GH1/2 - native or adapted lenses (short answer)?

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by crashwins, Jun 10, 2013.

  1. crashwins

    crashwins Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 13, 2010
    Northampton, MA
    Hi folks...

    I've amassed some nice glass with my OMD and EP1 - Oly 45mm, Lumix 20mm f1.7, Oly 75mm, and an Oly 45-150 zoom. I hear different takes on native versus adapted/manual lenses for video, but this is some fast/quality glass. I'm thinking about picking up a used GH1 to play around with video. Seems like these would produce pretty good results. Should these suffice or do I need like the Nikon/Canons (I see the Nikon 50 1.4 discussed a lot)? Thanks!
  2. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    With their physical focus and aperture rings, the legacy lenses have some advantages in video ... but you know this already.
    If I was going to do some video involving focus pulling to follow a character through a scene I'd go straight to my adapted manual Yashinon and leave this excellent mZuiko 45mm in my pocket.
  3. rnagoda

    rnagoda Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 12, 2012
    Tucson, AZ
    The biggest thing, initially, will be manual focus versus autofocus. The pros manually focus because you can't depend on AF even on much better machines than the GH1/2/3. When I do extra work on movies I always geek out over the equipment they are using, always pretty top notch, and it is always manual focus! Of course you can manually focus most native m4/3 glass, but with the smallish nature of these lenses and their focus rings it can be tough to do so without a follow focus, and also tough to find a follow focus that can be adapted to these lenses.

    In my case (no pro, btw) I found that I preferred to use cheap, older Canon FD lenses. Having been built with manual adjustment in mind they have a better feel for that right off, and there's a great quality to them as well that keeps me coming back. The same can likely be said of most of the vintage lenses out there. In keeping with this you'll also find that Rokinon makes some cool, relatively affordable, cine-specific lenses with all manual operation as well as clickless aperture adjustment and gearing for a standard follow-focus arrangement - nice!

    All of that said, though, there's no reason not to give it a go with the lenses you already own. You may be perfectly satisfied with the operation and never need anything else! Go for it!
  4. kinlau

    kinlau Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 29, 2012
    Some people like that less 'clinical' look of legacy glass, a somewhat softer less contrasty image. The sharpness and contrast of some m43 lenses make them more like video rather than a filmic look.

    Legacy lenses tend to have nice fat manual focus rings, manual aperture control, and a whole lot cheaper than m43. Those are pretty good reasons to use them.

    In spite of all that, with a large number of legacy lenses in my kit, I do most of my video shooting with m43 lenses. My main focus is wildlife, and the Panny 100-300 with AF is perfect for my purposes. I am looking for some long fast legacy glass to round out my kit.
  5. John M Flores

    John M Flores Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2011
    Somerville, NJ
    MF vs. AF, Native vs. Adapted...depends on what you are shooting. As others mentioned, Adapted MF lenses are great for static interviews where the long focus throws permit pinpoint focusing. Avoid the temptation to shoot wide open though as the subject's eyes will go OOF if they lean forward or back. MF fast 50s are nice, but you do need some working distance, which then leads to off-camera audio. Here are some stills with a GH2 and vintage glass:

    GH2 with Super Takumar 50mm F1.4
    Still from the Panasonic GH2 + Super Takumar 50mm F1.4 by john m flores, on Flickr

    GH2 with Pentax M 28mm F3.5
    Screenshot - Panasonic GH2 with Pentax M28mm F3.5 by john m flores, on Flickr

    If you're recording things like youth soccer though, that AF Oly zoom of yours would be the right ticket. A monopod with a fluid pan head would help you keep up with the action while still having some stability.

    PS. I've got a spare GH1 that I was going to put on the Marketplace. PM if you'd like to discuss.
  6. rparmar

    rparmar Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 14, 2011
    Limerick, Ireland
    In short, adapted... for the reasons given above. I am currently shooting with dual GH1 kits using 2x Pentax 50mm f/1.2. Pretty sweet!
  7. stratokaster

    stratokaster Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jan 4, 2011
    Kyiv, Ukraine
    My most used lens for video is Cosina 24/2.8 Close Focus. It's sharp, focuses relatively close, has an aperture ring and a very smooth focusing action. I can't pull focus with native lenses because fly-by-wire system is not smooth enough for me.
  8. rparmar

    rparmar Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 14, 2011
    Limerick, Ireland
    I have f/2 versions in both 24mm and 28mm, branded Vivitar. They are indeed very nice lenses!
  9. Artorius

    Artorius Mu-43 Regular

    For video I love the Takumars. Been trying to round out my set!
  10. entropicremnants

    entropicremnants Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 16, 2012
    John Griggs
    So far native -- but the only video I've done on the GH1 was recently -- I bought it just for the event -- and I did use manual focus.

    However, in event shooting, when you turn the focus ring in manual focus with native lenses you immediately get the focus aid which is VERY helpful for quick focusing. I wouldn't want to have to fumble a button to turn on something to trim focus and the viewfinder isn't quite good enough to REALLY focus perfectly with shallow DOF.

    So I think I'll be staying native. If I was shooting controlled scenes like a story rather than an event, I might prefer adapted but I don't do that.

    I can't give a short answer apparently, lol.

    The movie I did do is here:

    [ame=]Flying Patriot - YouTube[/ame]
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