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Metabones Speed Booster promises faster EF lenses when mounted on NEX cameras

Steve Dent, @stevetdent
January 15, 2013
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There aren't too many lens adapters that catch our eye, but the $600 Metabones Speed Booster has so many tricks up its sleeve that we can see it tempting a lot of serious NEX camera users -- like us. Big words, but what it purports to do is nothing short of mind-boggling. First off, it adapts your Canon EF (full-frame) lenses to E-Mount, which is nice enough since there's still a paucity of high-end glass for NEX users. But it gets better: the Speed Booster also makes your lens wider by a factor of 0.71x, shrinking an 85mm lens to 59mm, for instance -- effectively making your NEX nearly full-frame. Other adapters can do some of that, but its final trick is the piece de resistance: increasing the speed of a lens by a full stop. That may sound impossible, but it apparently works by concentrating the extra light-gathering area of a full-frame lens down to the smaller E-mount sensor area, turning an f4.0 lens into an f2.8 lens, for instance. The adapter allegedly increases sharpness on top of all that, and brings "auto-aperture, image stablization, EXIF and (slow) autofocus support," for late model EF lenses, according to Metabones.

Skepticism reigns until we can scope it for ourselves, but the adapter came out shining on Philip Bloom's video and photo tests so far, judging by his samples (below the break). The $600 price tag will likely dissuade casual users, but light-deprived indoor shooters (like us) or those shopping for new glass -- who already have a bagful of EF-lenses -- might take to it like a sugar addict to Trix. Metabones said they'll start shipping the Speed Booster this month, and will come out with MFT and Fuji-X mount options, along with support for lenses from Nikon and Leica, among others. Check the source to see how to grab it, but the line forms behind us.

Metabones Speedbooster promises faster EF lenses when mounted on NEX cameras

Metabones Speedbooster promises faster EF lenses when mounted on NEX cameras

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