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New to m43 cameras - need guidance on GF1 ebay purchase

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by amberzombie, Oct 28, 2010.

  1. amberzombie

    amberzombie Mu-43 Rookie

    Oct 28, 2010
    Hi guys

    I've been scouring the internet for as much information on m43 cameras for a while now, and I've decided to go for the GF1 mainly for its ability to be hacked to capture full HD videos and what seems to be an unbeatable 20mm pancake lens.

    However, there's a GF1 that i'm looking at on ebay, and i'm not sure if i should proceed with purchasing. Here's what's listed:

    • Panasonic GF1 body
    • Charger + Battery
    • USB Cable
    • Manual and Software
    • Box
    • Konica Hexanon AR 40mm f1.8 modified for m4/3
    • Konica Hexanon AR 57mm f1.4 modified for m4/3
    • Konica Hexanon lens adapter for m4/3
    • Hoya Filter 55mm UV

    The seller also has the LVF-1 which he is selling separately, which I'd like to get as well.

    My questions for you guys are:
    As a complete amateaur, should I even consider using the Konica lenses considering they are fully manual? Should I set aside some cash to get the Panny 20mm lens as well?

    Will the LVF-1 work with the Konica lenses?

  2. Iconindustries

    Iconindustries Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Welcome mate. I have the GF1 and agree that it is a great camera. I'm only on my iPhone at the moment but to help you out a bit I'll let you know what I think. The Manual lenses are great to have fun with. People love to connect them up and it takes them back to the time when they used them. Most have fav lenses and love the way they work, sharpness and bokeh ect. And because they know how to use them they are fast. And that's the one drawback with me, I'm not quick enough to manually focus and most of the time I miss the moment.

    The 20mm is really a must have, very fast autofocus and great all-round lens.

    If you would like to use longer lenses, like the 45-200mm, the viewfinder comes in handy to steady the camera on the head. Some can't see the camera screen at all in bright sunlight but I've never had trouble in that regard. The viewfinder displays the same image the sensor sees so it will work with the konica lenses or any lens.

    You won't regret the purchase on the camera if it has been looked after. I would suggest if the viewfinder is at a reasonable price it would be worth it but if it's not, forget about it.
    And once you see the images taken with and use the 20mm you'll want one straight away.

    Hope this helps,
  3. grebeman

    grebeman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2010
    South Brent, south Devon (UK)
    I'd echo a lot of what Icon has to say, although as someone of an older generation I am most attracted to the :43: format because of its ability to use old manual focus lenses, after all great photographs were taken using manual focus lenses and no image stabilisation until just a few years ago. Also if you really want to understand how lenses work, depth of field etc then such old lenses will teach you a great deal.
    If your interest is sport or other photographic genres with fast moving subjects then auto focus will be of some benefit.
    Also you must take into account that the lenses on offer are short telephoto lenses when fitted to a :43: camera so you are likely to need a shorter focal length lens fairly soon, so the 20mm Panasonic lens is likely to be high on your wish list if you buy the kit as advertised.
    Good luck if you go ahead with your proposed purchase and keep in touch with the forum, hopefully you'll learn a great deal from your contact with it.

  4. Dangermouse

    Dangermouse Mu-43 Rookie

    Oct 20, 2010
    It's a great camera and you made a good choice. I got mine with the 14-45 so can't add to the lens debate. I would say be careful on the Bay, sometimes the prices get up towards the best new prices. Check this site out...

    Camera Price Buster - UKs cheapest camera gear

  5. deirdre

    deirdre Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 9, 2010
    You know, I didn't figure out the trick to getting focus on the manual lenses right away, probably because I didn't read the manual, but I was able to do it at least fairly well once I did. I don't think it's that hard to get things decently in focus manually unless you have a really fast lens.
  6. amberzombie

    amberzombie Mu-43 Rookie

    Oct 28, 2010
    That's really great information guys.

    I think for a complete novice like me, it would probably be better for me to start with the 20mm lens and actually get into putting more thought into the photos I take, getting the composition right, etc.

    The manual lens would probably be more of a distraction and I'm just worried that the learning curve would be a bit too steep.

    Although the idea of a viewfinder and a manual lens really does take me back to the days when I was a little kid, hogging my dad's Olympus camera (I don't remember what model it was, but it was just great fun).

    I think maybe I should do what most people do - get the GF1 with the 20mm kit, add a zoom lens in the near future (maybe 45-200mm??) and then if I do get serious about my photography will then hunt for a really nice manual lens that tickles.

    If what I am concentrating on are more portraits and less vistas, will those two lenses (20mm and 45-200mm) suit me fine? Unfortunately I can't find a place that will do that sort of bundle... it usually comes with 20mm+14-45mm or 14-45mm+45-200mm. Which is THE lens for serious bokeh??
  7. deirdre

    deirdre Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 9, 2010
    The 20mm will give good bokeh.

    Here's two of my first shots with it:

    • Like Like x 1
  8. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    GF1+20mm kits are on sale various places now. Shop around - you may be able to save money buying new (how often do you get to say that!)

    The 45-200 lens is very reasonably priced, just buy it separate if that's how you want to go. There are several options to complement the 20/1.7 depending on what you want to do. The 14-150 is particularly interesting
  9. amberzombie

    amberzombie Mu-43 Rookie

    Oct 28, 2010
    Thanks guys for all your info.

    I think i'll bid on the ebay camera mainly because of my need/want to have a manual lens... it's that sense of doing it yourself that will feel particularly satisfying.

    i'll hunt for a used 20mm lens if i do win the auction and maybe hunt for zoom lens later down the road.
  10. Danny_Two

    Danny_Two Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 30, 2010
    Once you've used the 20mm you may find you don't want anything else, it's a great lens.
    The 45-200 isn't that popular, and can be picked up second hand very easily and cheaply.
  11. panystac

    panystac Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 14, 2010
    Tokyo, Japan
    Before you do this with the expectation of being able to Hack the GF1, are you aware that the hack will not currently work on GF1s made after May 2010?

    For example, the firmware Ver 1.22 or earlier will work, but not 1.24
    There is currently no Ver 1.23

    The serial number can also be used to determine the build date.
    May 2010 has Ver 1.22 (hackable)
    June could have the earlier 1.22 ,or the later 1.24
    July and later has the non hackable 1.24

    Serial number will look something like this:

    The 3rd number indicates year (9=2009, 0=2010)
    The 4th number indicates month:


    So for example, the following would be hackable:

    FS9KDxxxxx = Nov 2009
    FS0EBxxxxx = May 2010

    The following would NOT be hackable:

    FS0GBxxxxx = Jul 2010
    WE0SBxxxxx = Sep 2010

    The following MAY or MAY NOT be hackable:

    FS0FBxxxxx = Jun 2010
    WE0FBxxxxx = Jun 2010
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