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Metabones Speed Booster review

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Posted

"In no way is the Metabones adapter giving us a poor man’s full frame image here."

 

Uh oh... just wait for it. :)  You know this is going to be the talk of every indoctrinated 5D fanboy on the planet. "Don't let those speed-booster shooters fool you... they're not shooting on REAL FF cameras!"

Anyone want to take bets on when the "real full-frame look" cine-meme will show up? I say 2 months.

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Posted

Barrel distortion and not as sharp.

 

Still a great product, but this hurts being used on narrative film.

 

Doc users will be all over this. Maybe BMCC users as well because they are in dyer need of wide. I don't think F5 or F55 users would touch this if given for free.

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Posted

@lafilm

 

Barrel distortion is a function of the lens.  If you see it with this adapter it would show up on a FF camera.  Next.  (forgetting the fact that strict prohibition of barrel distortion of any magnitude is kinda silly outside stodgy industrials and ENG stuff that tends to be flavorless in every way anyhow...).  Oh, and your "not as sharp" comment is 100% incorrect.

 

Your second comment makes no sense at all.

 

Wide options exist for M4/3 and BMCC type films.  I seem to remember wide shots in Slumdog Millionaire.  Oh look, it's even smaller than the BMCC.  Oh look, it won the Academy Award for Best Cinematography.  Who'dathunkit?  Not folks that handicap based on a spec list and their preconceived notions instead of the observation of reality and results.

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Posted

All of this is great IMO.  The Cons of the Metabones Speed Booster are insignificant IMO.  There's always some limitation of flaw in the effort to get more and more out existing lower cost tech.  As it always has been.  Right now tho, this opens up a lot of possibilities and I can't wait to see how this all plays out.  Hopefully the m43's version works out just as good.  

 

 

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Posted

... Hopefully the m43's version works out just as good.  

 

The M4/3 version is going to perform even better, based on their white paper and existing tests with functional prototypes.

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Posted

thank you for this very informative test andrew.

 

but don´t be fooled. you are not getting a ff camera, you are getting a wider lens, that´s all.

 

a crop image with the same dof as a full frame or medium format will always look different. that´s why people shoot hasselblad. because the physical size of the sensor defines how space is rendered. it has little to do with the lens or that actual focal length. a large format shot at f64 with everything in focus from 1 meter to infinity will look very different from the same shot on a smaller format with the same dof. i can´t tell you why, but my eyes tell me. the larger the format the more "relaxed" the image looks i think.

 

also a lens is a complex system where each component is produced specifically for it. the same glass for every lens out there doesn´t sound like a great idea. that´s probably why nobody really did it yet. andrews great test shows it. works for some, for some it doesn´t.

 

i´d rather get an actual 35mm on s35 if i want the angle of view of a ff 50mm. especially if i have to stop down anyway for the same corner sharpness.

 

the added stop in sensitivity will come in handy no doubt, also for wide angle on the bmc this might be a blessing until someone builds fine lenses for that format (if it will survive the next 2 years.) but it is in no way a game changer.

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Posted

Remember the lens needs to have space behind it between the sensor and rear element to work with the Speed Booster, so Leica M mount stuff won't work with it. Only SLR glass.

 

But doesn't the 35mm T0.95 have a longer flange distance than that of MFT lenses? Of course it wouldn't fit on an EF to MFT adapter, but maybe a different one, like perhaps a specialized Leica-M to MFT Speed Booster adapter that requires no electronic connectors?

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Posted

+1. Speed booster actually shorten focal length, so lens become wider, but DOF remains the same as for APS-C, not FF like.

but don´t be fooled. you are not getting a ff camera, you are getting a wider lens, that´s all.

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Posted

@BurnetRhoades

 

I am 100% correct. It's not a sharp. Period. As for those films you mentioned shot on 16mm film with very nice budgets and a full 100 man + crew - yes, there are exceptions to every rule.

 

It's not the norm...and for the peeps ordering their BMMC for indie films to shoot for nothing and hire their friends and local actors...so be it. Let me know when they are nominated for Oscars or win Sundance. Thanks, chief.

 

And yes, wide angles on the BMCC are a bitch. If you want to add the adpater fine, but it will not be as sharp. And not full frame. Simple physics.

 

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Posted

@BurnetRhoades

 

I am 100% correct. It's not a sharp. Period. As for those films you mentioned shot on 16mm film with very nice budgets and a full 100 man + crew - yes, there are exceptions to every rule.

 

Sorry, you seem to be wrong here.

 

From the testing article:

"Again, the images were from different distances so that the chart filled the image with both shots. It’s not an optically critical test, but I’d call it a complete success for the Speed Booster. Even spotting the original image 1 stop of light, there’s no significant difference in resolution to my eye."

 

I mean, MAYBE, at like 6k resolution their may be some loss of sharpness. But for something like 2.5k Blackmagic footage, I'm gathering that it's pretty much a non-issue.

 

If anything, wouldn't it actually increase the perceived sharpness of something like cheaper EF glass? As the speed-booster is compressing the image, as opposed to magnifying it with an extender...

 

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Posted

It's not the norm...and for the peeps ordering their BMMC for indie films to shoot for nothing and hire their friends and local actors...so be it. Let me know when they are nominated for Oscars or win Sundance. Thanks, chief.

 

I don't exactly understand what you're really trying to say here? This is how many undiscovered directors have got their start. Crews of 100+ are not WHY films are good. Good films come from talent, not crew-size and money. Well produced films typically HAVE allot of money and crew, but it's not "why" they are good.

 

Seems like you're bitter about something. Threatened by the innovation and falling costs/sizes of production? But then again, maybe some people should be... the days of hacks who could never make it in the creative aspects of film-making, yet still getting paid $1500 a day to hand people lenses, are coming to an end.

 

Technology is finally freeing the creatives from the "brush-holders" of the industry. This is great! Should be celebrated!

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Posted

Not bitter, and your post made me laugh :D

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Posted

Noirist, I'm still trying to get my head around it but I don't think this normal (and normally correct, by the way) logic applies to the Speed Booster. The equivalence that you mentioned is applicable when mounting a full-frame lens onto a normal, "dumb" adapter, to use it on a S35 sensor. In this case, the image circle that the lens projects, is the same size as it would be on a full-frame sensor, far bigger than it needs to be to cover the smaller S35 sensor. A lot of this wider image circle falls outside the sensor area and is basically wasted, with just the central portion being recorded. For this reason, the brightness is the same but the apparent DOF is greater as you're basically cropping into the same image with a smaller frame; not dissimilarly to if you cropped the image in post (though obviously without the decrease in resolution etc).

 

The Speed Booster is a whole different kettle of fish. The optics that are built into it actually focus the larger image circle down to the smaller S35 sensor. This means that the image is actually brighter as the light is concentrated (think of burning holes in things with a magnifying glass in science lessons!). Because the same image circle is captured by the S35 sensor as would be captured by a full-frame sensor, the DOF is actually the same as on full frame.

 

Therefore, when using the Speed Booster, using that 24mm f/1.4 that you referred to would give you baically the same image as using a 24mm f/1.4 on full-frame (same apparent depth of field) but the image would be one stop brighter due to the concentrating effect of the optics.

 

If I've got my head round this thing, then I THINK that's all correct!

RossF, your reasoning is correct. The only tricky part is that if you use the speedbooster on an aps-c sensor, then the aperture setting shown on a full frame lens will be the full-frame equivalent aperture setting, which is one stop more than how the aperture setting appears to the aps-c sensor.  So if you set a full frame lens to f1.4 without the speedbooster, it looks like f1.4 to the aps-c sensor, and is equivalent to setting the same lens to f2.0 on a full frame sensor. If you set a full frame lens to f1.4 with the speedbooster, it looks like f1.0 to the aps-c sensor, and is equivalent to setting the same lens to f1.4 on a full frame sensor. So when Andrew is comparing pictures taken on the speedboosted FS100 versus 5D Mark III, he needs to set the lens to the same aperture settting to have equivalent pictures.

 

Andrew's review incorrectly states "It is perhaps fairer to compare the same lens wide open on a full frame camera and stopped down 1 stop on the Speed Booster to match the effective F-stop. For example compare optical performance shooting wide open at F1.4 on the 5D Mark III to shooting stopped down to F2.0 on the FS100. In that situation sharpness is always better in the centre with Speed Booster and almost evenly matched in the corners with the right glass."  The fair comparison is to compare the same lens at the same marked aperture setting on a full frame camera versus a speedboosted aps-c camera.

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Posted

but don´t be fooled. you are not getting a ff camera, you are getting a wider lens, that´s all.

Strictly speaking, you are getting a wider and faster lens, that produces an image on a smaller sensor that is equivalent to the image produced by that lens on a larger sensor. If the metabones adapter were optically perfect, the two images would be mathematically indistinguishable. Creating a lens that is both wider and faster is a big deal. Video readout from the smaller sensors is currently more complete (higher resolution, less aliasing) than the video readout from larger sensors, which means the ultimate image coming from the smaller speedboosted sensor will be superior to the ultimate image coming from the larger sensor.

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Posted

@BurnetRhoades

 

I am 100% correct. It's not a sharp. Period. As for those films you mentioned shot on 16mm film with very nice budgets and a full 100 man + crew - yes, there are exceptions to every rule.

 

LOL, you obviously haven't read the actual tests being done (click the link above).  Resolution with the same lens on the adapted NEX is measurably higher than a 5DmkII in the center and averaged over the entire lens, only dipping slightly in the corners.  Right there, sharper than still the best value in full-frame motion picture shooting, so good still that Canon had to take it off the market to make their newer, more expensive cameras more attractive to Canon buyers.

 

Also, you haven't read how Slumdog Millionaire was shot with those cameras either. 

 

Please, continue to punt though.

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Posted

Above all amazing things i've read about SB, i think, that sound track for this test video is right to the 10 point - "Music fot the funeral of queen Mary 1695"

Thank's a lot this great news!

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Posted

Strictly speaking, you are getting a wider and faster lens, that produces an image on a smaller sensor that is equivalent to the image produced by that lens on a larger sensor. If the metabones adapter were optically perfect, the two images would be mathematically indistinguishable. Creating a lens that is both wider and faster is a big deal. Video readout from the smaller sensors is currently more complete (higher resolution, less aliasing) than the video readout from larger sensors, which means the ultimate image coming from the smaller speedboosted sensor will be superior to the ultimate image coming from the larger sensor.

 

I can't say for sure, but perhaps it would be better to think of, and refer to, this adapter's "speed boosting" as effectively increasing the T-Stop of the lens, rather than F-Stop, which might be partly responsible for some of the confusion surrounding this thing (that doesn't seem to be going away no matter how much new information comes out daily).  

 

Perhaps it's naive but the fact of this device delivering a brighter, concentrated image shouldn't seem that difficult to wrap your mind around if you've ever killed ants or burned wood with the power of sunlight that's miraculously not even close to doing the same thing to your skin at that very moment.  Normal sunlight can be concentrated through summed reflection off of metal, without passing through a glass lens, to cut through steel.   I think it's the skeptics that need some physics lessons here, in some cases.

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Posted

Sorry for the dumb question, but is this good news "only" for Canon EF lenses owners?

What other lenses with an EF adapter would work with the SpeedBooster (even in passive mode)?

 

Thanks,

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Posted

I can't say for sure, but perhaps it would be better to think of, and refer to, this adapter's "speed boosting" as effectively increasing the T-Stop of the lens, rather than F-Stop, which might be partly responsible for some of the confusion surrounding this thing (that doesn't seem to be going away no matter how much new information comes out daily). 

 

If it increased only the T-stop rather than also the f/stop, then how does the depth of field remain comparable? To maintain the field of view, the adapter must effectively reduce the focal length, but to maintain the DOF at the reduced focal length, the effective f/stop must also be reduced.

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Posted

Sorry for the dumb question, but is this good news "only" for Canon EF lenses owners?

What other lenses with an EF adapter would work with the SpeedBooster (even in passive mode)?

 

Thanks,

 

Anything that adapts to EF mount works. I've tried M42, Contax Zeiss (CY), Nikon, OM, etc.

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Posted

thank you for this very informative test andrew.

 

but don´t be fooled. you are not getting a ff camera, you are getting a wider lens, that´s all.

 

a crop image with the same dof as a full frame or medium format will always look different. that´s why people shoot hasselblad. because the physical size of the sensor defines how space is rendered. it has little to do with the lens or that actual focal length. a large format shot at f64 with everything in focus from 1 meter to infinity will look very different from the same shot on a smaller format with the same dof. i can´t tell you why, but my eyes tell me. the larger the format the more "relaxed" the image looks i think.

 

also a lens is a complex system where each component is produced specifically for it. the same glass for every lens out there doesn´t sound like a great idea. that´s probably why nobody really did it yet. andrews great test shows it. works for some, for some it doesn´t.

 

i´d rather get an actual 35mm on s35 if i want the angle of view of a ff 50mm. especially if i have to stop down anyway for the same corner sharpness.

 

the added stop in sensitivity will come in handy no doubt, also for wide angle on the bmc this might be a blessing until someone builds fine lenses for that format (if it will survive the next 2 years.) but it is in no way a game changer.

 

That doesn't sound right. Depth of field looks the same as a full frame sensor to me.

 

I could put some unlabelled shots up from the 5D Mark III with a 50mm on full frame, and the same 50mm on APS-C with Speed Booster. You wouldn't be able to tell them apart. If you think you can, you're welcome to try and I will take some shots :)

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Posted

I know you're right Andrew, but please post these comparison shots to end all the speculations!! :D

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Posted

That doesn't sound right. Depth of field looks the same as a full frame sensor to me.

 

I could put some unlabelled shots up from the 5D Mark III with a 50mm on full frame, and the same 50mm on APS-C with Speed Booster. You wouldn't be able to tell them apart. If you think you can, you're welcome to try and I will take some shots :)

 

Perhaps best to crop the 5D3 to match the other camera (1.09 crop), else it's easy to spot the difference.

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Posted

Wow this puts a spanner in the works for camera manufacturers already coming off badly and a recent comeback from Sony with the f5 and 55. Now this..

 

This is an amazing answer for the BMC in gaining 35mm sensor size abilty.

 

Obviously your putting more glass in front of your sensor and has to have some effect. But probably not so you'd notice. Okay its not ground breaking but it does level the playing field quite nicely and in a magical way.

 

Now who wants a sony f5 over a BMC?

 

Really does mean the manufacturers can no longer hold back the flood gates. The camera is no longer the weak link. Just need to find a DP who has years of experience and can use it to it's full potential and a full cast and crew with lights sound oh and a few hollywood actors and a decent script. Oh dear better start making some test films for vimeo.

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