Nikon Speed Booster/Focal Reducer from RJ/Zhongyi (eBay China): First impressions

Started May 16, 2013 | Discussions
Jchen195
Jchen195 Forum Member • Posts: 57
Nikon Speed Booster/Focal Reducer from RJ/Zhongyi (eBay China): First impressions
5

Hey Guys!

This is a first impression post of a Nikon Speed Booster from RJ/Zhongyi that I ordered from eBay. It costs about 200 bucks and is based on the same principles of focal length reduction and light condensing as Metabone's speed boosters.

When I saw Sony ALpha Rumor's post on the first Nikon Speed Booster, I immediately jumped on it.I have a lot of legacy Nikon glass and it would be amazing to be able to use them as though they were mounted on a true 35mm film camera or a full frame.

http://www.sonyalpharumors.com/anther-chinese-speed-booster-copy/

Basically, the speed booster will reduce the focal length of manual Nikon lenses by a factor of .72 and it is advertised as providing an extra stop of light by "condensing the image". There is no AF capability and it won't be usable on newer Nikon lenses that require aperture control on the adapter. Anything before the 90s will work though. I'm currently testing it with my 135 2.8 Nikkor Q, 85mm 1.8 Nikkor H, 85mm 1.4 Rokinon, and 100mm 2.8 Nikon E.

I just got the speed booster this morning (took over two weeks to get here from China) and did a quick test shot with a 50mm 1.4 Nikon SC.

With the crop factor, the SC normally is a 75mm on an NEX-6, but with the speed booster it becomes (or at least should become) a 54mm 1.0!

50mm x 1.5(crop) x 0.72 = 54mm

Both photos were taken on a Tripod to maintain accuracy. I got some prom lights (I'm shooting a prom this weekend) and placed them in the background to help assess bokeh smoothness. The ball of lights on the corner of the table, as well as the SEL50F18 also serves this purpose.

The first photo was taken with with the standard Nikon to NEX adapter

50mm 1.4 Nikon SC at 1/60 shutter speed and ISO 800

The second photo was taken with the Speed Booster

50mm 1.4 Nikon SC at 1/60 shutter speed and ISO 400

As you can see, the focal length was indeed decreased and it felt JUST LIKE A 50MM mounted on a 35mm camera! Look through the viewfinder, and it was--more or less--what my eye saw. In addition, you can see that even though we appear to be farther away from the subject (the 85mm Rokinon 1.4), the Bokeh is actually a little smoother due to the wider aperture and indeed, the ISO of 400 compared to the 800 of the original photo taken with the standard Nikon adapter is EXACTLY ONE STOP FASTER!

Pretty cool! It looks like the photo is a little less sharp, but I am not sure if it's due to the higher aperture or the construction of the speed booster.

In any case, it's darn cool to have the enhanced focal length, aperture, and it's cheaper than the metabones adapter!

For you bokeh freaks and portrait photographers, this means that you will get a wider field fo view with your favorite lenses and then you can get EVEN CLOSER to your subjects for even shallower depth of field.

I'm going to be playing with it more today. Feel free to ask questions!

-Jarvis

Sony Alpha NEX-6
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ohmydentist Senior Member • Posts: 1,933
Re: Nikon Speed Booster/Focal Reducer from RJ/Zhongyi (eBay China): First impressions

Nice, looks like a fun and useful thing to try.  I remember Metabone claimed sharpness will be enhanced with their product.  I guess the Chinese copy's optics is little lacking.

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Runnicle Contributing Member • Posts: 581
Re: Nikon Speed Booster/Focal Reducer from RJ/Zhongyi (eBay China): First impressions
1

It appears that neither of your two shots is exactly in focus.  When viewed at original size and under magnification one can see the peripheral letters/numbers (e.g., 85) blurring on the Rokinon decal, and the aperture setting numbers further down the barrel of the lens are likewise fuzzy.  If such blurring is a byproduct of shallow DOF at aperture 1.4, then it cannot be fixed.  But if it just an issue of achieving precise focusing, then focus assist magnification should prove able to correct it in future shots of this sort.  Best of luck to you!

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Deleted1929 Forum Pro • Posts: 13,050
Link to seller on e.g. flea-Bay ?

And thanks for showing us what it can do.

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StephenG

boardsy Senior Member • Posts: 2,215
Re: Nikon Speed Booster/Focal Reducer from RJ/Zhongyi (eBay China): First impressions

Thanks for the info - in principle the booster should be sharper, as it's reducing the 35mm image to APS-C size, although it's reducing the "sweet spot" effect of the central crop, bringing potentially softer edges into play. At least the centre should be sharper.

Could you possibly do another non-hand-held comparison test (just put camera on table if you don't have a tripod & use 2 sec timer) with careful magnified-LCD focus, to rule out camera movement? Thanks

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viking79
viking79 Forum Pro • Posts: 14,152
Re: Nikon Speed Booster/Focal Reducer from RJ/Zhongyi (eBay China): First impressions

ohmydentist wrote:

Nice, looks like a fun and useful thing to try.  I remember Metabone claimed sharpness will be enhanced with their product.  I guess the Chinese copy's optics is little lacking.

Both shots are soft so it is hard to tell.

In theory a telecompressor will improve central sharpness and contrast but add CA and distortion towards the edges of the frame, in addition to the additional CA and distortion that is already at the edge of the full frame lens.

Eric

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D Cox Forum Pro • Posts: 24,084
Re: Nikon Speed Booster/Focal Reducer from RJ/Zhongyi (eBay China): First impressions

ohmydentist wrote:

Nice, looks like a fun and useful thing to try.  I remember Metabone claimed sharpness will be enhanced with their product.  I guess the Chinese copy's optics is little lacking.

Sharpness could be enhanced simply because the image is reduced in size. So if you have a blur that is, for example, 18 pixels wide with an ordinary adapter, it would be reduced to about 13 pixels wide on the smaller image.

But if the adapter isn't optically perfect, it may add more blur than it loses.

When thinking about resolution with these gadgets, you have to decide whether you measure line-pairs per picture width or line-pairs per mm on the sensor.

Jchen195
OP Jchen195 Forum Member • Posts: 57
Re: Nikon Speed Booster/Focal Reducer from RJ/Zhongyi (eBay China): First impressions
3

Let's try a sharpness test!

Taken with a 100mm 2.8 Nikon E (it's a pretty darn sharp lens. Not the greatest for bokeh or low light due to the 2.8 aperture, but it's sharp wide open).

First show with the standard Nikon to NEX adapter. Taken from about 7 feet away. 1/60 ISO 3200

Nikon 100mm 2.8 E 1/60 shutter speed. ISO 3200

and now with the Nikon Booster. It gained ONE STOP of light with the ISO of 1600! The focal length was reduced and we can see more of the table (I was cleaning oil out of the aperture blades of my 50mm 1.4 SC) and the image appears to be equally as SHARP as without the speed booster. I checked the crops and it might be even a little sharper. CA is controlled a bit better and there appears to be NO vignetting whatsoever.

Nikon 100mm 2.8 E 1/60 shutter speed. ISO 1600

Overall, I am very satisfied with this purchase.

forpetessake
forpetessake Veteran Member • Posts: 4,999
Re: Link to seller on e.g. flea-Bay ?

There are two sellers currently on ebay having F/K/FD/MD mounts. You can search for "focal reducer speed booster".

forpetessake
forpetessake Veteran Member • Posts: 4,999
Re: Nikon Speed Booster/Focal Reducer from RJ/Zhongyi (eBay China): First impressions

My testing of this Zhongui Lens Turbo shows that central resolution increased indeed, though it's hard to measure because the lenses outresolve the sensor, but the color moiré on test charts above 100 l/mm is an indication lens resolves a lot more than the sensor. I tested on NEX-5N, I wonder how it behaves on NEX-7.

The corners may become softer, but that's common for FF lenses, not the problem of focal reducer. In my limited experience FF lenses with focal reducer should be very close in their parameters to the same lenses tested on FF body. Vignetting in the lenses tested (24-120mm Nikon) was small, I don't consider that a problem, the only problem noticed so far was the reflections in adapter at long FL and small apertures.

teraflame Forum Member • Posts: 84
Re: Nikon Speed Booster/Focal Reducer from RJ/Zhongyi (eBay China): First impressions

Can you elaborate on the long FL/small aperture problem? Like would a 105mm at f/8-11 have trouble?

Jchen195
OP Jchen195 Forum Member • Posts: 57
Re: Nikon Speed Booster/Focal Reducer from RJ/Zhongyi (eBay China): First impressions

Could you elaborate on the issue?

I shot my 100mm 2.8 at F11 and didn't not notice anything odd.

teraflame wrote:

Can you elaborate on the long FL/small aperture problem? Like would a 105mm at f/8-11 have trouble?

Tastybread Regular Member • Posts: 107
Re: Nikon Speed Booster/Focal Reducer from RJ/Zhongyi (eBay China): First impressions

I would love it if someone could compare all the speed boosters side by side. At this point I think there are three in the market with the addition of Lens Turbo.

Very exciting times. I can't believe it's taken this long to get an adapter that reverse teleconverts. This of yours looks great and the price is so much more appealing.

Now I just need to decide which brand of lenses I want to adopt.

jpr2 Forum Pro • Posts: 15,554
re: three?
2

or perhaps just only two:

  • the original (0.71x) SB of Brian Caldwell, sold by MB;
  • the Mitakon later arrival (0.72x), sold by MX-Camera & RJ;
forpetessake
forpetessake Veteran Member • Posts: 4,999
Re: Nikon Speed Booster/Focal Reducer from RJ/Zhongyi (eBay China): First impressions

teraflame wrote:

Can you elaborate on the long FL/small aperture problem? Like would a 105mm at f/8-11 have trouble?

There is an example in this thread: http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/51474197

Jchen195
OP Jchen195 Forum Member • Posts: 57
Re: Nikon Speed Booster/Focal Reducer from RJ/Zhongyi (eBay China): First impressions

I have not seen this phenomenon in my testing of the Nikon booster or really any of my dumb adapters. They are always colored black on the inside to alleviate such reflections.

nzmacro
nzmacro Forum Pro • Posts: 16,380
100% better. Fascinating to see

Jchen195 wrote:

Let's try a sharpness test!

Taken with a 100mm 2.8 Nikon E (it's a pretty darn sharp lens. Not the greatest for bokeh or low light due to the 2.8 aperture, but it's sharp wide open).

First show with the standard Nikon to NEX adapter. Taken from about 7 feet away. 1/60 ISO 3200

Nikon 100mm 2.8 E 1/60 shutter speed. ISO 3200

and now with the Nikon Booster. It gained ONE STOP of light with the ISO of 1600! The focal length was reduced and we can see more of the table (I was cleaning oil out of the aperture blades of my 50mm 1.4 SC) and the image appears to be equally as SHARP as without the speed booster. I checked the crops and it might be even a little sharper. CA is controlled a bit better and there appears to be NO vignetting whatsoever.

Nikon 100mm 2.8 E 1/60 shutter speed. ISO 1600

Overall, I am very satisfied with this purchase.

Yep a 100% better than your first test

Excellent to see and I could certainly use a Canon FD version by the looks. What's also interesting in the larger views, is that the green CA / fringing is also decreased and I would have thought the opposite. That's very interesting. It could be due to a smaller image, but that CA has not increased due to the reducer. Fascinating.

So a full stop huh, hmmm, very useful. Exactly what i need in fact, so a huge thanks for the tests.

All the best and appreciate your time and effort

Danny.

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adymitruk
adymitruk Contributing Member • Posts: 500
Re: 100% better. Fascinating to see

This is explained in the metabones speed booster white paper. The reducer reduces everything - including flaws! 

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losangeles Contributing Member • Posts: 655
Seller links?

Can anybody please post a link to a seller that seems reliable to them? I've never purchased anything on ebay and am a bit worried about loosing my money. Thanks.

forpetessake
forpetessake Veteran Member • Posts: 4,999
Re: 100% better. Fascinating to see

adymitruk wrote:

This is explained in the metabones speed booster white paper. The reducer reduces everything - including flaws! 

Yes, but it also reveals what you didn't see before, like the soft corners.

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