5 minutes with the Metabones EF Speedbooster for the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera

Nice travel case with the Metabones EF Speedbooster. Nice work Metabones!

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It’s finally here! The long-awaited Metabones EF Speedbooster is finally available for the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera, and mine arrived TODAY! Here are my first impressions after spending 5 minutes with it this evening…

First, the unboxing. I also have the Nikon F/G mount BMPCC Speedbooster, and it comes in a box which is way too big for it and has only foam inside. We’re in a different league here.

Nice travel case with the Metabones EF Speedbooster. Nice work Metabones!
Nice travel case with the Metabones EF Speedbooster. Nice work Metabones!

The EF to BMPCC adaptor comes in a very nice plastic box, perfect for storage or travel. Not sure how much use it’ll get, but nice touch Metabones! Of course cynics may suggest its the least they can do given the large price premium over the Nikon version, but I digress…

Physically, it is a very similar size to the Nikon BMPCC mount.

Side by side comparison of the Metabones EF and Nikon F/G BMPCC Speedboosters
Side by side comparison of the Metabones EF and Nikon F/G BMPCC Speedboosters
Nikon F/G Speedbooster on the left, Canon EF Speedbooster on the right. Note the electrical contacts on the right?
Nikon F/G Speedbooster on the left, Canon EF Speedbooster on the right. Note the electrical contacts on the right?

It’s a bit slimmer, probably due to not having the iris ring required for Nikon G mount lenses, and the different flange depth of the EF mount, but similar.

There is also a small switch in the side. According to Metabones, this has no function on the BMPCC, but is there for the next batch of Blackmagic Cinema Camera and Micro 4/3 adaptors. It will control the iris on passive mount cameras.

Metabones rethought the tripod mount on this new Speedbooster, first making it Arca Swiss compatible, and secondly making it slimmer so that it doesn’t foul on cages such as my Viewfactor Contineo.

Unfortunately, they didn’t quite ace the tripod mount…

2014-07-08 21.37.58As you can see, the tripod mount sits just proud of the cage now. Not enough that you could use it and the camera in the same Arca Swiss mount either. Something that could be fixed with some washers/spacers perhaps, but an annoying quirk to deal with. It would be easier for a lot of people to just remove the mount, as was the case with the Nikon version of the Speedbooster.

Metabones EF Speedbooster on a Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera with Sigma EF 17-50mm f2.8 attached.
Metabones EF Speedbooster on a Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera with Sigma EF 17-50mm f2.8 attached.

Canon mount lenses are a lot bigger than the tiny Micro 4/3s lenses, like the Panasonic 12-35 f2.8 I’ve been mostly using since I got the camera. I actually don’t mind the heft of the bigger lenses, but it does almost double the weight of the camera! 🙂

Sigma EF 17-50mm f2.8 mounted to Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera with the Metabones EF Speedbooster
Sigma EF 17-50mm f2.8 mounted to Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera with the Metabones EF Speedbooster

It’s not all rainbows and cherries though. Auto focus is awful. Actually thats an insult to awful things.  I’m not sure if that’s because of the Metabones EF Speedbooster or the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera, but either way, it’s garbage. Will do more testing with a few more lenses and post some more indepth thoughts, but so far, yuck.

The only plus side you don’t really buy tools like this to use auto focus. I’d hazard to say most BMPCC owners rarely use auto anything with their cameras, and the focus assist in the BMPCC is really good now.

This will be a really good addition to my kit, and I’ve ordered a Sigma 18-35 f1.8 to go with it, really looking forward to the combo. The price is a bit of a stretch, but selling the small amount of Nikon gear I acquired easily makes up for it. All in all a must have for any BMPCC owner with EF lenses (5D3, C100 owners, etc).

PROS

  • Canon EF lens support
  • Faster and wider lenses
  • Compact
  • Image stablisation support
  • Compact carry case
  • Active EF mount

CONS

  • Price!
  • No EF-S lens support
  • Flaky auto focus
  • Tripod mount sits proud of cages

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