M42 to M4/3 focal reducer flare test

Let’s take a micro four thirds camera,  a couple old m42 screw mount manual lenses, and put them though a cheap but well performing focal reducer, to see how it handles flare.

P1030011
Will those nasty things protruding from the Takumar interfere?
Yep, it fits.
Not much, it fits.
flower
Here is the reducer at work.

Starring:

  • Panasonic GX7 (standard picture profile, electronic shutter fixed to 1/100s, ISO 800)
  • A warmed-up 40W light bulb (50hz 230V), hurts enough the eye, hopefully not the sensor too
  • A normal m42 to m43 adapter ring, for comparison purposes.
  • A focal reducer gotten from ebay which features a pixco sticker on the box, looks like the one in pixco site (which does not specify much technical info, anyway warns about aberrations).
  • Auto Chinon 135mm 2.8 lens
  • SMC Takumar 55mm 1.8 lens, hopefully not the radioactive batch
  • No post production, I just resized the JPEGs gotten straight out of camera.

The reducer focuses past infinity and I have not tested it with the mechanical shutter, seeing that it intrudes slightly into the body, I am not going to take risks. Enough talk, on with the pics, you’ll be the judge:

P1020952
135mm@f/2.8, no focal reducer

 

P1020945
135mm@f/2.8 with focal reducer

 

P1020950
135mm@f/4, no focal reducer (and poor focus)

 

P1020946
135mm@f/4, with focal reducer

 

The Takumar’s wider FOV made the bulb approach the image center, so flare gets reduced.

P1020958
55mm@f1.8, no focal reducer

 

P1020955
55mm@f1.8, with focal reducer
P1020959
55mm@f2.8, no focal reducer

 

P1020954
55mm@f2.8, with focal reducer

 

P1020960
55mm@f4, no focal reducer

 

P1020953
55mm@f4, with focal reducer

So, are the FOV and light gains worth the price (approx. 100€) and the added flares? That’s a matter of personal taste, personally I have witnessed very few instances where flares were present, while the flexibility of a new focal length for each prime I got is very welcome. Lastly, keeping the reducer on lets you switch adapted lenses without exposing the sensor to dust.

If you have good full frame lenses and need higher quality, there is the original Metabones Speedbooster whose reviews and tests elsewhere on the net are quite positive. Else, well, stick to the FF bodies? Anyway with M43 you can get native lenses and depth of field (sometimes you just need that), or adapted FF lenses with their shallow DOF and individual character.

More pictures at full resolution taken with the focal reducer (check EXIF data to see which ones) can be found in this page.

2 thoughts on “M42 to M4/3 focal reducer flare test”

  1. I have a panny gx7 and shot with one of these with the mechanical shutter, seems OK but YOUR MILEAGE MIGHT VARY. I did it by mistake, for a long exposure shot, while I am usually in silent mode with electronic shutter.

  2. Uh, now that I think of it, I did the same 🙂 YMMV anyway.
    I also fogged up the adapter by cleaning it with liquid, in a pinch. AND I did not have time for defogging (I leave the lens over a household heating radiator, covered with cloth, until it dries up the fog, worked for me, but it may damage the lens mechanically). Luckily the remains inside the lens condensed in a place which does not cover the sensor, so while they are still there they do not influence the shot!

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