It is a cheap alternative to the Metabones Speedbooster if you want to give your camera some extra juice. This is an unboxing and first test pared with the Panasonic G7.
It costs around $100 and can be found on eBay. The build feels very solid and it sits well protected in the package.
The mount I got was the Canon EF to m4/3. It lets me use cheap m42 to EF and C/Y to EF adapters in order to get a nice positive lock on my camera. It does not however have any electronics for controlling the aperture of modern Canon lenses.
It does however work fine with modern Nikon lenses since those can be controlled with a very cheap Nikon to EF adapter.
What is it?
For those of you that don’t know what a “Speedbooster” or “Focal Reducer” does, its actually quite simple. It contains an extra glass element which makes any lens you put on reduce its focal length and gaining in light. Put simply, a 100mm f2.8 when put on a Lens Turbo becomes roughly a 70mm f2.0.
In other words, wider angle, better lowlight and shallower depth of field. Another way of looking at it, it makes the sensor “larger”. There are of course more scientific ways of explaining it but honestly I don’t care. It works, good enough for me.
In the test I pared it with two old vintage lenses. The Yashinon 50mm f1.9 and the Tokina 24mm f2.8. And in the last clip you also saw the modern Nikon 50mm f1.8 G. The video was recorded in Cine-D.
The results show that it totally works, no doubt about that. But its not a fan of shooting into the light with a wide aperture. It makes the footage every “Hazy”. That is of course also quite cool looking and can be used for artistic purposes. Turn the camera away from the sun and it is much more contrasty and saturated, even though not as much as without the Lens Turbo.
In the final clip I matched the footage to the chart using the match function in Davinci Resolve.
It is not as good as a Metabones Speedbooster. But its still a fun piece of gear at an affordable price. If you should buy on or not depends on your camera in my opinion.
If you have a fully rigged Blackmagic or Sony FS5 then go for gold and buy Metabones. And the opposite goes for cheaper cameras like the G7. The point of that camera is to save cash. Otherwise you might as well buy a Samsung NX1 which doesn’t need boosting to get a s35mm sensor aesthetics but with a much cleaner image.