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Focal reducer comparison at DPR

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by dhazeghi, Feb 21, 2014.

  1. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    For anybody interested in a comparison of the various focal reducers, Brian Caldwell has posted test results from shooting with the Metabones, Zhongyi, Vizelex and RJ focal reducers in a thread on DPR. Note that he is the designer of the SpeedBooster so not an entirely neutral party, but even so, I think the results are quite helpful for anybody curious about how the different focal reducer adapters compare.
     
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  2. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    following another thread here, I have ordered a Roxen speedboosting thingy... which from what i read is similar to the zhongyi if not the same thing... I am not back to Belgium where it is being delivered, and where my legacy lenses are until the end of next week... but I will be trying it out an posting to this forum.....

    from the article the genuine speedbooster does look the better optically on a chart, but as I dont care about fuzziness on the corners or indeed that much about shooting charts, the zhongi looks like it was the best of the rest

    we will see how it pans out in real life

    K
     
  3. Reflector

    Reflector Mu-43 Veteran

    406
    Aug 31, 2013
    Have fun with your FL reducer Kevin, I think you'll enjoy it for your indoor photography where it brings you that extra bit of shutter speed with your OMD.

    I personally went with the Metabones FLR because I wanted a straight up gain for using my F mount lenses and paying a few hundred more isn't that much given I have a lot of modern lenses as well.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    Do these speedboosters/focal reducers actually increase real world light gathering?
     
  5. speedandstyle

    speedandstyle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Yes. This is not a new idea. In fact many lenses have used this same principle within the lens itself. Every lens that is faster than f1 would have to, thus the Voigtlanders must have them built in. The thing that made this product new was that it was an adapter.

    As for the results of the test - I am somewhat skeptical. First off the winner is the Speedbooster{which I figured it would be} but it is by such a huge amount{especially compared to the Vizelex and RJ}. I am not saying the results are fake but I have some doubts. If these are correct then the Speedbooster is worth the extra money and only the Zhongyi should even be considered by the budget minded buyer. I have some LOMO plastic lenses that are sharper than the Vizelex and RJ.
     
  6. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    I wonder if he's going to get the same flak as Robin Wong did?
     
  7. speedandstyle

    speedandstyle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Probably!
     
  8. Reflector

    Reflector Mu-43 Veteran

    406
    Aug 31, 2013
    I'll have to actually say the results are pretty consistent with my experience (Sorry, I don't have any photos of bookshelves but the whole origin "it reduces your corner sharpness" as a rumor isn't too far off in the distance. Except that rumor really applies to something different...)

    But if you really, really need a photo of a bookshelf, EOSHD had one of the m43 and NEX boosters. The m43 booster from what I know about it is a bit more aggressive in sharpness gains:
    http://www.eoshd.com/content/11041/metabones-speed-booster-for-micro-four-thirds-review (Halfway down and a bit more)

    We'll find out how Robin Wong's transmission claim holds up when DxO* or someone decides to pull off a T-Stop check. SLRGear has results on the CA of the PL25 and O25 and it seems the O25 actually has less maximum CA (But almost similar average CA) and they did it on a E-P1 as well so there's no software corrections from the body going on.

    *I must stress that DxO must be taken very cautiously in what they say and that they're not particularly that reliable on other metrics.
     
  9. TheRenaissanceMan

    TheRenaissanceMan Mu-43 Regular

    84
    Oct 11, 2013
    My problem is that no one besides Metabones seems to make a Canon FD to Mu43 focal reducer.

    Sent from my SCH-I535 using Mu-43 mobile app
     
  10. orfeo

    orfeo Mu-43 Top Veteran

    673
    Sep 27, 2013
    FR
    My booster work way better than this.
    Again shooting a flat chart, with a F1.4 lens, not knowing the the field curvature of each optical reducer...
    In real world, extreme corner with my Pentax SMC K 55mm f1.8 is sharp with RJ reducer.

    I have seen sample from the zonghyi that were terribly bad, not like in this test. And the RJ is known to be better than the zonghyi from what I gattered.
    Note that the EOS to m4/3 hasn't been out for a very long time!

    I find it very interesting that Caldwell is spending the time and money in order to do this test himself and publicly stating his facts on DPR. Anyway I have no shares in the chineses companies that make those affordable and EOS reducers, but I find it annoying to see bad rap about them, like all bad rap for that matter...

    I am glad to be able to have a cheap booster, and that was impossible just a month ago.

    Not nice Caldwell, not everyone has Nikon glasses or all that money...
     
  11. T N Args

    T N Args Agent Photocateur

    Dec 3, 2013
    Adelaide, Australia
    call me Arg
    I'm in if you are! :daz:
     
  12. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    I'm not sure there's that much reason to be surprised. There's a substantial difference in optical design, materials and construction between the different focal reducers, and a test-chart shot wide-open and shown at 100% is going to make any flaws painfully clear. That's particularly the case as he used a high quality modern lens, as indeed he should, since the purpose is to measure the focal reducers.

    Yes, he obviously has some vested interest, although I think it's more a matter of professional pride than anything commercial. Caldwell has after all designed the Coastal Optics 60/4, considered to be the benchmark in APO macro designs.
     
  13. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    The Nikon 50mm 1.4 G has been generally panned on the Nikon side as being weaker than the 1.8 G version. What I find interesting is when boosted, it actually looks sharper!
     
  14. Cruzan80

    Cruzan80 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    Denver, Co
    Sean Rastsmith
    I wonder how much is sample variation. After all, in a dumb adapter, a noname one could be the exact same size as a metabones, but the sample variation is wider. Not saying he was underhanded, just that the reason metabones/novoflex/etc. are worth the money is the tolerances.

    Sent from my LG-P769 using Mu-43 mobile app
     
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  15. orfeo

    orfeo Mu-43 Top Veteran

    673
    Sep 27, 2013
    FR
    And we don't know what RJ reducer model he used...
     
  16. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    Quite possible, but that's a real issue for users too. It's not as if most people will send their samples back to China/Hong Kong for a better sample (or would know if it was off in the first place).

    He mentions that these are all personally purchased samples except the SpeedBooster which was randomly selected from a production run. Certainly, cherry-picking the best wouldn't make the review any more representative of the experience that people will see.
     
  17. Cruzan80

    Cruzan80 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    Denver, Co
    Sean Rastsmith
    I agree with regards to the sending back. What the followup to that line of thinking was (and I guess I heard it in my head, but my fingers didnt put it down), is that it might be the reason that the reviews for the cheaper ones are all over the place. Some have blue spots, others not, this version is better/worse than that, etc. To a lesser extent, legacy glass purchasing in general...

    Personally, if I get one, I am leaning towards the SB, since I don't want to risk the money spent on something I can't engineer myself (have no problem with dumb adapters, as I can shim/adjust helicoids, but glass is outside my purview), unless it is used, and I can see samples from that specific one.
     
  18. orfeo

    orfeo Mu-43 Top Veteran

    673
    Sep 27, 2013
    FR
    Brian knows well what his speedbooster is good at (shooting flat test chart) and what the competition is weak at (shooting flat card at close distance with a very fast lens). So this test only shows that the speedbooster is good for showing what Caldwell knows about his design. Let's see some real life test.
     
  19. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    I think that's a fair comment, shooting test charts is one thing, but doing actual photography in the field with varied lenses is another thing entirely. It's like putting a car on a dyno and saying how great it is, but never taking it on the road.
     
  20. RnR

    RnR Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    Hasse
    Go for it! ^_^