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Lens recommendation for GH3

Discussion in 'Filmmaking' started by dornblaser, Dec 13, 2012.

  1. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2012
    David Dornblaser
    If you were to recommend 2 - 3 lenses for use with the GH3 for someone who is dappling in video what would they be?
  2. powderbanks

    powderbanks Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 7, 2012
    north carolina
    what's your budget? do you have a kit lens already? i like the 14-140 and 14-42 kit lenses, though i know some people don't. not the fastest lenses, but the image stabilization is nice for certain things. i use the 14-42 for filming skateboarding a lot. when i had a gh1, all i had for at least a year was the 14-140 lens, and it worked just fine.

    my favorite lens for video is my canon fd 50mm/1.8 from my dad's canon ae1. there is also a canon fd 50mm in 1.4, and some even have radioactive coatings (not a bad thing, nor dangerous, but over time gives the lens a warmer image). you can find them on ebay for ~$50-100 usually. the only problem is with the crop factor it's a bit too much lens for some indoor stuff. i like using my anamorphic with it.

    i also use a toyo optics fd 28mm/2.8 lens for when i need a bit wider of an angle. i think that one set me back ~$50 as well.

    then i also have a smc takumar m42 55mm/1.8 lens for a slightly different feel than the canon. i got that one because it has a radioactive coating. that one was also ~$50.

    if budget is no issue, i'd get an slr magic 12mm/1.6 and a voigtlander nokton 25mm/0.95 as well.
  3. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2012
    David Dornblaser
    My kit is all Oly: 14-42, 12-50 & 40-140 for zooms. 12, 17 1.8 (ordered) & 45 for primes. I have been thinking of the Voigtlander or Panasonic 25 mm. I guess I am wondering which two focal lengths to start with and if native Panasonic lenses offered an advantage. I have been learning with my Oly system but want to take the next step. My purpose is to create short pieces, usually instructional, for use on websites. I haven't ordered the GH3 yet, it is in my B&H wish list but I am waiting to see if it will be offered with a lens, hopefully the 12 - 35.
  4. Robstar1963

    Robstar1963 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jun 10, 2011
    Isle of Wight England UK
    Robert (Rob)
    The main issue here is that the Olympus lenses you have or might buy have no image stabilisation whereas the Panasonic ones do (the GH3 and all Panasonic bodies having no inbuilt IS in them)
    I woudnt personally want to shoot video without IS which is built into Panasonic lenses such as the 14 - 140 and 14 - 42 / 14 - 45 etc (given the choice)
  5. Van

    Van Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 10, 2011
    If you're budget is tight, get the 14-140 & 25/1.4. Both autofocus silently & quickly, and will give you a lot of versatility for the price (a nice 10x zoom with IS, and a fast "normal" prime)

    If you have the cash, swap out the 14-140 with the 12-35/2.8 and 35-100/2.8. Not quite as much range, but much faster and a killer combo IMO.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. timfrakes

    timfrakes Mu-43 Rookie

    Dec 31, 2012
    Glen Ellyn, Illinois USA
    Tim Frakes
    @Powderbanks. What kind of converter do you use to attach that Cannon lens to your GH3? Thanks!
  7. powderbanks

    powderbanks Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 7, 2012
    north carolina
  8. sge998

    sge998 Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 14, 2013
    San Francisco, CA
    I've been shooting videos with the GH1 and GH2 for awhile now.

    From my experience, it really depends what kind of videos you are shooting. Fro gun n' run style I suggest you buy both 12-35mm and 35-100mm lenses and a variable ND filter and maybe add a fast prime like the PL25. For scenic or story-telling type (controlled settings) where image quality is important, I suggest you look into adapted normal to telephoto lenses.

    Let us know your budget and shooting style so we can give out better suggestions.
  9. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2012
    David Dornblaser
    So it has been instructional videos for web content. I am sure that I will do something more interesting this year but I am still learning and experimenting. In addition to my Oly lenses I was thinking of the Voigtlander or Pana 25mm, something wider, and the Pana 12 - 35.
  10. McBob

    McBob Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 22, 2012
    If you're just starting out, absolutely the Panasonic 14-140 and 20/1.7 or 25/1.4. They're a relatively inexpensive pair, work well, and all I used with my GH2 professionally (video) for the first 6 months I owned it. The pair cost less than either the 12-35 or 35-100, and yield greater useable range. Since you likely have access to lighting for instructional content, the 14-140's smaller max aperture will probably be less of a hinderance. You'll have a long range to work with and learn better where you need and prefer to shoot, and can work fast.

    If you're working almost all video, don't usually use autofocus, and don't mind somewhat larger lenses, big options will be available by around March... look up the "MetaBones SpeedBooster" on this forum or others. This adapter is a 0.71x focal reducer that concentrates a lens' image circle to a smaller sensor, effectively making the adapted lens wider, faster, and sharper... for example, a common $250-300 DX-mount Tamron 17-50/2.8 non-VC (itself a very good zoom on m43) can, with this $600 adapter, become an effective 12-35/2 lens.

    Consider, then, this lens setup:
    - Metabones standard Nikon G adapter ($300)
    - Metabones Speedbooster Nikon G adapter ($600)
    - DX Tokina 11-16/2.8 (~$500)
    - DX Tamron 17-50/2.8 (~$300)
    - DX Sigma 50-150/2.8 (~$600)

    So for a little less than the Panasonic 12-35 and 35-100 duo, you can instead get three lenses that cover from 11-150 at f2.8 or (with the SpeedBooster) 8-105 at f2, with constant apertures through the entire range, clickless apertures, and repeatable mechanical focus.

    By the way, those three lenses mentioned above are good choices even without the SpeedBooster for video use.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2012
    David Dornblaser
    Thanks, you are right, we have some lighting already. I am planning on using manual. I have been reading about Metabones but had connected specific lenses, thank you for your recommendations. I am going add the Pana 25 immediately and just work with my Olympus lenses for the moment.
  12. atmo

    atmo Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 11, 2013
    Have a look at personal-view.com and dvxuser, there are a lot of GH filmers there.

    I think the Panasonic 14mm f/2.5 would be good as it's wide, small, cheap and focusses quickly and silently.
  13. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2012
    David Dornblaser
    Thanks, atmo.
  14. mirrorless

    mirrorless Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 16, 2013
    You might also think about the Oly 12-50mm as well. It's got a motorized zoom which works nice for video, and it's also splash and dust proof to match the GH3's weatherproof body. They can be had at quite for as low as $150 new (+shipping) on ebay. It's also got a hold button on the focus in case you want that effect in your video. Pretty cool.
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