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question about speed boosters for m43


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Hi all, Sorry if this is a newbie question, but I've been trying to find info and haven't had much luck.

I'm considering buying the sigma 18-55 f1.8 as I like the image it offers on the videos I've seen with it and micro four thirds cameras.

As far as I know there's only one, the original speed booster, that offers aperture control and autofocus from the EF mount to m43, is the right?

I would like a much cheaper option than that, autofocus is not so important, but I would like to control aperture. Is there a way to do that with the cheaper focal reducers?

If not, how would you use it? 

Any advantages using the Nikon mount over Canon's? I don't have any lens so I wouldn't mind buying in one system of another if I can control aperture.

Im thinking of using it alongside a G80 or GX85 so I can benefit from the 5 axis, in these cameras is the equivalent focal length as a 24- 50 f1.2 is that right?

Sorry for all the questions, I hope someone has experience with all this and share some light!!!

Thanks in advance.

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The reason they are so expensive is... the superior optics. Which... may or not be more valuable to you than a just fine enough performing cheaper ZY Optics/Zhongyi/Mitakon Lens Turbo II (dumb, without electronics however). And the fact they have that electronic connection and offer firmware support for it... now... there's one other option out there, the Aputure DEC LensRegain. But it's more of a system and kinda in the same ballpark. Otherwise you I believe you only either have the one or the other. Focal reducer, but no electronics... or electronics, but no focal reducer. (edit: actually, there's also the Kipon BAVEyes 0.7x EF-MFT with electronics as well, but if my memory serves me right, the optical performance is pretty much of the bottom level)

My solution... don't buy Canon, don't buy EF lenses and get everything in Nikon mount. :tounge_wink: Allows for easy and simple mechanical aperture control and shaves some of the price of a Metabones XL by not requiring the costly electronic bits. Of course... the EF-mount itself is a little more flexible than the Nikon one... so... I went ahead and bought a Lens Turbo II for that (EOS - M4/3). So I can also mount e.g. the Contax Zeiss lenses with a C/Y to EOS adapter, whereas that would've been a bit troublesome with a Nikon-mount. Albeit not with the same focal reduction as the amazing and one of a kind Metabones XL.

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Thanks a lot for the responses. Looks like the Nikon route is the one to go, at least for me, newbie and in a budget! Really good to know that the cheap one can control aperture on the Nikon's. Any recommendation on the cheap brands? Are all the same with different names or some are better?

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10 minutes ago, vulgatron said:

Thanks a lot for the responses. Looks like the Nikon route is the one to go, at least for me, newbie and in a budget! Really good to know that the cheap one can control aperture on the Nikon's. Any recommendation on the cheap brands? Are all the same with different names or some are better?

Go with the ZY Optics/Zhongyi/Mitakon Lens Turbo II mentioned. Alternatively there's been R.J. Camera . The Kipon BAVEyes range. But I would definitely recommend the Lens Turbo II over either of these. There's even cheaper brandless ones on eBay, like sold by the Roxsen store. But there you really pay bottom dollar for bottom quality. ;)

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Buying 'cheap' costs more in the long run, and will only lead to dissatisfaction. I know little about the less expensive adaptors, but if you purchase one that doesn't communicate electronically with the lens, it could also prove to be a frustrating experience. The OP would be better off waiting until they can buy a good focal reducer like the Aputure or Metabones. In the meanwhile, they can always purchase outstanding, fast, sharp, inexpensive u4/3 glass from Samyang, Sigma, Panasonic and other manufacturers.  I would no sooner put a cheap filter on my lens (some of the cheaper ones are no better than window glass), than I would attach something behind the lens that is going to degrade the image. @vulgatron You say you've seen videos shot with the Sigma online - why don't you check out which focal reducers they're using and purchase the one you like best?

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57 minutes ago, jonpais said:

Buying 'cheap' costs more in the long run, and will only lead to dissatisfaction. I know little about the less expensive adaptors, but if you purchase one that doesn't communicate electronically with the lens, it could also prove to be a frustrating experience. The OP would be better off waiting until they can buy a good focal reducer like the Aputure or Metabones. In the meanwhile, they can always purchase outstanding, fast, sharp, inexpensive u4/3 glass from Samyang, Sigma, Panasonic and other manufacturers.  I would no sooner put a cheap filter on my lens (some of the cheaper ones are no better than window glass), than I would attach something behind the lens that is going to degrade the image. @vulgatron You say you've seen videos shot with the Sigma online - why don't you check out which focal reducers they're using and purchase the one you like best?

Hey, everybody is different with different needs. I, personally, don't know why someone would buy that beast of a lens for a m4/3 camera... Especially since it will be used as a set of primes. The OP could get a set of great primes that work natively with m4/3 for about the same cost as the Sigma and a focal reducer...

But different strokes for different folks.

In my opinion focal reducers are great for vintage, full frame lenses and in most instances the Turbo ii is perfectly fine. In fact, vintage lenses for video did a comparison test between the two and they were basically indistinguishable.

Personally, if I wanted a good zoom lens used in conjunction with a focal reducer, I would look at the Tokina 28-70mm f2.6 angenieux designed lens... What I'd lose on the short end, against the Sigma, would be gained on the long end and open up the iris right around the perfectly cinematic f/2 range... with a manual aperture, on the Nikon version, that can be declicked... But that's just me...

Everybody has different needs. 

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@jonpais thanks for your input, obviously I don't want to destroy the image... as @Chris Oh says my budget is very limited and I can only afford the lens and a cheaper adaptor. From there I can always upgrade the adaptor but the investment on the lens will be there. But is it really that big of a difference betwen one and the other to consider the image destroyed? If so, I would look at different options and yeah maybe wait until I can afford the whole package.

I'm considering that zoom particularly as it covers the range I normally use, with a fast aperture and it costs less than the 25 panaleica + 12mm + 45 1.8 all together. 

I know is big and kinda goes against the m43 philosophy, but if I can use it handheld with the 5 axis and covers everything I need I thought was a good idea. Plus for the money I think they're the best cameras, 4k, light, sharp, etc.. I could also get a 12-32 or 20mm for when I want to go light. 

But I dunno, I'm open to suggestions. I'm currently selling my RX10 mk2 will I see a big difference with the other setup? If not I could just get a GX85 and a couple of primes and keep both cameras...

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If you get a good alternative (Zhongyi!), rather than the cheapest (brandless), you're fine. Maybe it's 87% of the performance at 25% of the price? The cheapest might be 45% performance at 20% the price? (*just pulling numbers out of my ass for illustrative purposes) Means, *ting ting ting*, the Zhongyi Lens Turbo II would be best bang for buck. ;)

Though... I do agree on the 'going handheld' part. Not sure about the 18-35mm as a handheld lens... add a cage... a rig... maybe a lens support, follow focus, mattebox with filter trays, flag/barndoors, put it on a tripod and yeah, foh realz. Sure. But you've got to realize it's a huge and heavy lens indeed. The benefit of course, is what it's known for, it's like multiple prime lenses in one lens. So... it's good optical quality and you don't need to switch out lenses. But everything at a price. So purely handheld in reality you might feel a little cumbersome. It's not something I'd just do with the Nikon 28-70mm & 80-200mm either. But if you can handle it and know what you're getting yourself into... no problemo! Different people... different styles!

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Everybody is right! :) The Sigma is pretty huge and rather unbalanced when used with the GH4 - I'd imagine when mounted on one of the smaller Panasonic bodies, the situation would only get worse. I've tried various setups for doing handheld work both with the 18-35mm f/1.8 as well as with other APS and full-frame lenses (+XL Speed Booster) but none have been truly satisfactory (I shake vey badly). To get shake-free shots,  I would really have to rig it up like Cinegain says (cage, rails, shoulder rig weighing 40 lbs, etc.) :) and now it's no longer exactly compact anymore.

While it's true the 18-35 may replace three primes, it's giving a very different look from 3 MFT primes, and not only the FOV - the color is quite different from the Panasonic lenses too (I prefer Sigma's colors). It also handles differently: although it is still plastic, it doesn't feel like a Fisher Price toy, like Panasonic's G X Vario lenses made in China do. If you did go primes, and you're not dead-set on buying PanLeica lenses, there are several less expensive options. A Samyang 12mm f/2 and Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DC DN would only set you back about $600 or so, and they're light enough to fly on a pistol grip gimbal stabilizer too. I've never looked into a 42.5mm, not sure what the available options are for that focal length.

Not sure either how well the 5-axis IBIS will work with a dumb adaptor, but I haven't done any research yet. Maybe somebody else here can answer that... I did watch one video after reading Vulgatron's post where they also say they prefer the look of the Turbo with legacy lenses, anyhow it was late at night, I think that's what I heard. 

@vulgatron If you did end up getting the G80 or GX85 with Sigma 18-35mm and a $150 focal reducer and weren't happy with the results, you could always sell the adapter on eBay and you'd only be out $75.00, so it's actually not the end of the world, either...

Many people come to EOSHD every day looking for advice on what equipment to buy, and usually say what their budget is - but they often neglect to mention one crucial piece of information - what it is they intend to shoot... That should be the prime consideration... So, I'm curious: what exactly will the OP be shooting? 

Here's a video shot handheld with several lenses, but mostly using the GH4, Sigma 18-35mm and Metabones XL. Excuse the poor sound, this was completely unplanned.

@vulgatron In your original post, you say '18-55mm', but I'm sure you meant '18-35mm', right? :)

This post keeps getting longer and longer... I just did a quick search, and the Lumix G 42.5mm f/1.7 lens is an excellent value for around $350.00. Resolution and OIS are both terrific. So a set of 3 highly regarded primes would set you back around a grand. Below are charts from LensTip's test of the Panasonic 42.5mm f/1.7 lens.

 

 

4292_stab.png

4293_roz.png

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I just shot a wedding with the Panasonic 42.5 f/1.7 and the 20mm f/1.7 with a GH4 and a GX85. Let me say a few things about these lenses:

  • The speed saved my life!
  • The electronic focus ruined my life!
  • The weight savings saved my life!

If you are going to do narrative work where there is no focus pulling, these lenses are hard to beat. The 20mm f/1.7 is waaaaay sharper than the sharp 42.5 f/1.7. Even if the camera was capable of autofocus worth a damn, you can't do it with the 20mm, the camera simply won't let you use CAF in video or photos. So if the GH5 comes out with Sony A6500 like video autofocus, the 20mm would not cut it. 

I've used the Sigma 18-35 speedbooster combo, and I simply love it for shots on sticks or a slider. But when used as a shoulder mount, that rig weight makes a long day indeed.

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Metabones_vs_JRcamera.jpg

For what it's worth. I have both a R.J.Camera and a metabones bmpcc speedbooster. Tested both on my GH4 with the nikon 25-50 f4. As both have different cropfactors I had to scale the R.J.camera a small 10 %. Adjusted the colors a bit (more green in the meta) ...and I have to say, to me the R.J. doesn't look worse.

 

Metabones_vs_JRcamera.tif

JRcamera_vs_Metabones.tif

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