Recently I bought the Zhongyi lens turbo II M42 to M43 adapter. Later more about my experience with this adapter, first an explanation why I bought the Zhongyi. The Zhongyi lens turbo adapter costs 149 USD (that was about 130 euros with the exchange rate at the time I bought it). It is certainly not the cheapest lens turbo adapter you can buy. You can even buy ones that are around 80 USD. But those are not well made and have lenses inside them that are not very sharp. The Zhongyi is quite a bit cheaper than the better known Metabones Speedbooster (which is about 3 times more expensive). But I've read that the Zhongyi holds up quite well against its better known and more expensive counterpart in the results it produces.
I must confess that the adapter wasn't as affordable as it could have been, as customs intercepted my parcel and claimed due taxes and import duties, which added another wapping 50 Euros to the price. Luckily the total value was below the 150 Euro mark, otherwise the costs for importing this item would have even been much higher. So thank heavens for the friendly USD to Euro exchange rate at that time :)
As you can see in the picture above, the lens turbo is slightly thinner than the standard adapter. The build quality is really excellent and it feels very solidly made (all metal). Although I haven't had in my possession for a very long time, it survived the drop test on my hard wooden floor. I was a bit clumsy shooting the picture were it stands on its side (the first picture in this blog) and while I was focussing on taking a good shot, the adapter started rolling and landed on the floor with an incredible BANG. Luckily it survived unscathed.
When looking at the (I admit slightly boring) pictures above, it's immediately obvious that the lens turbo provides a wider field of view compared with the standard adapter. That's the result of the tiny lens within the adapter doing its "magic". Normally a 50mm lens lens on a Micro Four Third body acts like a 100mm lens (because of the 2x crop factor). But when using the lens turbo adapter the 50mm will become a 72mm, giving a wider field of view. Also more light hits the sensor making it more effective in low light situations (about 1 f-stop). To illustrate this. Both pictures of the plant were shot with the same iso setting and both with the (same) lens wide open. For the shot with the standard adapter the camera chose an optimum shutter speed of 1/40th of a second. When the lens turbo was attached, the camera selected an optimum shutter speed of 1/100th of a second. About twice as fast.
Another advantage of the lens turbo adapter is that a bigger part of the glas of the (M42) lens is used. Therefore more of the lens' unique characteristics will become visible. For example, the Helios lens is know for its sharp centre and beautiful out of focus edges. With a standard adapter, less of the edge and (relatively) more of the centre of a lens is used. Therefore making the unique characteristics of this lens less pronounced. With the lens turbo adapter images capture more of the character of those old lenses.
Also a nice benefit. The lens in the adapter shields the sensor of the camera against dust, while changing lenses. With a normal adapter the sensor is exposed to the outside air. It's less risky to clean the lens in the adapter, than to clean your camera's sensor.
I'm glad I bought this lens turbo adapter, even with the extra customs charges I had to pay. For me it's worth it. It gave me more enjoyment shooting those beautiful classic M42 lenses. If you want to buy one, I can surely recommend the one made by Zhongyi. You can find it here at zyoptics.net.
All M42 photos on this page were made with the KMZ Industar-61 - 50mm F2.8 L/3 and the Helios 44-2 - 58mm f2.0