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My thoughts on the Kipon Medium Format "Speedbooster"


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When this thing was announced it totally blew my mind. And I have been wanting one ever since the first time I read about it. If you don’t know what this is all about just think of it as a Spee

Do the experiment properly and you'll find that the perspective is the same.  Surely you must have heard countless times before that perspective depends only on the subject distance.  This is a truth

Even crappy jpegs look decent pretty much straight from camera.

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HI Mathias, I like the dark shot more because it shows less background.

Less background means less things in view to distract from the subject in the foreground. Having a more blurred background can also help to reduce distraction. A longer focal length gives bigger backgrounds in relation to the foreground. Anyway I don't have budget for much, so I'll have to be smart about choosing a less distracting background, and zoom in and step back to have better separation and isolation.

I wish people would be a bit more precise. For dynamic range sensor size does NOT matter, photosite size and signal processing does. As I've learned from others.

Chill out, it is not the end of the world. I think most of you can save up for more/better glass and camera's, you're not shackled to what 'you' have chosen in the past. Maybe we're a bit upset because we believed and followed other people's advice, and are now discovering that it was not the whole story? No worries be happy with what you have. MF appears to become a new hype, and I'm sure Fuijfilm and Pentax love it. But like Mathias has shown for a fraction of the price of new MF camera you can enjoy MF lenses on a FF camera you already have. Will it be 100% the same? - no, if only for the reason for more glass and different photosite sizes (DR). Will it be very close, yes.

Sony A7RII - 42MP - 4.51 µ / pixel  DR 12.69 EV

Pentax 645Z - 51MP - 5.31 µ / pixel  DR 13.11 EV

Thanks for the worthwhile discussion, it is tricky stuff and I can use the practice :D

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Back to the original question:

The question of equivalence can IMHO best answered if we leave digital aside for a moment and instead compare film. Then the question is: Can you shoot a Super16 film that looks like Super35mm (or a Super35mm film that looks like 70mm)?

The answer is: Yes you can, but only within known limitations and by eliminating certain factors that give away the smaller format.

To make s16mm look like s35, you need to use precision cameras with minimal mechanical tolerances in film transport. (I.e. an Arri or Aaton s16mm camera instead of a Bolex or Pathé.) You need top-class, fast primes (such as the Zeiss Superspeeds, instead of Kern or SOM Berthiot lenses). You need to shoot on low-sensitivity, fine-grain stock like Kodak Vision 50d, with the necessary amount of extra light, to roughly match the look of a 35mm film shot on Vision 200d. For subject isolation/background blur, you'll need to shoot at f2 (and half the focal length) where you would shoot at f4 in 35mm. Use slow, well-planned camera movements that are typical for heavy camera setups.

A good example for such cinematography is Ulrich Seidl's Paradise trilogy (which was shot on s16mm but looks like well-shot s35mm).

- In digital, things are roughly comparable, but not fully since most films are mastered at 2K, a resolution at which smaller sensor formats (1"/s16 and MFT, which is in between s16 and s35) don't reach their limits, and where base ISOs for fine-grained/low-noise images are generally higher than with film. But generally, the same rules apply as in the example above.

 

 

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5 minutes ago, Mattias Burling said:

saw Hateful Eight shot and projected on 70mm film last year.  It was awesome.

Me too.  

It was fun as it tapped into my nostalgia for watching a film screening.  The whrrrr of the projector was cool.  But, aside from enjoying the novelty, it didn't look technically good as a digital projection.  And I truly like the minor flaws that pop up from doing something mechanical and analog, but honestly, it's inferior to digital.

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15 hours ago, BTM_Pix said:

Equivalence seems to be in the air on all sites this week.....

Steve Huff weighs in with a different take on it, eschewing the maths and saying "Yeah but I have this 35mm f1.4 on FF and I mainly shoot it wide open so I'm not compromising that and setting it to 2.8(*) just so I can properly match this 23mm f2 APS-C and lose that power".  Essentially in thats respect he's berating APS-C for bring a knife to a gun fight but still asking the question "But what does it actually LOOK like in comparison?" and "Is there THAT much difference to the LOOK between f1.4 and f2 with the equivalent focal length?". 

I think the images he's produced to do this with will support no ones side of this argument as some may say the only equivalence he's really proven is that its possible to take bang average images equally well with a $9000 or $1000 dollar camera. 

http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/2017/03/03/quick-compare-full-frame-dof-vs-aps-c-dof-at-the-same-aperture-leica-vs-fuji/

(* He should have set it to 3.2 of course but he's not arsed about the numbers so its moot)

Well the Fuji X100f certainly crushed the blacks on her top. Not good.  Same old problem though, it takes a Lot of money to have top end gear, that does get the job done, whether photography or video. Sigh.  :frown:  But Fuji always has fudged their ISO ratings!

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30 minutes ago, fuzzynormal said:

Me too.  

It was fun as it tapped into my nostalgia for watching a film screening.  The whrrrr of the projector was cool.  But, aside from enjoying the novelty, it didn't look technically good as a digital projection.  And I truly like the minor flaws that pop up from doing something mechanical and analog, but honestly, it's inferior to digital.

Imo, it murdered anything digital I ever saw. Much much better quality.

And this is the point of everything. We have different tastes and put different aspects on top of the list when we say "image quality".
Some are all about mp others DR, etc.

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18 minutes ago, webrunner5 said:

Well the Fuji X100f certainly crushed the blacks on her top. Not good.  Same old problem though, it takes a Lot of money to have top end gear, that does get the job done, whether photography or video. Sigh.  :frown:  But Fuji always has fudged their ISO ratings!

You have good eyes, webrunner! In the menu on the Fuji, you can adjust highlight and shadow tones. The first couple of videos i posted with the Fuji had blown highlights and crushed shadows until I learned how to adjust the camera. If Steve Huff had set the shadow tone to -2, I'm guessing there would have been as much information in his wife's sweater as in the one shot with the SL. I can't know for sure though, since he doesn't share his camera settings.

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Equivalence and matching depth of field using a simple formula was never in dispute with me.  Of course the math works out.  

It's like saying 3+4+3=10 and 2+5+3=10 and here's a computerized 3D pie chart to prove it.  Pure unmitigated genius, I say!

I can look around my room right now and shoot 20 shots in 10 minutes that could fool even myself as to whether they are full-frame or APS-C if I so choose.  It's so easy if you pick close-ups or flat backgrounds or clutter up the frame with no perspective in the middle.

I just think depth of field is irrelevant to the "look" certain people are seeing between formats.  I think it has to do with a slight shift in perspective from the different-sized lens image circles.

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34 minutes ago, Don Kotlos said:

Again perspective depends only on the distance from the lens. It does NOT depend on the focal length and it does NOT depend on the sensor size.

Are you talking about field of view or perspective?  Two different things.  Because in a comparison between 2 formats, perspective depends on focal length and image circle size (sensor size is irrelevant for the comparison, it's just a method of capture.)

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37 minutes ago, Viscount Omega said:

Are you talking about field of view or perspective?  Two different things.  Because in a comparison between 2 formats, perspective depends on focal length and image circle size (sensor size is irrelevant for the comparison, it's just a method of capture.)

I believe you are confusing FoV with perspective.

FoV depends on the focal length and sensor size.

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So I was bored enough this afternoon to shoot a quick comparison using 3 different formats and a couple of lenses.

Representing full frame,APS-C and M4/3 we have my battered Nikon Df, slightly less battered Nikon D500 and criminally underused Panasonic GX80 respectively.

Lenses are my - even more battered than my Df - Nikon 24-70 2.8G and Nikon 70-200 2.8GII with an original Metabones Speedbooster for the GX80.

A multitude of caveats for this quick comparison are 

  1. The 24-70 shots are a bit soft but its the same for all cameras (mis focused on the Df then it was left in manual for other bodies so error followed through to them) so doesn't really impact the results.
  2. It was quick so a couple of (minor) crops and exposure adjustments were done in Aperture. These were corrective for uniformity where I was a bit sloppy with the setups and again do not change the spirit of the results.
  3. Included in number 2, because it was a quick comparison, I've took a slight rounding liberty with the speedbooster calculation to make it easier to 'centre' the tests around the APS-C sensor. By this, I mean the 24-70 should really have been shot at 23mm on the APS-C to match what the M4/3 was doing at 24mm with the 0.71 Speedbooster but, well, that would've meant a different lens and I was already losing the will to live.
  4. Everything was shot in jpeg with standard profiles and then mangled into these lowish res comps so pixel peeping is moot but, again, it doesn't impact the spirit of the results.
  5. For everything else, did I mention it was a quick comparison ?

The first comparison is at 24mm on the 24-70 and is 'centred' around the D500 at 24mm/f2.8 so the GX80 is 17mm/f2 and the Df was set for 34mm/f4.

The second comparison is at 70mm on the 70-200 and is 'centred' around the D500 at 70mm/f2.8 so the GX80 is 52mm/f2 and the Df was set for 105mm/f4.

My conclusions are :

  1. With the same (high quality but pretty soulless) lenses on three different sensors representative of popular formats there is not enough difference to be losing sleep over.
  2. I need to have the Df serviced.
  3. I need to pressure wash the patio.

 

Cover small  004.jpg

Equiv Comp 1.jpg

Equiv Comp 2.jpg

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44 minutes ago, Don Kotlos said:

I believe you are confusing FoV with perspective.

FoV depends on the focal length and sensor size.

Not if I'm shooting on film.   The point is that you can have two camera set-ups in the same position with the same field of view and two different focal lengths and two different perspectives.   This is due to the different-sized lens image circles (or ovals in the case of anamorphic).

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4 hours ago, fuzzynormal said:

it didn't look technically good as a digital projection.  And I truly like the minor flaws that pop up from doing something mechanical and analog, but honestly, it's inferior to digital.

I watched the 70mm analog projection as you did, as well as the digital version of Hateful 8, which is why I find your opinion interesting.   When you mention the words "inferior" and "technically" what notions are you trying to ascert?   

 

 

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