View Full Version : metabones speedbooster for dslr to LF camera?

10-Dec-2014, 13:16
I use a Sinar P with a Leaf Aptus 22 digital back to do jewelry photography. The Aptus has a live view function which is sufficient for focusing, but it's not really good enough to help me guide my light placement. With jewelry photography light placement is absolutely critical and I have to make adjustments of millimeters. The live on a dSLR is great for this and it would really cool if I could combine the best of both worlds; use a dslr to line up the shot and place the lights and then replace it with the Leaf to focus and take the final shot. There are adapters for mounting a dslr on a LF camera, but the small sensor size on the dslr means that the view is too small. If there were a couple of lenses in the adapter that could focus the LF image down to a 35mm sensor, that would solve the problem. This would look something like a metabones speedbooster for 4x5 (or medium format) to dslr. Has anyone here ever heard of such a beast? At least for me, optical quality isn't terribly important since the final shot is being taken with the Leaf, so a kludge is ok too.

Thanks in advance,

Jim Andrada
10-Dec-2014, 14:09
I use a SpeedBooster on my Black Magic videocams - works quite well indeed.

I would think you could cobble something up from Edmund Optical lenses

Bill L.
10-Dec-2014, 14:56
I assume you're shooting this in a studio - any reason you can't shoot tethered? On a large screen (through C1 or Lightroom) you should be able to see things well on a large monitor. If there is any question about light position, you can always take the shot and see it instantly on the monitor to look for reflections. Maybe you've already tried this, but it seems much simpler than trying to cobble something for your DSLR. Particularly as the sensor sits so far behind the intended plane of focus, you will (generally) only be able to use longer lenses - although I don't know if the metabones adapter would change the plane of focus?


11-Dec-2014, 10:21
Hi Chad,

I would be very interested if you come across any such adapter. The only other solution that I have seen for what you are wanting to accomplish is to actually mount a DSLR on top of your rear standard. You then use a shift lens on the DSLR to show approximately what the Aptus is seeing. You are of course somewhat limited by the shift lens available for said DSLR. For example, a Canon 5D mark II offers a 90mm shift lens which would correspond to a 125mm used for the Aptus. I am not sure what lens you typically use with the Aptus, but I suspect it may be longer than 125mm. Canon also offers a coupler between the lens and body to effectively double the lens, so the 90mm would become a 180mm. And then you could use a 250mm lens on the Aptus.

Of course, it isn't an elegant solution, and it puts a fair amount of extra weight on your rear standard. But if you are struggling with mini millimeter movements for lighting your jewelry, it could prove helpful.

I saw this solution used when a photographer was using a medium format camera to capture a still life in-studio, but wanted to be able to provide the Art Director and his team with a separate monitor to evaluate the setup and provide feedback. It worked quite well and kept them isolated in their own corner of the studio, giving the photographer his own space to work.

I wish there were other better solutions; hopefully someone else here will be able to chime in.


11-Dec-2014, 12:30
Bill, I do shoot tethered, but the live view is poor. A few test shots are ok, but it can really slow down the process and I've been spoiled by the ease of a proper live view.

Foster, I have done something similar where I use a quick release plate and just swap cameras; one for setup and one for taking, but of course it adds time to the shoot and the slr is not looking through the taking lens so it's not precise.

Thanks for your input, I just thought I'd check and see if I had overlooked something. I think I'll save up for the CFV-50c.