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Micro 4/3 Metabones Speed Booster Now Shipping for Leica R & Contax Lenses

05.24.13 @ 10:12PM Tags : , , , , ,

Leica R Metabones MFT Speed BoosterMetabones delayed the MFT Speed Booster for Micro 4/3 mounts earlier in the year, and it wasn’t clear when we might see the final version, even though a few pre-release adapters have been going out to different reviewers. If you’re a Leica R or Contax owner, however, you’re in luck, as Metabones has just started to ship the adapter for those particular lenses.

These Leica R and Contax (which includes Zeiss) lenses are fully manual, so that means they don’t need electronic controls, just a simple mechanical adapter. With the Speed Booster, these become effectively wider and faster. Here’s a little bit from Metabones on the MFT adapter:

  • Increase maximum aperture by 1 stop.
  • Increase MTF.
  • Makes lens 0.71x wider.
  • Optics designed by Caldwell Photographic in the USA (patent pending).
  • The tripod foot is detachable and compatible with Arca Swiss, Markins, Photo cam ball heads.

Some lenses have some specific quirks for the Leica R adapter:

  1. Super telephotos such as the Telyt 560/5.6 may vignette at the corners.
  2. The following lenses require modification in order to fit on the Speed Booster.

Super-Elmar-R 15mm

Elmarit R 28/2.8

Elmarit R 35/2.8

Summicron R 50/2

The Leicas armed with the Metabones adapter should produce some fantastic results, especially since they have such a great look already, but many of them were limited to only f/2.8. Now with the speed booster, many of their primes will be f/2 or f/1.4 — and with cameras that aren’t as great at higher ISOs, that extra stop can be extremely helpful. There is also plenty of good and relatively inexpensive Contax Zeiss glass out there (though I’m sure prices have gone up a bit since DSLRs started shooting video).

While we’ve mentioned that it will be some time before we see a Canon version, with the Leica R and Contax Speed Boosters now shipping, it’s possible we may get the other versions — like Nikon — shipping sooner rather than later.

Both adapters will run you $400 a piece, so head on over to the Metabones site to read more about it or purchase one for yourself.


[via 4/3 Rumors]


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Description image 28 COMMENTS

  • This is just awesome. Though I probably won’t buy right away, it’s nice to see that my lenses will be getting faster. Does anyone know what modifications need to be done to the Elmarit 28 and 35 to get them to work?

  • john jeffries on 05.25.13 @ 12:19AM

    Now you can get even MORE of that “film look” with super shallow depth of field and shooting wide open to show your friends how professional you really are, with your 800 dollar DSLR! I mean, it’s not like anything in your frame besides the noses of your actors matter anyway!

    On the bright side, my leicas are gonna go up in resale value because of this.

    • Depends how you look at it.
      I only want wide for light, not DoF.
      Most people want wide for DoF and light. It looks more ‘cinematic’, ironic how many films don’t actually use a massive wide open aperture. Then again DR on their cameras is tons better than any DSLR.

    • I realize you’d normally take the cynical side, but making lenses faster, wider, and sharper is pretty significant. That average f/4 zoom is now a f/2.8, and not only is it sharper, but it’s also wider without any other image penalties. Some lenses made for Micro 4/3 already have optical reducers built-in.

  • This will be an awesome “must have” for BMCC MFT owners as it will solve three of the most famous request for that already amazing camera, 1. wide lenses 2. higher sensitivity 3. More DOF. The extra sharpness is not really needed anymore as the BMC is already super could bebefit from softer lenses actually. Kind of makes the BMCC a more attractive alternative for those on a tight cheap / old lenses are more preffereed as they will give more character and less moire to the BMCC’s extra sharp sensor.:D

  • Does anyone know whats up with the ef to mft speedbooster or if there will be one at all?

  • I own a Gh3 and I want to know if with Metabones can I get more DOF? if the anwser is yes, how much? Like a Full sensor camera or less?. For me that is the only reason to buy it.

    • I believe on the GH3, the ‘shallow DOF’ will be more like a S35 or APS-C camera.

    • “more depth of field” traditionally used to mean wider depth of field. And by that, meaning more of the frame in focus. And since this will make the lens behave a bit faster you could use it to lessen the DoF, meaning, having narrower depth of field, or less of the frame in focus.

      So in the traditional sense no.

      Though, In the confused meaning of the concept of Amounts of DoF, then maybe… yes?

      I wonder why people have reversed the concept of DoF in the last decade… never made much sense to me.

  • Anybody know if a Leica M Speedbooster will be available or even possible? There are some great Voigtlander M lenses that would go faster now…

    • Leica M is FF. AFAIK, SpeedBooster is for crop sensor cameras, i.e. APS-C and m43.

      • Sounds like he means for M-mount lenses, not bodies. However I doubt that’s possible since the difference between MFT and M flange distance is about 2mm, not enough to include the speedbooster optics.

  • Can somebody explain to me how this adapter works? I dont understand how can some glass increase maximum aperture.

  • Will be buying. This adapter, my GH3 and Contax set were meant to be together.

  • Will there be a Speed Booster for full frame cameras sometime?

    • Technically you could. You need a mirrorless mount, like Sony NEX or possibly the Canon EOS-M mount, but then you’d have to use lenses larger than full-frame, because the Speed Booster needs much larger lenses than the final area in order to cover the sensor. So basically, it’s possible, but a bit impractical at this point, as you’d need medium format lenses like Hasselblad.

  • I don’t understand why anyone NEEDS full frame for their video work let alone anything bigger!

  • now if someone explained how exactly the leica lenses need to be modified… is it enough to just unscrew that one cylinder shaped part or do the lenses need to be shaved?

    • I’d like to second this request. 28mm/2.8 owner here and would really love to use that lens with the speedbooster. Any leads?

      • I’ve send two request to them about the same lens for a GH1. No response so far… What do you mean about “cylinder shaped part” ?

        • hi, mathieu! Please let us know what they respond here so that we’re in the loop. Thanks.

          • They answered me pretty quickly actually (their website “asking a question” don’t work but by mail it was fine…) here’s what Alex from Metabones told me : “We aware your Lens rear will touch the speed booster glass surface…..
            so you need measure yourself….or find a camera shop to check…..
            I will try to find a drawing for Leica R to M4/3 speed booster for your measurement.
            Most Leica R Lens not need to modify when use our speed booster adapter….”
            So we have to wait for this drawing to measure on the back of our lenses ;) (the question remains, what to do if it doesn’t fit ?)

  • I wonder if they are working on an anamorphic version… I mean… that would be neat… :)