Focal Reducer Comparison on the BMPCC

Focal Reducer comparisonon the Pocket Cinema Camera

Info - Focal Reducer comparisonon the Pocket Cinema Camera

Recently I took a gamble and bought a 0.72x focal reducer from an eBay store called Roxsen. It's similar to the RJ Focal Reducer. Unlike the Mitakon Lens Turbo, this one fits without any trouble at all. Last weekend I got around to giving it a field-test whilst shooting a video for a client - an exclusive car rental agency here in the Netherlands. 

For those interested: the topic of the shoot was a half-million-euros Lamborghini Aventador.

It was all shot using the Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera. Using the following lenses: 

  • Sigma AF 24-70mm f/2.8 IF EX DG HSM - Canon EF mount
  • Panagor 135mm f/2.8 MC - M42 mount vintage lens
  • Samyang 14mm T*3.1 ED AS IF UMC VDSLR - Nikon mount

Comparison shot sets were shot from a locked down tripod, of course. The intermissions were shot using a Kessler Crane with a Kessler Revolution head, controlled via Oracle Controller with the help of Site Steendam and Thom van Seijen.

The entire video was shot in CinemaDNG RAW, and graded using Adobe Camera RAW. All DNG's have received the exact same treatment as far as colour temperature, sharpness and colour settings go. Exposure was adjusted to match each other, since otherwise the shots with focal reducer would be way too light (since it's adding an extra stop of light).

You can watch the video below, as well as a couple of comparison images from the video. If there are questions - please feel free to ask them.

Below I've embedded two image sets from the video. It gives a clear and obvious difference between the field of view with and without the focal reducer.

Sigma 24-70mm without Focal Reducer on the BMPCC

Sigma 24-70mm with Focal Reducer on the BMPCC


Panagor 135mm without Focal Reducer on the BMPCC

Panagor 135mm with Focal Reducer on the BMPCC

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Others have left 38 comments so far. Tap/click a comment to reply to that comment.

Shots look awesome! How do you like the Speedbooster from Roxen? I'm guessing you can't control aperture with it correct?
Ruben Kremer
Website for Ruben Kremer
The adapter is very nicely made. It could've been a little tighter fit on the EF side though. Aperture control is non-existant (of course), but that's also why I mostly advocate the use of manual lenses - like the Samyang's for example.
Thank you for replying!
Incredible footage!
Ruben Kremer
Website for Ruben Kremer
Thank you! I'll pass the words to the rest of the team as well ;-)
Caleb Ward
Website for Caleb Ward
Awesome comparison. What camera rig were you using?
Website for Ruben
The basic rig was a tripod with, well, not much of a rig - just the BMPCC mounted to the tripod. For the crane shots we used a 12-foot Kessler Crane with a Kessler Revolution head with Oracle Controller. Magic combination ;-)
Is this it?

I can't seem to find anything that says RJ
Ruben Kremer
Website for Ruben Kremer
That's the Nikon F/G to M4/3 version. I've got the EF to M4/3 version in my kit. Just click the Roxsen link in the first paragraph, and select the EOS EF version. :-)
Got mine today.
Fit perfectly-- and works like a charm so far.
I have to admit- it's the first time I really liked what I saw coming out of my BMPCC-- coming from an 1.5x this 2.88x messed with my head and sense of proportion---
And sorry cats and kittens, the C-mount lenses- are only good if you have the really expensive ones-- the cheap ones-- well.. -- too much trouble for what ends up looking like a novelty image.
Website for Ruben
I agree - I'm not too much into C-mount lenses. Maybe the new Kish Optics for the Digital Bolex will proof to be good. But with a fixed aperture of f/4 and at around $340 each, they better be good as far as optics go. Time will tell I suppose, Joe said he'll prepare some demo footage when he gets back from NAB.
Dom Fernandez
hi, nice look and work. thanks for share. Have you ever tried Metabones or Mitakon for MFT with BMPCC or another MFT mount?
I'm in a trouble, i have GH2 and BMPCC, without nikon lenses, i only have minolta md mount lenses, but i don't know if metabones for MFT or BMPCC is 300 euros better than cheap speed boosters.
Website for Ruben
I haven't used any other focal reducers yet. But I'd try the Mitakon/Zhongyi focal reducer (first) if I were you. The Metabones might be optically superior, but I personally always have a hard time throwing lots of money to adapting not-so-expensive stuff ... I think the Mitakon will work fine.
Hello, thanks for all the information! I have the Blackmagic Pocket and a two M42 lens: Helios44M-6 (58mm) & Supertakumar 28mm 3.5. I bought a few cheap Fogta adapters too (M42-M43,Nikon-M43, EF-M43)and a M42-NIKON Adapter Ring, but I need a Focal Reducer. Wich one you recommend me? Thanks again.
Website for Alphonso
Hi Ruben!

Nice job, great blog! So I am looking for an alternative on the metabones too, pricewise ;) So stumbled upon your blog. Does the given specs of lenses mean you put the FR on BMPCC first, than lets say an EF to Nikon adapter for your Samyang glass and than the lens itself? And doesn't that affect te outcoming image in a bad way?

Thanks in advance.

Groeten uit Arnhem
Ruben Kremer
Website for Ruben Kremer
Hey Alphonso,

You're 100% correct. I used a Nikon > EF adapter to mount the lens to the EF > Micro 4/3 focal reducer. It works just fine, no issues - just make sure to get a good adapter, because you want a 'tight fit'. Since you'll be adding 'two' adapters in practice, you want them to be tight fits so to have as little play as possible :-)

Website for Alphonso
Thanks Ruben! All clear :) And thanks again for this cheap but great alternative! Greets
Any noticeable softness or image quality loss when using the adapter? Hard to tell from the stills but over all looks solid.
Website for Ruben
I haven't noticed any major softness when using this focal reducer. However - considering the crop factor/sensor size of the BMPCC, it might be softer on the edges when mounting it to a real M43 sized sensor. I don't have a MFT camera lying around to test this.
Website for Nicke
Thanks for the review! I bought one (Nikon to M43) after reading your review. I have not used the Metabones Speed Booster but I think this one will be more than enough for my use. If you are interested you can take a look at my test with and without the focal reducer. I only used a test chart so no fancy videos as yours :)
Website for cedric
Hello ! Thank you for this great "test". It helped me a lot. I have hust one question. Can you tell me what is the "exact"name for the EF to Nikon adapter please ? I would buy it but....
Sorry for my bad english and the question, I'm a beginner...
Thank you.
Website for Dave
Hi Ruben - awesome looking video. I am wondering it is possible to use a speed booster AS WELL AS a HolyManta VND EF? I'm guessing not but would very much welcome a knowing response. Best, Arner.
Website for Ruben
Hi Dave,

Nope. You can't use the HolyManta ND and a focal reducer like this Roxsen, nor the Metabones SpeedBooster. Simply because both 'devices' are lens-adapters for larger sensor lenses to a smaller sensor mount.
Awesome video Ruben. I'm the one who just got BMPCC a week ago and now facing trouble of choosing adapter that would reduce the focal lenght and fit with the Nikon G lenses. Right now I'm considering this one and the Metabones speedbooster which are very different in retail price. So which one worth to spend money on? Any comments of comparison between these two adapter?
Website for Ruben
I personally have no experience with the Metabones Speedbooster series. However, from what I can gather from others - it is optically very good.

The Roxsen adapter ain't bad, but it's not 100% without 'hiccups' either. When (sun)light hits the lens at a certain angle, it tends to give the image an purple hue. Not something that can't be easily fixed, but noteworthy.

But ... when taking the price into consideration - one cannot expect perfection at that pricepoint. If you want the ultimate quality: Metabones is the way to go. If you don't mind a little less than perfect, then save some cash and get a Roxsen, and a nice Samyang prime to go with it ;-)
Hi Ruben,

Great review! Thanks a lot, this was extremely helpful.

Do you know if/have you tried using a crop-only lens (i.e. a Sigma DC, Nikon DX, or Canon EF-S, or any other crop lens) on the Roxsen focal reducer?
Website for Ruben
Hey Moe,

I did try the 18-135mm EF-S kitlens I had lying around. However that simply didn't fit. It won't mount on the Roxsen. A crop Nikon lens should work in theory, when mounted via a Nikon to EF adapter. Again: in theory ;-)
Björn Sonnenschein
Website for Björn Sonnenschein
Hi Ruben,
I have got an RJ reducer, too. Have you also found some corner softness and vignetting like me on an mft camera with wide lenses. This is how it appears to me:
Website for Ruben
I can't say that I don't have a slight bit of softness in the corners with the Roxsen Focal Reducer (FR) on a M4/3 sensor. The M4/3 sensor stills cam that I do have doesn't have a resolution high enough for fair judgement. However I specifically bought this FR for use with the BMPCC, the smaller sized sensor will crop the image - so I'm not too concerned about slight softness in the corners on a larger M4/3 sensor. For me, on the BMPCC, it's a pretty good deal. I'm sure, I'd probably prefer the Metabones ones, but 'money' ;-)
I am extremely confused when you say that the "RJ focal reducer" is the "Roxsen focal reducer". But on Ebay, they are two different focal reducers. The manufacturers really aren't doing a great job distributing them without confusion. If you can please clear that up I will be ever so thankful. P.S. You are a talented filmmaker.
I have BMPCC and Samyang cine lenses canon mount.
which one should i buy,. they have FD mount and EOS mount lenses type.Please suggest.Thanks
Sorry, I mean in the Roxsen speedbooster
Website for Ruben
Get the EOS mount. The FD mount is only suitable for very old Canon lenses. EOS is what you need.

Thanks for this review. Your result with your focal reducer and your lenses are awesome. I bought this focal reducer but it seems I have some trouble with focus. I just got the impression that I can't have focus infinity with this focal reducer on my BMPCC. Peaking works, but when I look at my footage, I just don't have the impression it's focus...Did you have this type of trouble ? I ask before to write to Roxsen...
Website for Ruben
I must admit that I did have these issues as well by now. I found that the optical element can be easily adjusted by screwing it further into the adapter, or make it stick out further of the adapter. This way, with a lot of adjusting - I managed to get it back to the right setting.
Dwight Larks
Hi, I have 2 black magic pocket cinema cameras and 1 black magic cinema camera. All are mft mount. I want to use these cameras along with a focal reducer to my new Rokinon ef mount cine lenses. Which 3 adapters should I order?
Website for Ruben
If money is of no issue - then I'd suggest looking into the focal reducers produced by Metabones. Those are without doubt the best ones you can get.
Looks incredible i would like to know what focal length will get on using a 12mm lens , 14mm , 16 mm , 25mm , & 35 mm lenses on BMPCC with Roxsen Focal Reducer

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