1. Reminder: Please user our affiliate links to get to your favorite stores for holiday shopping!

Undoing the crop - a good 0.5x focal reducer for m4/3 or a good lens lineup for Sony APS-C/E mount?

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by dhazeghi, Feb 10, 2016.

  1. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    I've been having a lot of fun with my new SpeedBooster and Tokina 11-20/2.8. Yes, the autofocus is a bit clunky (I blame Tokina at least partially for that) and the combination is not small. But I just about lost any interest I ever had in the Olympus 7-14/2.8 or Panasonic 7-14/4. The SpeedBooster (and Tokina) really is that good.

    All this got me thinking that a good focal reducer essentially gets one the best of both worlds. When size and weight are important, I can use native lenses. When low-light and shallow DoF are needed, I can use adapted ones and get exactly the same AoV and DoF available to APS-C and full-frame Canon (or without AF, Nikon) cameras. Well, almost. The problem is that at 0.7x, the current focal reducer options only undo the crop from full-frame to APS-C (yes, there are special wider focal reducers for the BlackMagic cameras, but those aren't really that helpful when shooting still photography, and the native m4/3 lenses aren't so useful there). So to undo the crop from full-frame to m4/3, the focal reducer would need to be 0.5x.

    Of course, that's not a problem if you have, say a Sony A6000. There, that 0.7x focal reducer really does undo the sensor's crop factor with respect to full-frame. Alas, the Sony APS-C mirrorless lenses don't really offer anything approaching the high quality compact zooms and primes of m4/3.

    So here's the question - which do you consider more likely to happen - Sony fixes their lens lineup for APS-C mirrorless (and adds IBIS), or Metabones (or some other third party) puts together a good 0.5x focal reducer for m4/3?
     
  2. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ian
    Neither. Sony's focus is clearly fully on full frame. There have been no new APS-C E-Mount lenses in how many years? Metabones already has the .64x (or whatever it is) SpeedBooster Ultra, but it protrudes in to the camera further than the normal SpeedBooster, interfering with the mechanical shutter. In order to make the lenses wider, there needs to be more elements, which requires more depth, which isn't possible with the flange distance of m43 cameras.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    Well, there's already a Metabones 0.64x XL Speedbooster for M4/3 that will work with most bodies. So that gets you more of the way there than before.

    However, if you want to specifically use FF lenses at their original focal lengths and have a range of decent native lenses, I suspect that Fuji + Speedbooster is probably the way to go. Personally, I picked my FF lenses partly based on what they would give me with the M4/3 (and M4/3 + focal reducer) crop.

    The odds that anyone will come up with a good quality 0.5x focal reducer appear slim. Though no more slim than Sony putting the resources into their APS-C lens line-up. If Canon and Nikon haven't been able to properly fill out their DX lens line ups in 15 years, it seems unlikely that Sony will bother, when FF is clearly their new cash cow.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    The 0.64x "XL" works just fine with almost all Panasonic bodies. It's the 0.58x BMPCC Speedboster that interferes with the shutter.

    Metabones®

    Apparently the "stepped" interior baffles of Olympus OM-Ds interferes with it, though. The E-PL7 works. Hopefully Olympus will rectify this design in newer bodies.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  5. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    Unfortunately at least for now, there's no Fuji X mount-to-EF SpeedBooster. The other issue with Fuji is that they appear to be unable to do IBIS (Sony doesn't have it on their APS-C line today, but it at least looks like something they *could* do).

    There are definitely some FF lenses which still make sense with the SpeedBooster and crop on m4/3, but it's basically the same position as APS-C with FF - wide and standard zooms and primes are a problem. For example, there's just no way to get a 50/1.4 equivalent - and even getting within one stop is tricky.

    Yeah, certainly there's not been much progress yet for Sony.
     
  6. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    Isn't 50/1.4 simple to get? Any old 35mm/f1.8 (even a cheap Nikon DX version) + focal reducer = 25mm/f1.3

    Or do you mean a 50/1.4 equivalent, as in equivalent aperture as well? Meaning you want to Speedboost a 35mm/f1.0 to give you a 25mm/f0.7...?
     
  7. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    The latter, yes. Even a 35/1.4 tends to be pretty pricey by comparison, and it's still a full stop slower than equivalent.
     
  8. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    Ah. Yes, at that point your best bet is to go native. There's now a Mitakon 25/0.95 out with surprisingly good optical performance for ~$400, and at 230g it barely weighs more than a Speedbooster all by itself with no lens attached!

    Still doesn't get you to f1.4, but you're only 2/3 stop away...
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  9. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    True, but manual focus lenses are a different category (one which I personally have no interest in).

    If we had native AF lenses of f/1.0 or faster, that didn't cost more than $600-700, that'd be a different story altogether.
     
  10. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    Hahah, if that was the case, I think that full-frame would be a market as small as medium format is now...
     
  11. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    Well, after reading around, I see there's a fair bit of angst on the Sony forums about the state of their APS-C mirrorless (no new lenses, no IBIS, missing features from the A7-series, etc.).

    Given the new announcements of Leica M w/AF, Sigma SA w/AF and other adapters, it does seem that Sony is getting critical mass on the full-frame side supporting larger lenses, but I'm still not convinced that they'll also try to scale down to produce smaller native lenses - so far in fact just the opposite. So m4/3 can't quite replace full-frame (need a wider-focal reducer), full-frame can't replace m4/3 (need smaller lenses) an APS-C can't replace either (Sony needs IBIS, decent native lenses, Fuji needs IBIS, autofocus focal reducers/adapters).

    I guess we'll have to wait and see how it all shakes out...
     
  12. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    Filmmakers seem reasonably happy with the A6300. They're just about the only people the camera caters to. I guess sports / wildlife shooters who only need to use an FF 70-200/f4 or adapted Canon lenses?
     
  13. brettmaxwell

    brettmaxwell Mu-43 Veteran

    350
    Dec 8, 2012
    Yes, APS-C development seems to have slowed from Sony, but many third party manufacturers are keeping it going. The Rokinon 12/2 and Sigma 30/1.4 seem like great candidates for the speedbooster.
     
  14. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    Neither are usable on a Speedbooster because they are mirrorless native lenses. (I assume you're referring to the newly revealed Sigma 30/1.4, not the old soft-ish DSLR version).
     
  15. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    Yes, I honestly see very little going on in APS-C land, especially when it comes to good quality and compact lenses. Even Pentax seems to be moving away from that market.