My impressions of the Lens Turbo (Nikon Ai to Sony Nex mount)

My impressions of the Lens Turbo (Nikon Ai to Sony Nex mount)

I was looking forward to get my hands on one of those magic speed boosters, especially for video work. Imagine the possibilities, full frame bokeh-liciousness on sensors like we have in the FS100 and FS700. Absolutely fantastic, why the hell did it take so long to introduce this fairly simple optical accessory, long known to astronomers as focal reducer
more after the break

KEEP IN MIND, this is not a review, just my first impressions of the Zhonggyi Lens Turbo which I purchased through Ebay.

1.)The Lens Turbo appears to be a well made accessory lens-until I tried to mount it on my Nex100. The fit is so tight, I was worried about damaging the camera lens mount.

2.)Mounting a lens onto it was much easier, good fit with all my lenses, a click at the end, however, the locking pin was too short and wouldn’t secure the attached lens.

3.) Optical quality appeared to be very good with the Nikkor 135mm f2 and the Bower 14mm, both stellar performers on the D800E, no vignetting wide open and no noticable loss of resolution, especially with the tele lens, which, effectively turns the 135mm x1.5×0.72=145.8mm f1.4. and the 14mm x1.5×0.72=15.12mm f2. 1.4 and 2? really? It sure didn’t look like a full stop gain to me. More like 1/2 to 2/3 of a stop. Not a deal breaker, just needed to be mentioned.

Screen grab below: Bower 14mm mounted via Nikkor G to Nex adapter, FOV equiv 21mm, shot at 2.8, flat color profile, OOC – no sharpening applied

Screen grab below: 100% crop

Screen grab below: Bower 14mm and Lens Turbo, FOV equiv ~15mm, shot at 2.8, flat color profile, OOC – no sharpening applied
Note the slightly warmer sky (after multiple attempts to white balance with white and grey cards to match the first clip) and the slightly brighter exposure. Looks like a 1/2 stop gain.

Screen grab below: 100% crop

4.) Green/Yellowish color cast. A color shift was expected, however, after repeated attempts to white balance and match the color when shooting without the Lens Turbo , I gave up, couldn’t be done. This was the real deal breaker for me, keep in mind I was mainly interested to use it for video work, not photography.
I don’t consider the white balance/color shift much of an issue for raw shooters although it won’t be easy to 100% match images taken with out the booster.
I am returning mine for a full refund. Hopefully I will get my hands on Metabones Nikkor G to Nex adapter soon for a full review. Exciting times!

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5 thoughts on “My impressions of the Lens Turbo (Nikon Ai to Sony Nex mount)

  1. mike.kobal Post author

    Hey Zak! You are not an idiot, exactly my findings. I put a tiny bit of silicon grease on the mount and that helped temporarily-not a solution for a location shoot. I ended up returning it. I learned that the E mount on FS bodies is a lot stronger and machined at a much higher standard resulting tighter tolerance levels then the mound on Nex cameras. I could easily fit the adapter on the Nex 6 but not on the FS100.

  2. zak

    Hey Mike, thanks a bunch for posting this. I have a question about how you said it was a really “tight fit” to the FS100 lens mount.

    So far I’ve tried both the EF mount and the MD mount to NEX (E-mount?) versions of the Lens Turbo and I can’t seem to get either to go onto my FS100. It’s like they’re too tight to rotate even with all my force (and i’m an active guy, not that weak). Is there anything special you had to do to get it on the FS100 mount? I have a regular Metabones adapter from E-mount to EF that slides on the FS100 like butter… Also, NEX and E-mount are the same right, or am I an idiot?


  3. derek

    thanks, appreciate this timely review , helps me a lot , I did not waste my money on this thing, I will get the Speed Booster, in fact, I’ve just decided to keep my NEX6 just for that.

  4. mike.kobal Post author

    You are welcome, Allan, yeah, I saw that video, something to be expected with so many lens elements. I think we have to get over our initial europhia about this product and look at it like we look at tele converters, there are good ones and bad ones. We also have to realize the focal reducer will not produce amazing results with just any lens. Time will tell :)

  5. Allan

    Thanks for the review. I’m on the fence for this adapter, or waiting for a Metabones adapter. One youtube video found that there was some blue dot in their footage with Samyang 14mm and 24mm lenses and a Sony FS700 –

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