Micro Four Thirds Focal Reducer Shootout

Started 7 months ago | Discussions
Kim Letkeman
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Re: so was it your job to ...
In reply to amtberg, 7 months ago

amtberg wrote:

Kim Letkeman wrote

Looks like you know your stuff.

I think that's a safe bet:

"Brian Caldwell earned a Ph.D. in Optics from The University of Rochester in 1988.

He has 30 years experience in the fields of lens design and optical engineering, with more than 100 different manufactured products to his credit.

In 1988 he founded Optical Data Solutions to develop LensVIEW, an extensive database of more than 30,000 optical designs from the patent literature. After working as an optical designer first at Projectavision and then at Concord Camera he founded Caldwell Photographic Inc. in 2001 to do independent consulting, and to develop and manufacture optical products.

Commercial products designed by Dr. Caldwell include a 60mm UV-VIS-IR apochromat licensed for manufacture by Jenoptik Optical Systems, a series of 12 high speed cine lenses for the new Panavision 70mm digital cine camera, and a universal photographic focal reducer currently marketed by Metabones as the Speed Booster."

Always a pleasure to be schooled by Captain Google

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tjdean01
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Re: Lens Turbo
In reply to Lab D, 7 months ago

If you're not shooting at wide apertures, why would you buy one of these in the first place?

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AV Janus
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Re: Micro Four Thirds Focal Reducer Shootout
In reply to brian, 7 months ago

Just out of curiosity, when did you buy the RJ Lens Turbo and from where? Directly from RJ?

I ask because I remember reading they did a revision to reduce the central flare issue...

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Rick Halle wrote:
" Keep in mind that tall buildings sway back and forth so they require faster shutter speeds."

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beomagi
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Re: Lens Turbo
In reply to tjdean01, 7 months ago

tjdean01 wrote:

If you're not shooting at wide apertures, why would you buy one of these in the first place?

APSC wide angle lenses, such as the samyang 16, 14 and 10mm, or their 8mm Fisheye.

If you already have APSC, you may have these lenses already.

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RRRoger
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Re: Micro Four Thirds Focal Reducer Shootout
In reply to s_grins, 3 months ago

Brian,

First off, I do not believe your charts.

If the competition delivered images that blurry, no one would buy them, we would be hearing plenty of complaints.

I bought a Nikon the GH3 adapter from MetaBones and sent it back.

I had no problem with image quality or brightness improvement but

I am not good at manual focus, thus it was nearly worthless to me.

Besides build quality, what the SpeedBooster does obviously have over the competition is the mounting foot and an aperture ring.

What are the chance of a Nikon to 4/3 version that transfers the electrical contact like you have done for Canon?

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Klarno
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Re: Micro Four Thirds Focal Reducer Shootout
In reply to RRRoger, 3 months ago

RRRoger wrote:

Brian,

First off, I do not belive your charts.

It's worth noting that test charts never tell the whole story. They overemphasize flatness of field, which is important for photos of flat subjects, but becomes less important when you're photographing a three-dimensional scene.

If the competition delivered images that blurry, no one would buy them, we would be hearing pleanty of complaints.

The Lens Turbo is probably the most popular focal reducer, and it does indeed get plenty of complaints about corner sharpness. The Lens Turbo also gets praised as being just fine for the express purpose of shallow DoF photography, with very good sharpness results for shallow DoF images where corner sharpness is unimportant (I thought about getting one, but I didn't like its visible impact on bokeh I was seeing with pretty much every sample shot out of it).

With the even cheaper focal reducers, well, people know what they're getting into and don't expect miracles.

The Light Cannon got so many complaints that its manufacturer relabeled their existing stock as "soft focus adapters" and has gone back to the drawing board.

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RRRoger
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Re: Micro Four Thirds Focal Reducer Shootout
In reply to Klarno, 3 months ago

Brian,

What are the chance of a Nikon to 4/3 version that transfers the electrical contact like MetaBones have done for Canon?

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RRRoger

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beomagi
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Re: Micro Four Thirds Focal Reducer Shootout
In reply to RRRoger, 3 months ago

RRRoger wrote:

Brian,

What are the chance of a Nikon to 4/3 version that transfers the electrical contact like MetaBones have done for Canon?

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RRRoger

Don't hold your breath, they haven't done it for Canon yet.

We're STILL waiting for the EF mount-MFT speed booster. The only way you get EF to MFT on focal reducer is to buy other company's adapters.

Your best bet is to practice manual focus techniques. It takes some time, but is very effective when you get used to it.

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neil holmes
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Light Cannon
In reply to RRRoger, 3 months ago

RRRoger wrote:

Brian,

First off, I do not believe your charts.

I do.

If the competition delivered images that blurry, no one would buy them, we would be hearing plenty of complaints.

I got a Light Cannon for an experiment.

Wide open with a variety of lenses it IS that bad.....that's why it is now down to $50 and sold as a soft focus adapter.

It is actually not too bad stopped down with some lenses......most focal reducers increase IQ for at least part of the range......the Light Cannon is more like a poor to average 2x converter with a decrease of IQ.

I think it is ok for non-critical use as a "focal reducer" if you want a wide angle lens but not as a "speed booster"  .......other than in the sense of f5.6 becoming f4 or f8 becoming f5.6.

Might have some uses for video......might even be good with the likes of a GH4, good lens stopped down and 4k.

I bought a Nikon the GH3 adapter from MetaBones and sent it back.

I had no problem with image quality or brightness improvement but

I am not good at manual focus, thus it was nearly worthless to me.

Besides build quality, what the SpeedBooster does obviously have over the competition is the mounting foot and an aperture ring.

What are the chance of a Nikon to 4/3 version that transfers the electrical contact like you have done for Canon?

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RRRoger

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RRRoger
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Re: Micro Four Thirds Focal Reducer Shootout
In reply to beomagi, 3 months ago

beomagi wrote:

RRRoger wrote:

Brian,

What are the chance of a Nikon to 4/3 version that transfers the electrical contact like MetaBones have done for Canon?

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RRRoger

Don't hold your breath, they haven't done it for Canon yet.

We're STILL waiting for the EF mount-MFT speed booster. The only way you get EF to MFT on focal reducer is to buy other company's adapters.

Your best bet is to practice manual focus techniques. It takes some time, but is very effective when you get used to it.

I am better at holding my breath than manual focusing.

If I have not learned how in 60 years, I probably never will.

Besides, I like AutoFocus. All my Nikkors are AF-S and all my lumix are AF.

It is also why I sent back my SpeedBooster, but

I would like to use some wider and faster lens on my GH4.

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RRRoger

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knickerhawk
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Re: Micro Four Thirds Focal Reducer Shootout
In reply to RRRoger, 3 months ago

RRRoger wrote:

beomagi wrote:

RRRoger wrote:

Brian,

What are the chance of a Nikon to 4/3 version that transfers the electrical contact like MetaBones have done for Canon?

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RRRoger

Don't hold your breath, they haven't done it for Canon yet.

We're STILL waiting for the EF mount-MFT speed booster. The only way you get EF to MFT on focal reducer is to buy other company's adapters.

Your best bet is to practice manual focus techniques. It takes some time, but is very effective when you get used to it.

I am better at holding my breath than manual focusing.

That's good because it's going to be a very long time...as in, "never going to happen."

If I have not learned how in 60 years, I probably never will.

60 years of shooting autofocus only?  Impressive, considering it was introduced in the mid-70s! 

Besides, I like AutoFocus. All my Nikkors are AF-S and all my lumix are AF.

It is also why I sent back my SpeedBooster, but

I would like to use some wider and faster lens on my GH4.

AF on wide angle lenses isn't a big help because you're very often at infinity anyway.  AF at very wide aperture settings can be problematic with many m4/3 cameras because of the difficulty of precisely controlling the focus point.  Not sure about the GH4, but with the EM5 manual focus using the EVF magnification and IBIS is pretty easy to do.

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amtberg
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Re: Micro Four Thirds Focal Reducer Shootout
In reply to RRRoger, 3 months ago

RRRoger wrote:

beomagi wrote:

RRRoger wrote:

Brian,

What are the chance of a Nikon to 4/3 version that transfers the electrical contact like MetaBones have done for Canon?

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RRRoger

Don't hold your breath, they haven't done it for Canon yet.

We're STILL waiting for the EF mount-MFT speed booster. The only way you get EF to MFT on focal reducer is to buy other company's adapters.

Your best bet is to practice manual focus techniques. It takes some time, but is very effective when you get used to it.

I am better at holding my breath than manual focusing.

If I have not learned how in 60 years, I probably never will.

Besides, I like AutoFocus. All my Nikkors are AF-S and all my lumix are AF.

It is also why I sent back my SpeedBooster, but

I would like to use some wider and faster lens on my GH4.

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RRRoger

Have you turned on focus peaking?

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Klarno
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Re: Micro Four Thirds Focal Reducer Shootout
In reply to RRRoger, 3 months ago

Brian,

What are the chance of a Nikon to 4/3 version that transfers the electrical contact like MetaBones have done for Canon?

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RRRoger

While admittedly I am not Brian and have no affiliation with him or Metabones, perhaps I can provide an answer:

The trouble with Nikon mount in a smart adapter is that the aperture for Nikon lenses is stopped down, mechanically, by a coupling in the camera itself. As far as I know, the only "smart" mount adapters which have any mechanical features at all are Sony's adapter from Minolta/Sony Alpha to Sony E, and Nikon's adapter from Nikon F to Nikon CX. Both of these adapters are respectively developed by companies that understand each lens mount backwards and forwards.

I think a small third-party company like Metabones doing the necessary complex R&D and coming up with a mechanical smart adapter is a pretty unlikely proposition, particularly given a mount which has problems like Nikon F does (a given aperture coupling position can be a stop or more different between lens models, and this is especially important with G lenses with no aperture ring-- and the only reason that Nikon cameras stop down the lens correctly is because Nikon themselves knows what's going on).

Canon EF smart adapters have been developed for Sony E (and MFT to a much more limited extent), but Canon EF's communication is entirely electronic, which makes the problem easier to deal with at a level that's that only really needs good programming: camera sends one signal to the SoC in the adapter, and it translates that to a signal that can be interpreted in the lens.
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Tom Caldwell
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Re: Micro Four Thirds Focal Reducer Shootout
In reply to RRRoger, 3 months ago

RRRoger wrote:

Brian,

What are the chance of a Nikon to 4/3 version that transfers the electrical contact like MetaBones have done for Canon?

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RRRoger

As far as I know Brian just designs the lenses and does a good job too.  Also I think it is Conorus that designs the electronics and reverse engineering is not a simple process.

I am not related to or affiliated with Brian. Although I have a Metabones Speed Booster I also have Lens Turbos and RJ Focal Reducers, they all perform adequately.

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Tom Caldwell

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Tom Caldwell
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Re: Micro Four Thirds Focal Reducer Shootout
In reply to RRRoger, 3 months ago

RRRoger wrote:

beomagi wrote:

RRRoger wrote:

Brian,

What are the chance of a Nikon to 4/3 version that transfers the electrical contact like MetaBones have done for Canon?

-- hide signature --

RRRoger

Don't hold your breath, they haven't done it for Canon yet.

We're STILL waiting for the EF mount-MFT speed booster. The only way you get EF to MFT on focal reducer is to buy other company's adapters.

Your best bet is to practice manual focus techniques. It takes some time, but is very effective when you get used to it.

I am better at holding my breath than manual focusing.

If I have not learned how in 60 years, I probably never will.

Besides, I like AutoFocus. All my Nikkors are AF-S and all my lumix are AF.

It is also why I sent back my SpeedBooster, but

I would like to use some wider and faster lens on my GH4.

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RRRoger

Roger,

You may have to buy a Nikon body then all will be fine.  Even if you had a working Speed Booster you would soon get sick of the auto focus speed and switch to the faster and more reliably achieved manual focus anyway.

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Tom Caldwell

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RRRoger
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Re: Micro Four Thirds Focal Reducer Shootout
In reply to knickerhawk, 3 months ago

knickerhawk wrote:

If I have not learned how in 60 years, I probably never will.

60 years of shooting autofocus only? Impressive, considering it was introduced in the mid-70s!

Well, maybe I forgot how to focus manually after 1970 ish. At any rate we used to take minutes, not micro seconds to take a still shot.

Sure can't remember what camera I learned on but what I remember most about film was throwing away most of the prints after they came back from the developers.

What I do a lot of now is focus by touch on the screen of my GH4.

However it is the AF-ON button of a Nikon DSLR that is usually dead on and can be very fast..

My observation is that the only thing that might make manual focus faster would be a good Follow Focus Rig and a very sharp and high resolution EVF or Monitor.

Besides, I like AutoFocus. All my Nikkors are AF-S and all my lumix are AF.

It is also why I sent back my SpeedBooster, but

I would like to use some wider and faster lens on my GH4.

AF on wide angle lenses isn't a big help because you're very often at infinity anyway. AF at very wide aperture settings can be problematic with many m4/3 cameras because of the difficulty of precisely controlling the focus point. Not sure about the GH4, but with the EM5 manual focus using the EVF magnification and IBIS is pretty easy to do.

It usually shoot wide angle lens wide open. It is rare that I go over f/8

My understanding is that many adapters do require infinity settings, but doesn't the SpeedBooster require the lens to be wide open to let in the most light?

The AF ad AFF on the GH4 is very fast with Lumix lens but using the touch screen during a video can cause a noticeable "hic up".

Manual Focusing with the SpeedBooster by hand was so bad and akward that I had a messed up film although the parts that were in focus were very bright and sharp in poor light.

What I did when I sent back the SpeedBooster was to replace the 14-140 with a 12-35 for much better results.

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RRRoger

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tjdean01
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Brian Caldwell & Tom Caldwell?
In reply to brian, 3 months ago

Are you, Tom Caldwell, related to Brian Caldwell, designer of the Speed Booster?

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4th Wall
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Re: Micro Four Thirds Focal Reducer Shootout
In reply to brian, 3 months ago

Thank you. Mr. Cadwell for that test!

We're happy owners and heavy users of an Metabones Speedbooster, a great piece of craftsmanship. worth the money, but sorry one question must be allowed...the advertisment on Metabones says, that a Brian Cadwell is the co-inventor of these Speedboosters! So what is the worth of this text, if the inventor of one is doing it!?

Best regards from Germany,

Tom Greiner, Vierte Wand FIlmproduktion

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brian
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Re: Micro Four Thirds Focal Reducer Shootout
In reply to 4th Wall, 3 months ago

4th Wall wrote:

Thank you. Mr. Cadwell for that test!

We're happy owners and heavy users of an Metabones Speedbooster, a great piece of craftsmanship. worth the money, but sorry one question must be allowed...the advertisment on Metabones says, that a Brian Cadwell is the co-inventor of these Speedboosters! So what is the worth of this text, if the inventor of one is doing it!?

Best regards from Germany,

Tom Greiner, Vierte Wand FIlmproduktion

Talk is cheap.  My test is simple to perform, so if you think I'm falsifying the results then do your own test.

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Brian Caldwell

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brian
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Re: Micro Four Thirds Focal Reducer Shootout
In reply to AV Janus, 3 months ago

AV Janus wrote:

Just out of curiosity, when did you buy the RJ Lens Turbo and from where? Directly from RJ?

I ask because I remember reading they did a revision to reduce the central flare issue...

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Rick Halle wrote:
" Keep in mind that tall buildings sway back and forth so they require faster shutter speeds."

Bought from RJ after they claimed an improvement.

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Brian Caldwell

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