Initial Metabones Speed Booster Adapter Reviews Are Positive


When we first shared the news that Metabones had announced a “speed booster” adapter that makes your lenses faster, wider and sharper, not a lot of people had gotten their hands on it yet. But now that the most exciting accessory on the block has been accepted as definitely NOT an elaborate April Fools joke, a few websites have taken turns with it, and initial reviews all seem to be positive.

EOSHD asked the question on everyone’s mind:

The Metabones Speed Booster adapter brings the full frame look to Sony mirrorless APS-C and Super 35mm E-mount. (Indeed it will bring the Super 35mm look to Micro Four Thirds but not until March)… It would appear the full frame sensor is now rather pointless. Is there a catch, a trade off in image quality?

As it turns out, no… there isn’t much of one. Sure, corner sharpness suffers a bit, but the change (depending on your lens) is negligible, and the benefits far outweigh the cons. You can read EOSHD’s entire review here, and check out the sample footage they shot in the video below. It’s especially impressive just how noticeable that extra stop of light really is:

Where EOSHD took a “real world” look at the speed booster’s performance, LensRentals’ published a review that’s more lab focused. Here’s a sample image from their review, with 100% crops for your examining pleasure.


As with the EOSHD review, the speed booster didn’t come out perfect, but it came darn close. LensRentals’ Roger Cicala found a little bit of astigmatism in the corners, and some highlight blooming at very wide apertures, but was overall impressed even though he came into it expecting the worst:

I think it was pretty obvious that I came armed for battle, ready to slam this product as some marketing overhype. I was wrong less correct than I might have been. The Speed Booster does what they claimed it would do, much to my shock and surprise. It creates a wider-angle, greater aperture lens while retaining resolution and acutance […]

It is going to take a while and a lot of people experimenting before we find out what combinations of lenses and cameras are awesome with it, which are fairly good, and which fairly bad. They won’t all be the same. But I suspect most of them are going to be pretty good. And this is going to be a very useful tool.

It looks like the Metabones Speed Booster is not nearly as “too good to be true” as it at first seemed.

  • Jon

    I cant wait to try my 8mm fisheye with it.

  • Jon

    I have a future request from metabones. When Sony finally builds a full frame NEX camera I would like them to make a metabones adapter to use my medium format lenses. In particular I want to use the hassy 120 macro. Please please please :)

  • 3ric15

    Shut up and take my money!

  • Tommy Sar

    I’m looking forward to the EF to m4/3 Smart Adapter version that should be available around June. Sure, using an EF lens on a tiny OM-D seems weird, but hey– BOKEH!

  • Sean Lucky

    I second to that. And then figure out a way to use the internal leaf shutter.

  • Robert Mark

    Canon should license this technology immediately. Then upgrade the electronics to be 100% compatible with EF autofocus and release it as a full frame EF to EF-M adapter. That would beat the pants off their current adapter.

  • Jason Wright

    Can I get a Canon EF to EF-S version? my 500D would be so much nicer if all the EF lenses I have were brighter and wider.

  • Speedboosted

    Still dont understand why EF -> NEX came first. Why not use a 5D (Mark I – III) or 1Ds (Mark I – III) or 1DX instead? There are plenty of Canon full frame bodies around.

    I suggest Canon FD, Minolta MD and other legacy mounts for the Speedboster.

  • HappyToSnap

    There’s no magic here and I don’t know why people are so pessimistic about how it should perform. Seems pricy for what it is, but as more companies get in on the act that won’t last.

    The simplest way of understanding something similar to what is going on is imagining a full frame camera body with the back cut off and photographing that camera’s image plane with a smaller sensor camera equipped with a macro lens set to 1:1.4. In that configuration the image would end up upside down, but the effect is the same. Ignoring lens transmission losses, the same amount of light is put on a smaller area of silicon, hence the ‘greater’ sensitivity.

    The focal length and f-stop are exactly the same as they would be on a full frame camera. This is important when you think about what DOF will look like.

    As they have put their glass before the intermediate image plane (so as to keep the image the right way up) I am concerned that there will be no way for them to implement this on SLR cameras due to the risk of the mirror clashing with their optics. It’s very nice for the mirrorless crowd though. Perhaps (sarcastic) someone will make one that has larger throw and makes an upside-down image, for subsequent correction through firmware in LiveView (Magic Lantern). In fact, I’m tempted to go and get a length of drainpipe, a hacksaw my macro lens and some ducktape.

  • jon

    You cant use a DSLR because the mirror makes the flange distance to long. This only works with mirrorless cameras.

  • jon

    I wish they would but I suspect that if they did they would bury the technology as it would compete with their DSLR line.

  • Kodachrome64

    Does anyone know what the little foot at the bottom of the adapter is for? Is it just to bear some of the weight of the lens when you put the camera down? I think it looks weird.

  • Tom Gallagher

    for the price you might as well just upgrade to a full frame canon if your already a canon user

  • tom gallagher

    The video is slightly misleading as the full frame canon lens can’t make the sony image brighter than the actual full frame camera, bigger sensor means more light hits it and this adapter brilliantly levels it out but cant exceed what is already possible with the lens just makes it equivalent to the 5D. The ISO standard keeps things equivalent normally but in this case shooting with the same iso on the fs100 and 5d isn’t accurate

  • Esc

    Is there anything said about T-stop, the number that actually matters in getting “extra stop of light into the sensor”? What I have seen so far from their marketing materials are just weasel words about f-stops, which is purely a formula of focal length and aperture size. Jack around the numbers all you want – you won’t get extra light by adding glasses!

  • Jason Wright

    Indeed. We need a budget version for non-pro users.

  • J4rn0

    The companies that should be most interested in licensing the technology and integrate it in their cameras and/or lenses is certainly Olympus and Panasonic, to definitively overcome the limitations of their m4/3 sensors.