ZY Optics speed booster- should I go with m42 or minolta?

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by Generationfourth, Jan 14, 2016.

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  1. Generationfourth

    Generationfourth Mu-43 Regular

    172
    Sep 11, 2015
    I want to use a speed booster and legacy lenses to fill the need for fast primes. I’ve wasted too much money on native lenses.

    What I’m looking for:

    • FF like bokeh, creamy, portrait experimentation. Looking for f/1.0 (f/2.0 ff equivalent)
    • the following resulting focal lengths (35mm equivalent, approximations): ~50mm, and ~150mm. In the future I might want ~24, and ~85.
    It seems like their are more m42 options floating around on eBay instead of being limited to just minolta. I have a pentax 50mm f2 laying around- can I get an k-mount to m42 adapter?

    Thanks!
     
  2. HarryS

    HarryS Mu-43 Top Veteran

    921
    Jun 23, 2012
    Midwest, USA
    K-mount to M42 is not possible, because both lenses have the same registration distance, and K will not fit inside the threaded hole.

    You might consider an EOS-M43 focal reducer. I know they make adapters for Pentax, OM, M42 and Nikon to the Canon EOS mount. It looks like a Minolta MD-EOS also exists, but it uses a corrective lens, which probably is to be avoided until someone tries it out, because it might interfere with the lens in a focal reducer.

    You may be limited in options if you want just one focal reducer to cover all your lenses.
     
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  3. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    Lorenzo
    About your main question: you can get an m42 -> Minolta MD adapter, in this way you can use both lenses on the Minolta focal reducer.
    Stacking adapters is not ideal, but it works, I did this with m42 -> Nikon. With cheap adapters is common to have problems with infinity focus, stacking even more.

    To have super blur you need a fast long lens, short focus distance and distant background. When you have all these four elements one stop of difference is not so relevant. The same if you do not.

    Fast long lenses cost a lot. To have a f1.0 you need a 1.4 lens. The Nikon 85/1.4 goes for about $500. Minolta prices are not much different. Even Super Takumar 85/1.9 goes for $200. With those money I'd get a used Oly 75 if you include $100+ for the focal reducer. A super tak 105/2.8 goes for $100 and gives you a 75/f2, good enough? But adapted fast lenses wide open are often bad. Best option, for blur, is to boost the Rokinon 85/1.4. Then a boosted 135/2.8 (97/f2).

    Look at this:

    How much blur? - A visual background blur calculator

    With shorter focal lengths you can try a 35/f2, 50/1.8, etc. but short lenses are going to blur less.

    Been there, done that: not so easy as it seems.
     
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  4. Generationfourth

    Generationfourth Mu-43 Regular

    172
    Sep 11, 2015
    Yes, you are right. This is a concept I've been discovering. It's why my 35-100 2.8 has better bokeh (albeit a little more nervous) in the long end than my 42.5 f1.7.

    I looked around on eBay and the equivalent legacy lenses cost more than I thought. In some cases after factoring in the cost of speed booster, the lens, and time and effort spent searching it might be better to find the native lenses used.

    I do like the romanticized idea of legacy lenses. I bought a cheap adapter for my 50mm f/2 pentax lens (my first lens that I got 15 years ago!) so I'm excited to slap that on and go from there.
     
  5. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
  6. bikerhiker

    bikerhiker Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 24, 2013
    Canada
    David
    I own the ZY Mitakon Lens Turbo Mark 1 (there's a mark 2 now that improved some issues with the mark 1) and the only M42 lens that I tried about a year ago was the Carl Zeiss Jena 58mm f/2 Biotar 12 blades T* lens. When mated with my Mitakon, the results were quite impressive and was very close to the results I got from the Nikon D800 I tried at the same time. The client who owned that lens converted the M42 to Nikon mount for the specific purpose of shooting bokeh crazy portraits.
    While impressive being a Bokeh specific lens and a portrait focal length (around 82mm FOV 35mm eqv after focal reduced), I decided against getting the Biotar being way too overpriced for what it is. Another good Bokeh specific lens is the Carl Zeiss Jena Flektigon 35mm. The only other lens that could produce similar results to the Biotar 58mm f/2 with the Mitakon is the Leica Nocticron 42.5 f/1.2.

    If you decide to get a focal reducer, get the Mitakon or Metabones. Don't bother with the cheaper RJ or whatever unless you're looking to experiment. Their corner resolution and center aren't as good as the Mitakon and you'll end up not using it. The Mitakon Lens Turbo Mark II improves on the mark 1. In fact, I'm thinking of getting the Mark II for my 14mm f/2.8 full frame lens so I can get better results on the corners as well as reduced flare. I'll just relegate the Mark 1 to my 55mm Micro-Nikkor which gives decent bokeh.
    I use my Mitakon Lens Turbo quite a lot, since it's the only way I can get 10mm f/2 wide for my m43. Certainly it's a way cheaper alternative to the 7-14mm f/2.8 Oly Pro lens even if I own 2 lens turbo and 1 14mm f/2.8.

    In regards to f/1.0.. The Mitakon Mark 1 version is softer throughout @ f/1.0 (maybe it's what you're after?). You need to step up to at least 1.4 or preferably f/2.0 to get some decent sharpness. Maybe they improved that on the Mark 2? By the way, ZY Optics now offer M42-M43 for the Mark 2 version. No need to get adapters. @$149 US, it's very reasonable. BHPhoto will soon have some.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2016
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  7. RnR

    RnR Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    Hasse
    There is only one company making Speedboosters and thats Metabones :)
     
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  8. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    Lorenzo
    I have a Roxsen focal reducer ($70) and I like it but for me legacy lenses + focal reducer was about saving money and special bokeh not the ultimate sharpness. Anyway it is not bad at all.

    If you plan to shoot small things, flowers, critters, etc. consider a macro lens, like the Tamron 90 2.8 SP: the short focus distance is going to wipe out everything with or without the FR.
     
  9. RDM

    RDM Mu-43 All-Pro

    I have quite a large stable of legasy lenses, most are of HQ fast Minolta Primes, like the 58mm 1.4, 50mm 1.2, and 35mm 1.9, 28mm 2.5.
    I also have a Tokina 60-120mm Zoom in MD mount that is also a great lens.
    Then second most I have, are Konica AR lens, and then I have two quality Canon FD lenses, the Canon 50mm 1.2 & 85mm 1.8.
    I have yet to buy Any Speedbooster type adapter at all.
    I figure I should buy only one speed booster, it should be a Minolta adapter.
    At first I was hesitant because the only Minolta adapter was the pricey Metabones one, until recently. Now I'm thinking of a ZYmkII MD adapter .

    So I understand that cost is always a factor. I think these speed boosters are ideal mainly for people who already own many legasy lenses.
    And I agree that purchasing a Speedbooster adapter and going to buy a used fast legasy lens does not make financial sense.
    I feel if your not shooting with a legasy film system too, there is no need to spend hundreds on a legasy lense and Speedbooster .
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2016
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  10. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator; Photon Wrangler

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    Barry
    fwiw, Minolta made 58mm Rokkor lenses in f1.4 and f1.2
    the f1.4's are fairly easy to find - shopgoodwill.com just sold one on a body for $31: shopgoodwill.com - #26858245 - Minolta SRT101 35mm SLR Film Camera & Lenses - 1/14/2016 7:08:00 PM
    and I found an f1.2 at a thrift shop with a body and 2 other lenses for $135. It needs a CLA ($30-50+shipping/insurance) though; the aperture is stuck (apparently a common problem with the older ones at least) and the focus is stiff.

    I also found a 1977 model Rokkor 135mm f2.8 at another thrift shop for $11.

    Barry
     
  11. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    One thing to realize is that for "bokeh" and bg blur, the focal reducer changes things very little. You still have the same aperture size, which is what affects the blur circles. You essentially just get the same bg blur but at a wider focal length. There's a small advantage with the focal reducer for near backgrounds, but they are equal near infinity. And that's with you getting closer to preserve the same framing. If you stand in the same place and simply frame wider, then you gain absolutely nothing.

    Think about it. You increase the f-stop by .72x, which increases bg blur. But then you decrease focal length by .72x which decreases bg blur. Net gain isn't much.
     
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  12. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator; Photon Wrangler

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    Barry
  13. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Those cost way too much for old glass if you ask me. I'm not paying that much for "character". If I wanted a portrait length f1.2 and was OK with manual focus, I'd be looking at the new Rokinon 50mm f1.2 in MFT mount. It's a mirrorless lens, so it's compact and it's crazy good optically based on the reviews I've seen. It's not going to cost much more than a nice copy of the Minolta 58mm f1.2.

    There are cheap f1.2's like the Canon FL 58mm f1.2, but they are a bit chunky and really dreamy at f1.2. Not going to be something you'd use wider than f2 very often.
     
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  14. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator; Photon Wrangler

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    Barry
    ... But I think the most practical way to get 25mm (50mm-eq) ~f/1.0 is going to be one of the 25mm f/0.95 lenses in MFT mount.
    The Mikaton 25mm is cheap and reasonably well reviewed: Reviews - Review: Mitakon Speedmaster 25mm f/0.95 Lens
    (almost certainly it's going to be better than a 30 year old lens + a focal reducer)

    There's not a lot of 35mm f/1.4 legacy lenses out there, if any.
    You could get the (modern) Sigma in Canon mount + a focal reducer, but then you've spent about as much as the native Voigtlander 25/0.95.

    The same goes for 75mm (150mm-eq); you're going to need to put a focal reducer on a 105mm, and I haven't seen any faster than f/2 (edit: Nikon made an f1.8, it's not terribly expensive used)... but again, might as well buy the Rokinon 85/1.4.

    12mm (24mm-eq) is going to be expensive to get very wide; there's posts in the astro forum here about a couple options.

    42.5mm (85mm-eq) - might as well get the Voigtlander or PanaLeica -- unless you'd be happy with 50mm (100mm-eq) at f0.95 (SLR Magic is available, or adapt a Mitakon Zhongyi) or f1.4 (lots of options).

    Barry
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2016
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  15. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator; Photon Wrangler

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    Barry
    I had missed the announcement (or forgotten it) for the 50/1.2, but for me 50mm is probably too close to the Oly 45mm I already have (which is one reason why I sold both my Pentax Takumar 50/1.4 lenses)...
    I picked up the Rokkor 58/1.2 (for $135 with 2 other lenses) as I believe it'll be a useful FL for me, esp. for indoor performances and concerts. At f/1.2 it already seems to be sharper than the Takumars were at f1.4-f2, but I need to do some more tests (and get it CLA'd).

    Barry
     
  16. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    50mm f1.2 would give nearly double the isolation of 45mm f1.8, so it's not quite the same. Kind of like comparing the Sigma 60mm to Oly 75mm.
     
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  17. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    Lorenzo
    Agreed, the gain is mostly in comparison to other lenses. If you boost a 85/1.4 you get a 61/1 that is something you cannot get in other ways. It blurs much more than any other option, even the Voigtlander 42.5 or the O75. Even a common 50/1.8 gives a unique 36/1.2 (speed and blur).
    As you said the difference with the unboosted 85/1.4 is almost none, but is more practical to use (for some situations at least).
     
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  18. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I also wonder if it isn't more practical just to get an APS-C cam as your "speed booster". That's pretty close to where you end up anyway. A used Fuji X-E1 is $299 at Keh right now. That will "boost" everything you can mount on it with a .75x factor.
     
  19. RnR

    RnR Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    Hasse
    You miss out on 4 benefits - thinner adapter, a negated sensor stack (for a Metabones version at least), increased telecentricity of the light rays and 1 stop of light.

    Edit: I think your blur discussion above misses out on one aspect of a focal reducer. A good focal reducer makes the lenses sharper. If you were shooting a portrait with dumb adapter you may need to go higher on the fstop to get the required sharpness. With a good focal reducer, you can usually open it up one stop and get a similar sharpness. This would give 2 stops of bokeh 'improvement' as well as enable you to get closer to the subject to improve the bokeh even more.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2016