June 23, 2014

Canon EF to MFT Metabones Speed Booster for Blackmagic Pocket Makes Lenses Faster & Wider

Last year Metabones came out of nowhere with the Speed Booster, a product that seems too good to be true until you look at the results. While it does have its faults, your lenses do really become faster and wider, giving you a lot more options for mirrorless cameras that have smaller than full-frame sensors. We've heard rumors about a Metabones Canon EF to Micro 4/3 Speed Booster that would give full iris control on MFT cameras (we've already got the Nikon version which is all-manual), but nothing was concrete until now. The first product out of the gate is for the Blackmagic Pocket, which is going to make the camera that much more usable with full-frame lenses.

We've got a video from James Miller showing off the Speed Booster on the Pocket:

And here is a little bit from the post on what this Speed Booster does:

The new 0.58x EF-BMPCC Active Speed Booster reduces the crop factor of the BMPCC from 2.88x to 1.75x, and produces the largest aperture optics currently available, with a maximum output aperture of f/0.74.  For example, a 50mm f/1.2 now becomes a 29mm f/0.74 (i.e, by using 50mm lens, the actual focal length in BMPCC is 29mm x 3.02 = 87.58mm), and the Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 becomes the world’s fastest zoom lens at 10.5-20.3mm f/1.0 with stunningly sharp performance. (i.e, by using 18-35mm lens, the actual focal length in BMPCC is from (10.5mm x 3.02 = 31.71mm) to (20.3mm x 3.02 = 61.31mm).

He also said this if you try to mount the adapter on the GH4:

The GH4 will display “Lens attachment failed. Please make sure the lens is attached correctly”. There is also an etched a warning “For use only with BMPCC” on the BMPCC Speed Booster housing.

This is big news for the Pocket camera. While there are a bunch of compatible MFT lenses, and a Speed Booster for Nikon & Leica R lenses already available, the Canon mount is more popular for video shooters, and you also can adapt Nikon lenses to the Canon EF Speed Booster very easily. With this adapter, not only do you get aperture control for the Canon lenses, but you also get image stabilization.

There are a few downsides at the moment, however. The first one is the $660 price tag, which comes in at around 2/3 the price of the camera itself. While they are working on versions for regular MFT cameras like the GH4, this one is made only for the Pocket, and should not be mounted on other MFT cameras since it isn't made to cover the full sensor and the rear element sticks out quite a bit. The other downside is related to EF-S lenses:

The EF-S mount has the same 44mm flange distance as the EF-mount, but the rear of the lens is allowed to protrude a few mm further into the mount aperture and possibly hitting the optics of the Speed Booster. You may be able to mount some EF-S lenses by removing the protective ring protruding from the rear of the EF-S lens.

Also, an adapter for the 2.5K Blackmagic is unlikely since it has a dumb MFT mount, so it can't send power to control Canon lenses (though maybe they will engineer a powered adapter at some point in the future like the Redrock MFT adapter).

Even with the price this will likely be a popular item, and I know many have been waiting patiently for this exact product. Though this Pocket Speed Booster is not really made to be mounted on other cameras, Andrew Reid over at EOSHD did just that with a prototype on the Panasonic GH4 shooting in 4K, and got some interesting results that made his lenses nearly full-frame on that camera (though he did have some issues):

The Pocket Speed Booster should start shipping by the end of this month over on the Metabones site. You'll be able to find it at the link below when it becomes available.

Link: Blackmagic Speed Booster -- Metabones

[via Philip Bloom & EOSHD]

Your Comment

48 Comments

Why would a speedbooster work with aperture control and IS on the MFT of the BMPCC but wouldnt be possible on the BMCC?

June 23, 2014 at 2:34AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Saulo

Bmcc doesn't have an active m 43 7mm mount

June 23, 2014 at 2:37AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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dave

This is for the pocket cam, which has an active mount.

June 23, 2014 at 3:17PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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alex

I don't know why, but footage from these Blackmagic cams look always really dirty to me (even the graded ones) .

June 23, 2014 at 4:19AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Tom DoP

I don't like the grade so much on the BMPCC film. Blacks look high but I'm guessing that was what he was going for.

June 23, 2014 at 11:19AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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JPS

It's because most people don't know how to color grade.

June 23, 2014 at 4:11PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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john jeffries

Ouch dude.

June 23, 2014 at 5:47PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Its true though. It takes thousands of hours to get good, and thats why colorists charge so much. And its also why the NFS demographic prefers cameras with an "out of the box" baked in look like the gh4/canons/etc.

June 23, 2014 at 9:43PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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john jeffries

just waiting for EF to general m43 now. if they've already got the electronics figured out, EF to m43 should be coming soon

June 23, 2014 at 5:13AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Ignorant sheep use Speedboosters. You can enjoy ruining the look of your lenses.

June 23, 2014 at 5:48AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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George Renell

Hey George, could you develop your comment?

June 23, 2014 at 7:15AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Daniel

I guess I talks about that the light rays comming through your expensive lens
that will be ruined by the Speedbooster's internal glass. And he may be right.

We spend thousands of dollars in excellent ND filters, just not to affect our extremly excellent cine lenses.
I wouldn't use such a Speedbooster, if I was you.

June 23, 2014 at 7:41AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Tom DoP

So you are like spending thousands on ND filters (!) not to destroy the look of your extremely excellent cinelenses (you actually own a cinelens?) because you worry they'll no longer look good enough on the very cheapest camera money can buy... you are either insane or simply pretending

June 23, 2014 at 11:44AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Raul

I have made my experiences with cheap filters and adapters.

June 23, 2014 at 1:38PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Tom DoP

Hey Raul, have you ever heard of equipment rentals? Renting a good quality ND filter costs less than 40 bucks and you charge it to the client. Same with a cine lens, you don't need to spend 30 grand in an Ultraprime. You just rent it and charge it to the client. The way it's been done for 100 years!!!

August 11, 2014 at 10:56AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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bestfrontman

George has a point. Changing the focal distance of a lens doesn't change it's field of view. Let's forget speed boosters for a moment and think about this: the BMPCC has a crop factor of more or less 3x, right? So let's say you're using a 24mm lens. What you have now is a lens that has the equivalent focal distance of a 75mm lens but with a field of view of a 24mm lens. Effectively this would be a cropped version of a wide shot. You loose the compression of the background, the separation of the elements, the bokeh, etc... Or, in other words, a telephoto lens with the look of a wide angle lens. This is not good or bad... just different!

June 23, 2014 at 6:25PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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George is talking bullshit and I bet he never got his hands on a speedbooster. And yout comment is contradictory, the speedbooster "brings" the lens to a field of view really close to what it would be in a S35 camera.

I asked Geroge to develop trying to give him a chance to make a point and not just beeing a troll, loosing his time to make a comment that doesn't add nothing to the discussion.

Cinema nowadays it's getting more and more technical, people are just crazy about charts, sharpness etc.

The portuguese director Pedro Costa for example shot a film called "In Vanda's room" with a mini-dv handicam and got a beautifull photography, do you trolls really thinks a metabones adapter could "ruin" your film? Come on, less tech more brain please!!!

June 23, 2014 at 7:40PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Daniel

And why the hell someone put his name in a forum followed by a DoP? "Tom DoP" Come on Tom, show us your really amazing films that you spent thousands of dollars in lenses.

June 23, 2014 at 7:43PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Daniel

Oh sorry, not lenses, thousands of dollars in ND filters...

June 23, 2014 at 7:45PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Daniel

Daniel, you're right, I think I don't explained my point correctly. What I meant is that field of view and focal distance are two different things; focal distance is an optical attribute and field of view is just what your lens "sees" from left to right and top to bottom; Having said this, with a speed booster you are getting more field of view but the optical attributes of the lens remain the same... So if you're using a 50mm lens on a 0,75x speed booster what you are getting is a 37,5mm equivalent field of view but with the "look" of a telephoto lens. I also stated that this is not good or bad because I simply don't care about that stuff... if it looks good it looks good! It can be DV, 8mm, IMAX, whatever... Just saying that you have to be aware of this stuff when you buy a speed booster and most people aren't. Of course that speed boosters are great (I have one) and they can be used to your advantage but they don't just transform your lenses into something they are not.

June 25, 2014 at 6:38AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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I think it is the other way around. Crop factor will change field of view without changing depth of field. So with a crop factor considered, you will use a wider lens to achieve the same field of view on a full frame. This will give you more depth of field on the cropped camera.

A focal reducer will reduce the light out of full frame glass, this will reduce your crop factor and not change your depth of field. Unless I am mistaken (my speed booster is in the mail), this would give you a field of view closer to apsc in terms of how much depth of field you have. Without a speed booster it would be hard to compress the background like you can on a full frame camera.

June 24, 2014 at 10:47AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Thomas

yes, it is obviously the other way around, my bad! the point is focal distance is an optical attribute of the lens and that never changes, even if you use speed boosters or tele converters.

June 25, 2014 at 6:40AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Do you mean focal length, by any chance? Focal distance doesn't mean focal length.

August 11, 2014 at 11:09AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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bestfrontman

What you should have probably said from the beginning is "it changes the crop factor but it doesn't change the depth of field". In my honest opinion it depends on what your subject is, it my work or it may ruin your picture. The videos posted in this page are really a good example of how bad your picture can get.

August 11, 2014 at 11:18AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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bestfrontman

Ignorant comment there George.

June 23, 2014 at 9:16AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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James Miller

I recently shot a feature on a variety on older Nikon glass with a BMCC Nikon F to M4/3 Speedbooster, and I have to say that the Speedbooster did not change the original character of the glass. It only made it wider and faster, usually a good thing, especially because it was so easy to remove when not needed. I would highly recommend renting one to try out before you condemn them simply because they put an extra piece of glass in between the outside world and the image in your head.

June 23, 2014 at 9:54AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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jimbo

What a beautiful video, James. Thank you for that.

June 24, 2014 at 4:12AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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If you are using an MFT sized sensor camera, the Speedbooster is not going to seriously affect your image, at least, you are not dealing with the level of optical quality necessary for you to notice. If you are, then you are using an arri alexa with master primes and you don't need a Speedbooster in the first place. Duh!

June 24, 2014 at 12:24AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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An F-mount Rokinon + Speedbooster works pretty well on GH4. That said, the Pocket Cam footage looks kind of blah to me too. Sorry, James.

June 23, 2014 at 11:51AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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DLD

I purchased the Metabones FD to M4/3. A complete disaster. I have a great set of Canon primes in mint condition that work perfectly in my analog A-1. When mounted in the BMPCC, NONE of them could reach infinity. Or better, infinity was reached about 1/4 of an inch before the mark --or natural barrel stop. Needless to say because of the above, focusing was a real nightmare. I contacted Metabones and they directed me to a webpage where they "instruct" users to fiddle with the adapter's lens until one "gets it right"! Loosening screws and moving randomly is quite an unserious, unprofessional advise. First, an adjustment of that nature IS NOT to be expected in a DEDICATED (and quite pricey) adapter. Second, any adjustment should be only done by a qualified technician and using high precision tools. Shoddy product. Stay away.

June 23, 2014 at 3:38PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Ben

So it's a backfocus issue. Take the whole setup to a tech and have them tweak it. Even top end hired rigs can have issues with lense collimation. You're using a (relatively) cheap camera and a (relatively) cheap adaptor paired with older SLR lenses while expecting performance that surpasses equipment costing 10 times the price?

June 23, 2014 at 7:30PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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nobody

Nobody, you make no sense at all. One does not buy an expensive adapter --that claims to be dedicated to your camera and lens, to then take it straight to the bench of a glass technician. What kind of consumer are you? Would you buy a new car and then take to a shop for a major repair at your expense?

July 1, 2014 at 2:59AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Will

I have been waiting for this.

June 23, 2014 at 6:51PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Kent

Just to clear a generel misunderstanding: I am not George Renell.
I just supported his comment about affecting well calibrated lenses by using adapters having internal glasses.

So, what "can/may" happen, if you use a 3rd party glass on a calibrated lens:
- you increase CA, because the light is refracted wrong
- you decrease sharpnes of your corners or of the entire lens
- you may get unwanted reflections caused by the stacked glass

Someone here laughed about that we spend a lot of money on our ND filters.
Well, good 4x5.6 for our matte boxes cost a lot. It is as it is.
Especially if you stack them together in your matte box. You just want to be sure having premium quality glass which does affect the lens quality not that much.

In the past, I was able to try some plastic ND filter. Playing around with a 5DmkII and a 70-200mm-L lens I figured out, that the lens characteristic was different. And the worst part was: At 70mm I could focus on the subject.... at 200mm the light was refracted completely wrong. Focussing was not possible. After I removed the filter from the matte box, leaving the focus unchanged, the subject was clear in focus.

Sounds strange.. but as stated before:: I have made my personal experiences.

June 24, 2014 at 11:55AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Tom DoP

Don't even try doing logjc with the videographers in these articles. They haven't touched a matte box or 4x5.6 filters in their entire lives, let alone understand what CA stands for

June 24, 2014 at 12:19PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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john jeffries

Whoa, this is getting heated. I personally don't own a speedbooster, but would love to and will get one in the future because as far as my reading up has shown the Speedbooster is high enough quality to keep your glass sharp corner to corner (actually it claims it makes them relatively sharper because of the more concentrated focus area) and has no issues with Chromatic Aberration. All of the cheaper rip-offs have these problems. I haven't heard of anyone having issues with stacked glass reflections. Having anything between your lens and camera will affect your optics though (obviously) and your points are valid. Seems to me like what little bad effect the Speedbooster would have is marginal, bordering negligible. Especially for us negative budget filmmakers rockin' our variable ND filters. If you've got the $ for that high caliber of glass, matte boxes and filters, you probably won't be using the BMPCC.

June 24, 2014 at 1:56PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Kent

Perfect! Couldn't agree more!

June 26, 2014 at 2:57PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Daniel

Is it just me, or is the sample test footage of the BMPC speed booster >GH4 mount on vimeo the same footage used for a different test of just GH4 footage on its own published a few weeks ago here or somewhere else? I've been fantasizing about this version of a speed booster for this camera/lens configuration for a while and want to make sure the footage is, in fact, the accurate footage... First time on this forum, been a fan a really long time!!!

June 25, 2014 at 11:13AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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The guy just went to the same location to do the tests I'm pretty sure. He was laughing about it in the comments saying he really needs to go scout a new spot to do them.

June 27, 2014 at 6:02AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Dave

Any idea where/when this speed booster will be available? I'd love to try it out. I don't see it listed anywhere on the metabones website and I don't see pre orders on B&H either.

June 25, 2014 at 4:38PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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CaptCrunch

I loved 00:47ss, HAHAHAHAAHAHA!!

June 26, 2014 at 2:15PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Claudinho Andrés

The Tokina 11-16 is an EF-S modell, right? So is it going to work out?

July 3, 2014 at 5:32AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Lui

It's EF so it is supported. Third party crop lenses are ALL standard EF, as only canon's crop lenses are designated EFS.

July 6, 2014 at 11:21AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Nathan D

cool! :) The reason why I thought it's EF-S is because I read in the web that a white point indicates EF-S lenses and the Tokina has one. Do you know what it means?

July 7, 2014 at 7:26PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Lui

I slapped my pocket speedbooster on my GH3 and worked ok ( video on My Vimeo) But it works perfect on my pocket for those who question the quality, its great. Im so waiting for a active Canon mount for my GH4. If I had a full frame lens I would be tempted to buy and modify the new pocket active Canon SB made for pocket to use on my GH4.

July 13, 2014 at 6:27PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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FYI: If anyone is interested in trying the Pocket Speedbooster on the GH3 or GH4 my video is on my web site, you can click on my name it will take you their.

July 13, 2014 at 6:44PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Besides the lack of power to activate aperture control and stabilization... it would be possible to attach the 0.58x EF-BMPCC on the BMCC 2.5k? I know the sensor distances are different... but will it attach it and not damage the sensor?

July 22, 2014 at 7:55PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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The grainy look of the BMPCC is nice. It kind of looks like he used a color preset for color grading which is a common thing. The GH4 is crisp and sharp but I don't like the look of it. Probably works wonders in a photography studio.

August 31, 2014 at 2:36AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Phil (novice fi...