Metabones FD to m43 Speedbooster

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by scythide, Mar 21, 2014.

  1. scythide

    scythide New to Mu-43

    Mar 21, 2014
    I did not see a dedicated thread for the FD to m4/3 version of the Metabones Speedbooster (

    I purchased one last week so I thought I'd kick off the thread. The only FD lens I have right now is the Canon FD 300mm f/4L, but will be getting the Canon FD 24mm f/2 soon.

    Metabones Speedbooster FD to m4/3



    Canon FD 300mm f/4L


    On the O-MD E-M1


    One thing to note is that even though I received the latest version of the Speedbooster (with E-M1 compatibility), I still had to remove the tripod foot to be able to mount it onto the E-M1. With the foot still attached, it was getting stuck and rubbing against the bottom of the camera.

    The FD 300mm f/4L is a beauty of a lens. It seems sharp wide open, both with and without the Speedbooster. Here is an image comparing center 100% crops between the Speedboosted lens, the non-Speedboosted lens with matching framing, and the non-Speedboosted matching distance. (Tripod, RAW converted with Lightroom 5.3, default sharpening, camera neutral profile)


    Full images

    And finally, here are some example shots (handheld, IS, most with the Speedbooster and cropped, click for full image):








    Non-speedbooster example (sorry for the boring subject -- no critters were out to play yet!):


    I also bought a FD 2x teleconverter on eBay, so when that and the 24mm f2 come, I'll try to put up some more example images.
    • Like Like x 15
  2. MikeWhitten

    MikeWhitten Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 29, 2012
    Hi - thanks for this thread. I've got the same FD lens and am looking at the speedbooster. Any further thoughts on the combo?
  3. datagov

    datagov Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Dec 2, 2012
    New York
    I don't understand why you would purchase a speedbooster with the Canon FD 300 F4 L and the 2x-B. Why not just purchase the Canon FD 80-200 F4 L and the 2x-B and leave the speedbooster alone?
  4. MAubrey

    MAubrey Photographer

    Jul 9, 2012
    Bellingham, WA
    Mike Aubrey
    Aside from the fact that you'd loose a stop of light on the 80-200mm f/4L, the image quality wouldn't be even remotely close. The 80-200mm is easily one of the best zooms from the 1980's, but it's still a zoom from the 1980's and shows it. There is no 200mm lens of a comparable price to compete with the 300mm f/4L. The 200mm f/2.8, even the IF version, doesn't have the exotic glass that the 300mm f4L has and as I just said, the 80-200mm just isn't up to par. There are only a handful of legacy lenses that would be better than the 300mm f4L+SB combo and none of them would be cheaper.
  5. thearne3

    thearne3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 28, 2010
    Redding, CT USA
    Sorry to resurrect an old thread, but I just had to comment...

    I just received the OM/m43 speed booster and, just as you've shown, the Metabones comes through on all fronts: increased speed, mtf, etc. I'm especially impressed with the increase in micro-contrast. This is clearly shown in your initial post with the Canon 300mm lens.

    I have three OM lenses: 80mm f2, 135 f2.8 and 300mm f4.5. All are a joy to use in their own right, but the Metabones makes them comparable in sharpness to any comparable m43 lens. Specifically, the 85 f2 (which becomes a 60mm f1.4) creates images that are very hard to distinguish from the Oly 45.

    Anyway, thanks for posting! Would love to hear more on your experience with the Metabones.
  6. RnR

    RnR Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    +1 to what Tom said. In addition to the awesome advantages mentioned above, the Metabones Speedbooster is also slightly more than 5mm shorter than a 'dumb' adapter, making for a slight more compact system.
  7. datagov

    datagov Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Dec 2, 2012
    New York
    Huh? How do you loose a stop of light since both lenses are at f4. And the Canon Fdn 80-200 F4L was the last of the non-autofocus L lenses made. It is a few years newer than the FDn 300mm F4L and it has the same exotic coatings and glass. I am sure the speedboosters are great but I really can't imagine that putting another piece of glass in front of the sensor makes two lense of the same vintage and construction markedly better.
  8. MAubrey

    MAubrey Photographer

    Jul 9, 2012
    Bellingham, WA
    Mike Aubrey
    Once you've attached a speedbooster, it is no longer a 300mm f/4 lens. Now it's a 213mm f/2.8 lens. The f-number is the a mathematical construct: focal length divided by the diameter of the optical entrance pupil. So 300 / 75 = 4. The speedbooster reduces the focal length, but the entrance pupil stays the same. So now the equation is 213 / 75 = 2.8. With the speedbooster this isn't an f/4 lens. It's an f/2.8 lens.

    Well, they may be the same vintage, but they're not the same construction. And the 80-200mm was/is softest at 200mm and f/4. It has lot's of astigmatism and a drop in fine detail contrast in the outer two thirds of the frame. The 300mm f/4L has very little astigmatism and as a result higher resolution wide open. The 80-200mm f/4 was definitely the greatest zoom of its time, but it still doesn't compete with a top class prime.

    Beyond that, I think you'd be surprised just how impressive the effect of the speedbooster is on a lens.
  9. datagov

    datagov Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Dec 2, 2012
    New York
    I'm sure you are right and there are sharper lenses at 200mm. I have tried the Pentax-m 200mm f4, Super Takumar 200mm f3.5, Nikkor 200mm f4 AIS, Vivitar Series 1 70-210 f3.5, and the Canon FDn 200mm f2.8. None of them are as sharp as the Canon FDn 80-200 f4 L at 200mm. For me, this is the best resolving manual focus lens I have found in this range except my Tokina 90mm f2.5 Macro. Shot this one with Canon L today, 200mm @ f4.

    View attachment 36950

    But the speedbooster is intriguing and I will try one.
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  10. MAubrey

    MAubrey Photographer

    Jul 9, 2012
    Bellingham, WA
    Mike Aubrey
    Yeah, I wouldn't be surprised if the 80-200mm is the best lens classic MF lens at 200mm (outside of, say, the Nikon 200mm f/2 Ai-S). There are a few 180mm's that might be competive though. I think the Nikon 180mm f/2.8 also uses ED glass (?).

    That's a superb image. The blue background is a perfect frame.
  11. RnR

    RnR Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    There are two versions, one with the gold ring and one without. The ED version, with the gold ring, is one of the Nikon legends and not that big....


    Wideopen with Metabones Speedbooster

    100% crop on the olde PM1...