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Metabones introduces Nikon F Speed Booster for NEX and Micro Four Thirds

By dpreview staff on Jul 4, 2013 at 10:53 GMT

Metabones has introduced Nikon G-type versions of its Speed Booster lens adapter for Micro Four Thirds and Sony NEX cameras, which include a control ring for aperture setting with lenses that don't have aperture rings of their own. The Speed Booster itself is a lens adapter that that reduces the focal length by a factor of 0.71x, and increases the maximum aperture by 1 stop, effectively allowing lenses to give very similar angle of view and depth of field control on APS-C mirrorless cameras as they do on full frame. The Nikon G-type adapters are available to buy now for $429 from Metabones' website.

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Nikon G - Sony E Speed Booster Nikon G - Sony E Speed Booster
Nikon G - Micro Four Thirds Speed Booster Nikon G - Micro Four Thirds Speed Booster

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Comments

Total comments: 64
millardmt
By millardmt (9 months ago)

I just received this "Nikon G to Micro Four Thirds Speed Booster" last week. I had two major concerns at the time of ordering: 1) image quality, and 2) precision/quality of construction.

I am certainly the type of customer for whom this product was made and marketed. I have a large inventory of MF Nikkors, and I habitually focus (my Olympus E-P3) myself.

Anyway, to those of you who are like-minded I say "Do not worry" - this optic is all metal and finely made. It provides exactly the same "feedback" when mounting or dismounting as will a vintage Nikkor: the fit is perfect. And as much as my eyesight allows - I am 60 and my eyes are getting tired - I have been unable to identify ANY optical artifacts or anomalies attributable to the introduction of this adapter into the light path.

An overall magnification factor of X1.42 means my shortest FF lens (a 20mm f/3.5 UD Nikkor) now effectively becomes a 28mm lens (f2.5) -- and those numbers speak for themselves.

Excellent!

0 upvotes
micahmedia
By micahmedia (9 months ago)

Math. Why are people so bad at it?

This works. You get more light, less dof, and more angle of view with it than without it. End of story.

If you aren't going to shoot another format, don't worry your poor little head about comparing it.

0 upvotes
motohk
By motohk (9 months ago)

Metabones just launched Nikon G to X speed booster too

0 upvotes
nathanleebush
By nathanleebush (9 months ago)

Can someone who's not terrible at math like me give me a rough estimate of what kind of equivalency this would translate to on a Super-16 sensored Blackmagic Pocket Camera (M43 mount)? Would it essentially make the field of view like an APS-C camera?

0 upvotes
micahmedia
By micahmedia (9 months ago)

Total conversion to m43 is 1.4x

...so something longer than that? I've read it's about a 3x. So for a 14mm lens figure 14x3x0.7 = 29.4mm? Sigma 8-16 starts to sound more attractive, eh? If you need to shoot that wide, that is.

0 upvotes
Tord S Eriksson
By Tord S Eriksson (9 months ago)

I'd love speed booster for my F Mount lenses on the V1 - a gain of 2.5 steps would be possible, even more! Lovely, jum, jum!

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (9 months ago)

think some makers will make their genuine adaptors sooner or later but Metabones definitely worth a page in camera history. they pullled the trigger which will eventually kill those "f-number cheaters" (like the 4/3" gang).

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 4 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Franco8
By Franco8 (9 months ago)

all this C&%$P talk about aperture equiv. Bull S^$T who cares at the end of the day its manual focus only on a camera that has no split prism screen who cares. when are they going to release one that has auto focus

1 upvote
Keto
By Keto (9 months ago)

The metabones adapters do have AF.

1 upvote
Rooru S
By Rooru S (9 months ago)

Sony NEX-series has focus peaking, it's more than enough for many people when using MF. And many adapters are AF-compatible but using SLR lenses with CDAF it's going to be soooo slooowww that MF is the way to go.

0 upvotes
denny2020
By denny2020 (9 months ago)

I'm still a bit confused. Doesn't a 50mm 1.8 at F1.8 at ISO 100 give the same shutter speeds on a full frame verses APS-C sensor for the exact same scene? If that's the case how is adding these somehow give you a stop faster with respect to shutter speed? Are they saying the a 50mm 1.8 with their booster will be faster on a APS-C camera compared to the same lens on a full frame alone?

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (9 months ago)

but ISO 100 on different format sensors won't give us the same result, no same quality of image. why should you compare photographs of different qualities? on no level grounds?

f/1.3 still doesn't give us same quality of image as f/1.8 does on 35mm full-frame but it's less worse. (we'll need 1.8 / 1.535 = f/1.17 to render us a same image as f/1.8 on FF).

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
ir Bob
By ir Bob (9 months ago)

Yes, a 50mm f/1.8@f/1.8 will give the same shutterspeed on FF or APC-C or MFT. But what would happen if we put a 2x teleconverter in between. We would have a 100mm f3.6 lens.

Now imagine that we put in the teleconverter in the reverse way. That would yield a 25mm f/0.9. Such a teleconverter is called a 'speed booster'. But it's just the same principle as a teleconverter.

The thing is, that the f-number is dependant on the focal length. Change the focal length of the lens and you change the f-number.

e.g. The 50mm f/1.8 lens has a hole in diaphragm of 27.8mm; change the same lens to 25mm focal length by adding an extra element (and give this element a fancy name e.g. 'speed booster') and the f-number changes to 25/27.8=0.9

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 1 minute after posting
6 upvotes
denny2020
By denny2020 (9 months ago)

Thanks ir Bob for the response. So does a 50 mm f/1.8 with a these boosters yield faster shutter speeds for the exact same scene on a APS-C camera vs a full frame camera? I still not quite wrapping my head around it. If the amount of light gathered onto the sensor is a function of focal length, would a wide angle converter in front of the lens yield this so called boosting effect as well? I heard an explanation that the boosting effect comes from gathering the light from the FF lens that has been cropped off by the APS-C sensor but doesn't the FF camera get all the light anyway from the FF lens? Something just doesn't seem to add up.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
NetMage
By NetMage (9 months ago)

What's important is the density of light, eg light per unit area - so if you condense the f/1.8 light onto an APS-C area, you get denser light, hence a stop gained.

Think of it like spreading icing on the sensor - if you cut a piece of icing out of the the middle of the FF sensor, it is the same thickness - if you respread the FF icing on an APS-C sensor, it is thicker which is the equivalent of a faster lens.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
yabokkie
By yabokkie (9 months ago)

thinking of unit area is probably the main reason people get it wrong. a unit area of 1cm2 is 1/8.64 = 11.6% on a 35mm full-frame sensor, while it's 1/3.66 = 27.3% on NEX.

what do you want to know by comparing 11.6% of one sensor to 27.3% of another?

if the image quality on, say 11.6% of RX1 is the same as 27.3% of NEX6, we get 0.116 RX1 = 0.273 NEX6, or
NEX6 = 0.425 RX1

Comment edited 4 times, last edit 9 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
SFLshooter
By SFLshooter (9 months ago)

Remember when we were young kids running around with magnifying glass and concentrate the sun light into a bright spot of light to burn a piece of paper or light a fire cracker? That's the principle of how speed booster work. gathering light from a FF lens onto a smaller area of a APS-c or M43 sensor.

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (9 months ago)

imaging is a little bit different but yes, there is a key thing in common: the amount of light won't change no matter we concentrate or spread it.

0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (9 months ago)

m43 version does not have electronic contacts to communicate at least focal length for Oly IBIS to work properly, does it? Electronic aperture? AF?

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (9 months ago)

There is no electronic connection, so you'll have to manually specify the focal length and manually focus. Aperture is controlled by a ring on the adapter.

0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (9 months ago)

Thanks, Richard. Quite a chore to manually enter FLs, especially when using zooms. :)

0 upvotes
Shamael
By Shamael (9 months ago)

There is no electronic part at all in it, there is only a little machine shop work and a piece of glass, and for that they want 429$. They are kidding. It might serve or not, I have bought similar adapters with magnifying lens to adapt Minolta A mount lenses on Nikon, same system with an aditional lens, for just 84$. There is no aperture control on it, so, this one would fit me, but not at a price for which I can buy a complete camera with a lens, like a NEX3N, for example. Metabones wants a lot of money for "nothing" in some way.

Comment edited 38 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Mike99999
By Mike99999 (9 months ago)

If you're shooting video on a GH2/GH3/type of camera, this is great news.

For photo, this is a pointless gadget though. $450 will buy you a D3100 which is not much bigger than an OM-D, will get you images as good as any M43 camera + autofocus.

2 upvotes
inrissk
By inrissk (9 months ago)

Doh!
Maybe D3200 is clearly superior but even then it's not weather-sealed for that 5% of the time! ;-)

0 upvotes
Shamael
By Shamael (9 months ago)

429$, pfffffhhhhh. :-(

2 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (9 months ago)

they are the only one who provides the solution now.
they should want to sell as high as possible,
before others provide same, better, or genuine products.

0 upvotes
nikanth
By nikanth (9 months ago)

Is the effect of speed booster same as brenizer method.

BTW I want speed booster for FX lenses on DX :)

2 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (9 months ago)

it's very difficult, high cost low performance, if possible. Nikon may make a DX-CX adapter sometime but I have no interest in CX, not a well thought mount (even worse than m4/3").

0 upvotes
hto2008
By hto2008 (9 months ago)

It's a bit confusing to me.
So what I will get if I put this adapter between my Olympus E-PM2 and for example Nikon 50mm f1.8 G.
Can anyone kindly do a math here...? Thanks...:)

I have a cheap normal Nikon G mount adapter for Micro 4/3, I understand, with that, Nikon 50mm f1.8 becomes 100mm f1.8

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
hto2008
By hto2008 (9 months ago)

OK, I will do the math, please kindly just tell me if it is correct.

it becomes 71mm f1.3

right?

1 upvote
yabokkie
By yabokkie (9 months ago)

since the factor is 0.71, we get
50 * 0.71 mm f/1.8 * 0.17 = 35mm f/1.3

the cropping factor of NEX is about 1.535 (or 1/0.65)
calculation: sqrt(24 * 36 / 23.5 / 15.6) = 1.535
a 35mm f/1.3 will in turn work as a 55mm f/2 lens.

this is about 0.25 stops less efficient than 100%.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (9 months ago)

> 50mm f1.8 becomes 100mm f1.8

this is physically impossible.
a 50/1.8 has an aperture size of 50 / 1.8 = 28mm,
a 100/1.8 has an aperture size of 100 / 1.8 = 56mm,
there is no where we can find that 56mm aperture.

a 50/1.8 can only work as a 100/3.5 on 4/3",
the aperture of which is 28mm, that we can find in the lens.

0 upvotes
DigitalJay
By DigitalJay (9 months ago)

Only the angle of view changes, so a 50mm lens offers the same view (in 35mm equivalent terms) as a 100mm lens would. The aperture remains the same so /in effect/ it functions as a 100mm/f 1.8 lens would on a M4/3 body.

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (9 months ago)

> Only the angle of view changes

for a certain aperture size, half the angle of view means half * half the light coming through that aperture.

it's still f/1.8, but can do exactly the work of an f/3.5 on 35mm full-frame. we cannot directly compare f-numbers across different formats.

0 upvotes
dimsgr
By dimsgr (9 months ago)

>for a certain aperture size, half the angle of view means half * >half the light coming through that aperture

I am afraid not, the only thing that differs when you are mounting a lens in a differently sized sensor is the sensor it self. That means, that while the lens is still 50mm/f 1.8, you are using a smaller portion of the picture the lens can effectively display and the focal lenght is "becoming" 100mm. As the f number is a ratio, in your example, while there is less light reaching the smaller sensor, the ratio is the same as in more light/larger sensor (area); it is the same image each time, after all. That means no DOF changes as well, if the different sensors have the same pixel size and assuming even dof across the image plane

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (9 months ago)

> the sensor it self.

4/3" sensor utilises 1/4 of light gathered by a FF lens.
this is exactly the same as narrower angle of view (or subject area) seen from the other side of the lens (half * half = 1/4).

> the ratio is the same as in more light/larger sensor (area);

well, at the same f-number we get same light within, say 1cm2 regardless of sensor format. but 1cm2 is about 44.5% of 4/3" (A), or 11.6% of full-frame (B). then we get
44.5% A = 11.6% B,
A = 0.26 B. same result again.

Comment edited 5 times, last edit 13 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
dimsgr
By dimsgr (9 months ago)

I was not clear in my quote, you are right that a full frame sensor is about 4 times bigger than a 4/3", I should have quoted that

>it's still f/1.8, but can do exactly the work of an f/3.5 on >35mm full-frame. we cannot directly compare f-numbers >across different formats.

When you have, say 1 lumen/cm2, this is where the f numnber refers, not in the total area. I guess the problem comes from the use of focal length/aperture to determinate the f number. What happens is that we are using a useful portion of the projected image from the lens to extract the f number; a smaller sensor than the maximum possible (recommended), would not change in any way the luminosity of the image but rather the FOV ; it is true that you are waisting light in that case, but of course there may be gains in lens curvature, corner sharpness etc. by using a lens designed for a sensor larger than the one you are going to put it in

0 upvotes
dimsgr
By dimsgr (9 months ago)

ok, I realized that I am wrong considering the f number as a metric of luminosity. By definition, f number is "focal length/aperture", so in order to use it to have an idea of how bright a lens is, we have to pair it to a specific focal length and divide those two numbers. For example, a lens 50/1.8 is as bright as one of 75/2.7. All the same, a lens of 50/1.8 is less bright than one of 100/1.8. Maybe we have to change the way we interpret the numbers or am I missing something?

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (9 months ago)

angle of view and aperture area are the decisive factors.

f-number is still a very handy tool to compare lenses of different focal lengths on a certain format. f-number only describes unit area, not the frame. many people relate f-number to photographic effects and it works well on a certern format where frame-area / unit-area = fixed number. but don't fool yourself to think they are equal things.

we have to study the frame to know what photo we get and compare them over different formats. unit area simply doesn't work (it will work converted into frame, using a factor like the above A = 0.26 B).

Comment edited 5 times, last edit 13 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Combatmedic870
By Combatmedic870 (9 months ago)

Would be ALOT more interesting with AF.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
5 upvotes
millardmt
By millardmt (9 months ago)

Would anyone care to speculate whether Metabones is likely to offer a similar "speed booster" without the facility for aperture adjustment? I own 15 vintage Nikkors and I neither need nor want an adapter that accommodates Nikon's "G"-type lenses.

Thanks very much.

(This technology is the only thing to interest me in several years of sporadic browsing at this site!)

2 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (9 months ago)

AI lenses should work with the adapter.
for older non-AI-modified lenses (most are modified already)
http://www.zi.ku.dk/personal/lhhansen/photo/repair/aimod/aimod.htm

0 upvotes
millardmt
By millardmt (9 months ago)

Nikon's "[A]perture [I]ndexing" innovation of 1977 was simply a change in the mechanism by which a lens's maximum aperture could be communicated to a camera body. Whether or not an F-mount lens's complies with this standard therefore has absolutely nothing to do my question, nor is it relevant in any way to the Metabones' potential function since - by design - these new adapters do not communicate in any way with the camera.

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (9 months ago)

then if you can mount your lens on a Nikon camera, for what reason would you worry it may not be able to be mounted on the adaptor?

we have many complexed features in Nikon DSLRs that won't work with old lenses but this adaptor got only one.

Comment edited 11 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Falcon31
By Falcon31 (9 months ago)

Nice tech, but what problem does it solve?

The whole point of a small sensor system is that it is small. Now with the speedbooster we can use our old BIG HEAVY lenses again. Now that is what I really want.

0 upvotes
TrojMacReady
By TrojMacReady (9 months ago)

A) There are movie cameras with a NEX mount (which aren't necessarily small)
B) There are NEX owners with a large set of Nikon glass, basically turning their NEX into an (emergency?) backup body
C) Not all Nikon glass is large

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
11 upvotes
MAubrey
By MAubrey (9 months ago)

Define heavy.

Some of us have already been using our 'big heavy lenses.' While the idea of putting a 300mm f/2.8 on this adapter is intriguing, I would expect that most people are more interested in mounting their 50mm f/1.2...which isn't big and isn't heavy.

2 upvotes
Falcon31
By Falcon31 (9 months ago)

For some it will be appealing, not for me.
I do have a nice set of FF Nikon glass: 16-35, 24-70, 50, 70-200, but for me these will not be used with my Olympus OM-D E-M5 for which I bought 7 small pieces of m43 glass. (OK this is a bit too much, but I got carried away with the Oly which I really like.) The difference is a big backpack vs a small carry anywhere bag.

The E-M5 is also more expensive than a Nikon backup body like a D3200 or second hand D700. So from a financial point staying within the system makes more sense.

1 upvote
yabokkie
By yabokkie (9 months ago)

> what problem does it solve?

currently we lose light mounting a larger frame lens to a smaller frame body. Speed Booster products dress the problem and try to get (at least part of) that light back.

if we can reclaim all of the light perfectly, we also get following side effects (actually they are all hard wired):
same angle of view,
same DoF & bokeh at a certain setting,
same diffraction, and of course
same quality of image at certain quantum efficiency.

or simply put there is no difference in the output image from two different format sensors. you cannot tell which is from which.

we can use smaller lenses when compactness is prefered over image quality, on whatever camera body.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 9 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (9 months ago)

It solves serval problems for videographers like GH2/GH3 or BMCC users where there are not many choices in large aperture, wide angle lenses. F and EF mount offer the largest selection of lenses in the world which is why Metabones has released this product.

Go visit a website like NoFilmSchool or Vimeo to get an idea of the level of excitement this product has generated.

A Nikon 50 1.4 or 28 1.8G are BIG HEAVY lenses? On what planet?

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
3 upvotes
mikiev
By mikiev (9 months ago)

"The whole point of a small sensor system is that it is small."

But NEX isn't a "small sensor system".

It is a mirrorless camera with an APS-C sensor = same size sensor as most Canon & Nikon dSLRs.

Speed Booster just gets rid of the 1.5 crop-factor i.e. 14mm lens will give same view as 14mm on a FF dSLR, instead of 1.5 x 14mm = 21mm.

Only desired for wide-angle and UWA lenses, unless you like losing the crop-factor magnification on your telephoto lenses. :)

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (9 months ago)

Speed Booster tells a simple story that
sensor format is not the decisive factor, lens aperture is.

with Speed Booster we can get same high quality image
from a variety of sensor formats,
as long as the f-number > 0.5.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
T3
By T3 (9 months ago)

It creates added flexibility with your gear, particularly for those of us who own Canon DSLR gear and m4/3 gear. What's wrong with having more flexibility, and having cross-compatibility to use our gear in any way we choose? Besides, when I use any of my Canon DSLR lenses on my Oly 4/3 body (using an adapter), it still ends up being smaller than the same lens on my Canon DSLR body.

1 upvote
ProfHankD
By ProfHankD (9 months ago)

Again, complements to the designers... and I'm sure the aperture control is a tight fit. I will admit to being slightly disappointed, however, that they couldn't implement electronic coupling. Actually, I really want to see an electronic SB adapting Sony A-mount.... However, I'll probably see a FF NEX first.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
AshMills
By AshMills (9 months ago)

Ordered! :-)

2 upvotes
Toanisanidiot
By Toanisanidiot (9 months ago)

Why no Fuji X Mount?? =[

2 upvotes
burnley_ben
By burnley_ben (9 months ago)

Because this will be mainly aimed at videographers using the NEX-FS series of pro camcorders and M43 pro camcorders.

Comment edited 47 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Rene Delbar
By Rene Delbar (9 months ago)

Something tells me that we won't have to wait too much longer for an X-mount version. Happened before like this.

0 upvotes
david7703
By david7703 (9 months ago)

From the Metabones website FAQ:
"Speed Boosters for ALPA, Contax/Yashica, Contarex and Leica-R lenses on Fuji X-Pro1 and X-E1 are available right now. Nikon F mount with manual aperture for G lenses and Rollei QBM are in the works."

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (9 months ago)

because it's more efficient to go larger market sections than smaller ones.

0 upvotes
Toanisanidiot
By Toanisanidiot (9 months ago)

Yeah, I know... I guess they wanted to allocate initial production runs to the larger markets of videographers... Just wish I wasn't at the bottom of that food chain haha =[

0 upvotes
denny2020
By denny2020 (9 months ago)

I'm still a bit confused. Doesn't a 50mm 1.8 at F1.8 at ISO 100 give the same shutter speeds on a full frame verses APS-C sensor for the exact same scene? If that's the case how is adding these somehow give you a stop faster with respect to shutter speed? Are they saying the a 50mm 1.8 with their booster will be faster on a APS-C camera compared to the same lens on a full frame alone?

0 upvotes
NetMage
By NetMage (9 months ago)

Yes, because it condenses the FF light onto the APS-C area. See earlier reply for more analogies.

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (9 months ago)

why should anyone care shutter speed at certain ISO?
isn't image quality that we really care?

Comment edited 40 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Total comments: 64