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    Zhongyi B4 lens adaptor
    #1
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    I read previous posts on B4 lens adaptors and have learned about AbelCine's, MTF & Abakus options...but ran across this:

    Zhongyi Lens Adapter B4 2/3" lens to Micro 4/3 m4/3 Panasonic GH3 GH4 GH5 BMPCC
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Zhongyi-Len...C/164363184147

    Anyone with experience? Maker of Mitakon still lenses, which I have only seen on photo review sites & don't know anyone who's used them; but am aware of them at least being a company for awhile.

    I recently got a tube lens for a microscope setup made by a chinese optics company & the quality is actually better (optically, almost same quality threading & construction) than the nikon-owned company's original; for a drastic reduction in price of course. I was kind of thinking a lens adaptor like this might be the kind of thing that could still be made well (optical performance) & not sold for multiple thousands (?).

    The b4 mount construction is obviously not even in the same universe as the AC MTF options, but I wouldn't be looking to put a monster lens on it anyways. I have access to a cnc router & sheet metal, so am confident I could diy a lens/mount support to deal with the substantial difference there.

    I didn't find that much discussion about optical performance of MTF compared to the AC. Is it dramatic with a worthy higher end HD lens? Does the AC make an older B4 lens more viable?

    I am wanting to get an adapted B4 lens for a couple setups, the main attraction parfocality & zoom range, majority of situations being long tele shots. With a couple of cameras the B4>s16 or B4>s35 could work for me. I was mainly trying to decide if a used AC is worth paying/waiting for, or if the MTF was good enough before running across the ebay listing
    Last edited by hojomo; 01-06-2021 at 08:15 PM.


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    #2
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    The zhongyi lens turbo I have works pretty good, so this might be OK. I notice it has a built in 2x tele-converter which takes care of some of the small image circle issues, but it also sacrifices light (one stop or two, can't remember).


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    #3
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    It's OK, but not as good as the IB/E - AbelCine HDx35 adapter.
    Mitch Gross
    NYC


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    #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mitch Gross View Post
    It's OK, but not as good as the IB/E - AbelCine HDx35 adapter.
    Have you directly tested that or seen any tests showing that?

    @Hojomo - what camera were you planning to use these on?


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    #5
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    short term DX mode on a sigma fp or an occasional use with xt-4 (more a stills camera for me). The AC s35 option is the most attractive, but also most expensive route. Also would require a pl>l adaptor for the sigma, but I would want one to go with the sh-1 I am hoping to get by summer

    Also considering just getting a used gh5, gh6 or next bmpcc. That's where the Zhongyi could make sense if the more expensive options don't hold up that great blowing up a 2/3" sensor all the way to s35 with anything other than the best b4 lenses anyways.


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    Some of the best B4 lenses are actually kind of cheap, relatively speaking, as long as you stick to cinema lenses and not HD servo lenses. (Although, I'd be real interested in seeing some of the newer 4K servo lenses on these adapters.)

    What adapter you get really depends on the kind of coverage you want. You want to match sensor coverage or just go barely over (especially since some lower end and/or wide angle B4 lenses have a bit of vignetting at the wide end.) But, you don't want to go too far over or you'll be throwing away resolution, wide angles, and unnecessarily increasing the f stop - which you don't want to do if you want to have at least some things out of focus.

    MTF's Super 16 size optics are the same as Abakus's.

    Arri also makes a B4 adapter, but it is a rebrand made by Kenko (I think they purchased the smaller Japanese company that originally made them): http://www.kenko-pi.co.jp/horseman/e/OptMag/index.html

    IB/E (marketed by Abelcine) has a ton of different options as well. While the original prices are steep, you can find them used for a pretty decent price.

    With the Zhongyi, I haven't seen any reviews out there. However, the HDx2 MK II has 5 elements in 2 groups, with 7 total glass surfaces. It's also designed to be used on PL mount cameras, so the lenses are not going to be as close to a m4/3 sensor as they could be. (One the benefits of mirrorless is being able to use a shorter flange distance that basically gets the optics closer to the sensor and thus overall better optic designs.) The Zhongyi B4 adapter goes all the way to the rear of the m4/3 mount and is 8 elements in 5 groups, with 12 total glass surfaces. It may very well be better than the HDx2.

    Also, one thing I've noticed is that some of the companies list an f number for the optical adapters, implying that that is the max f number the adapter will take and anything else is not inputted. On some HDx35 PDFs I have, it lists a max input of f1.8 (T1.9) and that Kenko page above lists f number as f1.7 (T1.8). The maximum that a B4 lens can be is f1.45 (T1.5). I had actually talked to the owner / optical engineer of Abakus over the phone a few years ago and he said that their adapters would take the full f1.45. So, I'm guessing that some of these adapters are going to pass more light than others when using primes, but I don't know that for sure. If it is true, the difference between f1.45 and f1.8 is 2/3 of a stop, so it may make a pretty big difference with primes. This Zhongyi does not list an f number, so it might be passing more light than some of these other adapters.

    I own the Abakus 132 (1.32x) the Century Optics B4 to PL (1.32x) and the IB/E HDx2 MK II (about 2.2x) and I think the IB/E is the best. However, I've always wanted to do a head to head with the smaller HDx1.4 - I've just never run across one.


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    #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joshua Cadmium View Post
    Have you directly tested that or seen any tests showing that?

    @Hojomo - what camera were you planning to use these on?
    Yes, I have firsthand experience comparison testing. Not available for public publish as it was for a specific client.
    Mitch Gross
    NYC


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