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m4/3 + metabones speed booster or Sony A7 for legacy lenses?

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by Radiohead, Mar 23, 2014.

  1. Radiohead

    Radiohead Mu-43 Rookie

    17
    Sep 1, 2011
    Stockholm, Sweden
    For more thoughtful photography I like the process using legacy primes and using manual focus instead of using focus by wire offered by the native m4/3 lenses, this despite that maybe the native lenses offer better overall IQ compared to the legacy lenses.

    I've used various minolta rokkor lenses (mostly 45/2 & 58/1.2) mainly on my E-PL1 buy also occasionally on my EM5 or EM1. However lenses such as 58/1.2 becomes a tad long on m4/3 and given that I usually stop them down one stop to reduce the ghosting, I was considering either getting a speed booster or an Sony A7. This would make the 58/1.2 closer to a 85mm equivalent portrait lens and as I can move closer to the subject to keep the same framing, I can reduce the DOF giving a decent background blur. The main attraction by using legacy glass is the tactile feeling using MF glass and the more shallow DOF offered by my 58/1.2 for portraits.

    The price of a speed booster for Minolta MD to M4/3 is around 30% of a used Sony A7. I'm wondering if it wouldn't be better to get an A7 as a platform for legacy glass instead of getting a speed booster for my limited selection of Minolta glass. Ofcourse, I would be able to get 3 metabones speed boosters for the price of an A7 but there's still a significant difference in crop factor and DOF.

    Has anyone else done had similar thoughts and if so, what conclusion did you draw?
     
  2. rbelyell

    rbelyell Mu-43 Veteran

    356
    Sep 15, 2013
    Mountains of NY
    im a simple guy and so will provide a simple reply. in my value system nothing is more important than glass. some very smart, well trained folks using their contemporaneous versions of the best machinery available, designed, engineered and produced the legacy glass we love and in some cases paid dearly for. therefore, i will at all costs avoid shooting those lenses through another piece of glass that cannot in any way match up qualitatively and was not accounted for in the lens's original design, engineering or production concept. in the world of accurate reproduction it is axiomatic that each item you put between the source to be reproduced and the reproducing processor, the more you degrade the reproduction.
     
  3. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    I would say the A7, if only because it provides the option to get a wider field of view. Sort of depends on your subject matter though - if you like the longer field of view, a MFT + focal reducer may be a better choice

    All I can say is that the A7r works nicely with adapted SLR glass I have (see sig) and the voigtlander 35/1.2 M mount I have. But that the 55/1.8 native lens is the one to own for the system (I like the 35/2.8 a lot but it's not as special).
     
  4. A cheap Sony NEX camera + speedbooster will get you approximately the same angle-of-view and depth-of-field of the A7 and still save you some cash by comparison.
     
  5. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    True. The NEX6 is dropping fast in terms of price right now.
     
  6. uberzone

    uberzone Mu-43 Rookie

    21
    Jan 27, 2014
    I plan to get both (eventually). I just recently received my Canon FD Speedbooster. It gives the lenses a whole new look and now I have double the focal lengths to choose from. I would still like to try my Canon FD lenses at full frame however as some of the wider FD lenses 15mm fisheye and 14mm 2.8 for example are still not very useful on m4/3 cameras even with the Speedboster. I was hoping to hold out for a full frame mirrorless with IBIS, but who knows if and when that will happen.
     
  7. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    Northumberland
    ...in other words way too much money!
    Buy one of the cheaper (but good) focal reducers ... enjoy.
    There are at least two whole threads about them right here on the forum.
     
  8. Radiohead

    Radiohead Mu-43 Rookie

    17
    Sep 1, 2011
    Stockholm, Sweden
    The thing with Minolta MD mount is that so far only Metabones seem to manufacture focal reducers to m4/3. A NEX-6 as Luckypenguin suggested would be a good alternative as there are several cheaper focal reducer alternatives for Minolta MD to NEX available. A used NEX-6 here is slightly cheaper than the Metabones speedbooster and could definitely be an alternative.
     
  9. rbelyell

    rbelyell Mu-43 Veteran

    356
    Sep 15, 2013
    Mountains of NY
    a note of caution, sometimes its not just about money or theoretical 'specs'. putting another piece of glass between your lenses and camera may indeed detract from and change the characteristics that define what you love about those lenses in the first place. at the end of the day, wouldnt you wanna see how these lenses perform the way they were intended, on a FF camera unencumbered by extraneous material?
     
  10. yakky

    yakky Mu-43 Top Veteran

    662
    Jul 1, 2013
    It is indeed dropping fast. That said if you are used to either Panasonic or Olympus you are in for a very rude awakening from a menu/UI standpoint.

    I just picked one up, great IQ, awesome viewfinder. The rest sucks. It is the most frustrating camera I have ever owned. Even more so than my J1.
     
  11. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    Northumberland
    Yakky a NEX6 has always been on my buy-later horizon : can you explain the good EVF and your frustrations from a point of view of already using m4/3rds?
    How are the colours & AutoWB outdoors?
     
  12. clockwork247

    clockwork247 Mu-43 Regular

    40
    Feb 4, 2013
    NEX has good color and AWB, it just go the new firmware from sony and they have come far from the earlier days (AKA my A900). You will definitely benefit from the larger sensor, I use my A900 and take crappy JPEG, then go PP and push the crap out of it, and it still look good, sensor size does matter. The EVF is good, IMO even better than the NEX 7 in my eyes, the menu? it sucks balls, if you ever need to menu dive you will be in a world of hurt, the good thing is the dam thing has twins dial and some customizable button, should be ok. I had an olympus PEN before, let just say that they do have better menus, but lets not go crazy here, it's not world difference, people are just not used to it. But I do have to say this, it was a pain in the butt to find stuff in the NEX menu.

    and to answer the original question, A7, no doubt about it. Better camera, people never use a FF sensor before may believe that it's not much better than APSC/m43, trust me on this one, those that tell you this use stuff like ISO 100 in a studio control environment having OOC stuff perfect, in the real world where you're just messing around, the FF will save your life, it just takes a lot more in post processing compare to smaller sensor files. and plus it only cost 1150 for the body ATM new, the NEX 6 is 400 for the body + speed booster for every freaking mount, let say you have 3 different mount (canon/nikon/minola), that's 450 bucks on top and you'll have to deal with crappy IQ because of the extra glass on top of that, the A7 is a much more advance camera than the NEX 6.
     
  13. Radiohead

    Radiohead Mu-43 Rookie

    17
    Sep 1, 2011
    Stockholm, Sweden
    In fact, the same day I got my yearly bonus I also found a (reasonably) good deal on a new A7 which was split from it's kit lens, approx 20% cheaper compared to body only. With any luck I'll get it today! I've had a MD to NEX adapter in a box for about two years as I already then considered a NEX mount camera, although it was a 5N at that time. So now it's just to wait for the postman..! :smile: