$150. What lenses would you get for video? (novice on a GH2)

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by peripatew, Nov 22, 2010.

  1. peripatew

    peripatew Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 21, 2010
    I'm making the switch to a GH2 (when they start shipping) from a D3000.

    Primarily I'm making the switch so I can do video. The more I read, the more excited I am about 4/3's and the GH2, especially the easy adaptability of old lenses.

    Since I'm new to 4/3 and video on anything with lenses, I'm not sure where to start. I'm going to pickup with GH2 w/ the 14-42mm lens, and at some point in the future the Panny 20mm. The rest of my lenses for now I'd like to be old MF lenses.

    I know it will likely take a lot of getting used to MF, and that's why I'd like some recommendations on lenses to start with.

    Should I stick with one brand? Minolta or Pentax for example? Seems that having one converter would be cheaper.

    What focal lengths would be good to start with to help me experiment as I continue to learn more? (I thought a ~28, ~50, and a ~85/100)

    I welcome any helpful advice, even if it's anti-adapting.
  2. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Real Name:
    Ray, not Oz
    You should really Google videography forums etc and find out what type of lenses are used by DSLR videographers. It's not just a matter of brand, it has a lot to do with what you are shooting and what you need for the scenes. If you've never really shot video in a semi-serious way, a basic video/film course would be the best thing to do before buying anything. Otherwise, you're entering a whole world of hurt and disappointment.


  3. tamoio

    tamoio Mu-43 Regular

    1st, check out this place:DVXuser.com -- The online community for filmmaking Lots of information, not all of it useful for beginners and as always far too many experts. But sorting through it is half the fun.

    2nd, consider getting the 14-140 kit lens that is "optimized" for video work.

    3rd, learn about audio. There is really limited demand for silent films anymore and audio is most videographer's weakest link.

    4th, start shooting things while at the same time thinking about how they might edit together, look up the old-fashioned terms "master" and "coverage". Notice when you watch things on TV that except for commercials, shots usually stay on a subject for more that 3 or 4 seconds before cutting to something else.

    If you still have a spare $150 laying around invest in a Nikkor or Canon FD adapter which will open up a world of optical opportunities (although mostly on the longish end).
  4. frankiedeanjnr

    frankiedeanjnr New to Mu-43

    Nov 28, 2010
    Salema, Portugal
    Hi There
    check out this video GH1 with a MC Rokkor PF 58mm f/1.4. Nice vintage feel to it....let me know your thoughts.

    [ame=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y0o2Dhc-EtA]YouTube - GF1 HD Video with Manual Film Lens (MC Rokkor PF 58mm f/1.4)[/ame]

    • Like Like x 4
  5. soundimageplus

    soundimageplus Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 2, 2010
    I've been shooting video seriously on a GH1 for just over a year, both commercially and for myself. It is very difficult and requires a different mind set to photography - so Ray is right when he advises research. I feel I've only just scratched the surface and have much more to learn.

    The lens I use the most and would recommend as a starter is the 20mm f1.7. There is really no situation I can think of where it isn't useful. Its low light capability and the fact its really sharp at f1.7 will give you a higher success rate than MF lenses, which if you haven't used them on video before take a while to get to know.

    To switch focus on a MF lens when shooting is VERY difficult, and you really have to do lots of preparation to cope with it. Starting with the Panasonic lenses will give you a higher success rate than going to MF lenses straightaway and you can practice MF with them.

    Due to the lack of legacy lenses wide enough for use with m4/3, you're going to have to use the kit lens for your wide angle work anyway. Trying to manually focus a W/A lens in low light again isn't easy & for anything involving that kind of work you are far better off with AF.

    I use MF lenses, Nikon & M-mount Voigtlanders and Leicas and to be honest I find it difficult to see the difference between them and the Panasonic lenses for most applications.

    Shooting a decent video is hard enough without giving yourself the added complication of adapters & MF lenses. M4/3 is reasonably forgiving for DOF but once you start using MF lenses at anything over 50mm, focusing starts to get tricky and usually needs a lot of time to get it right. With MF lenses you can get shallow DOF but its not a quick process and you're always going to need a good tripod with a dedicated video head if you're planning to do any panning. They are not cheap, and tripods for stills don't really do the job.

    In fact if I was recommending anything that would be of great benefit when you are starting to shoot video seriously I would recommend the best tripod and video head you can afford before even considering other lenses. Of course you may have this already.

    When you do start getting some MF legacy lenses I would recommend sticking with one mount. Speaking from experience, messing around with different adapters is time consuming and a real pain. The Canon EF system is a good one, with a range of lenses available at reasonable prices. You can also use your Nikon lenses. There are now adapters for the G series lenses which can change the aperture manually so if you are keeping your Nikon you could use the lenses you have for that to get started using MF.
  6. chrith

    chrith Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 12, 2010
    What would be a good suggestion for a nice low light wide angle legacy lens. would be mainly for use indoors, right now i have a rokkor 58mm 1.4 and 28mm 3.5. and i would just like to get more into frame.
  7. scantron

    scantron Mu-43 Regular

    May 10, 2010
    Any recommendations on a tripod & head?
  8. zpierce

    zpierce Super Moderator

    Sep 26, 2010
    Minneapolis, MN
    Real Name:
    I doubt you'd find anything wider and fast in a legacy for a reasonable price. Why not the panasonic 20mm?