Metabones BMPCC Adapter

Discussion in 'Blackmagic Design Cameras' started by OzRay, Apr 12, 2014.

  1. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    Metabones, not long ago, announced a new Speedbooster purely for the BMPCC camera, which provides an even greater focal length reduction than regular adapters: http://www.metabones.com/products/details/MB_SPNFG-BMPCC-BM1. Looking at the adapter, it appears to be very similar in depth (between the two mounting surfaces) to that of the MMF2 and MMF3. I've been very interested in the BMPCC since it came out, especially since it has an active m4/3 mount, which means my existing lenses would work with the camera. However, even though it has a m4/3 mount, using 4/3 lenses with an adapter, still means that all the effective FLs are multiplied 3x. This is kind of disappointing, as so much is lost even with a 7-14mm.

    So I've written to Metabones enquiring whether there is a possibility of them creating a similar (active) adapter with a 4/3 mount, given that the dimensions (looking at the photos only) appear to be very similar to the MMF2/MMF3. I understand that they would need to get approval for the active connections, but considering that Blackmagic has been able to do this (and they aren't a major company), I can't imagine it would be impossible for Metabones to do the same. I'm not holding my breath, but it would provide new opportunities to a lot 4/3 lens owners and possibly boost the popularity of the BMPCC even more. Though the adverse affect might be escalating used prices for 4/3 lenses.
     
  2. RDM

    RDM Mu-43 All-Pro

    OK, here is the problem.. Focal reducers reduce the flange back distance of the mount.. Any mount .. by a fixed percentage relative to the multiplying factor of the reducer.. Now that Nikon to the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera (BMPCC) adapter is indeed similar in size to the MMF2, however the MMF2 is not a reducer.

    SO Knowing that the Nikon mount is one of the longest flange back distances of SLR lenses, and the 4/3 mount is much shorter you have to consider some things .

    TO make a quick comparison you could measure the height of a regular Nikon to µ4/3 adapter and compare it to this one or a regular Nikon to µ4/3 speed booster, and then figure out the percentage it decreases by, and apply that to the MMF2's height and you would get a surprisingly short adapter, Not even sure you could put electronics in it. I believe to make a focal reducer would be cost prohibitive if possible because first you would not be able to reduce it too much given the space provided and also concidering projected Possible sales to the amount of BMPCC users.
     
  3. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    There's an 8mm difference between a 4/3 to m/4/3 (19.3mm) adapter and a Nikon to m/4/3 adapter (27.3mm). The thing with the BMPCC adapter is that it takes the inner element into the BMPCC housing (past the flange) and cannot be used on m4/3 cameras. That, to me, suggests that there is at least some possibility of doing something similar for 4/3 lenses, as they have done for Nikon lenses. The overall reduction may not be as great, or may be greater, as I don't know the optical calculations work, but it does appear that there is some scope for a Speedbooster for 4/3 lenses. I guess I'll have to wait for a response from Metabones, if they can be bothered, to know whether it can be done. My motto is 'Nothing ventured, nothing gained.'
     
  4. RDM

    RDM Mu-43 All-Pro

    Well you really are better off asking Brian directly if there is enough space; he has a profile on dpreview. I do not believe it is piratical to develop such an adapter for retail, but I am speaking as one engineer, but to another like Brian, who is Primarily focused on optics and this type of adapter, he may have a different answer. Also he speaks English for a first language so it might be easier talking to him than metabones ..lol
     
  5. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    You want me to enter that hell hole? I thought Metabones was a US company and that English (at least the American version) was their native tongue. ;)

    Anyway, I emailed Brian Caldwell directly, asking the same question, as I haven't heard anything from Metabones.
     
  6. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    Brian Caldwell responded to my email last night and said that what I was proposing was possible, but he wasn't immediately sure as to how much reduction was possible. The biggest issue was the effort and whether it would be commercially viable, considering the possible numbers involved. Would such an adapter attract existing 4/3 lens owners, or get non-4/3 lens owner that use the BMPCC and BMCC etc to consider buying 4/3 lenses to get AF etc?

    The other thing that I found out was that the crop factor for 4/3 lenses was 1.4x, not the 3x that seemed to be indicated on the Metabones web site, so you're not losing anywhere near as much as I expected.

    I just wanted to add that I really appreciate it when people like Brian, with their wealth of knowledge, are prepared to respond to a potentially whimsical request with a thought out response, and then follow up with further thoughts and show a genuine interest in what has been put to him. Not many would show the least bit of interest in such mundane issues.
     
  7. RDM

    RDM Mu-43 All-Pro

    Yea, hes is a great guy isn't he? .. I figured he would satisfy your concerns immediately, that is why I directed you to him. I am glad you got your answer.
    I have always enjoyed discussing engineering or technical matters with him. He has never been anything less than courteous. It is almost as if someone taught him that good manners and how to talk with people online should be as civil as if we were face to face. A rare find on camera forums, and an even more rare a find on a dpreview forum....lol
    But yea it seem that Brian, like me has some doubts to how piratical it would be to develop such an adapter for retail. I think it would be one of the smallest of niche markets. I doubt someone would pay to have the research done to determine the market Viability of such a product, but you never know.

    I predict tho, that if not now, in maybe ten years it would be possible to get some independent company to produce a one-off of such an adapter for under 5k if one really wanted such a thing. Maybe a small movie company would find such a need. I mean, fifteen years ago it would have been inconceivable to have someone pint out a custom adapter or mount from a 3D printer too.
     
  8. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    Yes, it is a very pleasant surprise to get such responses.

    But on the lens issue, it could potentially be a very interesting outcome if it were possible to create a Speedbooster that fully brought back the FL of 4/3 lenses and gave a faster aperture. The Nikon G adapter provides between 1.33 and 1.66 stop improvement (depending on which camera it's used), so I wonder how many users of the BMPCC and BMCC would be interested in some of the SHG 4/3 lenses if the FL remained the same and they became faster? And that's with an active mount as well.

    My adage has always been, 'You'll never know if you don't ask.' And corollary is, 'The only dumb question is the one that is not asked.' :)