get a visual of what I mean

      • The coverage area wouldn’t be too wide, no.
        With the Speed Booster, you’re right in thinking that the image circle of an APS-C lens is reduced, but even with the 0.71 compression factor there’s still full coverage of an MFT sensor.
        As seen on Philip Bloom’s initial post on the Speed Booster, here’s a comparison image showing the effect result of an APS-C lens used with the adapter:

        Also, the F Mount-to-MFT Speed Booster will support DX lenses, so I don’t see why, optically, it wouldn’t be possible for EF-S lenses. It’s just the modified back focus distance of EF-S that might cause incompatibility.

    • Some EF-S lenses (eg, Sigma 30mm 1.4), don’t have a protruding back element. If the newer Sigma zooms are the same, then they can probably still be mounted, albeit with the chance of a little vignetting due to the smaller image circle.

      • That’s because third party lenses for Canon APS-C cameras aren’t actually using an EF-S mount. They are just using a regular EF mount with a smaller image circle designed for APS-C coverage. Third party lenses should be fine.

  • trackofalljades on 04.22.13 @ 9:04AM

    Does anyone else think that a Canon EF to Canon EF model, while it might sound silly at first, could actually be really useful? Then someone with a crop-sensor Canon camera you could shoot predominantly on that crop sensor and built out a stable of glass…but now and then for “that” scene they could rent a 5D or other full frame body and shoot with the same collection of lenses with the same range of capabilities. Seems to me like that would be awesome.

    • impossible

      • Not impossible in theory. Canon EF (full frame) to EF-S (APS-C) should be possible.

        • The problem, as I understand, is the flange distance (it’s the same in both EF and EF-S lenses), so it would in theory be impossible. You need a shorter flange distance in the taking camera.

          • Flange distance is only an issue in non-corrective adapters. That’s why FD lenses need a corrective element when being adapted to EOS cameras. The flange distance on an FD lens is 42mm. The flange distance on the EF and EF-S lenses are 44mm. The corrective lens in an FD-EOS adapter stretches the image circle to cover the sensor and simulate 44mm flange distance to ensure infinity focus.

            Because the speed booster does the opposite by compressing the image circle, EF to EF-S should be possible with a long enough adapter and corrective optics to compensate for the increased flange distance.

            Going from longer flange distances to shorter flange distances is easy, because you’re just holding the lens out further. Going from shorter flange distances to longer ones is much more difficult. It can be done though.

          • Jake, you’re right that with corrective glass it’s not impossible, but have you ever used adapters with corrective glass in them? I’ve yet to find one that doesn’t completely destroy the IQ of a good lens.

          • @Jake: Yeah, I know about that, but I discard that option because just as Jules says, the image quality you’d lose by adding a corrective element (as well as the loss in light which takes away the “speed boost”) destroys the purpose of the Speed Booster, except you will indeed get the full frame look. Those two negative elements, though, are to be considedres.

          • Hence why I said “in theory”. The reason FD to EOS adapters do so bad on image quality is because they’re stretching the image circle. Since the speedbooster compresses the image circle, it should improve it. The light issue would depend on falloff based on the increased flange distance compared to the increased light from the compressed image circle. I’m no physicist or lens designer so I’m not sure the tradeoff.

          • Then it’d be nice for someone to try that and good news for all owners of Canon APS-C cameras, I think. It just remains to be seen whether or not image quality is that up to par to justify the investment.
            And what the hell did I write? “Considedres”?? I need to sleep.

          • From what I’ve seen from people posting clips with their EF to NEX adapters, the image quality is top notch. I would expect nothing less from their lens to M4/3 adapters as well.

  • While I think its utterly awesome that Metabones is doing so well with their original Sony E and Fuji X series, I and many others feel like M43 is the standard for many in the mirrorless. I’m sure we can hope that the delays are a direct response to their diligence to put out a ready and proper unit, but I’m sure many agree feeling that the M43 and smaller sensors benefit the most from the Speed Booster.

  • Damn. Thanks for e update Joe. Had sent two emails to metabones asking about expected delivery of the Contax version and did not get a response either time. Glad it’s still in the works though.

  • dammit metabones, where is the Nikon to NEX adapter already?!?

  • My question is why they wasted their time making Sony mounts when the main focus should have been with the majority of the EF users..? ie Canon EF to 4/3. The DSLR revolution is grinding to a halt and they still have not released their would have been best selling product.

    • I don’t understand your complaint… The EF to Sony E mount is already a reality, and EF to MFT is probably not ready because of development issues, but there are plenty of FS100 and FS700 happy users, as well as other Sony cameras. And this comes from a guy who has a GH2!

    • Are you making the assumption that the majority of EF users need to adapt their lenses to Micro Four Thirds cameras?
      Perhaps the reason Metabones made the Sony E-mount version first was due to their existing non-Speed Boosted EF to E-mount being working and readily available to use as a starting point.

  • So for Minolta glass users (I like my Rokkor collection), would we get the MFT / ALPHA version then get an MD to ALPHA adapter?
    Unless someone else can suggest a better solution

  • Would I be able to attach this EF to M43 adapter to the upcoming Black Magic Pocket Camera and use my Canon lenses? And would that give me an APS-C crop?

    • Yes, you’d be able to use it just fine, but considering the BMPC’s sensor dimensions you’d get a MFT crop, not an APS-C crop. That’s if you use camera with a MFT sensor.

    • Yes, you’ll be able to do just that, though it’ll only be compatible with full-frame EF lenses (or, possibly some third-party APS-C lenses).
      Using the Speed Booster on the BPCC (which has a Super 16mm-sized sensor) will give you a resulting crop factor of 2.1, which is 0.1 greater than Micro Four Thirds’ crop factor.

  • Speaking of adapters – wondering if you guys would do a post on the HolyManta:

    EosHD did a write up on it and for me it seems brilliant – swapping the screw on variND when changing lenses is a complete PAIN – but worse is in situations where you need to go straight from a dark interior (no ND at all) to a sunlight exterior and there is zero time to screw anything on.

    This seems to solve all those problems. The more press it gets the better chance it will come to market.

    • Yeah it is a very nice concept, gave some money couple days ago.
      But i think it needs more details on the glass used and some more “serious” test videos.
      I hope he will be able to start the production

  • When the EF version of this finally comes out and if the BMCC 2.5k gets a firmware update making it able to do lossless compressed RAW, like the pocket cam, I would almost say I would buy it over the new 4K production model they announced. I’m assuming the 0.71X drop in focal length and extra T stop would fix the only real issue I had shooting with the BMCC, being focus roll off… not a major problem, but something I wouldn’t encounter on a larger sensor. Can’t wait till this is out!

  • Mher Hakobyan on 04.23.13 @ 8:01AM

    when this speed bosster lens adapter put on befind some lens, is that lens will loose picture quality? sharpnes?

  • Rich McLeod on 04.23.13 @ 4:24PM

    This in the article caught me: “The m4/3 version also reduces focal length by a 0.71x factor. So, the combined focal length multiplier of a m4/3 camera and Speed Booster is 1.4x. (2x from camera x 0.71x from Speed Booster.)”

    Let’s say one were to use this mFT to Nikon adapter on a Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera, with its already 3x crop factor. Can anyone confirm whether these adapters would affect crop factor?

    • Yes it will reduce crop factor.

      It would be 2.88 x 0.71 effectively giving the BMCCPC a crop factor of 2.

  • ¿It suposse, there will be one of those adapters to use Nikon lenses on Sony´s F700?

    (not a native speaker, sorry)