1. Reminder: Please use our affiliate links for holiday shopping!

Nokton 17.5mm v Metabones Speedbooster + Legacy Glass

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by bigboysdad, Oct 9, 2015.

  1. bigboysdad

    bigboysdad Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 25, 2013
    Sydney/ London
    Here in Australia, the price of both are similar if you are going to buy a quality f1.2 legacy lens to go with the speedbooster. On paper, the 2 choices have similarities in that you will have manual focus lenses and f0.95 (or thereabouts) aperture, once the speedbooster increases the aperture of the legacy lens.

    The obvious advantage of going the Metabones route is that you can get more cheaper legacy lenses, whereas with the Nokton, it’s specifically made for the M43 mount. But what about the experience/ease of use and above all, image quality? Let’s make the following assumptions:

    - The legacy glass I’m talking about here will have an f1.2 aperture, such as Minolta MC Rokkor 58mm/MD Rokkor 50mm or Canon FD 55mm or Zuiko OM 50mm. In other words, quality lenses which will cost a bit more than most other legacy lenses which you can buy. Similar f1.4 legacy glass will of course also increase to f1 with the speedbooster.

    - The legacy glass will be in as good condition as can be expected. I know this’ll be easier said than done considering the age of the legacy lenses, but let’s assume anyway.

    - We’re talking about still images here - not interested in video.

    So does anyone have experience of both and if so, any opinion on the quality of images produced? It’s going to be one or the other for me, any comments or advice here would be greatly appreciated.
     
    • Appreciate Appreciate x 1
  2. Boneyard

    Boneyard Mu-43 Regular

    186
    Oct 5, 2012
    Iowa, USA
    Maybe I'm wrong; but I can't think of any legacy glass that, even with the SpeedBooster, will get you as wide and fast as the 17.5. How important is that to you?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. bigboysdad

    bigboysdad Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 25, 2013
    Sydney/ London
    Thanks for pointing that out, I should have mentioned it in the OP. We are indeed talking about different focal lengths but if the quality of the legacy lenses/ metabones set up is that good, I'm happy to go down that road instead. For me this is more of a treat than a necessity.
     
  4. RnR

    RnR Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    Hasse
    The quality of the Metabones Speedbooster is good. Search for speedbooster in the Adapted Lenses subforum and you will see many examples. If you enjoy working with old glass, a focal reducer on your m43 is pretty awesome stuff. btw a Canon FD 24mm f1.4 with a Speedbooster would be as wide and as fast as the 17.5 and roughly the same price :)
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Appreciate Appreciate x 1
  5. manzoid

    manzoid Mu-43 Regular

    137
    Jun 9, 2011
    I don't know if it counts as 'legacy' but the 30mm sigma 1.4 (designed for aps-c) is an option, and in nikon mount can be had for roughly $200 or so, and could then be used with even the non-metabones focal reducers to allow aperture control.

    Anyway, I am interested to hear others insights, but some other things you would miss out on with the legacy option is the extremely close focusing ability of the Voigtlanders. Equivalents would be larger and heavier (i.e. 24mm 1.4 canon compared to 17.5mm CV). I think most legacy options wouldn't hit the sharpness the Voigtlander's do stopped down either, but might depend on the specific lens and condition.

    In favour of the legacy options, I think vignetting of fullframe lenses might be less severe and possibly sharper corners wide open. Even with the speedbooster you are still not making use of full image circle.
     
    • Appreciate Appreciate x 1
  6. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    Lorenzo
    Almost all super fast legacy lenses wide open are not exceptional by themselves. And when adapted you often get a washed effect even if a focal reducer limits this problem. I have a Nikon 50/1.4 and even with a no-brand (Roxsen) focal reducer gives good contrast only at 2.8.

    Fast vintage lenses are not cheap, with the price of the Metabone and a good 1.4 lens you can almost get a used Nokton. Noktons wide open are not great but stopped down are among the sharpest lenses for m43 (some focal lengths better then others). Native/modern lenses have better glass, coatings, are designed for digital (telecentric, etc.).

    Why are you considering this lenses? Super background blur? Night photography? Are you a pixel peeper?
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2015
  7. bigboysdad

    bigboysdad Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 25, 2013
    Sydney/ London
    The responses are much appreciated, thank you.

    Urgh, I'm certainly not a "pixel peeper", our time on this earth is limited enough as it is. No, my reasons, in no particular order are 1) I have an opportunity to treat myself this month 2) I'm wanting something different to my current set up to maintain my interest in photography (some people might want to go FF, but that would do nothing for me). I have an E-P5. I don't see the E-M5 Mark II with its same sensor as a sufficient enough step up to warrant purchasing, so these lenses seem more interesting to me as something different. 3) The images that I've seen coming from the Nokton and legacy glass lead me to believe that they'll render images different to most other m43 lenses. 4) I don't have any manual lenses and using any of these lenses will force me to think different, unlike say the Oly 17mm f1.8 that I own. The fact that the Nokton/ legacy lenses will be very fast, either natively or through the speedbooster plus their manual operation means there's a real prospect of the guy behind the lenses producing some different and special images if he learns how to use them properly.

    I know. The price works out about the same where I am. My position is that I can only currently afford one setup or the other and I'm still not sure which way to go.

    See, that's what's seriously interesting me.

    Noted and many thanks for the practical advices, that's exactly what I'm seeking here.

    I certainly will.
     
  8. RnR

    RnR Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    Hasse
    Just a warning... you may get addicted to the 1.42 crop factor rather than the standard 2.0... and then you'll begin to wonder how the lenses would appear on a full frame sensor. Heck you might even consider a KolariVision mod on an A7 series camera ;)

    If you like the fast glass look, take a look at this thread - http://forum.mflenses.com/my-fdn-85mm-1-2-l-t72863.html
     
    • Appreciate Appreciate x 1
  9. bigboysdad

    bigboysdad Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 25, 2013
    Sydney/ London
  10. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    You'd need a 24mm 1.4, which become 17mm 1.0 on speed booster.

    I guess Samyang makes one. Would be big and not much cheaper.
     
  11. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ian
    Why are you comparing a 50mm legacy lens (35mm with a Speedbooster) to a 17.5mm lens? If you're interested in a 17mm (35mm FoV eqv), your option with legacy glass is to get a 24mm f/1.4, which will become a 17mm f/1.0 in native m43 terms.

    You'll probably end up paying a bit more for the legacy combo, but if you plan to purchase other adapted lenses then it may be worth it.

    If you want to use the legacy glass wide open, make sure you buy quality glass (along the lines of Canon L glass), and a quality adapter (like Metabones). If you cheap out on either on, you'll get softer images wide open, negating the speed advantage.
     
  12. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    If you're interested in a nice ultrafast lens, I would seriously look at the new Mitakon 25mm/0.95. Looks to be sharper than the Voigtlanders wide open, andand at $399 is cheaper than any fast wide legacy lens even without counting the cost of the focal reducer.

    And it's incredibly small and light to boot. Looks like a winner to me...

    (My personal solution to this problem was to buy a Koni Omega 6x7 medium format rangefinder for about $85 USD + shipping. But I'm a weirdo.)
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. bigboysdad

    bigboysdad Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 25, 2013
    Sydney/ London
    I wasn't, well not the focal lengths anyway, it was more the fact that they represented something different to what I have that I can get into. I note what you say about the quality glass though and especially the Metabones adapter (thanks).
    Yes I saw that, it's almost as if there's a catch!
     
  14. Tony Rex

    Tony Rex Mu-43 Veteran

    275
    Apr 6, 2015
    Melbourne, Australia.
    Tony Rex
    Great thread mate. Thanks for starting it. Lucky youve got an E-P5 that's compatible with the Mitakon 25mm f.95. My daughter isn't so lucky with her E-M5. Aside from a bit of coma? on the corners, I think it's a fantastic lens to own.
     
    • Appreciate Appreciate x 1
  15. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ian
    @bigboysdad@bigboysdad,

    If you are planning on purchasing a lot of vintage glass, then the speed booster may be worth the investment. I bought a used RJ Lens Turbo on eBay for $60, a Canon FD 50mm f/1.4 for $75, and a Canon FD 100mm f/2 for $255. All told, I invested $390 and got four lenses: 36mm f/1.0, 50mm f/1.4, 72mm f/1.4, and 100mm f/2. I bought all of this because I'm starting to get in to video more where I manually focus anyways, and these focal length/speeds are not available in native m43 lenses (at least not from expensive third parties).

    The lenses on a standard adapter are quite good wide open, maybe a hair soft, but nothing unusable. When using the Lens Turbo though, I have to stop down a stop in order to get an acceptably sharp image with both of the lenses. Again, not a big deal for what I'm doing, where I'm primarily looking to achieve a narrow DoF for shooting video. However if you're looking to use these lenses in a poorly lit venue to take photos, and there's one focal length you are looking for in particular (like the 17.5 you mentioned in you OP), then you may be best to go with something like a Nocton from CV.
     
    • Appreciate Appreciate x 1
  16. bigboysdad

    bigboysdad Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 25, 2013
    Sydney/ London
    Yes, taking pictures in the city, 3am, that was one of the things on my mind. Thanks. It seems that if you're going to get the speedbooster then you're going to have to get the top of the line Metabones if you want it done well.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  17. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    The main advantage of the Voigtlander 17.5mm compared to a legacy option for night photography will be that the shorter focal length can use a longer shutter speed before motion blur becomes noticeable. Using a 17.5mm/0.95 lens vs. a 50mm/1.4 on a focal reducer (36mm/f1.0) effectively earns you a full extra stop in low light if you aren't trying to freeze motion.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  18. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ian
    The OP said that he wasn't comparing the 17.5 to a legacy 50mm as the lenses he was considering buying, only as an example of a fast native lens vs a fast adapted lens.

    As others have stated, if the OP wanted the 35mm eqv FoV, he would need a 24mm f/1.4 on a Speed Booster to have a 17mm f/1.0. Unless he plans on buying a lot of legacy lenses, he should just go with the fast native m43 lens.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  19. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    Oh, well certainly. You'd be hard-pressed to find a 24mm/1.4 for under $500, and they are all huge and heavy.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  20. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ian
    For sure. They're large, heavy, and expensive, which is why I would say that unless somebody already owns one, they would be better off just buying a fast native m43 lens.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1