Panasonic G6 - Metabones Speed Booster - Focus Peaking - Part 4

All images - Panasonic G6 28mm and 50mm f/1.8G lenses

Its not often I recommend anything, preferring to just recount my experiences and let people come to their own decisions. But in the case of the Metabones Speed Booster, I'm making an exception. If you already use or are in anyway interested in using manually focused prime lenses on your mirrorless camera, and you are interested in the magic threesome of higher shutter speeds with narrower apertures and lower ISO settings, whether you are shooting landscape in good light or city streets in near darkness, a Metabones Speed Booster will help you take better pictures. Even ignoring the widening of the focal length, just the one stop speed boost is so useful. In terms of m4/3 (and everything else of course, though it might be regarded as more significant in this format,) it means that you get a 1 stop ISO boost. So all of a sudden you have a sensor that's 1 stop better at high ISO's.

Doesn't look that different does it? A m4/3 camera with a Nikon prime on it. But that small attachment between the lens and the body is doing wonders for my photography.

As everybody will know off by heart by now, I mostly shoot landscape and location outdoors in good light. Yesterday I was doing the same. For me, generally the more depth of field I can get in my shots the better. Yesterday I was achieving that easily and with the bonus of high shutter speeds. And of course I had no need of moving away from the cameras base ISO of 160. At several points yesterday, I wondered if something was wrong with the adapter. I had the adapter stopped well down, somewhere around the f/11 to f/16 mark. However I was consistently getting these really high shutter speeds. 1/1000th. sec., 1/1250th. sec. etc. which to those who take note note of these things will realise is somewhat higher than I should have been getting. I was also worried that I might have been getting carried away with using these narrow apertures. f/16 on a 50mm standard prime doesn't usually look that good. However, and I have no way to explain this, when I got home and looked at the images at 100%, they were much better than I was expecting. Is this another advantage of the speed booster?

Now I'm sure I'm not alone in buying pieces of kit that seem to offer a lot but ultimately, when the novelty wears off, offer little significant difference. However, the Metabones Speed Booster doesn't fall into that category. It offers significant advantages that make a certain kind of photography, i.e. shooting with manually focused prime lenses, easier and it results in those images being of a higher technical quality. I will, of course have to enter the proviso that as I've only used the Nikon G > m4/3 version, I can only speak to that. But this is the best bit of kit I've bought for ages, in terms of what it offers and how it improves the kind of images I like to shoot. And repeating what I said at the top of the post, if you have the same interest in using lenses like this, then I am prepared to give the speed booster my strongest recommendation. 

Finally, I should also mention the focus peaking on the G6. This certainly makes all of the above that much easier. It is certainly the best version of this feature that I have used and its really easy both to get the exact point of focus that I want and to see what else in the image will be in acceptable focus. As I mentioned in a previous post, the light blue colour works really well and I haven't encountered many situations where it doesn't work well. Very impressive, and I think that all us GH3 owners should be lobbying robustly for it to be added to that camera. I will be doing just that.


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