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]