It’s another Dr. Evil “sharks with frickin' laser beams attached to their heads” moment in the rapidly changing digital SLR videography landscape.
Metabones is certainly doing its part to transform the photography/videography ecosystem. Courtesy of its Smart Adapter, Speed Booster and now Speed Booster Ultra products, it has begun to allow enthusiasts and professionals alike to decouple camera body purchase (or rental) decisions from lens decisions.
This means a few things:
1) The best bodies win (no more system lock-in);
2) The best lenses win (ditto); and
3) Investment in glass is maintained.
This is huge, but we’re not completely there yet.
The most compelling example of how Metabones is driving toward this at the moment is their recently announced Canon EF Lens to Micro Four Thirds Speed Booster: for $599, you can attach your Canon EF (and possibly some EF-S) lenses to your GH4 and gain one full stop while reducing the effective focal length by .71x. This results in a faster, more accessible, wider field of view. Even so, while image stabilization and EXIF data are maintained, autofocus is lost.
On the other hand, the most tantalizingly close-but-truly-no-cigar example of the distance they have yet to go – or, to put it differently, their biggest tease — is their just-announced Canon EF Lens to Sony E-mount (NEX) Speed Booster ULTRA.
“E-mount!” you drool. “Now I can put my Canon glass on the Sony A7s – nirvana!”
Well, yes and no (thanks, Sony, for changing your nomenclature so frequently and confusing too many of us).
“Yes,” you gurgle triumphantly, “but unlike Canon and Nikon crop factor lenses, you CAN mount E-lenses to FE bodies! And the specs say you can use – maybe – some of the EF-S lenses, too, with their super fast and quiet STM autofocus!”
True dat. But if you mount Canon glass to the Speed Booster Ultra and in turn mount that to your A7s, it will automatically put your A7s in APS-C mode – crop mode – to avoid vignetting (almost a good thing for EF-S, self-defeating for EF). And which EF-S lenses can be used and to what effect are not immediately clear.
Finally, while in theory — unlike the GH4 — you do get autofocus, it is so slow that it really shouldn’t be a consideration.
So what does it matter that the Speed Booster Ultra has even better glass than before?
What’s a gear head to do?
It seems like another one of those Dr. Evil “sharks with frickin' laser beams attached to their heads” moments.
Why can’t we just have what we want when we want it?
What do you think? Is the new Metabones EF to E Mount Speed Booster Ultra something that is likely to change your purchase decisions — or not?
Metabones Puts Better Glass into its New Speed Booster Ultra Adapters
Metabones has announced a new line of Speed Booster Ultra adapters made for mounting full-frame glass onto Fujifilm X-mount and Sony E-mount cameras. The new speed booster have a newly improved optical design incorporating five glass elements in four groups to improve sharpness in the corners, reduce distortion, and reduce vignetting.
Aside from these new improvements the speed boosters still reduces the typical crop factor of the smaller sensor by a factor of 0.71x while adding an extra stop of light. This effectively lets you mount a 50mm f1.4 lens and turn it into a 53.5mm f1 lens.
Preorder your Metabones Speed Booster Ultra adapters at B&H Photo.
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(cover photo credit: snap from Phoblographer)