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GX1 - getting the right lens

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by Faust3D, Jul 31, 2013.

  1. Faust3D

    Faust3D Mu-43 Regular

    89
    Jul 29, 2013
    I am new here and have a question that I could not find an answer on the forum, even after I searched.

    I have GX1 and want to get an native or adapted lens that will allow me to take shots that are sharp from foreground to background, to the extend that this is possible. Basically I want the best cheapest lens with very wide depth of field. Can you recommend the best lens for these type of shots? Thanks in advance!
     
  2. madogvelkor

    madogvelkor Mu-43 Top Veteran

    937
    Feb 22, 2013
    Connecticut
    A prime lens is going to get you a sharper image than a zoom lens, especially in the lower price ranges.

    Since you want a deep DOF, having a fast lens isn't going to be that important to you so shelling out the extra money is wasted.

    That said, you should probably consider the three Sigma prime lenses - 19mm, 30mm, and 60mm. They run around $200 new, and their widest aperture is 2.8. They are impressively sharp lenses too, in part because the elements are oversized for MFT so you aren't using the edges of the glass which tend to be softer.

    There are two versions of the 19mm and 30mm lens, the only difference is cosmetic -- the new ones look nicer.
     
  3. Faust3D

    Faust3D Mu-43 Regular

    89
    Jul 29, 2013
    Thanks! How is the AF on Sigma 19mm?
     
  4. psknapp

    psknapp Mu-43 Regular

    68
    Feb 7, 2013
    I have both the 19mm and the 30mm and the AF is actually really good. Good enough that I am considering the 60mm for my next lens.
     
  5. mister_roboto

    mister_roboto Mu-43 Top Veteran

    637
    Jun 14, 2011
    Seattle, WA, USA
    Dennis
  6. Faust3D

    Faust3D Mu-43 Regular

    89
    Jul 29, 2013
    Few weeks ago I looked up the pictures that people were taking with this lens and somehow i was not really inspired. :biggrin:
     
  7. Faust3D

    Faust3D Mu-43 Regular

    89
    Jul 29, 2013
    Also, I used medium format and SLRs in the past, long time ago as an amateur, and I am not against using adapted manual lenses, so feel free to recommend something from that field as well.
     
  8. RoadTraveler

    RoadTraveler Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 23, 2012
    It would seem to me that you don't need/want a fast prime lens and that a kit zoom would give you what you want with the added flexibility of a zoom...

    The standard kit zooms of 14-42 would work and can be had for little $$ used, though for a bit more the reportedly much better and super sharp 14-45 might be a good call? I have plenty of other lenses but I'm also considering a 14-45.

    Below is one here on the forum for sale (no connection will seller) for a reasonable price. Seems you could likely resell this lens later if you didn't like it, the cheaper 14-42 kit lens seem to have much less value or resale demand.

    https://www.mu-43.com/f17/panasonic-14-45-mega-ois-location-ga-usa-ships-conus-50290/

    If this is too much $$ a regular 14-42 should be a small investment.
     
  9. Livnius

    Livnius Super Moderator

    Jul 7, 2011
    Melbourne. Australia
    Joe
    Something like the Panasonic 14mm or the Sigma 19mm stopped down should provide plenty enough depth of field. A little more expensive option but a fantastically sharp lens you could go for the Panasonic 20mm....and again, stopped down plenty and you should be good.
     
  10. Faust3D

    Faust3D Mu-43 Regular

    89
    Jul 29, 2013
    I got GX1 with 14-42 kit lens hoping it would do it, but it seems that while the results are not bad I am not getting very good detail on the background. Maybe I need to play with settings more.
     
  11. RoadTraveler

    RoadTraveler Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 23, 2012
    I didn't know what lens you have, and was not trying to strongly advocate for the 14-42. It was just one suggestion for an inexpensive lens when I didn't know what you were using.

    The only 14-42 I have is the PZ X lens which I use infrequently. It's okay, but I prefer and mostly use the (much more expensive) 12-35 f/2.8. Even with the 12-35 in my kit, I'm continually impressed with the images I see made with the 14-45. Because of this I continue to consider one though I'm not short on lenses nor do I prefer slower lenses.
     
  12. madogvelkor

    madogvelkor Mu-43 Top Veteran

    937
    Feb 22, 2013
    Connecticut
    Any of the name brand nifty-50 lenses from decades past will be excellent on the camera. Though you might want to add a UV filter, since their coatings are a bit dated and film wasn't as sensitive to UV.

    Also, Rokinon/Samyang is making some excellent manual focus lenses right now. I have my eye on their 7.5mm fisheye, and recently purchased their 85mm in 4/3 mount. Apart from the 7.5mm you would need an adapter though. But since they are all manaul focus with manual aperture rings, any cheap mechanical adapter will do.

    Stop them down to f/8 and you should get a nice deep DOF.
     
  13. Faust3D

    Faust3D Mu-43 Regular

    89
    Jul 29, 2013
    No problem, thanks for your suggestion. 14-42 is actually not bad at all and takes good pictures. I will see if I can find used 14-45 on a cheap side :thumbup:
     
  14. Faust3D

    Faust3D Mu-43 Regular

    89
    Jul 29, 2013
    Sounds like a plan. I have MD Rokkor-X 45mm and adapter on the way, so lets see how this works out.
     
  15. mrjr

    mrjr Mu-43 Top Veteran

    518
    Sep 25, 2012
    Wide depth of field is a property of:

    - focal length (where shorter gives more DoF)
    - focal distance (where longer gives more DoF, up to the hyperfocal distance), and
    - aperture (where smaller [larger "F number"] gives more DoF, but with decreasing returns due to diffraction).

    Now, with almost all lenses, the latter two variables can be changed. With zooms, you can change the focal length, too. If you have set your aperture appropriately (probably between f5.6 and f8) and are using your zoom at the widest focal length (14mm), and are sure your focal distance was such that you should have had the background in focus, then your kit zoom isn't *sharp* enough for your tastes. It's not that it has less DoF than other lenses of the same focal length, it's that it doesn't resolve enough detail for you. That's given that you had your camera settings correct.

    If it's truly a DoF issue, you *can* buy some lenses for your camera that would provide more depth of field. Just look for lenses that offer shorter focal lengths.

    Samyang 7.5mm FE
    Panasonic 8mm FE
    Panasonic 7-14mm f4
    Olympus 9-18mm f4-5.6
    Olympus 12mm f2
    Olympus 12-50mm f3.5-6.3
    SLRMagic 12mm t1.6
    (What'd I miss? Is there a 12mm Voightlander now? My imagination?)

    Going for a longer lens like the Minolta 45 f2 isn't going to help you a bit. It'll have less DoF than it sound like you need, since it has a longer focal length.

    On the other hand, if what you actually need is a sharper lens, then there are quite a few options. The less expensive ones in wide-ish focal lengths are the Panasonic 14-45mm original kit lens and the Sigma 19mm. Apart from those, you'll probably have to look at a significantly more expensive lens.

    Before you start going out and buying things, make sure you understand hyperfocal distance and diffraction and maybe play around with some online/app DoF calculators to see what you can realistically expect from any given lens. Sounds like a quick fresher on those topics might help.

    No lens can have everything from the camera to infinity in perfect, sharp focus. 'Ts not how light works.

    Good luck. :)
     
  16. mrjr

    mrjr Mu-43 Top Veteran

    518
    Sep 25, 2012
    ^ That was really long-winded and it's probably a lot of information that you already know. To answer your original question very succinctly, what you need to be looking for is a wide angle to ultra wide angle lens.
     
  17. Faust3D

    Faust3D Mu-43 Regular

    89
    Jul 29, 2013
    Yeah, I have been reading a bit on the subject. I got Minolta 45 f2 basically because it's really cheap and I expect it will be sharper overall expect extreme foreground, that really does not bother me that much. Thanks for the list.
     
  18. digitalandfilm

    digitalandfilm Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 18, 2011
    Here's a shot where I used the GX1 with Jupiter-9 adapted soviet-era lens:

    8595565831_3e55b5edd9_b.

    The Carl Zeiss Jena lenses also perform very well.
     
  19. digitalandfilm

    digitalandfilm Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 18, 2011
    Another good performer with the GX1 is the Asahi Pentax Super Takumar 55mm f1.8.. purchased online for $36 and shipping!

    8596560574_89fa0fe221_b.

    8632827977_59883fd28f_b.
     
  20. digitalandfilm

    digitalandfilm Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 18, 2011
    From the budget dept- a Mir-1 lens and GX1 can be had for $50 online with good results:

    8593772350_2515436851_b.