July 9, 2014

Want a Cheaper Version of the Speed Booster? Say Hello to the Excell+1 from Fotodiox Pro

One of the most sought-after tools in video production these days is the Metabones Speed Booster, a tool which absolutely lives up its claims of making your lenses faster and wider, thus eliminating the dreaded crop factor from small sensor cameras like the Panasonic GH4, while giving you an additional stop of light. One of the problems that most low-budget filmmakers have with the Speed Booster, however, is that it's not inexpensive by any stretch of the imagination. At $490 for the BMPCC Nikon version (and even more for the Canon EF adapter), you're shelling out half the price of the camera just for an adapter. Luckily, Fotodiox Pro has just released the Excell+1 Micro 4/3 adapter for Nikon and Canon FD lenses at just a fraction of that price.

First, here's the launch video from Fotodiox that introduces the Excell+1.

And here's the chart from the video that shows how the Excell+1 effects the focal length on different formats.

In spite of the incredible price, there are some drawbacks to the new Excell+1 adapter. First and foremost is the fact that you're limited to Micro 4/3 as your base format, while only having the ability to adapt Nikon or Canon FD lenses to your camera. For people who are heavily invested in Canon EF glass, or for people who are shooting on formats other than Micro 4/3, the Excell+1 is not for you -- that is, unless Fotodiox continues to release new versions of the adapter with new mounts and formats.

At this point, we have no idea as to whether or not the internal elements of the Excell+1 are of similar quality to the Metabones Speed Booster, and whether or not there's a difference in image quality between the two products. There are some other lower-priced Speed Booster-like products out there, though quality can vary pretty significantly. At first glance, this seems like an excellent product at an almost unbelievable price, but there's no way to know for sure until we see how the quality of the Excell+1 stands up to competing products.

While it's available from B&H for $160, the Excell+1 will run you only $140 direct from Fotodiox.

Links:

Your Comment

74 Comments

Does the Excell+1 speed adaptor work with other vintage lenses such as the Konica Hexanon, which I noticed is visibly similar to the Canon FD in your video? Also will it work with an electronic Lumix 14-140 kit lens?
Thanks.

July 9, 2014

1
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The 14-140 is a micro 4/3 lens, so it would not mount to the adapter. These focal reducing adapters are to conform the optics of lenses that were designed for larger sensors to smaller sensor cameras. Also, this one in particular is mechanical and could not communicate with the controls of an electronic lens.

July 9, 2014

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Will this adapter work on a Cannon 60d

July 11, 2014

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Tyler

No Tyler it will not

July 11, 2014

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Tyler

The correct answer here is: "friends do not let friends buy Canon!"

There is a HUGE advantage to using mirrorless systems, such as it allows you to use Focal Reducers such as this article is about! Though personally I would (and do) use a RJ Lens Turbo over this.

July 15, 2014

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Sweet! Can't wait to see some tests with these. Hope they make a Minolta version!

July 9, 2014

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von

As great as the metabones speed booster is, it has many issues. Sometimes the aperture is actually higher than what you've set it (you have to stop down and back up to fix), and the softening of every lens kills me as well. Been thinking a lot lately of going back to the regular metabones for my FS700 / Canon lenses

July 9, 2014

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andrew

my point being.... (before accidentally publishing) Id be VERY hesitant to try anything more budget than the metabones version as its already pretty problematic.

July 9, 2014

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andrew

I have a cheap Chinese knockoff and it is pin sharp on a GH4. There's no reason to believe this adapter could not be as well.

July 9, 2014

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Joseph Moore

Pin sharp Wide open? Witch brand?

July 10, 2014

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Yes, please share!

July 10, 2014

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Tom

Besides metabones what other speed boosters are out there? does anyone have a companies name?

July 11, 2014

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Tyler

Mitakon ... usually sold via e-Bay.

July 11, 2014

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DLD

The new Lens Turbo II's are actually really damn good. I also prefer the way they lock to the camera body compared to the metabones, like a PL mount.

July 12, 2014

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I had similar quirks on my EF speed booster for the FS700, as well as some soft corners. The Nikon speed booster for MFT on the other hand has been totally sharp. Also, as it is mechanical, it is perfectly reliable. A stepless aperture ring on every lens is a big bonus for me too.

July 9, 2014

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Thanks Jay. I was just wondering about the Speedbooster for Nikon on MFT. I have a ton of Nikon lenses and am about to pick up a GH4

July 10, 2014

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William

This is why people should only buy Nikon F mount lenses and never Canon EF!!

Is just quite simply the smart thing to do :-) To "future proof" your lens investment.

July 15, 2014

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The official Metabones Speedboosters, when used on the appropriate camera's, actually make the image perceptibly sharper, so I don't know where you get the idea that they make them softer comes from. These knock-offs on the other hand...

July 10, 2014

3
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Jules

If you're talking about revealing corner softness of a lens that was previous hidden from a crop, then that is another thing entirely.

July 10, 2014

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Jules

The RJ Lens Turbo is fantastic (I use one) and even cheaper, you can buy it here and read its reviews:

http://www.personal-view.com/talks/discussion/9086/rj-lens-turbo-m43-ada...

July 15, 2014

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When will a version be ready for Canon EF lenses to BMPCC?

July 9, 2014

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John Stewart

Thanks for the info. Can't believe they did not come out with Excell +1 for Canon EOS Lenses. I read on Metabones website which lens work it theirs, and I own a version 1 of a lens thats on their list, But there's no indication if my lens will work. I have emailed them 3 times and yet no reply. I think I am going to go with a RedRock Micro Live. At least every time I have emailed them they got back with me.
John

July 10, 2014

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John

July 10, 2014

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Christian

is the aperture ring is smooth or not? need to know... any clue?

July 10, 2014

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miznul nasim

Hi Miznul,

Sean here from Fotodiox. I filmed and edited the launch video. The aperture ring is de-clicked, so you can smoothly adjust the aperture during a shot.

July 10, 2014

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How long til you have a Canon EF to MFT?

July 10, 2014

1
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Anon

Sean here from Fotodiox. I filmed and edited the launch video. We've already had a huge response asking for an EF version, so one may be in the works soon.

July 10, 2014

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Has there been any discussion of adapting M42 to M4/3? I have a pile of excellent M42 glass and I'm nervous about buying an ebay special to adapt them to a Panasonic GH series camera.

July 10, 2014

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JC

Do you have a rough time frame when it might be available for EOS lenses? I was very surprised it was not released the same time the Nikon adapter was released, with Canon EOS lenses being at least or more half the market.

John

July 10, 2014

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John

I'm surprised it is not obvious to folks why Nikon F adapters get released way before Canon EF ones... is because Canon is a pain in the ass to work with if you're trying to design an adapter for them!

This is why I keep on repeating over and over..... people should buy Nikon F mount lenses, not Canon EF! This holds true almost no matter what brand camera you might be using (Canon/Nikon/Sony/Olympus/Panasonic/etc...).

July 15, 2014

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You would think with all the Canon EOS glass out there, that adapter would have been a no brainer, and since Metabones just released theirs it would be a good time to release Ecell +1 for EOS lenses at a fraction of a price. Guess they thought more people want to use Canon FD lenses. I wondering if they are hiring for Product Development because the first thing I would have done was, hey why not make one for Canon EOS.

JOHN

July 10, 2014

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John

If you guys do create an Excell +1 EF to EF, i'd not only buy one... i'd preorder 2!

July 11, 2014

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Justin Anderson

All those Fotodiox adapters I have purchased over Ebay have being such crap. Their fit is poor and sloppy, locks are of very bad design. Maybe these new ones are better...

July 10, 2014

1
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Charlie

Funny, I've had the opposite experience. All my adapters are Fotodiox and they all work pretty well. Went with some random ebay one and didnt have the same luck

July 10, 2014

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Chris

With the T-Stop being the definite amount of light coming through the lens, what is there to profit from speedwise instead of a smaller DoF? if there's actually is, can anyone give a good explanation?

July 10, 2014

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Moritz D.M

I am not 100% sure of your question, but I will try. These focal reducers DO NOT make the depth of field more shallow, it only changes the amount of light gathered by 1 stop. A 50mm lens has the same depth of field whether it is on a 5dIII, GH4, or BMPCC with a focal reducer. This allows you to get more light to your sensor without getting a shallower depth of field and allow more to be in focus. If you use a 50mm f1.8 on a 5dIII with an ISO of 800, you can use that same lens on an APS-C with a focal reducer and that will give you a 50mm f1.2. The depth of field is the same as on the 5dIII, but you get 1 more stop of light, so you need to either stop down the lens by 1 stop to get a deeper depth of field or lower the ISO by 1 stop to 400 and get a cleaner image.

July 10, 2014

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Thomas Barthle

The purpose of the speedbooster is to allow the likes of a "50mm" lens to be used on MFT while more or less preserving the same field of view as that of a 50mm lens on S35 - So now we have it both ways, we have the field of view AND the shallower depth of field of a 50MM. Without speedbooster we are forced to use a 24mm lens (for the same FOV), and we know what that means for depth of field.

July 10, 2014

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William

Hi guys. I have a couple of questions about this adaptor:

1. Does it fit on a GH4?
2. And, does it allow me to use all my Canon EF lenses?
3. Does it allow auto-focus and auto-aperture when used?

Sorry if these question seem easy but I'm still confused as to what these adapters advantages and disadvantages!

Cheers!

July 10, 2014

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Saad

1. I don't know
2. definitely no, only Canon FD
3. no

July 10, 2014

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Thomas Barthle

Thanks, Thomas! :)

July 10, 2014

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Saad

Hi Saad,

Sean here from Fotodiox. I filmed and edited the launch video. The Excell +1 works well on the GH3 and GH4. We currently aren't offering an EF version of the adapter, and no, the adapter is entirely mechanical, so it has no electronic control over the lens.

July 10, 2014

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Thanks a million, Sean. I will be watching more from you guys and hope that an automatic version will come out.

Cheers!

July 12, 2014

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Saad

What about the GH2?

July 13, 2014

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Marc

Maybe they could share some sample pictures to illustrate the optical quality of the adapter.

July 10, 2014

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Hi, are you planning to release the Excell+1 with Canon EF-S and EF lens mount in the future? Most of my lens are EF and EF-S and I want to use them with my BMPCC. Thank you!

July 10, 2014

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Gerardo

I really hope so! why on earth would they do FD glass, everyone has EF...

July 10, 2014

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kevin

It's hard to control electronic aperture of EF lenses. It has taken metabones forever. They only have FD for m43 right now too.

July 10, 2014

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Ryan

FD glass is considered comparable to old Nikon glass, only it is much cheaper. Canon screwed themselves by changing their mount to an EF mount whereas Nikon kept their mount pretty much the same, hence the reason why you can use old Nikon glass on almost any Nikon camera and only need a simple adapter to use Nikon glass on Canon EF mount cameras. Until now you could only use Canon FD glass with an expensive adapter that made your image 2 stops darker and doubled the focal length of your lens making it mostly useless for such light-sensitive sensors these days.(a 50mm f1.8 would essentially become a 100mm f3.6).

July 10, 2014

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Drew

Focal reducers dont make the depth of field more shallower, it only changes the amount of light by a stop – 35mm lens has the same depth of field whether it is on a Red or the award winning GH4.

July 10, 2014

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My name is Gene...

No, but as I said above, the S/Booster allows you to use focal lengths that DO have shallower depth of field while preserving the same FOV. Your choice: a 24mm and its depth of field characteristics, or a speedbooster with a 50mm and its depth of field characteristics. BIG difference.

July 10, 2014

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William

I think you are both correct. A bigger or smaller projection on a sensor (or film) of a certain lens, does not change it's DOF characteristics.

July 11, 2014

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BdV

You are confused: A 24mm does not have the same depth of field as a 50mm, no matter which sensor you put it on. The sensor size changes nothing but field of view - that is why MFT is called a "crop" sensor. Taping off a MFT area on 4X5 film does not change a lens's DOF characteristics. The beauty of the Speedbooster is to allow the use of a longer focal length for the same field of view - and we all know (or should know) that a longer focal length comes with a shallower depth of field than a short focal length. So, again, the choice is yours: a 24mm lens and great depth of field, or a 50mm lens (and speedbooster) for a shallower depth of field.

July 12, 2014

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William

How long before a MFT to Canon EF? I could really do with one of these at these great prices.

July 10, 2014

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Canon EF adapter and you win the market.

July 10, 2014

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Brian

I used a fotodiox adapter from Canon FD to Ef, and it was a waste of money, if I stopped down at all I would get this big white blob in the middle of frame, eventually I just bit the bullet and bought some edmika adapters, opened up the lenses and then they worked fine. The fd-ef adapter also softened the lens, and you lost a half stop of light. I wouldn't trust a fotodiox product at all.

I even tried to get in touch with their customer service department, took pictures and e-mailed them in, got nothing back. So boo to you Fotodiox.

July 10, 2014

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Brennan

I ordered the excel +1 but didn't see the Light Canon included

July 10, 2014

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joe

Robert, any chance of seeing an article soon about options like this but for anamorphic lenses/adapters? (Lomo etc).

July 10, 2014

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shaun wilson

I have the Ron Jing Lens Turbo EF to M4/3 and it's been fantastic so far for both stills and video. Cost me £80 and my GH2 now has a larger FOV than my 550D

The only drawback is no electronic control but what do you expect for that price

July 11, 2014

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Beavis

oops it's a Rong Jin, sorry

July 11, 2014

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Beavis

Someone asked this question and never got a response so Id like to re ask it. Why don't you post photos/video samples using the Excell+1 that would/should be the deal breaker. People can say anything but an awesome image is the best selling point.

July 11, 2014

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joe

Its all well and good announcing the product with a few clips BUT how dose it behave in the corners and dose it affect bokeh, love to see a shoot out with a metabones. I will wait to see it in the hands of a someone who earns a living shooting but I am not holding my breath

July 11, 2014

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Lee

Will this adapter work with a cannon 60d?

July 11, 2014

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Tyler

hi everybody! This is Bohus - I'm the guy in the demo videos. Thanks for chatting about the Excell adapters here. Definitely excited that you're interested. I hope it's okay with your forum rules if I answer a couple of your questions here.

Next week we'll publish some demo photos that compare the results of shooting with the Excell + 1 and the MetaBones adapter. This is a new breed of adapters from Fotodiox, a company that's made its bones in the adapter field.

@Charlie - if you want to get in touch with us on Monday, we can talk about the adapters you've gotten that you're not happy with. Sadly, there are copycats on ebay that sell under our name - we've heard this story before when we hear about adapters that don't perform up to Fotodiox spec.

@Miznul - it is a declicked aperture control. Totally smooth. So yes - you can take your clicked lens, mount on the Excell, and get declicked style performance.

Canon EF is tough because of the electronic aperture. We can't do an electronic pass through on this guy, so you'd be stuck mounting a lens who's lens you can't control. But we're always looking for ways around this...

I hope that helps answer some of your questions. More info coming soon! Thanks for the good words, everybody!

July 12, 2014

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Fotodiox fails again. Every test hitting the web right now has proved that this adapter is an optical mess for any M43 camera with a sensor larger than a BMPCC. Blurry, inconsistent images, unusable wide open, and is an utter waste of money and time. The BMPCC may have a sensor small enough to avoid the edges of the lens adapter and most of the optical issues but even in the middle it has proven to be no NEARLY as sharp as the Metabones Speedbooster.

This is a “3 strikes your out” scenario for me with Fotodiox… Again, they tricked customers into thinking this "Excell+1" is a "new" product and that it's been "beta tested", which it is completely and utterly false. There is no way anyone who knows how to use a camera actually tested these out.

Bohus puts his name and reputation out there as the face of Fotodiox, and if I was him, I’d be completely ashamed of myself and of Fotodiox right now. This is the exact same scenario for many a while back when the previous adapter turned out to be unusable as well… Instead of getting rid of bad product, they are trying to cleverly re-sell the adapter as a “stylistic lens: Light Canon”… Do they really think that the indie filmmaking and photography market is that stupid? I think not.

Skip out on this Fotodiox debacle, save yourself a bunch of hassle, pony up the dough for the Metabones Speedbooster, and leave Fotodiox to their shame.

July 12, 2014

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Rev

"Do they really think that the indie filmmaking and photography market is that stupid?" Yep...afraid so...

July 12, 2014

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Skeptikal

Amuses me the way so many people are in awe of the "innovative new speed booster" technology. Ha ha...in fact it's rather old tech adapted from amateur astronomy to reduce the focal length of long telescopes and to gather more light.

...and no matter which way you squirm, the reducer WILL have a negative impact on the image quality of a good prime lens. Not worth it IMHO...certainly not at $495 for the Metabones. I tried one and wasn't particularly impressed.

July 12, 2014

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Skeptikal

Just did a comparison between the Metabones for the Pocketcam and the Excell +1. Images posted on BMCuser here http://www.bmcuser.com/showthread.php?10016-New-quot-Excell-quot-Speed-B...

July 13, 2014

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thegregferris

Well I should've waited now that the reviews came out. WHY DIDNT I WAIT!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKFrcr7mfTU#t=459
I'm hope you have a good return policy.

July 13, 2014

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joe

Im sitting here stewing a bit over this. First of all Im mad at myself for purchasing this before seeing the reviews and comparisons. I didn't know the history of Fotodiox and wonder WHY they didn't do any testing of their product BEFORE they put it on sale? WHO DOES THAT? or if they did do the testing they had to know that they had a product that was subpar and was selling it anyways KNOWING that their product was SUBPAR which is why They didn't post any examples and comparison. AND WHAT kind of person gives a testimonial for a product under this type of situation. AND THEY CHARGE FOR RETURN SHIPPING. Bad Bad Bad business.

July 14, 2014

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joe

Ugh. I should have waited. IMAGES are so SOFT on the "D" lenses. G lenses and some Zeiss Nikon mounts looked fine. And the aperture ring keeps stopping down on its own! The spring load/tension in the Nikon lenses is too much for the adapter to keep it open. Returning to get a refund, too bad I have to pay for shipping it back. Small price to pay to get useless junk out of my hands.

July 15, 2014

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Anon

This Lens is useless. Image is soft. so big deal +1 stop more light and wider FOV for what a blurry crumby image.

July 17, 2014

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joe

https://vimeo.com/100778559
see how soft the image is here

July 17, 2014

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joe

There new video, "A Closer Look: Fotodiox Excell +1 Focal Reducer & the Metabones Speed Booster", is nothing more than a well-crafted attempt at manipulating people into thinking that the Excell+1 is anything, other than a cheaply made SpeedBooster knockoff. Hats off to you Bohus.

Bohus comments:
-“not a competitor [to the SpeedBooster] and never built to be that"
-“do a lot of the same things [as a SpeedBooster], but at a much more manageable price”

Customer reply:
the features listed are EXACTLY what the SpeedBooster does, and that is EXACTLY what consumers bought it for.

They are further attempting to mislead consumers by separating the Excell+1 from the SpeedBooster by stating that the “Excell+1 spec is f/2.0, f/2.8 or above”, whereas the SpeedBooster can operate at a wider f-stop. I want to point something out to you that most consumers already know: the Excell+1’s inability to operate at wider f-stops is nothing more than a serious build quality and optical issue. Nothing more… Otherwise, the adapter wouldn’t have been built to operate at these apertures.

We don’t spend money on quality lenses, only to have our image quality degraded by putting a bad lens in between our lens and our sensors.

The tests Fotodiox and Bohus showed comparing the two adapters that are “not competitors” (LOL) proved to us, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the adapter is nothing more than a cheaply made device that no one in their right mind should stick on their high resolution camera and expect a good image out of it. The adapter will seriously degrade the image coming from a camera. Period. Bohus stated that your “Excell+1 spec” is f/2.0, f/2.8 or above, yet in that video comparison, even at f/8 and higher, the image on the left was dingy’er, blurry’er, and had color distortion/purple fringing. Anyone who knows lenses will tell you that this is indicative of bad optics.

Below is a link to an image showing that their own video PROVES the Excell+1 adapter is garbage. Consumers spend a lot of money on quality lenses and cameras with good sensors, and they shouldn’t GIVE this adapter away because it makes photos and videos look terrible.

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/YIkoTL5wNiNA38Ukyg5pvcFsx8MYZMrj36vFO4...

Downloadable HQ image:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/w5ip3yj7wbb8nqs/Excell%20comparison%20image.png

The simple fact that I am using their own video to prove to you that the product is garbage is further proof that Fotodiox and Bohus are not to be trusted with manufacturing and/or selling optics to consumers. Period.

July 28, 2014

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Rev