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So, what's the consensus on cheap (non-Metabones) focal reducers / "speed boosters"?

Discussion in 'Open Gear Talk' started by stratokaster, Dec 19, 2015.

  1. stratokaster

    stratokaster SC Top Veteran

    886
    Dec 27, 2010
    Kiev, Ukraine
    Pavel
    I'd like to buy a focal reducer for my new Fujifilm X-E2, but I don't like the price of Metabones Speed Booster which costs a bit more than my camera with 18-55mm lens. I know that when cheap Chinese knock-offs first appeared, they were considered rather bad optically. However, since then new and supposedly improved versions of cheap focal reducers were developed. I personally have heard good things about Mitakon Lens Turbo MkII, but it is not available in the Canon FD flavor that I need.

    So, my question is: what focal reducers, apart from Metabones Speed Booster, are considered good? Is RJ focal reducer one of the good ones?
     
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  2. rayvonn

    rayvonn SC Veteran

    309
    Jan 19, 2015
    I believe that none are as good as Metabones. I sure know what you mean about the Metabones prices though, indeed I'm thinking it's better just to look at a cheap/ second hand A7 and then using legacy lenses.
     
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  3. stratokaster

    stratokaster SC Top Veteran

    886
    Dec 27, 2010
    Kiev, Ukraine
    Pavel
    The fact is, I'm not even sure that my Canon FD lenses (24/2.8, 50/1.8 and 100/2.8) are worth it. I remember using them on my Micro 4/3 cameras and all were somewhat soft wide open. It would be rather sad to buy a Speed Booster for $500 and then discover that none of the lenses mentioned are actually very hot. In that case, I'd rather save the money towards Fujifilm 56/1.2.
     
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  4. Lightmancer

    Lightmancer Super Moderator

    Aug 13, 2011
    Sunny Frimley
    Bill Palmer
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  5. MoonMind

    MoonMind SC Top Veteran

    578
    Dec 29, 2013
    Switzerland
    Matt
    While I think that Bill's absolutely right about your photography and your lenses, I've had good success with a cheaper (though not really cheap) focal reducer on my mFT bodies; I use it to give my old Nikon lenses a bit of an airing at times (70mm-e f/1.0 - what's not to like?). Way better sharpness than expected, interesting bokeh (mostly creamy, but with some side effects - like pepper corns in a strawberry smoothie :)).

    Around here, those focal reducers go by the brand name of Quenox (among others, I'm sure), but I'm pretty sure that the Fotasy I just saw on Amazon is the same thing. Less than a third of the price of the Metabones, good enough.

    EDIT: Uhm ... couldn't find the Fotasy version again, so here's a link to the Quenox; it's German, I'm afraid, but the images might help:
    Quenox Fokalreduktor-Adapter Canon FD-Objektiv - Fujifilm X-Mount Kamera kaufen im Enjoyyourcamera.com Shop

    YMMV, of course - and the Metabones remains the best choice. But I wouldn't dismiss the cheaper adapters out of hand - besides, dirt cheap they ain't, just less pricey ...

    M.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2015
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  6. stratokaster

    stratokaster SC Top Veteran

    886
    Dec 27, 2010
    Kiev, Ukraine
    Pavel
    Bill, thank you for your blog post, it's a very entertaining read. I agree with many of your points; for example, I only ever buy genuine batteries, because in the past I have had awful experience with 3rd party batteries swelling and getting stuck inside the camera. However, high price does not always point to high quality. For example, I own a genuine Fujifilm BLC-XE1 half-case, which is not cheap by any means (the street price around here is about $120), and it's a turd. It's nicely made, but its design makes it very difficult to press some buttons on the back of the camera. On the other hand, I had a cheap $18 Chinese case for my Panasonic GF2, and while inferior to Fujifilm's case in terms of materials and workmanship, it ran rings round it in terms of design: namely, it stayed put on the camera and did not obstruct any buttons. Alas, Fujifilm's case fails to achieve these basic goals.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2015
  7. stratokaster

    stratokaster SC Top Veteran

    886
    Dec 27, 2010
    Kiev, Ukraine
    Pavel
    Thanks! That Quenox adapter looks 100% identical to the RJ focal reducer I'm interested in: Canon FD-FX reducer speed booster turbo adapter to FUJI FX X100 X100T X-T1 X-E2
     
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  8. stratokaster

    stratokaster SC Top Veteran

    886
    Dec 27, 2010
    Kiev, Ukraine
    Pavel
    Found a decidedly unscientific test for RJ focal reducer: Dropbox - RJ_LensTurbo_Tests

    Mind you, the test was shot on a Micro 4/3 body, so it's entirely possible that borders and corners on APS-C cameras are much worse. But still it looks rather encouraging.