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Focal Reducers – Lens Adapters That Change the Sport


The marketplace for focal reducers has exploded within the final decade. These lens adapters have modified the way in which filmmakers take a look at cameras, lenses, and composition. However as with all new issues, there was equal quantities of affection and hate, together with a wholesome dose of misinformation. So what are focal reducers, what do they do, and why has Canon determined to make one? Let’s dig in and be taught some stuff!

A focal reducer is the inverse of a teleconverter. Whereas the latter will increase the obvious focal size of a lens, a focal reducer does what it says on the tin: reduces the obvious focal size. It does this very similar to a magnifying glass, by taking the picture circle produced by a lens (which is designed for an even bigger sensor measurement), and shrinking it down in order that the (smaller) sensor or movie airplane can seize extra of the picture produced.

It does what now?

All lenses produce a round picture. Therefore, the time period picture circle. Normally, this picture circle was solely sufficiently big to cowl your body. Nevertheless, with the event of various movies sizes, and now sensors, the mismatch between seize medium and picture circle has by no means been as pronounced. Focal reducers and teleconverters alike, benefit from this mismatch to sync up your picture circle with the body measurement of your seize medium.

And that’s the place some magic begins to occur. Focal reducers can’t solely make your pictures wider but additionally brighter and sharper. Why? ‘Trigger science. Let’s check out a video from CVP to be taught what’s heck is occurring underneath the hood.

Wow. That was loads of math. However positively price it. As we see, by using area that older lenses had reserved for flappy or spinning shutters, the weather inside focal reducers give new life to lenses as soon as relegated to the shelf.

Canon grabs some market share pie

On the finish of 2020 Canon launched the Canon Mount Adapter EF-EOS R 0.71x. A 0.71x focal reducer that tailored EF mount lenses made for 36mmx24mm sensors (aka full-frame sensors), to Canon RF mount cameras which have smaller Super35 sensors. That is the primary time a significant producer has joined the legion of firms at the moment making focal reducers. The primary widespread use of focal reducers occurred when Metabones made their entrance into the market. They have been the primary to coin the time period Speedbooster, a reputation they used for his or her merchandise. Due to their prominence within the area, this time period has turn out to be synonymous with focal reducers.

Canon's EF to EOS R .70x Focal Reducer.
Canon’s EF to EOS R .70x Focal Reducer. Picture Credit score: B&H Photograph & Video

Whereas Canon’s providing retails for $599.99, Metabones provides the identical adapter and focal discount mixture for $479, in addition to a myriad of different lens and mount mixtures to select from. Whereas most focal or common adapters don’t supply knowledge passthrough, each Metabones and Canon keep full communication between the digital camera and lens. The Canon adapter has additionally been particularly designed for the EOS C70 cinema digital camera and options an non-obligatory cut up locking collar to make sure a safe attachment.

Manufacturers for all budgets

Whereas Kinefinity additionally provides fecal reducers made particularly for his or her digital camera, no different digital camera firms have ventured into this territory. In terms of everybody else, that’s a complete totally different story. Right here’s an inventory of firms that provide focal reducers at various budgets and for distinctive digital camera sensor mixtures.

  • Metabones – The Grandfather of focal reducers with a wide array of amateurs.
  • Kipon – Nice choice of medium format choices. Take a look at our put up on medium format cinematography.
  • ABT Cine – DMC2 EF/PL Focal Reducer.
  • LucAdapters – A non-adapter focal reducer for Blackmagic Design Cameras.
  • Viltrox, Mitakon Zhongyi, Commlite, and Vello – Finances-friendly choices.

All of those firms supply focal reducers at various worth factors. Finances choices can fall underneath $100, whereas some specialty merchandise can price greater than $1000. We’re most likely lacking just a few firms from the checklist so tell us within the feedback when you use a model that we didn’t point out.

Adaptable instruments

Focal reducers have been an answer that solved a expertise transition drawback. However of their utilization, they’ve turn out to be integral instruments for filmmakers which have a single lens package deal and shoot on a number of cameras. They do have their limitations however create flexibility in an trade that continues to evolve in leaps.

A Metabones EF to EOS M focal reducer. Picture credit score: Metabones

As new cameras are launched, nearly each quarter it appears, there’ll all the time be gaps within the instruments kits of filmmakers determined to maintain up. But when the inflow of velocity boosters, focal reducers, magic or turbo boosters is something to go by, there’ll all the time a market to assist construct bridges over these gaps.

Do you might have focal reducers in your software package? How have they helped (or hindered) your workflow? Which manufacturers would you advocate?


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