Fringer EF-FX vs Metabones Speedbooster EF-FX (with Sigma 150-600)

Started 2 months ago | Discussions
xaprb Forum Member • Posts: 78
Fringer EF-FX vs Metabones Speedbooster EF-FX (with Sigma 150-600)

I'm curious if anyone has experience comparing the Fringer smart adapter, and the Metabones SpeedBooster smart adapter, for Canon EF lenses on a Fuji body with image stabilization like the X-S10, which is what I own.

I know the Metabones has focal-reducing glass for a wider, brighter field of view, and I use and appreciate the SpeedBoosters (and several other brands'). Do its "smart" features work well? More or less well than the Fringer?

The "smart" features I am thinking of are:

  • Autofocus
  • EXIF transfer
  • Aperture control
  • Stabilization
  • (Anything else I'm missing?)

To be very specific, I'm testing out a Sigma Contemporary 150-600mm zoom for birding. Seems like most people use it with the Canon EF version of the Fringer, so I got that. In a quick test on a half-overcast day, I'm seeing it struggle with autofocus; looks like it's nearly too dark for it to acquire focus well. There was quite a bit of hunting, and inspecting shots afterwards, the majority of them were focused just in front or behind the subject. Indoors, I tried pointing it at my dog's face, and it failed to acquire focus at all, although I didn't think it was all that dark. I'd say "dim" not "dark." But it wouldn't focus.

I'll test more when it's bright, but I'm thinking this lens needs a lot of light to focus well. The SpeedBooster would help with that, in my experience, but only if all other things are equal to the Fringer.

ARE all other things (especially autofocus & stabilization) equal to the Fringer? Thanks!

PS: Cute adolescent bunny shot, as your reward for reading this far.

 xaprb's gear list:xaprb's gear list
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Morris0
Morris0 Forum Pro • Posts: 20,481
Re: Fringer EF-FX vs Metabones Speedbooster EF-FX (with Sigma 150-600)
1

What you are describing makes sense yet my experience with the Fringer Pro II Adapter is that it works superbly with the Sigma 150-600 C on my X-T3 in very low light. See this sample which is part of a burst with most frames in focus.

1/60, f6.3, ISO 8000

I give credit to all 3 devices, X-T3, Sigma 150-600 C and also the Fringer Adapter.

Morris

 Morris0's gear list:Morris0's gear list
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wy2lam Veteran Member • Posts: 3,330
Re: Fringer EF-FX vs Metabones Speedbooster EF-FX (with Sigma 150-600)

I have a question about using a speedbooster for birding.  For this type of photography at long focal lengths, subject separation is usually not an issue.

More importantly if you expect to crop your pictures afterwards, it might be better to use a non-optical adaptor to avoid degradation introduced by the optical elements - why widen and then crop afterwards?

If it is shutter speed you're worried about, perhaps turning up the ISO a little isn't that bad?  We're talking about 1 stop.

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OP xaprb Forum Member • Posts: 78
Re: Fringer EF-FX vs Metabones Speedbooster EF-FX (with Sigma 150-600)

Thanks for your message Morris0. This brings up another point: I examined the differences between the Pro and non-Pro version of the Fringer and concluded it’s just the materials used in the build and the presence of an aperture ring, so I got the non-Pro. Am I mistaken about the differences?

Of course I am most suspicious that the reduced performance is something I am doing and not the equipment, but I haven’t had any lens focus so badly on my Fuji!

Another thing I started to notice in post-processing, the colors are very different with this lens. I warmed up the white balance in the rabbit photo, but its coat was almost purple straight out of camera. I wonder if that’s another clue.

 xaprb's gear list:xaprb's gear list
Olympus PEN-F Fujifilm X-S10 Fujifilm XF 23mm F1.4 R Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 EZ Fujifilm XF 50-140mm F2.8 +5 more
OP xaprb Forum Member • Posts: 78
Re: Fringer EF-FX vs Metabones Speedbooster EF-FX (with Sigma 150-600)

Thanks for replying. My interest in the speedbooster is purely the extra stop of light and the autofocus improvement it might make if dimness is the reason for the problems I’m having.

 xaprb's gear list:xaprb's gear list
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Morris0
Morris0 Forum Pro • Posts: 20,481
Re: Fringer EF-FX vs Metabones Speedbooster EF-FX (with Sigma 150-600)

xaprb wrote:

Thanks for your message Morris0. This brings up another point: I examined the differences between the Pro and non-Pro version of the Fringer and concluded it’s just the materials used in the build and the presence of an aperture ring, so I got the non-Pro. Am I mistaken about the differences?

Of course I am most suspicious that the reduced performance is something I am doing and not the equipment, but I haven’t had any lens focus so badly on my Fuji!

Another thing I started to notice in post-processing, the colors are very different with this lens. I warmed up the white balance in the rabbit photo, but its coat was almost purple straight out of camera. I wonder if that’s another clue.

The color is not natural. Possibly the glass in the speed booster is changing he color. Also very green backgrounds are known to throw off Fuji Auto White Balance.

You will find very good AF with the Fringer adapter. The only difference I'm aware of between the two Fringer adapters models is the aperture ring. If you plan to photograph moving subjects, try out my AF settings:

https://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1594539/0

Have fun!

Morris

 Morris0's gear list:Morris0's gear list
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OP xaprb Forum Member • Posts: 78
Re: Fringer EF-FX vs Metabones Speedbooster EF-FX (with Sigma 150-600)

Thanks. This was with the Fringer (non-Pro) adapter, not a Speed Booster. I don't own an EF-FX speedbooster [yet]. I did some shooting with RAW+F this morning and will try to figure out the source of the garish colors. I'll take a look at your autofocus settings, thanks!

 xaprb's gear list:xaprb's gear list
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OP xaprb Forum Member • Posts: 78
Re: Fringer EF-FX vs Metabones Speedbooster EF-FX (with Sigma 150-600)

I'm going to return this lens to B&H for an exchange. I've done a bunch of testing with it and I believe it's defective. The percentage of the time it refuses to even find focus at all on very easy subjects is just ridiculous. (I mean hunting from near to infinity and back, passing twice through focus without stopping, then showing an error.) I've tried lots of different settings (including those posted by Morris0 here ) and it's just absurdly bad no matter what I do. Half the time it won't even acquire focus on a stationary, well-lit, contrasty subject like a person in a couch across the room. I went on a dragonfly-hunting expedition and gave up and switched to manual focus mode and had better results. I've never had a lens behave so badly.

To add some weight to my theory that it's a defective lens, of the nearly-in-focus shots, almost all of them are front-focused a couple of inches, rarely back-focused. And, some testing of focal plane tilting a la Roger Cicala's method shows a pretty skewed plane of focus. Something's definitely askew, and whether that's the same problem as the autofocus problems or an additional problem, it's not okay.

Hopefully I'll get a better copy in exchange and I'll pick up where I left off and try some more. I also have both the Fuji 100-400 and a Tamron 100-400 on the way for comparison and when I get them (rental) I'll see what they look like in comparison.

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Tim van der Leeuw Contributing Member • Posts: 695
Re: Fringer EF-FX vs Metabones Speedbooster EF-FX (with Sigma 150-600)

Btw -- did you make sure to update the firmware of the Fringer adapter?

Also I'm a bit confused if you do or do not actually own the speedbooster?

Regardless I do happen to own both and tomorrow I can hopefully find some time to write in more detail about each of them (although I have no experience with the speedbooster focusing on long zooms, but I can try it out a bit).

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wy2lam Veteran Member • Posts: 3,330
Re: Fringer EF-FX vs Metabones Speedbooster EF-FX (with Sigma 150-600)

I see, interesting.  I've never thought that a Speed booster can help with AF.  Perhaps teleconverters slows down AF so a focal reducer might do the opposite.  Are you finding the AF lacking with an ordinary adapter?

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OP xaprb Forum Member • Posts: 78
Re: Fringer EF-FX vs Metabones Speedbooster EF-FX (with Sigma 150-600)

Thanks for your message. I own some SpeedBoosters, but only "dumb" mechanical ones. They work great, optically; I started this thread to ask if anyone knows if they work great in enabling lens features like image stabilization and autofocus, too. My theory was that my Sigma doesn't focus well because it's not getting enough light, but after further testing I think I've got a lemon. I didn't do a great job in this thread of documenting my progression of lens testing and findings.

Regardless, I would be very curious to hear what you find. Is the Metabones just as smart as the Fringer, but also with focal-reducing optics? Or do its electronic functions fall short of the Fringer?

 xaprb's gear list:xaprb's gear list
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OP xaprb Forum Member • Posts: 78
Re: Fringer EF-FX vs Metabones Speedbooster EF-FX (with Sigma 150-600)

That’s exactly what I was wondering about, yes. Another user responded on this thread and might be able to compare the speedbooster versus the glassless Fringer. Thanks!

 xaprb's gear list:xaprb's gear list
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Tim van der Leeuw Contributing Member • Posts: 695
Re: Fringer EF-FX vs Metabones Speedbooster EF-FX (with Sigma 150-600)

xaprb wrote:

Thanks for your message. I own some SpeedBoosters, but only "dumb" mechanical ones. They work great, optically; I started this thread to ask if anyone knows if they work great in enabling lens features like image stabilization and autofocus, too. My theory was that my Sigma doesn't focus well because it's not getting enough light, but after further testing I think I've got a lemon. I didn't do a great job in this thread of documenting my progression of lens testing and findings.

Regardless, I would be very curious to hear what you find. Is the Metabones just as smart as the Fringer, but also with focal-reducing optics? Or do its electronic functions fall short of the Fringer?

I think that the AF and image stabilization functions of the Metabones speedbooster work more or less as well as they do on the Fringer adapter.

It's hard to say for sure exactly how comparable they work, perhaps AF works a little bit less, but I have still not tested the speed booster with my 100-400mm Sigma zoom!

What you say about speed boosters helping AF makes senses, as they help with more light being available on the sensor to help the AF system.

When it comes to build-quality of the metabones speedbooster I'm not convinced, however. Out of the box, the lens mount is extremely stiff (on the EF side). Really, really extremely stiff. You have to apply a lot of force to get the lens off.

This is by design.

There are some instructions on how to reduce the tension, by bending some springs. For that you have to open the screws of the lens mount, but... they were so tight that I couldn't turn most of them. Not with the provided tool, and not with my own tools.

I managed to push the indicated springs with a screwdriver and the lens mount got looser, not it's too loose and gives a bit of wobble!

They have a USB connection for firmware updates, but it's on the outside and has a very small plastic cap on it that falls off easily and gets lost. So I'm not counting on any water or dust proofing.

I have not really noticed and optical flaws though, so that is good, but I am not qualified to make a proper professional judgement on it! When I use it, it is mostly with an ultra-wide (15mm) FF prime lens to make it both wider and faster (so the field of view should match more or less the FoV it would have on a FF camera) but for some reason, the lens hood or my filters cause vignetting when using the speedbooster on that lens; as if the FoV becomes too wide. You shouldn't see a dark shadow of the lenses own lenshood on the picture!!

Overall, then, I'm not so happy with the speedbooster for my own purposes but the AF and image stabilization do work well so for your purposes it may be worth trying it out.

If you can try it out in a camera shop near you, then you can try it before you buy it and avoid potentially wasting money. (Camera shops near where I live do sell various metabones adapters and speedboosters but didn't sell this particular one, at least not at the time I bought mine).

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OP xaprb Forum Member • Posts: 78
Re: Fringer EF-FX vs Metabones Speedbooster EF-FX (with Sigma 150-600)

Just to update my experience here, I have rented an X-T4 and a Tamron 100-400mm f/4.5-6.3 Di VC USD in EF-mount to try it out as well.

The X-T4's focusing seems identical to my X-S10's. I didn't expect anything different, but I thought it was worth a try. The Sigma still hunts terribly, and misses focus when it doesn't hunt. I recorded the lens focusing back-and-forth between near and far targets, to measure focus speed. I couldn't tell any difference between the cameras.

The Tamron works a lot better than the Sigma for me. It's snappier and a lot more accurate to autofocus. Still a far cry from my Fujifilm XF 50-140 f/2.8 though, which nails focus every time nearly instantaneously, even with the 1.4x teleconverter. With the TC, it's f/4 and still has better image quality and autofocus than the Tamron. The Tamron impressed me for the price, though. It was better than I expected it to be.

I think the Sigma is defective / a bad copy. I'll be returning it, and the Fringer along with it; I won't be trying any more adapted autofocus lenses. Even if the Sigma worked as well as the Tamron, I had failed to realize how big and heavy it is. It's like mounting a fire extinguisher to the front of my camera.

In reading around the forums (a lot!) I am impressed the most by how much people's experience varies, even with the same equipment and settings. Some people report lens X is much quicker to focus than lens Y, others with the same gear say the opposite. A lot seems to depend on whether you get a "good" copy of a lens or not. If you have a good sample of the Sigma, and your Fuji is slightly off in some way, or vice versa... to me, it seems plausible that would explain a lot.

My Fujifilm 100-400 has been on backorder since early December, but B&H told me it was to arrive at their warehouse a couple of days ago (though they're observing Shavuos right now). I'm hoping that it'll ship soon so I'll get to compare it with the rented Tamron while I still have that.

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Olympus PEN-F Fujifilm X-S10 Fujifilm XF 23mm F1.4 R Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 EZ Fujifilm XF 50-140mm F2.8 +5 more
Tim van der Leeuw Contributing Member • Posts: 695
Re: Fringer EF-FX vs Metabones Speedbooster EF-FX (with Sigma 150-600)

xaprb wrote:

Just to update my experience here, I have rented an X-T4 and a Tamron 100-400mm f/4.5-6.3 Di VC USD in EF-mount to try it out as well.

Even if the Sigma worked as well as the Tamron, I had failed to realize how big and heavy it is. It's like mounting a fire extinguisher to the front of my camera.

Mind you that the Fuji 100-400mm is about the same size and weight of the Sigma or Tamron 100-400mm lenses!

And my apologies for not having tried anymore to compare focusing of the Sigma with the speedbooster to compare that to focusing with the Fringer. I've been too busy with other things to try a serious test of that.

 Tim van der Leeuw's gear list:Tim van der Leeuw's gear list
Canon EOS M5 Fujifilm X-H1 Fujifilm X-T3 Sigma 2x EX DG Tele Converter Canon EF 24-70mm F4L IS USM +14 more
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