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Video-friendly lens questions for E-PL2

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Replytoken, Jun 12, 2012.

  1. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    I currently have a refurbished E-PL2 with the 14-42II and 40-150 kit lenses and my beloved 45 f/1.8. I have been wanting some faster wide angle glass for available light work, and now will be attending a function next month where I might want to take some video for posterity.

    I have read a LARGE number of threads comparing the Panny 14 and 20 lenses, and feel that I have a reasonable understanding of each lens' strengths and weaknesses with respect to video, despite the large number of contradictory opinions about the sharpness of the 14. Before I move ahead in trying to decide, I have a couple of questions.

    First, several people have also mentioned using the Panny 14-45 for video because it is a stabilized lens. This lens is slower than both the 14 and 20, but should I factor in stabilization and consider it as well?

    Second, is the Oly 12 a "video-friendly" lens? I realize that it is wider than the other choices, but having that extra DOF might be handy for somebody who is getting their feet wet with video. It is an expensive lens, and the only alternative that I can think of that is more affordable is the Panny 14. Are their other native lens choices that I should be considering?

    I am a bit reluctant to use any of my older MF Nikkors with an adapter as the widest that I have is a 35mm. Also, is there a good primer on using the video features of the E-PL2? I have not seen many definitive threads or blog posts, and it would be great if there was a comprehensive primer that helped me better understand the controls of this specific camera body.

    Any advice or recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,

    --Ken
     
  2. apekkpul

    apekkpul Mu-43 Rookie

    11
    May 2, 2012
    A video primer

    I have been using E-P1, GH1, and OM-D to shoot video, so here are things what I have learned:
    - camera/lens stabilization is important; with OM-D you can get good footage without tripod/monopod or similar stabilization, but with other m4/3 cameras I need some stabilization
    - With Olympus cameras S-AF+M is a good way to shoot video; continuous autofocus doesn't work well enough
    - Native lenses are pretty sharp and you may get nasty moire; reduce sharpness and contrast to get less moire
    - I have always used one "MySet" that is dedicated for video shooting (reduced sharpness, contrast, saturation, 16:9 aspect ratio, IBIS turned off)
    - Use (variable) ND filter if you need to shoot wide open in a bright light
    - Keep the shutter speed around 1/30 - 1/60 (1/50 is good in Europe, 1/60 in the States)
    - If you plan shoot a lot of video indoors, then you should get a bright lens, like Olympus 12mm, Panasonic 14mm, or Olympus 45mm
    - If you plan to shoot videos without good stabilization, then image stabilized lenses are nice, e.g. Panasonic 14-45, or Panasonic 45-200m

    BR,
    Pekka
     
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  3. EP1-GF1

    EP1-GF1 Mu-43 Veteran

    312
    Apr 12, 2011
    I bought the 14-45 primarily for it's OIS on my E-P3. Without IS, even at 14mm, shake is noticeable on video and detracts from the film significantly. Give me steady over super sharp/less grainy any day.

    However if you can use some kind of device to stabilise the camera (even one of those cheap steadicam things) then the 20mm would be good.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    I agree with the comments about the need to reduce shake in video... but I'm wondering why you guys aren't shooting with a tripod or steadicam?

    In my opinion, it's difficult to find a lens which is not video friendly for Micro Four-Thirds. Our lenses were all made to handle much higher resolution. I prefer a manual lens as they were made for manual focus (read: smooth, precise control!), and they also have aperture rings which is also an important aspect for true videography (this is the only way you'll be able to manually adjust aperture during live recording - but of course this should be avoided if possible if you don't have stepless aperture). Dedicated video lenses can do this, but of course they're also extremely expensive so we won't get into that category. The amazing thing about our format is that you can get the most important features of a pro video system just using old SLR or rangefinder lenses.

    I would use your old Nikkors, even if you don't have anything shorter than 35mm. You can always swap to a Lumix 14mm or m.Zuiko 12mm when you need to go wider.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    Hi Pekka,

    Thank you very much for the recommended settings and for your experiences. These are helpful to me as I move forward on my video.

    Thanks,

    --Ken
     
  6. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    The 14-45 keeps moving up on my list because of its OIS, even thought I am still looking at some faster glass.

    Thanks,

    --Ken
     
  7. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    Ned,

    Thank you for the reminder about the need for a steady platform when shooting video. I have my tripod and several monopods available, and I will do my best to work with them whenever possible. I wish the MF assist was available in video. I am getting more comfortable with using MF, as it was quite a challenge on my D300, except when I was shooting on a tripod with LiveView. I sold a beautiful Nikkonr 35mm f/2.0 several months ago, and now I am sorry that I did. I have another one, but the one that I sold was quite a beauty.

    --Ken
     
  8. EP1-GF1

    EP1-GF1 Mu-43 Veteran

    312
    Apr 12, 2011
    For me, as a not-at-all pro, there are times when I wouldn't want to have any extra gear with me even if I could afford a steadicam type device - holidays for example - and that's when OIS comes into its own as it just takes the edge off micro-shaking. I'd love the EM-5 for that option with, say, the 20mm.

    Does anyone know for sure if the IS on the EM-5 is anything more than software based?