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|
|Demolition by Dutch Newchurch|
from Your City - Demolition
|Beautiful Kyoto's girl in Kimono by Fuji san|
from Miss Japan
|All pink by Minas_Eye|
|Jaguar Hood Ornament by edandgini|
from J is for ...
The so-called 'Prosthetic Photographer' uses AI to continuously scan the environment for 'ideal' scenes. When it sees one, it uses electrodes to zap the photographer, forcing them to press the button and take the shot. It's an... interesting idea.
A helicopter pilot and his student claim a civilian drone was the cause of their crash landing last week. If their story is confirmed by an ongoing investigators, this incident would mark the first time that a drone has caused an aircraft crash in the US.
Lensrentals' Roger Cicala just tore down the Sony a7R III to see just how much Sony did (and didn't) improve the camera's weather sealing over its predecessor. The results are a "good news, bad news" deal.
Popular Science takes a look at the glass and tech that Canon packs into its 59-pound, $200,000+ broadcast lenses that are currently being used at the Olympics.
Samsung just set a new solid state storage milestone with its new 30TB SSD, the Serial Attached SCSI PM1643. This monster was built for enterprise use, but we can't wait to see this tech trickle down to consumers.
The third Excellence in Performance (XP) lens from Samyang, the XP 50mm F1.2 for Canon full-frame cameras is meant to resolve over 50MP for photography and easily capture 8K resolution for video.
On this week's episode of The New Screen Savers from the TWiT Network, DPReview Science Editor Rishi Sanyal talks with host Leo Laporte and co-host Megan Morrone about some of the newest tech trends in smartphone cameras.
A blockchain crypto-art rose based on a digital photograph by Kevin Abosch was just sold for the equivalent of $1,000,000 USD in cryptocurrency to 10 equal investors. If that last sentence made absolutely no sense to you, read on.
Tamron is teasing another lens announcement, but this time leaked images reveal what it is. On February 22nd, expect Tamron to unveil the 70-210mm F4 Di VC USD.
Swiss Olympic skier Lara Gut wiped out on a run last week, and slid straight into a group of photographers shooting the action from the sidelines. Getty photographer Sean Haffey kept on shooting as Gut slid towards (and eventually hit) him.
Leaked product images show Samyang/Rokinon is preparing to add another super-fast lens to its 'Excellence in Performance' series of lenses: the Samyang XP 50mm F1.2 EF.
There was a time when Fujifilm mirrorless camera users may have felt the need to go to another system to shoot video. Thanks to a new camera and a couple of lenses, they suddenly have some sweet options.
The Rotolight Neo 2 is an LED light panel with the capability to fire its LEDs fast enough and bright enough to act as a strobe. Is it enough to make stills photographers re-think their old-fashioned speed lights? Read on and find out.
Photographer Florian Nick spent six weeks in the Canadian wilderness capturing this Vimeo Staff Pick timelapse. Find out why and how he did it in this detailed behind the scenes guest post.
We've spent some time getting acquainted with Panasonic's freshest mirrorless camera, the GX9, putting its tilting EVF to good use. Check out our initial samples.
Sony has made something of a break-through in sensor development with a new backside-illuminated CMOS sensor that is capable of global shutter, a huge improvement over current CMOS global shutter technology.
As a result of its licensing deal with Getty, Google Images will no longer link directly to an image file from the search results. Instead, users will have to actually visit the site that hosts it.
Microsoft has released a new "Ultimate Performance" mode for Windows 10 Pro for Workstations—a mode that throws all power management out the window (so to speak) in favor of the best possible performance it can pull from your hardware.
If it's upheld, the new New York federal court ruling—which will very likely be appealed—would mean millions of people and publications are violating copyright every single day.
Similar to Apple's AirDrop functionality, Microsoft's new Photos Companion app lets you send photos and videos from an Android or iOS smartphone to a PC via a WiFi network.
The Fujifilm X-H1 is that company's latest flagship, with specs that appeal to stills photographers and serious videographers alike. Here's a detailed look at everything that's new and improved.
The Panasonic Lumix DC-ZS200 is a powerful, pocketable travel zoom compact camera, with an impressively long lens. We've had our hands on one.
Samsung just released a few short advertisement videos for the Samsung Galaxy S9 on its Korean Youtube channel, two of which hint at the upcoming smartphone's new and improved camera features.
After years of planning and dreaming, wet plate photographer Markus Hofstaetter finally accomplished one of his crazier goals: shooting wet plate collodion photography... handheld.
Thomas Escher, Panono's new CEO, wants to steer the company strategy towards customized software development for the real-estate and construction sectors.
"Jurist Thomas Borberg said in a WPP-produced video that 'You have to be able to feel a World Press Photo in your stomach. If not, it’s not a World Press Photo.' Given this position, it’s not surprising that violent images are the ones that provoke stomach churning reactions."
Croatian brand Noa will launch its N7 smartphone at MWC. The phone will feature a 16MP dual-camera setup, and a high-resolution mode that captures 80MP images.
Michigan portrait and wedding photographer Brady Kenniston explains how he captured photos of an incredible, once-in-a-lifetime event: the SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket launch on February 6th.
Lensbaby has announced the Burnside 35, which it calls an adaptation of the Petzval lens design with the added benefit of an effect slider to adjust the strength of vignetting and bokeh.