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

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

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.

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!


Sony Alpha NEX-6
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