By now, almost everyone might have heard of the Metabones Speed Booster, a brilliant adapter that allows you to achieve a full frame look on a cropped sensor (APS-C or Super35) camera – particularly Canon EF lenses on Sony E or Panasonic GH2/3/4 cameras. The Speed Booster uses high quality glass that “compresses” the full frame image from the full frame EF lens to the smaller imaging area of the sensor, thereby even gaining over one full stop of light. In essence, it makes your lenses effectively “wider and faster”, which is nothing short of amazing. My Metabones Speed Booster Ultra “lives” on my Sony FS7, on which I can use my ZEISS Compact Primes or any Canon EF L lenses using the Speed Booster Ultra and the aforementioned benefits.
Following a similar concept in a higher-end package, the newly announced IB/E S35 x FF Expander does something similar to the Metabones Speed Booster, but exactly the other way around: It’s meant for S35 lenses that are used on larger sensor cameras, like for example the RED Epic/Weapon.
It’s a fact that many higher-end professional film lenses are S35 only, because they were created to expose the S35 negative of film stock, which is about half as big as the “full frame” 35mm from photo stills cameras (first used for filmmaking with the Canon 5D Mark II, most popular nowadays with the Sony A7 series).
However now there are also higher-end cameras like the RED Epic on the market, which offer a sensor that is larger than S35. While the RED offers a crop mode at lower resolutions, in order to utilize the full resolution of the sensor you had to use “full frame” lenses so far.
It makes a lot of sense to introduce that concept to the higher-end market, because this adapter further increases the compatibility of lenses to cameras.
IB/E Optics created the S35 x FF Expander to facilitate common PL mount S35 lenses, and as we can hear in the video, the “camera side” offers an interchangeable mount which effectively also makes this a PL adapter for all your cameras (however please be aware that there will be flange distance related issues on some camera and lens combinations, meaning you cannot always achieve back focus with all lenses on all cameras – this needs to be tested before you set your eyes on a particular combination for a project!).
More details on the Band Pro website. It will be available in December and sell for $6900.
Watch it on Vimeo