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 Subscribing Member

    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 Top Veteran

    590
    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 Subscribing Member

    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 Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2011
    Sunny Frimley
    Bill Palmer
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  5. MoonMind

    MoonMind SC Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    810
    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 Subscribing Member

    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 Subscribing Member

    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 Subscribing Member

    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.