Metabones announces 'Speed Booster' lens adapter for mirrorless cameras
Specialist accessory manufacturer Metabones and optics company Caldwell Photographics have jointly announced the 'Speed Booster', a lens adapter for for mounting SLR lenses on APS-C and Micro Four Thirds mirrorless cameras that reduces the focal length by a factor of 0.71x and increases the maximum aperture by 1 stop. The Speed Booster also promises sharper images compared to using the lens with a simple adapter. The first version will allow use of Canon EF lenses on Sony NEX bodies, and will be available this month from Metabones' web site for US$599. Support for additional lens mounts (including Nikon F) and camera systems (including Fujifilm X and Micro Four Thirds) is also planned.
In a technical white paper on the Metabones web site, designers Brian Caldwell and Wilfried Bittner set out the principles behind the Speed Booster and its practical advantages in some detail. In essence it's the opposite of a teleconverter - rather than increasing the focal length and reducing the aperture, it decreases the focal length and increases the aperture. This also promises sharper images compared to using the same lens with a simple, non-optical adapter, as the visibility of aberrations is reduced.
The wideangle converter is made possible by the short flange (i.e. lens mount to sensor) distance of mirrorless cameras, which allows the addition of focal length reducing optics to the space within the adapter between the lens and camera body (in an SLR, the mirror is in the way). It has the effect of shrinking the lens's image circle, which means that it only works with optics designed for larger formats. All full frame lenses should work on APS-C cameras, but lenses designed for APS-C SLRs will likely vignette, although they should work on Micro Four Thirds bodies.
The Speed Booster uses a 4 element/ 4 group optical system, and works with lenses as fast as F1.2. The additional optics mean that it's actually shorter than a conventional adapter, resulting in a more compact overall system. On APS-C mirrorless cameras it offers an effective crop factor of 1.1x, meaning a lens will behave very similarly to how it does on full frame; on Micro Four Thirds the effective crop factor is 1.4x.
The adapter's precise functionality will depend on the lens and body used. The version to use Canon EF lenses on Sony NEX bodies will support electronic aperture setting and image stabilisation, along with (slow) autofocus when used with newer Canon lenses. However the Nikon F mount adapter offers only mechanical aperture setting with G-type lenses; there's no promise of either AF or VR at the moment.
Metabones and Caldwell Photographic introduce Speed Booster
Petersburg, VA, USA, January 14, 2013 - Metabones® and Caldwell Photographic jointly announce a revolutionary accessory called Speed Booster™, which mounts between a mirrorless camera and a SLR lens. It increases maximum aperture by 1 stop (hence its name), increases MTF and has a focal length multiplier of 0.71x. For example, the Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II lens becomes a 59mm f/0.9 lens on a Sony NEX camera, with increased sharpness. The faster F-stop allows for shallow depth-of-field and a lower ISO setting for decreased noise.
Speed Booster is also particularly pertinent to ultra-wide-angle SLR lenses. The combined focal length multiplier of Speed Booster and an APS-C mirrorless camera is approximately 1.09x, making the combination almost "full-frame". Full-frame ultra-wide-angle SLR lenses largely retain their angle-of-view on an APS-C mirrorless camera when Speed Booster is used.
The optics of Speed Booster is designed by Brian Caldwell, PhD, a veteran of highly-corrected lens designs such as the Coastal Optics 60mm f/4 UV-VIS-IR APO Macro lens with exemplary MTF performance (focusing done with visible light requires no correction whatsoever for the full spectrum from UV to IR).
Speed Booster serves double-duty as a lens mount adapter, from Canon EF lens (but not EF-S) to Sony NEX, with auto-aperture, image stablization, EXIF and (slow) autofocus support for late-model (post-2006) Canon-brand lenses. It will be available in January 2013 from Metabones' web site and its worldwide dealer network for US$599 plus shipping and applicable taxes and duties.
Other mount combinations will follow shortly afterwards. Leica R, ALPA, Contarex, Contax C/Y and Nikon F (with aperture control for G lenses) will be supported, as will Micro 4/3 and Fuji X-mount cameras. Support for other mounts will be added in the future.
To learn more details about this revolutionary technology, read the Speed Booster White Paper on Metabones' web site.
|Maximum input aperture||f/1.26|
|Maximum output aperture||f/0.90|
|Objective lens mounts|| Canon-EF, Nikon-F
(Leica-R, Contax C/Y, Contarex, Alpa planned)
|Capabilities, Canon-EF version||Electronic iris control, AF and IS|
|Capabilities, Nikon-F version||Manual iris control of G-type lenses|
|Camera mounts||Sony NEX, Micro Four Thirds (Fujifilm X planned)|
|Length reduction (Sony NEX version)||4.16mm|
|Length reduction (Micro Four Thirds)||6.17mm|
| Dimensions Sony NEX version
(diameter x length)
|69mm x 27mm (with tripod mount removed)|
|Weight Sony NEX version||194 grams|
|Tripod mount||Removable type with Arca Swiss compatibility|
Photographer and filmmaker Mark Holtze shares his top five reasons why vintage lenses are still relevant in 2020.
What if astrophotography was as simple as using an app? The Stellina smart telescope promises to make this a reality, allowing anyone to channel their own inner Galileo while capturing images of the night sky.
The Fujifilm XC 35mm F2 prime lens has the same optical formula as the company's XF 35mm F2 WR prime but costs half as much. How can this be? Chris and Jordan explain the differences.
In the latest episode of DPReview TV, Chris and Jordan compared the new, inexpensive Fujifilm XC 35mm F2 with the more durable XF version that's twice the price. See some of the photos they took side-by-side in this sample gallery.
The 2019 winners and finalists of the Travel Photographer of the Year Awards have been revealed.
PBS recently gave viewers a look at MIT Museum's new The Polaroid Project instant photography exhibition.
Researchers with IBM and MIT have published a new demonstration tool that allows anyone to 'paint' new elements into existing digital images.
Venus Optics says the lens is the first Laowa macro lens specifically designed for APS-C mirrorless camera systems.
The updates mostly address only a single issue for each lens, but it continues to show Sigma's continued dedication to addressing various issues, even small ones, across its lens lineup.
Spider Holster has launched four new products, including two updated versions of existing gear, that make life easier for photographers.
While nearly all of Tokina's F-mount lenses will work without issue on Nikon Z-series mirrorless cameras, there are a select few that can't use autofocus.
The X-T200 is arguably the company's most compelling entry-level option yet. Take a closer look in our detailed hands-on article.
Last year, DJI announced they will be adding ADS-B sensors to their commercial-grade drones weighing over 250 grams. Now, it is rumored that 3 new drone models will be released this year.
The Fujifilm X-T200 is what we wish the X-T100 had been, offering a solid AF system, proper 4K video and a more responsive interface. Click through to see what else is new and improved.
Fujifilm just announced its newest camera, the X-T200. In this hands-on preview, Chris and Jordan explain how it fits into Fujifilm's lineup and why they like it.
Fujifilm will add the weather-sealed GF 45-100mm F4 to its medium format lens lineup in February. The approximately 35-80mm equivalent zoom will cost around $2300.
Two new primes are hitting the roadmap for Fujifilm's GF system: the 24mm equiv. 30mm F3.5 R WR and an ultra-fast 80mm F1.7.
The 'XC' variant uses the same optical design as the existing XF 35mm F2, but has no aperture ring and a plastic mount to lower the cost.
Fujifilm has refreshed its entry-level series with the X-T200, adding a giant touchscreen, proper 4K/30p video recording and shaving off 80g of weight compared to its X-T100 predecessor.
The telephoto zoom features a constant F4 aperture across its 70-210mm focal length range, uses Pentax's supersonic direct-drive motor (SDM), and weighs 859g (1.89lbs).
DynaLite, the photographic lighting company founded in the 1970s, has been forced to file for bankruptcy and permanently shutter its service.
Flickr increased its Pro plan subscription price this week, but existing customers are given the option of staying at their current lower rate.
Advertising photographer Blair Bunting recounts one of his most memorable shoots—the time he photographed late New England Patriots football star Aaron Hernandez, no more than 24 hours after committing murder.
Lace up your dancing shoes for a trip to Seattle's Emerald City Soul Club, where we put the Panasonic S1H's impressive video capabilities to the test.
The public institution Paris Musées has launched a new online portal that provides the public with direct access to tens of thousands of high-resolution public domain images showcasing some of France's historic photography.
The ten-minute video shows how much thought and effort went into every second of the World War I film that's made to look as though it was shot in one, continuous take.
Edelkrone's new app-controlled JibONE is the 'one motion control that does it all,' the company claims.
The 512GB Thunderbolt 3 NVMe drive is effectively unchanged from its previously-announced 1TB and 2TB counterparts, complete with its sequential read speeds up to 2,400MB/s and write speeds up to 1,800MB/s.
Since the launch of the EOS R line in 2018, Canon has mostly concentrated its attentions on high-end RF lenses. The RF 85mm F1.2L IS USM is among the very best.
Following a number of reports in the DPReview forums and on Fuji X Forums, Fujifilm has confirmed that a 'very small percentage' of X-Pro 3 units are experiencing an issue with the EVF display being too bright.