The holy grail: turn your NEX camera into full-frame for $600 (and use almost any lens)

metabones speed booster

Metabones Speed Booster


A revolution is about to hit the mirrorless camera world.  NEX is now full-frame.  Your NEX-5n videos will now have the same shallow depth-of-field, wide angles, and amazing low-light performance of a Canon 5d MKIII.  How? A new spin on some very old technology.  It’s called a focal reducer, and it’s essentially the opposite of a teleconverter (though not the same as a wide angle converter – just go with it).  A focal reducer is a piece of glass that goes between the camera’s lens and sensor to focus the light a bit , much like a magnifying glass frying an ant.  So they take the big circle of a full-frame lens’ image and focus it a bit so the whole thing fits on your NEX sensor.

Seems simple, but this technology hasn’t been available to the photographic public until just now.  Actually, 9 days from now.  Metabones is releasing their “Speed Booster” adapter for Canon EF to NEX on or by Jan 25th. Price is $600.

Does it work? Yes.  Many other blogs have tested beta units and found the adapter to match the performance of the same lens on full-frame.  You gain 50% in width and 1 stop of light over using a standard adapter for EF to NEX.  Your shots are wider and brighter with blurrier backgrounds.

Proof can be found in Andrew Reid’s simple-yet-effective test, found here.  So yes, it works amazingly.

But what if you don’t own lenses in one of the currently offered adapter mounts? What if you have Nikon, or Sony Alpha, or Leica R, Olympus OM, orPentax K?

Nikon to Canon EF Adapter

Nikon to Canon EF Adapter

Here’s the really cool part: since your camera is now essentially a Canon EF mount, you can just pick up some cheap adapters and use almost any other full-frame lens (minus autofocus, image stabilization, and auto iris). And these adapters are so thin that you can toss a handful of them in a camera bag and hardly notice it.

So now you don’t have to invest in expensive EF glass to use this amazing adapter. How much money do you save?  Look at this comparison:

Total (minus tax and shipping): $1206

…and now your cheapest full-frame HDSLR equivalent:


  • Canon 5dMKII: $1600


Total (minus tax and shipping): $1930

Bear in mind that the NEX-5n has a more efficient codec, articulated screen, and 1080p60 slow motion, and the 5dmkII is 5 years old.  The NEX advantages are clear.

The Holy Grail is about to arrive.  Will you join the revolution?




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