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Low-cost lenses for film?

Discussion in 'Filmmaking' started by Manu-4Vendetta, Jul 8, 2011.

  1. Manu-4Vendetta

    Manu-4Vendetta Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 8, 2011
    Dominican Republic
    Hi, I'm a filmmaker aspiring and will buy a GH1.

    Right now i have a limited budget, i think buy a kit lens 14-15, but would like to know which lenses low-cost (legacy or another system) can be useful for cinema with acepptable results.

    I was seeing the forum, checking the pictures and i have noted the following lenses:

    • SMC Pentax 50mm F1.4
    • Konica AR Hexanon 28mm F3
    • Pentax 55mm M42 F1.8
    • Pentax M50 F1.7
    • Pentax-k 55mm F1.8
    • Minolta MD 85mm F2
    • Konica 50mm F1.7
    • Olympus OM F.Zuiko 50mm F1.8
    • Olympus Zuiko OM 50mm F1.4
    • Super-Takumar 50mm F1.4
    • Nikon 50mm Series E F1.8
    • Nikon 28mm Series E F2.8

    But only can buy four cheap lenses and i don't know if these work well on film like at pictures. Recommendations and what generic adapters for them please.

    PD: Forgive me for my bad english
    • Like Like x 1
  2. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I have been told that NYU film students prize the Pentax Super Takumar 50/1.4 for that sort of thing. I have not personally tried it so I cannot verify it.
  3. Manu-4Vendetta

    Manu-4Vendetta Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 8, 2011
    Dominican Republic
    Thank you, Pentax seem very interesting.
  4. jesselavender

    jesselavender New to Mu-43

    Jul 7, 2011
    I personally have the Olympus Zuiko OM 50mm F1.4, and it's a beautiful lens. I picked it up on eBay for $40. Just keep in mind that all of these lenses are going to double in focal length. So that 50 turns into a 100m which is great for some areas of video, but not all. I love the Olympus because it's so small that it fits easily in my pocket.

    Also, check out a Vivitar 28mm f/2.5. It's super cheap and creates really awesome lens flares. I really only use it for the flare aspect, but it was $30, so why not.

    In my personal opinion, using old glass like these lenses have is great because it doesn't make all of your footage look so "DSLR" ish, like the Canon L lenses do. However, they sometimes have to be turned much more to focus which can be a pain.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Manu-4Vendetta

    Manu-4Vendetta Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 8, 2011
    Dominican Republic

    Its true about the 2X factor of the M 4/3 format. Then I am considering 25-28mm lens
  6. thearne3

    thearne3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 28, 2010
    Redding, CT USA
    Can't go wrong with a c-mount Computar 25mm f1.4 (or similar Cosmicar/Pentax). A little vignetting wide open, but very fast and small!
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Jimboh

    Jimboh Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 17, 2010
    Low budget good lens (oxymoron)

    My thoughts for a cash constrained filmmaker. First, you've not articulated the type of fim making, so I'm guessing drama, as opposed to say, wildlife documentaries. So here's my 2 cents:

    You have me scratching my head by considering 100-170mm (Equiv) lenses for film. Just because they are (mostly) wide-apeture, does not mean they are suitable.

    So Save your money. What I am going to suggest is expensive, but worth it. Buy it once, buy it right, because not only do you have to buy the thing, you have to learn it and that takes time.

    First before buying ANYTHING, educate yourself.
    I would recommend you really take some time to learn about anomporphic shooting and determine if that would be a match for the film making you intend to do. EOSHD.com has some really good info as well as some lens combinations for the camera you mentioned. They also sell a anomporphic guide, although I don't know if any good or not. At minimum, read the wiki.

    To do film right, m4/3 may not be the best choice because of the crop factor. Most dramatic film making, you can't get "too wide" since so much of good film involves character interaction and you want the shallow DOF capabilities only a wide apeture lens can give you. THe shallow DOF helps direct the audiences attention.

    I would not buy the lens you proposed. Also, the Oly 9-18 and Panny 7-14 would initially seem good choices, but at f/4 minimum, you'll never get the DOF you will crave. I've not read any reviews, but in terms of specification, that new Olympus 12mm f/2 would be a good choice. The Leica 25mm would be another one for medium shots, but think wide and ultra-wide and shallow DOF for the most part.

    If you want legacy lenses, buy a quality adapter (Novoflex, Voightlander) as I've found the cheap ones seem to vary in quality too much for my taste. You will need to be able to repeat shots over and over, so this calls for precision equipment. Downtime on the set is extremely expensive.

    Look to a single brand of film lenses that most completely covers the bases for you, again saves money and helps you to really "know" your gear. Also, only buy f/2 or lower (number). Don't go crazy, pick perhaps 2-3 lenses at most (nothing greater than 50mm), as you'll have to learn their characteristics to use them effectively and this takes time. Better off buying a few very good expensive lenses than a bunch of mediocre cheap ones IMO.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Manu-4Vendetta

    Manu-4Vendetta Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 8, 2011
    Dominican Republic
    Thanks people. I will considerate yours suggestions.

    Jimboh, anamorphic lenses is excellent cinematographic loo. Do you know about some low-cost and good lens anamorphic?
  9. chris_jenkins

    chris_jenkins New to Mu-43

    Jul 27, 2011
    I agree with Jimboh, I would also go for the widest possible considering the 2x increased focal length when using adapters.

    Over the Nikon 50mm Series E F1.8, I would recommend this Nikon 50mm f1.4 :

    Nikon 50mm f/1.4 AF-D Review :

    It is a great lens, I think I bought mine for $225.

    This lens also looks great for the GH1:

    Amazon.com: Panasonic LUMIX G 20mm f/1.7 Aspherical Pancake Lens for Micro Four Thirds Interchangeable Lens Cameras: Camera & Photo

    I am saving up for this one, it's a bit pricey, but no adapter needed, so 20mm is what you get. Can also use the auto focus with this for video.
  10. MegaPixelTravel

    MegaPixelTravel Mu-43 Regular

    May 14, 2011
    I shot almost exclusively Nikkors (E series are good) but if you hunt ebay or local ads you can generally get old manual lenses (auto-focus during a video is in my opinion a no-no, use a follow focus) and just pick up some inexpensive used lenses.
  11. MegaPixelTravel

    MegaPixelTravel Mu-43 Regular

    May 14, 2011
  12. Van

    Van Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 10, 2011
    I would look into Canon FD lenses. They are similar in quality to Nikon ai lenses, but because the FD mount is now deprecated, they can be bought for really cheap. Just get a 28/2.8 and 50/1.8. Shouldn't cost you more than $100 total w/ adapter.
  13. richard_rowland

    richard_rowland New to Mu-43

    Dec 14, 2013
    I'd check out the Canon FD S.S.C. 50mm F1.4 & 35mm F2. You can get the 50mm for less than £70 and I got the 35 for just over £100. Really warm in a way that nothing I've come across at that price bracket is. After buying these I was never able to use the kit lens again.
  14. Artorius

    Artorius Mu-43 Regular

    I love the Takumars. Yes, they are going to be narrow on m4/3, but I personally love using the 50 f1.4 for portraits. The SMC Takumar 28mm f3.5 is also a very good lens. If you're looking for an affordable anamorphic, look up the new SLR Magic Anamorphot. Its getting some rave reviews and seems to be the easiest to use/find.
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