Micro Four Thirds Focal Reducer Shootout

Started Feb 20, 2014 | Discussions thread
MOD Tom Caldwell Forum Pro • Posts: 33,952
Re: Given your clear vested interest in the results......

dougjgreen1 wrote:

amtberg wrote:Financial interest is certainly a theoretical possibility, assuming that Dr. Caldwell gets a cut of each unit sold as opposed to having been hired strictly as a design consultant. Of course another equally plausible possibility is that he's simply proud of the good work that he did and perhaps a little chapped at all of the copycat companies who took his basic idea but executed it poorly due to their relative lack of expertise.

There's no evidence that two of the competing products were poorly executed. They may simply be slightly less good because they are built to steeper cost constraints. What probably IS true is that they are knock-offs, in the sense that they did not do the basic design research, but rather, copied the existing Metabones product and manufactured it more cheaply.

I think that you made an admission there that is not true. The general assumption is that the Chinese versions are copies. I doubt if that is true. The Metabones element design and order is publicised quite clearly in their White Paper and probably in other places - it is patented. The Zhongyi lens design can be seen on their boxes and their web exposure - it is also clearly quite different and they claim to have applied for their own patent - I have no idea what the RJ lens design might be. Whether it is Zhongyi or their own - I suspect that it might be different again. If there was direct copying there would be law suits all round.

The concept of focal reducing has been well known for a very long time and used in telescopes for astronomy. It is far from a new technology.

Brian C and Metabones deserve kudos for introducing the concept to digital cameras and therefore it might be said that their concept has been copied. But it is a harder ask to suggest that their product has been flagrantly copied precisely nut for nut and bolt for bolt.  In fact if there are differences it performance it must because of different design and not cloning.  If the adapters had been cloned then perhaps the differences would be very small indeed.

The Zhongyi and RJ adapters have a quite different construction technique from each other as well - hardly even cloning the clone.

I hate that easy-out throw-away word: "knock off"- there may be other reason for difference but only the idea to produce for digital cameras is similar.  It is as much to say that only one car tyre is "true" and every other tyre made for use in the automotive car industry is a "knock off" - tell that to the tyre companies.

And BTW, it is normally the case that a someone in the OP's position might be partly compensated with an equity stake in Metabones, given the fact that it's a start-up, and it is significantly leveraged on the quality of the design work that goes into their products - this is true whether he is a contractor or a direct principle employee of Metabones.

I think that Brian has stated his interest quite clearly and I for one am willing to listen to what he says.

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Tom Caldwell

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