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Speedbooster advice sought

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by rbelyell, Jan 20, 2015.

  1. rbelyell

    rbelyell Mu-43 Veteran

    356
    Sep 15, 2013
    Mountains of NY
    hi guys

    i'm finally pretty happy with my present gear lineup and am really enjoying the resolution/low light/discreet shutter of the rx1 and the manual focusing fun and surprising results from my rd1, and also telephoto work done with my epl5/nikon 105/2.5 combo.

    the one thing i'm missing is the ability to shoot my leica rf glass in low light--like over 1600. i really dont want another camera, so ive decided to try and make my present lineup work for me.

    that brings me to wanting to buy a speedbooster to shoot my rf glass at their proper FL on my m4/3 epl5, which is a good high iso cam for my purposes. so, are there differences between brands? what is the best one for retaining the character of the lenses--thats my primary concern. btw, if anyone is selling one of these let me know!

    thanks
    tony
    _________________
     
  2. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator; Photon Wrangler

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    Barry
    The Metabones Speed Boosters are the only ones I have heard of that are very good optically, but they are quite expensive.
    http://www.metabones.com/products/?c=speed-booster

    Which mount are your lenses?

    I'm not sure what you mean by "proper FL".

    Barry
     
  3. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    I have not heard of any speedboosters for rangefinder lenses.
     
  4. Petrochemist

    Petrochemist Mu-43 Top Veteran

    651
    Mar 21, 2013
    N Essex, UK
    Mike
    I don't think RF lenses have enough rear focal distance for a focal reducer to be made. All the models I remember seeing are for full frame SLR lenses.
     
  5. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    first of all a speedbooster or any kind of focal reducer will not make your LeicaRF glass work at their 'proper' FL.

    lets take a 50mm lens

    put it on a Leica 35mm camera and it has a FOV that is what people who shot 35mm film would call a normal field of view - neither wide or telephoto. All of the lens is used to generate the image

    put the same lens on an RD 1 ( or indeed a Leica M8) with an APC sensor and the crop factor of 1.5 gives it an equivalent FOV of a 75mm lens on 35mm film. A mild telephoto, but not all the image captured by the lens is being used, just the centre 2/3rds - this is where the idea of crop factor comes from.

    Put the same lens on a micro 4/3 where there is a crop factor of 2 and the same lens will now give a FOV equivalent to a 100mm lens on 35mm film, a moderate telephoto. The sensor will only record half the information the lens captured and indeed was designed to capture.

    put the same lens on a focal reducer such as the Metabones Speedbooster which alters the effective FL by 0.7, on a m43 camera and it acts like a 35mm lens giving a FOV of 70mm.

    In the end , the only way you get the full benefit of all of the characteristics of your Leica lens is to shoot it on a 35mm full frame sensor, be that film or digital, and it could be argued that older Leica lenses will work better on film than digital

    I did a thread on my tests with a Roxsen focal reducer, which is a Speedbooster clone. It may be useful to understand just what you do get. They are useful tools, but they ain't magic

    https://www.mu-43.com/showthread.php?t=61038


    K
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. fredlong

    fredlong Just this guy...

    Apr 18, 2011
    Massachusetts USA
    Fred
    The approximately 10mm difference between Leica mount and u43 lenses isn't enough to fit the speedbooster optics. Also, I've never heard of a .5X speedbooster you'd need to shoot them at their "proper" focal length.
     
  7. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    You can also get the "proper FL" with a focal reducer on an APS-C sensor (you end up with just a 1.07x crop, which is fairly negligible). But that needs another mirrorless camera, which the OP doesn't want to do.

    Though if you're alluding to the fact that there is no focal reducer that will work with rangefinder glass due to the flange focal distance, that's also correct.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator; Photon Wrangler

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    Barry
    You can find mount adapters (not Speed Boosters) for several Leica mounts to mu-43.

    Barry
     
  9. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    Agree that a focal reducer on APS-C brings a lens 'back' to its native FL

    also totally agree that there isn't a reducer that will put Leica lenses on m43... just plain adaptors... I was too caught up in the crop explanation, and I have too many cameras and adaptors that I lost the plot

    you can get some nice results with the adaptors... but you are only using half the lens.

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/kevinparis2007/sets/72157630808391888/

    this was an E-p1 with a Noctilux

    5123100853_0993bd6917_b. Across a crowded room by kevinparis, on Flickr

    K
     
  10. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    M mount lenses don't, but R mount lenses do have Speedboosters available.
     
  11. rbelyell

    rbelyell Mu-43 Veteran

    356
    Sep 15, 2013
    Mountains of NY
    well thank you all for the excellent information. it does seem that there is an M to NEX speedbooster available on the Metabones site. not sure how that factors in to the above info on the physics of M lens/speedbooster viability...maybe someone could help with that?
     
  12. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    M to nex will only work if you have a sony NEX which is a 1.5 crop

    k
     
  13. DigitalD

    DigitalD Mu-43 Top Veteran

    505
    Jan 10, 2014
    Miami
    David
    Save up, get a Sony A7 series camera. The most affordable combo with huge IQ capabilities from Leica style lenses. And with original/intended FL ;)
     
  14. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    Sony A7 is an option... Though many Leica users, and indeed Leica themselves have not been satisfied that the classic Leica look of their film lenses translates effectively to the digital world. Leica build microlenses into the sensors to compensate for the different way that digital sensors and film cope with the direction that light hits the sensor

    Also can I ask you to refrain from using empty phrases like 'huge IQ capabilities'

    IQ is a totally meaningless metric... is it sharpness?...is it sharpness in the corner... is it sharpness in the corner wide open ? is it contrast?.. is it chromatic aberration ? is it colour rendition? is it flare? has it actually anything to do with the subject or the skill of the photographer?

    Or is it just the b**locks that people who know little use to make them seem like they know something

    I have a challenge... can anybody cite me a post from more than ten years ago that in relation to cameras uses the phrase 'IQ'? I really want to know where that phrase came from because its sure as heck wasn't around when I started photography.

    sorry... but the casual use of that phrase really winds me up :)
     
    • Like Like x 1
  15. bassman

    bassman Mu-43 Top Veteran

    678
    Apr 22, 2013
    New Jersey
    Scott
    First of all, I agree that IQ is a generally meaningless indicator of anything related to cameras today.

    However, I believe it arose from the early days of digital photography, when for the first time ,the camera was the determinant of the quality of the image, rather than the film plus the lens. That was because the sensors of the day dramatically underperformed both the lenses and the existing films. So it was meaningful to have a discussion about camera X having a better IQ, based on some undefined metric (or perhaps defined in context) than camera Y.

    Today we're in the happy situation where the sensors in the current generation of cameras generally outperform both film and many lenses, by most metrics one could choose. Many posters, including me, apparently feel that just about any ILC you can buy will outperform their own skills at capturing quality images. At the very least, I've read many posts giving this view.

    So to rephrase the original comment: is there a solution which would allow me to use Leica rangefinder lenses on a digital body that would deliver results similar to, or better than (along an unspecified metric), a Leica rangefinder film body? My answer is: define your metric and I'll try to answer.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  16. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    Thanks Scott

    Seems like a reasonable point in time to pinpoint the birth of IQ... off to my man lab to program my T800 terminator to go back in time

    "I vant your NYKON D6 and your shooting vest"

    :smile:


    I live with a leica shooter... somewhere in the house there is a RD-1, an M8, an M9 and Monochrome, and more lenses than I am sure she will care to admit.

    I have lived vicariously through the debates between various subtle differences in the myriad of Leica lenses, and I have shot her lenses on my cameras and shot her lenses on her cameras

    There is , absolutely, a unique quality to the image that certain Leica lens can create,

    sometimes it translates well across to platforms that was not the original intentions, other times not so much

    lenses are nice... but photos are better:smile:

    K
     
    • Like Like x 1
  17. bassman

    bassman Mu-43 Top Veteran

    678
    Apr 22, 2013
    New Jersey
    Scott
    You vill have my NYKONs ven you kyll me. My shooting west, for 100 silver peeses, and your voman.

    I understand that, for many people, there is a qualitative difference in the way different lenses affect light and interact with the sensor (or film). I believe it to be true. Sadly, I am unable to discern the difference, or, when I can see it, I am unable to form an opinion as to which is better in any given situation. This may be an artifact of my limited experience with lenses; I tend to buy one which meets my speed and angle of view requirements and let it rest there. So my solution is to try and achieve an imaging system (lens/camera/ ...) which is reasonably transparent, and add any effects after the fact.
     
  18. rbelyell

    rbelyell Mu-43 Veteran

    356
    Sep 15, 2013
    Mountains of NY
    not a matter of saving up, its more a matter of both overkill and the wrong tool for the job. its overkill because i dont need that kind of horsepower as i'm perfectly content with the IQ (yeah, i said it!):) of my rd1 up to 1600. my primary goal was to be able to shoot my leica glass in lowlight, and i assumed incorrectly the speedbooster would have the ancillary positive effect of restoring those lenses proper FL.

    the a7 is neither the lowlight horse i want nor the leica glass friendly sensor i'd like. great camera, no doubt. but the only one i'd consider for my purposes is the a7s, and at its current price i would feel like i'd have to use it all the time vs the limited purpose i originally set forth, and i dont want to feel guilty about using my rd1.

    so end of the day, i'm still thrilled with my gear, and i will have to content myself with lowlight shooting leica glass at the 2x crop factor. or i'll just forget it and just keep using the rx1 which is a very strong high iso performer.
     
  19. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    I've gotten decent results using a generic focal reducer on M43. I liked the results so much, I purchased a cheap mirrorless aps-c mirrorless camera to get a wider FOV with a focal reducer. Sure it's not perfect optically, but in everyday scenarios, the cheap adapters work alright!

    These were shot with a budget Nikon 100mm 2.8 E lens, and the results I have with the focal reducer, look better than shooting the lens bare!

    E-M10 & Nikon 100 2.8:
    parking_sign_web.

    E-M10 & Nikon 100 2.8:
    nikon_100_parade_01.

    E-PM2 & Nikon 100 2.8:
    street_la_023.