Video professionals and enthusiasts using Micro Four Thirds format cameras like the Panasonic GH4, the Blackmagic Cinema camera MFT and Pocket cinema camera have been striving to achieve a larger field of view with the addition of focal reducers - optical adapters which make lenses wider by using some really clever optical trickery, which actually improves image quality.
Metabones have been the leading manufacturer in this field, despite recent movements from manufacturers in Asia, who offer lower priced competitor products, which however up until now have not been able to match the quality in both desing, build, and optics of the Metabones Speed booster adapters.
The company just announced a new Speed Booster XL specifically optimised for the Panasonic GH4 camera with a 0.64x crop and an increase of 1 1/3 stops of light more. This effectively turns the GH4 into a Super35 camera in 4K with a true 1.5x crop compared to full-frame. The Super35 field of view has been one of the most desired effects that GH4 and BMPCC users have been looking for ever since the release of the original Speed Booster for Micro Four Thirds and the BMPCC specific one.
The new Metabones Speed Booster XL will be available in both Nikon F/G and Canon EF mounts and is expected to ship very soon. UK pricing has not been yet finalised, but we believe it will be priced alongside the previous Special Edition "S" Version for MFT which is around £400-£500.
The Canon EF to Micro Four Thirds Speed Booster S is still available for purchase, and offers 0.71x crop which is slightly more than 1.6x so for those who can't wait for the new version, can be rest assured the Speed Booster S will work just fine with their GH4.
Metabones Speed Booster XL 0.64x
A new Micro-4/3 mount Speed Booster® adapter designed exclusively for the Panasonic GH4 and other selected Micro Four Thirds cameras, with a magnification of 0.64x. The latest Metabones Speed Booster XL 0.64x incorporates an advanced 6-element optical design to achieve extraordinary optical performance at apertures up to an incredible f/0.80, a new record for Micro Four Thirds format.
The new Speed Booster XL 0.64x reduces the full-frame crop factor of the Panasonic GH4 from 2.0x to 1.28x, thus effectively transforming these cameras into APS-H format. When the GH4 is used in Cinema 4k video mode the horizontal full frame crop factor is reduced from 2.34x to 1.50x, thus effectively transforming the GH4 into a Super-35 format 4k cine camera.
In addition, the speed of any attached lens is increased by 11/3 stops, with a maximum output aperture of f/0.80 when an f/1.2 lens is used. For example, a 50mm f/1.2 becomes a 32mm f/0.80, which is the fastest aperture available for full size Micro Four Thirds format. (More information can be found in the press release here )
- Increase maximum aperture by 11/3 stops
- Increase MTF.
- Makes lens 0.64x wider.
- Build-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.
- High performance 32-bit processor and efficient switched-mode power supply.
- The interior is painted with flocking coating to further reduce the internal reflection.
- The tripod foot is detachable and compatible with Arca Swiss, Markins and Photo Clam ball heads.
- Support Panasonic GH4, GH3, G3, G5, G6, G10, GF3, GF5, GF6, GX1, Olympus E-PL7, Blackmagic Cinema Camera with Micro Four Thirds mount**, Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera***
Optics designed by Caldwell Photographic in the USA (patent pending).
Metabones Speed Booster XL 0.64x Specifications:
- Magnification: 0.64x
- Crop Factor for Full Micro Four Thirds format: 1.28x
- Crop Factor with GH4 in Cinema 4k (4096 x 2160) Video Mode: 1.5x
- Maximum Output Aperture: f/0.80 (with f/1.2 lens attached)
- Rectilinear Distortion: < 0.8%
- Lens Elements/Groups: 6/4
- Length Reduction: 6.2 mm
- Camera Mount: Micro Four Thirds
- Image Format: 17.3 mm x 13.0 mm (full Micro Four Thirds format)