When this thing was announced it totally blew my mind. And I have been wanting one ever since the first time I read about it.
Kipon was nice enough to send me a review unit, you can checkout their website for more specs about it HERE!
If you need an A7 you can check it out here:
I will have full info on the product and a review running in this article.
This very first update is just my quick first impressions.
Im literally typing this only an hour or so after first holding it in my hand.
More to come!
If you don’t know what this is all about just think of it as a Speedbooster.
But instead of turning an APS-C into Full Frame it turns a Full Frame into a Medium Format Camera.
And as you may know, medium format in digital is pricy to say the least.
I will have more info and go deeper into this later on.
The adapter feel very sturdy. All metal and well crafted. It has some weight but I wouldnt call it heavy. More like hefty.
It balances well on the A7 with the 80mm f4 Macro I had at home.
So here are the first frames!
Please note that most of them are shot at ISO 6400 and many of them have grain and a vignette added in post. Some are also cropped.
I have so far seen NO vignette at all form the adapter!
Like I said, just some quick first impressions tonight.
But rest assure, this will get a full on review because I have many lenses to try on it.
Update 2 Sharpness
Im still early in the process of reviewing and I haven’t had as much time as I would have wanted to.
But I have made some sharpness tests
In my opinion, sharpness comes pretty far down the list on what makes a particular lens great.
All Im interested in is if its “sharp enough” when using the old lenses and adapter in front of my 20mp Sony sensor.
The short answer is “yes”.
The test isn’t the most scientific in the world. I just shot pictures of a book, hand held, using three different lenses.
I decided to fill the frame more or less equal even though that made the two competitors able to get much closer to the subject.
Even still, its sharp enough to my eye.
The lenses where:
- The Mamiya 80mm f4 Macro + Kipin Baveyes Adapter
- The Minolta Rokkor 50mm f1.7 (also vintage)
- The Zeiss FE 35mm f2.8 (as modern as it gets)
All where shot using the same settings at f8. The focus may drift a little but Im sure you can work it out by clicking and peeping the pictures.
Here are the results!
I don’t know what you think but I think it looks ok. There is a tiny bit of aberration around the square on right page from the modern Zeiss. Other than that I can’t really pick out any major fault in any of them.
I think its safe to say that the Kipon Baveyes doesn’t have any major impact on sharpness.
Which is nice and lets us instead focus on the good things, like for example the bokeh.
Here are a few frames from this mornings walk with Gunpowder.
Then Gunpowder got bored so we will leave it at that for now.
Plenty more to come, more lenses and of course video.
To get his to work at all you obviously need a camera. It works with Leica M, Leica SL or Sony A7x.
You can of course use it on APS-C like the Sony a6300 or Leica T, but then there are cheaper options.
I have the original Sony A7 which is quite old by camera years. Still, its 24mp power house that easily competes with todays offerings.
I have made two reviews of it. One for stills and one for video that I made three years ago
Update: The mighty 80mm f1.9
Sweden is a great place for camera nerds in the summer when the sun never sets and the golden hour lats for ever. The winter is of course the opposite.
So when I come home from work I can usually see a sunset but then its lowlight photo or no light photo. And thats why this review is evolving a bit slower than one could have hoped.
But I can at least take indoor shots to test my second Mamiya 80mm f1.9 that arrived today.
We have a service here where one can return items for a full refund within 24h when buying used stuff from regular people online.
So light or no light, I needed to test it.
Both shots are f1.9 because.. you know… it can.
That of course means not the maximum amount of sharpness. But I still really like the detail without looking “too digital” if you know what I mean.
I like how when zooming in I can see that GP had a hair stuck in her mouth that goes in and out of focus on its way down to the bed spread.
Update 4: Film vs Digital
Today I did a little test with the adapter vs my Mamiya 645 Film Camera.
Here are the results.
First of all the rules:
- Same lens on both cameras.
- Same ISO, Aperture and Shutter speed.
- I did NOT shot from the same distance.
- I did NOT focus at the same point (to dark).
- The Film was Kodak T-Max 400
- Developed and quickly scanned by me.
- The film has been adjusted in post.
- The Digital has had a “Kodak T-MAx400” Preset added.
For me the goal of the test was to make sure the camera worked or else return it.
Thats why I didn’t do it more scientific and exact than this.
One question Ive gotten before is if the adapter adds barrel distortion.
Looking at the door behind me on the mirror selfie I might say, no, it was already there.
Another note is the bigger image from the Mamiya, but I can’t guarantee thats not due to different distances. Might be the Mamiya viewfinder that makes me back up a bit.
Will test again.
Update 5: Time for Video!
This is a quick video test using my Sony A7 which means only 28mpbs AVCHD.
And on top of that, Youtube has really compressed the crap out of this. Loads of artifacts and blockiness thats not in the original file.
The lenses and adapter performed great. Any shortcomings is more about the cameras codec imo.I did not grade this footage.
Also, with wider modern lenses I usually get plenty of moire and aberration. Much less of that here without loosing detail.
The adapter and lenses are certainly sharp enough.
Update 6: Review Done
The journey is over for this time. I haven’t had a chance yet to test all the stuff I wanted but thats going to have to be in future posts. Ive sold my A7 and plan on getting an A7s instead for better video and that might take a while.
Therefor I felt it was best to end this evolving review now.
Should you buy it?
Well that depends. Im certainly very glad I have it. I love it. Like seriously, Love It!
For others I say:
- YES if you are an analog MF shooter that has lenses.
- YES if you are an A7/Leica shooter that want to get into analog MF as well.
- YES if you are an A7/Leica shooter that loves vintage glass and experimentation.
- MAYBE if you are primarily a digital shooter that wants some fast portrait lenses or just happen to have $500 burning a hole in your pocket.
- NO if you think DOF is everything.
- NO if you think megapixels is tha shit!
- The awesome MF lenses!
- $500 isn’t much to give another dimension to your camera.
- Quality is great.
- 80mm f1.9 at x0.7 crop is awesome.
- Its the Medium Format Experience on the cheap.
- If you don’t have an interest in MF film it becomes niche.
- No AF.
- Some MF lenses are big.
- Not all MF lenses focus to infinity (according to rumor).
- $500 is still $500 and used once aren’t gonna be very common.