Monday, January 28, 2013

Metabones Speed Booster First Test impression

There has been a great buzz following news about the recently released Metabones Speed Booster, which promises to achieve what seems to be the photography equivalent of "having your cake and eat it too".

Following the successful last year release of the Metabones Smart Adapter II, which allowed for the first time to use EF and EF-S lenses on E-mount cameras (and videocameras too!) in fully electronic mode, with Aperture, IS support and Exif support with the notable exception of Autofocus, the new adapter from Metabones will add the following:

  • Using a 4-lens element that acts as a focal reducer, it will multiply the focal range of any EF lens by 0.71x, allowing to use the same full frame coverage, on an APS-C sensor such as the one found on the Sony NEX Series!
  • Since the same amount of light is concentrated on a smaller area, the equivalent aperture will be 1 Stop faster! An f/4 lens will behave like an f/2.8, and a f/1.4 will act as an f/1.0!!
  • The lens MTF (sharpness) will actually increase a bit too
  • Autofocus is now supported! It has to be noted that, it will be slower than when used on an EOS camera, but manual focus with focus peaking and auto-magnification is still supported and it works much better, because peaking becomes more easy to use with the increased light gathering.
The adapter started shipping January 24th, and it reached my doorstep today, here's a very quick test, just to check if it's working:

Here's the Canon EF 17-40 f/4.0L, at 17mm, on the NEX-7, with the original Metabones Smart Adapter II. The FOV is cropped 1.5x due to the APS-C sensor. Full aperture at f/4, not much light available, so the ISO was set automatically at 800.

Now the same Canon EF 17-40 f/4.0L, at 17mm, with the new Metabones Speed Booster. The FOV is now about the same as it would be on a FF camera like the EOS-5D. Full aperture is now f/2.8 (which is confirmed in the Exif data too), and ISO was down to 400! IT WORKS!

1:1 Crop of the center area with the original Metabones Smart Adapter II. This is how the lens performs without any optics in between, and on its original aperture of f/4

1:1 Crop of the center area with the Metabones Speed Booster. Sharpness improves and there's less noise due to the lower ISO.