The Metabones Speedbooster Canon EF for the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera is a must have accessory for anyone with Canon EF lenses.
This is not a in-depth review, simply an introduction to the Speedbooster and some frame grabs to illustrate exactly what you can expect from it optically. I have not tried and tested it with very many Canon lenses, so if you’re looking for compatibility with a specific EF lens, I’d recommend a further Google search.
In my article Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera To Go I set out to introduce you to the minimalist approach to equipping the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera for shooting from the hip in any situation as quickly as you can grab your camera, frame your shot and hit record.
Many would love it if Blackmagic had shoehorned a much larger super 35mm sensor into the pocket camera, but they didn’t, and it’s a lovely super 16mm format camera. No amount of wishing can change that fact. However, for those intending to shoot with 35mm format lenses and looking for a wider field of view, Metabones has come to your rescue with the Speedbooster for both Canon EF, Nikon G, and even Leica R mount lenses.
Metabones have released two versions of each with optics tailored to reduce the sensor crop as much as possible for the BMCC and BMPCC respectively. By optically reducing the image circle of the larger 35mm format lens to better match the smaller sensor, the light is also intensified giving you 1 2/3 extra stops (on the BMPCC version) on any given lens.
This actually turns the pocket camera’s smaller sensor from what some might consider a disadvantage into a huge advantage in that you’ve got more than a stop and a half brighter exposure plus a 35mm field of view.
Metabones Speedbooster | Super 35mm Field of View
The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera with the Metabones Speedbooster (BMPCC version) gives you the smallest (close-to) super 35mm digital cinema camera solution available. The adaptor reduces sensor crop factor from 3.02x to 1.75x and makes any lens 0.58x wider. A 50mm f/1.2 becomes a 29mm f/0.74!
This can get confusing. To put this back into terms of 35mm equivalency… a straight-up mechanical Canon EF to MFT lens mount adaptor with no optical focal reduction in will mean a 50mm lens with the BMPCC’s 3.02x sensor crop gives you the equivalent field of view of 150mm in the full frame 35mm sensor world. With the Metabones Speedbooster, the crop factor reduces to 1.75x so your 50mm lens looks like what you’d expect of a 87.5mm on a full frame camera… or from a 29mm lens on a straight mechanical mount adaptor… only 1 2/3 stops faster.
Here’s some test shots showing the difference the Metabones SpeedBooster makes to the field of view by reducing the sensor crop factor from 3.02 to 1.75 on the Pocket Cinema Camera. Notice the exposure is also brighter using the Speedbooster. The aperture on the lens was T2.8 and wasn’t changed, so the brighter exposure (technically +1 2/3 stops) is from the Speedbooster only.
NOTE: The Metabones SpeedBooster BMPCC – Canon EF adaptor does not work with Canon EF-S lenses, only EF lenses. It does however provide electronic aperture control from the camera to Canon EF lenses.
Below: Without SpeedBooster – using Redrock Micro Livelens MFT to EF adaptor. Lens is a Samyang 24mm at T2.8, 400ASA on Pocket Cinema Camera.
Below: with Metabones SpeedBooster BMPCC – Canon EF – Lens is the same Samyang 24mm at T2.8, 400ASA on Pocket Cinema Camera.
The subject for these test shots by the way is the lovely Avid S6 Control Surface which just happened to be laying around 😛