Canon FD 50mm F1.4 + Zhongyi Lens Turbo II Focal Reducer

Anyone who follows VintageLensesForVideo on Instagram might know that I’ve been using a Zhongyi Lens Turbo ll (cheaper alternative to Metabones Speed Booster) for a little while now, mostly along with my current 50mm F1.4 lens of choice, the Canon FD 50mm F1.4.

For total of just over $200 this combo gives me a 54mm F1.0 (full frame equivalent) on my Sony FS100. if you are curious to know how this is possible, take a look at this white paper produced by Metabones.

Canon FD F1.4 + Lens Turbo ll is now my standard low light setup on every shoot I’ve been doing in last few mounts. I decided to shoot a test with Canon wide open at F1.4 to show you how these 2 perform together in challenging lighting conditions. I generally don’t use Canon FD 50mm F1.4 wide open, at least I didn’t until I started using it with Lens Turbo. I always felt that wide open this lens lacked definition and critical sharpness, so my sweet spot used to be F2-F2.8, but with Lens Turbo even wide open it feels perfectly sharp!

I’ll be doing in-depth reviews for both 50mm F1.4 and Lens Turbo, but I can confirm already that it’s possible to get some amazing results with this very affordable combo. Canon FD 50mm F1.4 produces some lovely, dreamy flares wide open, but as you can see in the video above, blackberries and hair stands stay nice and sharp even at F1.4.

It’s impossible to get a 36mm F1.0 lens (54mm equivalent on FS100) for any money and it’s incredible that thanks to focal reducers like Lens Turbo you can effectively have such lens for just $200.

In coming weeks I’ll be taking a more in-depth looks at both Canon FD 50mm F1.4 and Zhongyi Lens Turbo ll, so make sure to check back soon!

Canon FD 50mm F1.4
Find Canon 50mm F1.4 on EBAY
Zhongyi Lens Turbo II Focal Reducer
Find Zhongyi Turbo II on EBAY

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38 Responses to Canon FD 50mm F1.4 + Zhongyi Lens Turbo II Focal Reducer

  1. I completely agree with your comments.
    With the LT2 I see that my FD lenses look sharper and less of the CA etc they may have without it.
    I am loving my FDn 50mm 1.4 as well just like you and cant wait to get the 85mm 1.2L
    Also my FDn 100mm F2 and the FDn 200mm 2.8 look razor sharp and so awesome for portraits!
    here are a couple of shots with the 50mm 1.4
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/lgabrielg/15324263551/
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/lgabrielg/15310005232/in/photostream/

    And one with the FDn 100mm F2 as well. 🙂

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/lgabrielg/14753538345/

    Good job amigo, keep it going! 🙂

  2. this is oooold .. is use lens turbo I since april 2013 … its nice, but it decreases image quality. but for those, who don`t care and need the crop factor disabled, its a perfect thingy ^_^ …

      • man, i KNOW that this is the improved one. but i doubt the so-much-better thing. i watched several videos, and it doesnt make sense to sell my old and buy the new one instead… as an early adopter of the first version, i know exactly of what i`m talking about ;)…

        • No you dont. You are evaluatinig a NEW version that you do not own based on an older version. 😉

          You “know” but you “doubt” well that is a LOT of evidence. Really, how can you “know” and you “doubt”..what kind of evaluation is that. Believe what you want, is your loss. The improvement is fantastic and the quality superb but if you want to “believe” instead of experience for you sell then be my guest.
          He has it and I have it and we both REALLY know because we own it instead of guessing as you are doing.

          Regards

          • yes, i do.

            plz READ before posting.

            i said, i KNOW this is an improved version, but i doubt the “fantastic” amount of difference in quality compared to version 1. whats wrong with this thought ?

            and i NOT evaluate it from comparing with my old one. this is your understanding, but not what i wrote. i watched the videos, done with new version. these videos are enough evidence for me. got it now ?

            i don`t want to buy a V2.0 lens turbo and send it back to china, if i`m not pleased with it :-S … maybe when its available in my country by ebay or amazon. but i also don`t need it really. beside my old nex5n, i have an A7 since june. so i don`t need it desperately like i was an APS-C user…

            love and hugs

          • Oh I read exactly what you said. You saying you KNOW is an improved version and then adding you “DOUBT” ..that is it! nothing else needs to be read. You have not tested it, you are simply guessing if it is a big difference or not between the two and obviously as you have no interest in getting one to try it, you rather Doubt in favor of “is not a big difference” to feel better about not upgrading. Its human nature, I get it.
            Glad you have the A7, good for you that you are not an APS-C user, even though your tone is snobbish acting as if APS-C was junk…laughable really.

            Let me try one more time to put is as simple as possible. You DO NOT HAVE the Lens Turbo 2 yet you are able to evaluate it buy guessing, estimating that it wont be this “fantastic” upgrade over the first version. Now tell me exactly how such “evaluation” has ANY validity to it? Based on nothing, just pure guessing… really? Do I have to explain more?

            So next time you evaluate a product, make sure you actually TEST it because otherwise you opinion is totally worthless.
            I hope you get it now cause I dont think it can be any clearer.

  3. i think you still didnt understand me. i`m not guessing. i was searching for videos with the new version to compare it. you think, watching the ready products made with new version, is PURE GUESSING ? xD ..

    well, millions of ppl. buy products because of magazine or video tests. they don`t all have to OWN the products, to get an overview, right ? are all these ppl. idiots for you ? like i said, videos taken with version 2 of lens turbo are enough for me, making a decision. so, i really don`t need to test it by myself.

    i`d buy it, if i`d had only my 5n and no version 1. ofcourse i`d do.

    i`m not snobbish, man. i really loved my nex5n. and i really needed every amount of light i could get that days. i am filming in clubs and at concerts. so i went to lens turbo as soon it was available in 2013. i really needed it desperately for eliminating as much noise as i could.

    this year, i took my saved money for an A7, which is much better than my old nex5n. EVF, mic in, headphone out, hotshoe, and better lowlight abilities. more knobs and wheels instead of menue madness. THAT are improvements i like.

    i`m not sure, if you know what a snob is. snobs don`t buy that cheapo sony consumer cameras. they use leica and leica lenses (for example) ;).

    ok, ok. lets quit that nonsense plz. youre are right, i`m wrong. i give it up 😀 …

  4. Ok, guys, can we just get along please? At the end of the day the website is here to help people find some cool glass and save some money along the way, but everyone is still entitled to their own opinion as long as its not offensive as vintagelensesforvideo is all about concentrating on positives. Even with Lens Turbo 1, if someone told us 3-4 years ago that we could get such adapter for $150, we would not believe our luck, but now we are spoiled for choice. Let’s appreciate the time we are living in. Cinematic look has never been so affordable. Small, cheap Sony nex camera combined with lovely vintage optics and enhanced by wonderful adapters like Lens Turbo II, produce more cinematic images than a $10000 camcorder 10 years ago, so let’s just be glad that we have these great tools available to us. 🙂

      • By the way. I’ve tested the Lens Turbo II against the Metabones Speedbooster. I’m yet to edit that comparison, but on camera they looks pretty much identical on quality. I’m not going to jump into conclusions before I do a proper analysis on a computer display, but might be surprised to see how good Lens Turbo II actually is when compared to the “benchmark” Speed Booster. Make sure to check back for that comparison in the next few weeks 🙂

        • Based on some other short comparisons/comments I have read it looks like the LT2 is indeed holding its own against the Metabones. Cant wait to see your new test to get a confirmation of where things stand between those two!

  5. Im totally interested in this option now….glad to see its giving Metabones some competition. I watched a comparison between the two and the LT seemed to outclass the Metabones down the line.

  6. I am interested in getting a lens turbo II for my Fuji X Pro 1. Have you noticed any serious image degradation using it? I am not a pixel peeper, but I am just wondering if things become degraded beyond use.

  7. Hello VLFV,

    Thanks again for the great website and video. I am also using a Canon FD f/1.4 with a Mitakon Zhongi focal reducer turbo 2. The quality is great but I cannot adjust the aperture. Here are some examples:

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/129520987@N05/22021708171/in/dateposted-public/
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/129520987@N05/21389107264/in/dateposted-public/

    I did some research and found a couple of videos on You Tube that describe enabling the aperture adjustment by pushing in the two pins and turning the lens assembly at the back of the lens. I was able to do this procedure. It did allow for me to adjust the aperture when holding the lens unmounted. However, when I went to mount the lens on the focal reducer it would no longer mount. I tried fiddling with it for hours and it still would no longer mount after enabling. I tried all kinds of different ways to figure this problem out but no luck. I tried other lenses as well both FD and FDn. PLEASE HELP if you know how do this.

    thank you
    Mark

  8. Does the FDn 50mm 1.4 allow infinity focusing on the Lens Turbo II? I seem to see mixed reports on whether it hits the rear element or not. Thanks!

  9. In answer to the gent that can’t get his Aperture Adjustment Ring to Work please follow these instructions;

    First the Open Lock Ring on the LT2 is for locking the unit onto your Camera Body ! Not for Aperture Engagement.

    With the LT2 Properly Mounted to the Body the Little Metal Tab that sticks out from the adapter will perfectly rest above the Lens Disconnect Button on the Camera Body. If it’s not aligned properly its ” Not Mounted Properly ” ! Also you will not use said button to dismount the LT2 when you take it off. That is done with the LT2 Locking Ring Only.

    First mount the LT2 to your Camera Body Locking it on with the Lock Ring. Position the Tab over the Lens Release Button on the Body and Square the Adapter to the Flange. With the Adapter Firmly Seated in the Flange Rotate the Locking Ring ClockWise Until the Red Dot on said ring reaches its stop position at the LOCK Engraving.

    Now take your nFD Lens and Position the lens against the Lens Mount Bayonet with the Red Register Dot Opposite the Open Engraving for the Body Lock. At this point your Lens is up against the Bayonet Flanges Square to the Mount but distanced off by approximately 3 mm. Hold the Lens square with the mount and apply a slight pressure against said mount while simultaneously turning the lens Counter Clockwise. As you turn the lens You will feel an initial bump as the Aperture Actuation Lever makes contact with the Fixed pin that is positioned in the 6 O’Clock Position within the LT2. This bump is just a few degrees of rotation from the Lens Mount Position at 12 O’Clock. As you continue your Counter Clockwise rotation the lens will drop into and settle into the Mount Position at the 12 O’Clock Red Lens Dot Matched to LT2 Yellow Dot. With the Lens fully seated and square to the Mount for latching now turn lens Clock Wise until it Locks in just beyond the OPEN Engraving for the Body Mount.

    Now your aperture ring will work !

    With the Breech Ring FD Lenses you need to make certain that the Ring is Lined Up – Red Dot on Ring with Bayonet Register Pin on the inside of the Lens Mount !! And the same procedure for mounting as above applies. The Breech Ring Red Dot on Lockdown will Only approach the OPEN Engraving it won’t reach it unless you have a badly worn lens mount or some Third Party Lens.

    My biggest problem ( and I have 17 Different FD and nFD Lenses ) is that only a few actually don’t have Interference Problems of different types.

    20mm / F2.8 nFD – Element Touch at 1 Meter
    24mm / F2.8 nFD – No Infinity Focus
    28mm / F2.8 nFD – Element Touch before Infinity.
    35mm / F2.0 FD – Won’t mount, Pin or Lever?
    50mm / F1.8 nFD – Element Touch before Infinity.
    100mm / F2.8 nFD – Works Well
    135mm / F3.5 FD – Works Well
    28-85 / F4 Zoom nFD – Won’t Mount, Lever or Pin?
    35-70 / F4 Z nFD – Works
    35-70 / F3.5-4.5 Z nFD – Works
    35-105 / F3.5 Z nFD – Works Well
    35-105 / F3.5-4.5 Z nFD – Works
    70-210 / F4 Z nFD – Won’t Mount, Lever or Pin?
    100-300 / F5.6 Z nFD – Won’t Mount, Lever or Pin?

    Those are the Lenses from my collection that I’ve tested this far.

    Images from the 100mm / F2.8 and the 135mm / F3.5 are the best in the lot. Nice images from the 28 & 50mm Lenses at less than Infinity. The 35-105 / F3.5 Zoom works nicely and the extra Light on all of these Lenses that actually will Mount is Really Nice.

    I just got it, this morning used for $70 on OfferUp.

    I’m a little disappointed at the limited number of my lenses that will even mount. There doesn’t appear to be any means to adjust the Element within the LT2 So as to address the Clearance and or Infinity Focus problems.

    Great Idea and Seems to Work better with Some Lenses than Others. Figuring out the Proper Mounting Procedure without the Instructions took a few minutes but Persistence Won the Battle … I Believe it’s Important that you mount the LT2 to the Camera Body First !

    Starting to research the Clearance and Focus Problems … If I come up with anything I’ll share it.

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