The Metabones Speed Booster adapter with X-Pro 1 and Leica R glass by Daniele Cametti Aspri

The Metabones Speed Booster adapter: A COLUMBUS EGG by Daniele Cametti Aspri

Daniele Cametti Aspri – Website is HERE, Flickr is HERE


Some days ago, reading a blog on the net my attention was captured by an advertisement on a new Metabones adapter for Fuji Film/Leica R: the Speed Booster.

I’m an happy Fuji film Xpro 1 user and I love experimenting with all my cameras with hybrid adaper Vs everything. I also I’ve used a Linhof Master teknica with a Canon 5dMKII and a sliding graflok adapter od the same adapter with a 1960 Speedgraphic press camera powered by a 1940 Kodak Aereo Ektar, but this is another story.

So I love shooting with this little piece of jewelry (the XPro 1) because it is little and practical like a Leica and has a great sensor. But I don’t love the lens and on the other hand is an APS-C size and I love full frame.

I’m always searching for a unique mood so I tried different options. Leica M lens are wonderful but very expensive, Leica R are more affordable and I have a little collection of them that I use with my Canon Mark III. So what? The sensor size. I’m always wondering when Fuji will make a full size version of the X1 Pro. You could tell me why don’t you buy an M9 or wait for an M (type 240). Yes of course, but. The price of combination body/lens is to high and I love shooting at night. So the M9 is not an option.

Telling the truth I ‘m waiting to see the new M. Leica R lens, High ISO, Video and is a Leica. Ohhh what a dream!!!

But last night when I saw the Metabones Speed Booster ad everything was so clear. It is a Columbus egg!

If you cannot have a full sensor size why don’t you reduce the image circle of a full frame lens to an aps c size sensor? The effects are terrific!!! So take the best sensor and the best (affordable) lens togheter this way and you have a definitive piece of hardware. And more… You have one more stop of light too and you have reduced any aberration the lens eventually had. Yes, you read well.

I don’t want to be more technical. I just show you the results of a shooting on Friday night with some musicians friends of mine. Starring a Fuji Film XPro 1, a Metabones Speed Booster, 1 leica R Elmarit 19 /2.8, 1 Summicron 35/2, 1 Summicron 50/2 and 1 Summicron 90/2

Enjoy pictures, they spoke themselves

P.S. By the way, on Sunday I went to the seaside with my dog Dolly my Fuji Film X1 Pro, a Leica R Elmarit 19/f2.8, a Leica R Summicron 35/2 and the Metabones Speed Booster. Ops, there was my girlfriend too.These are the last 4 images.

























  1. The lenses I’d like to use on a Speedbooster (Leica R to Fuji X) would be the 28mm Elmarit R (last version) and the 50mm Cron R (last version). When looking on BHPhoto, they say both “require modification” to be used with the speed booster (on metabones site it no longer specifies which lenses require modification, but it used to).

    I wasn’t going to get the adapter after learning that two of the lenses I want to use are incompatible…but now I see here it’s being used with the Cron 50 R.

    Can anyone chime in if they have successfully used the Speedbooster with a 28mm Elmarit-R or 50mm Summicron-R (last versions, ROM or not) and be able to use it at all distances (infinity)?


  2. The weight of the Booster is of my great concern, because I have several R lenses which weighs a bit. The combination of the booster and the body are the same or equal to a SLR in terms of weight (like my R 8 body), I suppose!
    I am now looking into the EX 1 instead or just wait for the full frame.

  3. Hi Steve
    Am a long-time follower of your blog, but only just came across this post while researching a decision (X100s vs X-Pro 1) and saw that you like playing different lenses on camera bodies. Thought I’d let you know I love doing the same and often try Hasselblad lenses on my Canons and Mamiyas. Oh yes, the results are oh so sweet!
    Here’s one from a MotoGP shoot. All the ‘wrong’ equipment.
    Mamiya 645AFDiii with a Hasselblad 180/4 and Fuji Velvia 50. Not too shabby. 🙂
    Cheers, A

  4. just purchased the Speed Booster leica-r to Fuji.

    It is excellent on my 80lux, while not as good with the 21 SA. I have to say that the 21mm is not good even without the speed booster, with a standard adapter. Maybe the sensor is not optimized for the 21..

    I will try the 35 cron-R, 1st version, very soon. I hope it works with the fuji!

  5. Great shot!!

    Ti ho scritto sul tuo sito per i complimenti, e anche per chiederti come sei riuscito ad acquistare il metabones e per capire come ti trovi…

  6. There are people who disbelief the tech behind this adapter but it’s rather simple actually.
    1) Take a 50mm/2 lens. The aperture is actually 25mm in size (50/2 = 25). Now the adapter has widened the image to be 35.5mm focal length (0.71 x 50mm) with the same aperture size of 25mm. The resulting aperture speed is 35.5/25 giving f1.42 or about f1.4. This means the lens behaves like a 35/1.4 lens. Is this not clear enough?
    2) Lenses that are NOT adapted to m43 or Nex or FujiX will not usually produce the best image on these cameras. The adapter helps to focus the image better for a smaller digital sensor. Also widening means reducing and reducing means reduction of aberrations. So yes, it is possible in physics to make the image better than using the original lens without the adapter, on the m43 or Nex camera. But it does not mean that it will make the lens better than it’s original purpose, which would have been for full frame or DX frame. It just means it will make the lens better adapted for m43/Nex/FujiX then without the adapter.
    3) So what does all this imply? Say you have a full frame 24-70/2.8 lens. Mount the adapter and lens on m43 and you get a 35-100/2 lens full frame equivalent. Now can you go buy such a lens for m43? How much would it cost?
    4) This adapter opens up the possibility of having very high speed primes for the shorter range like super wides to short tele. It may not make sense to widen a super tele lens unless you want to gain one stop of speed and reduce the magnification as well…
    5) But it also opens up a whole slew of economical zooms for full frame and make it faster and more practical for m43 and Nex/FujiX.
    6) For Nex/FujiX take a 24/2.8 lens and it becomes 25.56mm/2 lens equivalent. A 50/1.4 becomes a 53mm f1.0 equivalent. An 85/1.8 becomes a 90mm/1.2. How much would such high speed lenses cost? How large would those fast lenses be? Heck I am tempted to buy a used Nex5n just to use the Metabones just so I can have a very compact mirrorless system with ultra high speed, very sharp, practical sized lenses. The overall depth of field will remain THE SAME as a full frame camera. Meaning if you love full frame for that bokehlicious out of focus background, then you now can get that same look with a Nex/FujiX.
    7) For m43 however, its a different story. You will not get that amount of widening so the same 24/2.8 lens becomes a 35mm/2 equivalent. But you could use many cheap full frame or DX zooms with apertures of f3.5 to f4 and turn them into f2.5 to f2.8 pro speed zooms. The size of the slower cheap zooms is usually much smaller than pro zooms so you gonna benefit from speed and not get penalized on weight. I would have preferred a 0.5x adapter for m43 instead. That would truly make the m43 able to compete with the full frame guys for versatility, speed, Bokeh, compactness, practicality. It would be a paradigm shift.

    • > There are people who disbelief the tech behind this adapter but it’s rather simple actually.

      Agreed. Metabones have actually released a detailed white paper describing the principle:

      As Jiunn-Kai Wang said, there is a trade off going on. You get some performance gains at the expense of others. Whether or not this matters is up to the photographer. That is why it would be nice to see some real world comparisons (with/without) – these will come.

  7. Although I think such an adapter is great for apsc style cameras, it’s utter nonsense to say it creates an extra stop of light. That goes against the laws of nature. The amount of light measured by the cavers remains the same.

    • Which laws of nature? Perhaps the marketing is just odd?

      I think it is a very clever reversal of the teleconverter concept.

      You are correct though. It does not create extra light. It was always there to begin with! Note that the adaptor is specifically designed to mate full-frame lenses on APS-C/MFT bodies. With your vanilla flavoured adaptor, light is ‘wasted’ by illuminating a full-frame image circle on the sensor plane. With your blinged out, super dope (or whatever the kids are saying) adaptor, light from the full-frame image circle is condensed down to an APS-C/MFT image circle. You havent added anymore photons to the system but there is a greater number of photons per unit area. So your camera will indeed measure more light.

      How did they do this? They change the chain of optics with the “un”teleconverter. The focal length is reduced slightly, increasing the field of view and of course increasing the effective F-number. Bravo Brian Caldwell!

      (Thanks for the post Daniele)

  8. These are good pictures. Brilliant is something different. I’m sure you would have gotten the same results if you would have used your Fujinon 35mm.

  9. These photos are FANTASTIC. I don’t know what my friends here are complaining about. They have more of a full frame look and feel in my opinion. I love the choice of black & white for these and the “grit” to all of them helps give it that rock & roll feel.

    • I agree with you. i’m bright enough to work out what the effect is. This adapter looks like it works brilliantly. GREAT pics.

  10. I am not a black and white guy. I have no idea whether the picture are good or not. I am happy if there will have some color picture later….

  11. Sorry for my “newbieness” here but when I read, “Fuji” and “Speed Booster” I immediately thought, “cool, an accessory that will make Fuji’s auto-focus faster and more accurate”! Doh! I was wrong.

  12. Great shots!! Even better website!! Thank you for sharing.
    Love to see comparison shots between with and without metabones adaptor.

  13. foto bellissime, complimenti! (credo anche di aver riconosciuto qualcuno…)
    questa accoppiata lente-adattatore è fantastica!

  14. Ok Ok. Tomorrow I will play again with Summicron 35 with and without the Speedbooster and in color so u can see with your own eyes. (the only reason I can’t do right now is because here in Italy are9.00 pm…)
    Believe me is terrific!
    Thanks for appreciating my pictures indeed!!!


  15. Man…. …………………………………………………………………what wonderfull photos in your site…. I love each and every photo. Thanks for sharing…. Thanks Daniel and Steve.

  16. I think we all want to see a shot with and without the Speedbooster. Also if you could please shoot in color so we can see how the Sppedbooster renders color. The pictures that you took there look very nice and have a very classic look- really makes the x look different than with regular lenses. Once again, everyone really wants to see a shot in color and a before and after shot with and without the Speedbooster- preferably with the 35mm summicron shot wide open because we need to see if the end result really is like a full frame 35mm- also the summicron wide open is F2 so with the “Speedbooster” it would be useful to see if it really does add a full stop of F speed.

    Thanks for sharing thus far.

  17. How are we supposed to tell if there’s less crop or improved depth of field unless there are photos with and without the speed booster? Nice photos, but they show me nothing.

    • I agree. These photos show me nothing.
      For all we know, don’t tell us you used the SpeedBooster, and we would have never known.
      These photos have way too much noise. Please post colors and OOC jpegs too.
      Thanks! I can’t wait!

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