Kipon Baveyes first impressions

Started May 30, 2014 | Discussions
ProstheticEmpathy Regular Member • Posts: 359
Kipon Baveyes first impressions

I was curious about a focal reducer adapter that would let me use my F mount glass on the X-E1 but couldn't really justify the price of the Metabones speed booster. I could have picked up the cheaper and fairly well regarded Lens Turbo, but instead decided to try out the Kipon Baveyes and see what it was like.

The adapter itself is heavy and solid metal with a matte black finish all over, including the mounting rings. The fit is very good with no give or looseness at all at either the camera body or lens. However, I am concerned that the black finish will start to wear off if lenses are changed often.

So far I have only tried the adapter with a Voigtlander 58mm 1.4 SLII (which looks very handsome on the X-E1) and optical performance has generally been in line with what I expect of that lens. Wide open it is soft with some veiling haze and the corners remain soft through most of the aperture range, while the centre rapidly becomes quite sharp. This is the same performance I observe when fitted natively to my D610. Manual focus works quite well with the X-E1's peaking mode, but can still be a challenge to nail at wide apertures or in difficult lighting. One positive note is that I have not observed the 'blue spot' issue at any aperture even while shooting in bright light, although wide open the haze can sometimes take on a slight blue tone that is fairly easy to correct. Corner sharpness is not especially good, but the same is true of the lens natively on a FF sensor so it is hard to tell how much the adapter worsens things.

 ProstheticEmpathy's gear list:ProstheticEmpathy's gear list
Nikon Coolpix A Nikon D3100 Nikon 1 V1 Nikon 1 V2 Nikon 1 J3 +23 more
Fujifilm X-E1 Nikon D610
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Rod McD Veteran Member • Posts: 6,696
Re: Kipon Baveyes first impressions

Hi,

I'm pleasantly surprised.  I haven't been a convert to focal reducers because some of the posted shots have been quite soft, but these look very usable.

If you check out your shot with the motorcyclists, the center seems to be quite sharp and I'm pretty sure that the softness in the outer areas are simply down to DOF.  There are some small colored edges (CAs) here and there, but none too strong.   I don't actually know if that's down to the original lens or reducer.

I like the Kipon brand.  I've bought three of their plain adapters and they've all been a good fit at both ends.  I've also bought their Nikon F to Fuji X mount TS adapter and am very pleased with it - I might write a review in the future.

Regards, Rod

 Rod McD's gear list:Rod McD's gear list
Canon PowerShot G1 X Olympus Tough TG-4 Fujifilm X-T1 Voigtlander 90mm F3.5 APO-Lanthar SL II Fujifilm XF 35mm F1.4 R +10 more
OP ProstheticEmpathy Regular Member • Posts: 359
Re: Kipon Baveyes first impressions

A summary of some further thoughts, having used the adaptor for a while longer:

+ Centre performance can match same lens on D610

+ Good performance across most of the frame

+ Still no evidence of blue spot or blue cast

+ No apparent increase in flare or ghosting

+ Excellent fit and build quality

+ Hard stop at infinity is still accurate

- Edge and corner performance noticably worse than same lens on D610

- Slight decrease in contrast wide open compared to same lens on D610

- Corner performance especially bad with 14mm full frame lens

 ProstheticEmpathy's gear list:ProstheticEmpathy's gear list
Nikon Coolpix A Nikon D3100 Nikon 1 V1 Nikon 1 V2 Nikon 1 J3 +23 more
specLegacy New Member • Posts: 10
Re: Kipon Baveyes first impressions

Thanks for posting your thoughts on the Baveyes. Not a lot of info on them yet, but it does seem to perform quite well. I think I'll be putting my order in really soon

 specLegacy's gear list:specLegacy's gear list
Fujifilm X-E2 Fujifilm XF 18mm F2 R Fujifilm XF 35mm F1.4 R Fujifilm XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS
OP ProstheticEmpathy Regular Member • Posts: 359
Re: Kipon Baveyes first impressions

Thanks. I've been quite happy with it overall. I can't really comment on how close to the Metabones it is or how much better, if at all, it is than the Lens Turbo, but as a device viewed on its own merits it does everything I wanted it to do without any unpleasant surprises.

More recently I tried it out with an old Nikon Ai-S 105mm f/2.5 and actually found it performed even better than with the 58mm Voigtlander, including right into the corners. It might be to do with the angle of the rays striking the sensor after the imaging circle has been reduced, but my experience so far seems to suggest that any performance loss in the edges and corners from using it decreases in proportion to focal length (the 14mm Samyang I tried on it was very poor in the edges unfortunately).

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/53893396

 ProstheticEmpathy's gear list:ProstheticEmpathy's gear list
Nikon Coolpix A Nikon D3100 Nikon 1 V1 Nikon 1 V2 Nikon 1 J3 +23 more
specLegacy New Member • Posts: 10
Re: Kipon Baveyes first impressions

I did see your other thread on the Nikon 105mm as well. I did quite a bit of research before plunking my money down on the BavEyes (ordered it yesterday, and now waiting anxiously). In the end, I ruled out the Metabones because I wanted an EF mount and ruled out the Lens Turbo and RJ reducers because they didn't have as much of a reduction ratio. Can't wait to get my Contax and OM lenses on it!

 specLegacy's gear list:specLegacy's gear list
Fujifilm X-E2 Fujifilm XF 18mm F2 R Fujifilm XF 35mm F1.4 R Fujifilm XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS
OP ProstheticEmpathy Regular Member • Posts: 359
Re: Kipon Baveyes first impressions

I recently used the Baveyes in combination with the Voigtlander 58mm 1.4 to take some pictures during a visit to the British Museum. This was quite a test for it as the lighting conditions were often extremely challenging. Many of these shots were taken with the lens wide open at an effective aperture of f/1.0.

Manual focus was very difficult and the X-E1's focus peaking was generally ineffective. However, when accurate focus was achieved the combination performed quite well despite the depth of field often being too shallow for the subject. On one occasion, some strange flaring occurred despite using a lens hood and there being no obvious strong light source to cause it, though this is the first and only time I have witnessed this happen while using the Baveyes.

Missed focus and odd flaring

 ProstheticEmpathy's gear list:ProstheticEmpathy's gear list
Nikon Coolpix A Nikon D3100 Nikon 1 V1 Nikon 1 V2 Nikon 1 J3 +23 more
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