September 23, 2014

Metabones Speedbooster EF to M43 Mount

Use your Canon EF lenses on the Micro 4/3rds systems using a Metabones Speedbooster

Post Updated January 2018: The Metabones Speedbooster EF to M43 adapter ring has been a long time coming (other versions for Nikon etc have been around for a while). I received mine in the post about 20 minutes ago and cannot wait to try this out.

Metabones Speedbooster EF to M43
Metabones Speedbooster EF to M43

This, for me and many others, is a significant adapter. It will finally allow me to not only use my Canon EF-L lenses on the Panasonic GH4. It does some other pretty amazing things too.

The Key Features are:

  • It will increase the maximum aperture of EF lenses by 1 stop (f2.8 becomes f2.0, f1.4 becomes f0.98 and so on)
  • Increase MTF
  • Makes lens 0.71x wider
  • Built-in electronics to control lens aperture
  • The lens aperture is set by the controls on the camera body
  • Powered by camera body, no external power source required (it will also accept a 3rd party external power supply via MicroUSB socket)
  • High performance 32-bit processor and efficient switched-mode power supply
  • The tripod foot is detachable and compatible with Arca Swiss, Markins and Photo Clam ball heads

In a nutshell, this adapter will make a cropped sensor work as a full frame (or near as dammit) sensor on many M43 cameras. It does this by condensing the image, like an "inverse" teleconverter. It focuses all of that image, and light, onto the Micro Four Thirds sensor.

Teleconverter Opposite

It is the exact opposite of what a teleconverter does...increases focal length whilst losing light. This actually intensifies the light received which is what allows an extra stop of light to be obtained.

Metabones Speedbooster EF to M43

Not only that, the light focusing effect from the Speedbooster also decreases the depth of field (DOF). This gives you a much better bokeh from a smaller sensor. Also, the field of view (FOV) is increased by a 0.71x crop factor for the lens being used.

For example, my Canon EF 50mm 1.4 when used on the Panasonic GH4 (which has a 2x crop factor) would normally become a 100mm f2.8 lens. However, by using the Speedbooster (which has a 0.71x crop), it will become, in effect, a 71mm f2 lens.

Note: If I could put the Speedbooster onto my full frame DSLR, the 50mm 1.4 would become a 35.5mm F1.0 lens (multiply by 0.71x).

This is massive PLUS and it also allows me to set the aperture from within the camera controls which hasn't been possible until now. All other adapters require you to set the aperture on the lens before putting it on the camera.

This is done by:

  • Putting the lens on my Canon DSLR
  • Setting the aperture
  • Pressing the depth of field preview button
  • Removing the lens thereby "locking in" that aperture

This means my aperture would be fixed at that setting for the duration. That is until I removed the lens from the GH4 and set a new aperture by going through that same process.

I can now use my 50mm, 100mm, 16-35L, 24-70L and 70-200L lenses on the amazing Panasonic GH4. For stills and 4K video! Sadly, there is no autofocus (yet) so all focusing is done manually.

In the coming weeks, I will be doing a full review of both the Panasonic GH4 and the Metabones Speedbooster EF to M43 adapter.

You can buy this adapter from Amazon here:

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