Quick Comparison: Canon 6D with 35 1.4 vs NEX-7/35 1.4 and Metabones Speed Booster

Quick Comparison: Canon 6D with 35 1.4 vs NEX-7 and Speed Booster 35 1.4

Before sending back the Canon 6D and lenses that I reviewed I ran out and snapped two test shots against a Sony NEX-7 with a Canon EOS to E-Mount Metabones Speedbooster Adapter. As most of you already know, the speedbooster takes your APS-C sensor camera and pretty much gives you the normal field of view and extra stop of light. It Increases Angle of View by 0.71x and increases the maximum Aperture by one stop. It’s a nifty device that can give you a full frame look and feel on an APS-C camera. Much has been written about the speed booster here and on other websites across the internet but I thought it would be fun to see the nEX-7 go against the 6D with the same glass.

So below are two generic test shots. One with the Canon 85L and 6d against the NEX-7 and 85L using the Speed Booster. Another with the 6D and Sigma 35 1.4 against the NEX-7 and 35 1.4 with Speed Booster.

1st shot, tripod, Canon 6D and 85L at 1.2 – click it for larger – this is direct from camera, RAW.


Now with the NEX-7 and Speedbooster – 85L at 1.2. Notice the Bokeh..like a big blob compared to the Canon lumps. The Bokeh is from a TV in the back. Click image for larger. The cameras were set to A mode and aperture set to wide open. Cameras chose exposure to see if the NEX would expose correctly with the Speedbooster.


Now the Canon 6D with Sigma 35 1.4 at f/2


and the NEX-7 with 35 1.4 at f/2


One thing to note: The NEX-7 with Speed Booster focused so slow it could never really be used in reality. Manual focus would be the way to go. With the 35 1.4 the NEX-7 and speedbooster would not work in Auto Focus so it had to be manually focused. The Speed B ooster is expensive but I can see how it could be useful to give you your focal length equivilant and Bokeh back to you when shooting on an APS-C camera. There is also a speed booster made for Micro 4/3 (Nikon G or Leica R glass to Micro 4/3) and Fuji X as well (Nikon).

You can see all available speedboosters HERE at B&H Photo.


  1. Bokeh isn’t a good comparison because different images on the tv at different times could easily be a factor to the blur. I prefer the Canon. Sold my speedbooster.

  2. Very interesting.
    And I just got a message from Metabones that a Speed Booster for Canon FD lenses on the NEX is about to be released! Since the autofocus is not really working well with EFs and Speed Booster, there is no need why to use those lenses. FDs will work great!

  3. The picture of the bench looks more realistic on both setup. The NEX 7 with speedbooster and Sigma 35mm @f2(equal to F/1.4) looks brighter than 6D/Sigma’s picture(same ISO,F2).

    But I don’t know why the picture of Scotch tape became darker on NEX7/Speedbooster+Cannon85L@f1.2? The combo’s aperture will be equal to F/0.95(max).

  4. The first two photos are framed differently: it looks like the NEX was positioned a good deal below the 6D, making the backgrounds much harder to compare.

    That said, the Speedbooster does seem to butterize the blur, even if it doesn’t actually change the size.

  5. Thanks for the comparison! I have a NEX-7 and am waited to see what the full frame will feature before I investment in more cropped lenses. The speed booster presents another viable option.

  6. An interesting comparison using the same lens would also be:
    a) image from a full frame DSLR
    b) image from NEX-7 + speed booster
    c) image from NEX-7 + regular adapter + re-positioning yourself to achieve same framing

  7. Between the Scotch tape images, the NEX one is sharper, didn’t expect that. The garden images differ in focus. Didn’t know that focussing with the Speed Booster was so slow.

  8. Did you crop the Nex images?
    I prefer the Canon. they look smoother in the tones for me.
    Also if I think of the 85/1.2L size and weight I cant really imagine that you can hold and handle it compfortable on a smallish bosy like the Nex7. Did you find it was fun to use that combo?

  9. What an eye opener!

    Seeing this makes me think that Canon isn’t too far off with their EOS-M. All they need is a M with a Speed Booster like adapter that autofocuses Canon full frame lenses at full speed (while providing all the Speed Booster benefits), utilizes their new phase detect sensor and comes with a built in viewfinder.

    It would be a great counter move against the Sony full frame NEX onslaught that’s almost here while giving customers actual intensive to buy an EOS-M!

  10. Oh by the way. I want to thank you for making me aware of the canon 85L. The images looked amazing. I will have to find a camera that I can fit that on. Maybe the 1dx but then I am going bigger instead of smaller and oh yeah a bit more coin.

  11. I like the canon inside and equal outside. I would like a second body to go with my 99 and was really looking for a smaller body. Therefore I was putting the rumored Nex ff at the top but am considering a Fuji and even the new Olympus. I have to admit that I am one of those people who at this time cannot conceive going smaller than an aps size sensor. Speed and accuracy of the autofocus is very important so I will be waiting for your practical and honest summation of these cameras.

  12. I always like the one from the Speedbooster to NEX better. I know the corners won’t be as good but I never look at the corners and I still didn’t

    Thanks for posting them is full resolution..

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