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Was GH3 a bad choice for my purpose?

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by gnargiz, Sep 23, 2013.

  1. gnargiz

    gnargiz New to Mu-43

    9
    Sep 23, 2013
    After considering many options I recently purchased a GH3 strictly for its video capabilities. My purpose for its use however has left me a bit frustrated in trying to find the right lens. I am shooting interiors of homes, flying the camera on a stedicam providing a walking tour type of video of the home interiors so I need a ultra wide lens which is not fisheye. Problem is the options I keep retuning to i fear are not really fast enough to produce the results I am looking for when shooting in the sometimes lowlight conditions of home interiors. The pros I know use 14mm full sensor lens for this type of videography. In order to emulate that as close as possible with a GH3 and MFT lens the best i can figure I really need a lens in the 7-9mm range or as small as I can get which is not a fisheye of course. The a panasonic MFT 7-14 4.0 is of course an obvious solution until you read the reviews which repeatedly indicate its not such a great performer in the type of low light conditions such as I have described will be my primary purpose for the camera filming home interiors in the manor I previously described. Admittedly I still have a lot to learn about what non MFT lens might work as an alternative for what I need. At this point however their doesn't seem to be a MFT solution. If anyone has a suggestion as to what I should be looking at as an alternative that would work with a proper adapter of if I have missed a MfT solution please help a brother out! I really was hoping I would be able to use the GH3 to achieve this kind of ultra wide low light cinematic video shooting . I'm afraid I have made a costly mistake, got a little over enthused about the GH3 and didn't think this all the way through before making the purchase. Don't want that to happen again with a wrong lens choice.
     
  2. beanedsprout

    beanedsprout Mu-43 Veteran

    429
    Apr 13, 2013
    north central Ohio
    Unfortunately while the mft cameras can adapt almost any lens out there, the crop factor makes even the widest full frame lenses into a not-so-wide lens. Not many other companies make a 7-9mm lens just because on our sensors it translates into double that. There does exist the 11-22 4/3 lens, but the autofocus would be slow (hopefully you don't use it anyway. Also the Oly 12-2. Both aren't nearly as wide but they are significantly faster.

    MFT is great for adapting to telephoto but awful for wide stuff. My 17mm fish turns into a 34mm wide angle with no fishiness.
     
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  3. ntblowz

    ntblowz Mu-43 Veteran

    312
    Nov 13, 2011
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Panasonic 14mm + Sony VLC-ECU1 gives you 10.5mm F2.5

    The pricy option would be Tokina 11-16mm F2.8 + Metabone Speedbooster, it gives you 7.7-11.4 F2.0 range
     
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  4. nathan_h

    nathan_h Mu-43 Regular

    180
    Jan 23, 2013
    I think you should rent the Panny 7-14 and see how it works for you. That's really the only possible lens for what you describe (okay, the Oly that is slightly less wide might work) unless you can find a way to defish the awesome MFT fisheye from Samyang that "we all love". It's easy to defish a sill image. I'd think it's not that hard with video, but I could be wrong.

    That's a cool idea. I tried to find some images shot with that combo, but couldn't. Have you tried it?

    EDIT: Woops I found at least one set of examples: http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3061226#forum-post-39301864

    But on my way to looking for photos of that, I see there is a proper Panasonic solution, for cheaper.

     
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  5. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 5, 2013
    San Diego
    Doug Green
    Unfortunately, if one is using the 11-22 and focusing manually, it focuses by wire, and makes noise when doing so - hence, that is not suitable for video.

    If it's wide enough for your needs, the Olympus 12mm f2 would seem to be an obvious choice. Really, the only other game in town is the Panasonic 7-14mm lens
     
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  6. Drdave944

    Drdave944 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    698
    Feb 2, 2012
    I have a Panny 7-14 F-4. I don't use it for movies but I got great indoor pictures in available light in grocery stores. I had it matched with an OMD-EM- 5. In movie mode most cameras need less light,or so I have found. I got great videos in restaurants with my GH2 /20mm Panny ,but this is much faster. Perhaps the Panny 14 mm 2.5 would work. I would stick with native lenses. Use tripod and you need some light. Pros often augment lighting indoors.
     
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  7. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 5, 2011
    The optical performance of a lens doesn't change based on the light level, so I'm not sure what "not such a performer at low light levels" means. The only way in which it might not perform well is because it's not particularly wide aperture, so will require a higher ISO.

    The only faster native true wide is the Olympus 12mm f/2.0, but I don't know if that's wide enough or not.

    If you don't need AF, there is another option, but it's not cheap. The Metabones speed booster will convert a Nikon lens into a wider, faster lens. It works like a teleconverter in reverse. It will convert a 20mm f/2.8 Nikon lens to a 14mm f/2.0 (which would be equivalent to a 28mm lens on full frame), or a 14mm f.2.8 to a 10mm f/2.0 (20mm equivalent. But it's not cheap, and it won't AF:

    http://www.metabones.com/buy-speed-booster/nikon-g-mft-speed-booster-detail

    If you really need a fast 14mm equivalent lens, then I think you've going to need something other than m43.
     
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  8. John M Flores

    John M Flores Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 7, 2011
    Somerville, NJ
    Another vote for the Metabones + Nikon option. I haven't used it myself but it looks really interesting. The cool think about the GH3 is that you can overcrank it 1080P60 and slow that down in post for some really sweet slo-mo shots that'll have your FF friends cropped with envy.

    FWIW, here's a sample of my hacked GH2 with the 12-35 F2.8 on a Steadicam Merlin 2 in Times Square. ISO1600. Darker than most interiors I'd say and it still did ok. Still need to work on my steadicam skills though...

    [ame="http://vimeo.com/68082724"]3 Minutes in Time Square on Vimeo[/ame]
     
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  9. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    The Panasonic 7-14mm is really your only native choice. The Olympus 9-18mm could also work but it's an 18mm equivalent rather than a 14mm equivalent, and that's a sizable difference. I know f/4.0 may sound slow, but when you compare against say, the Nikon 14mm you're talking about an f/2.8 so it's only a stop of light-gathering difference.

    I don't do video work, but if you're doing this for commercial purposes I think it would be worth investing in external lighting rather than relying on ambient light and fast lenses. Then you wouldn't be so dependent on a maximum aperture. For instance, I shot some still images for our condo recently and I used the 7-14mm and a couple radio-triggered flash units. I'm exceedingly glad I did, because not only did it mean being able to use lower ISO for cleaner images but the rooms look brighter and more appealing.

    Last thought... you might consider the metabones speedbooster Nikon adapter and the Samyang 14mm f/2.8 lens. It'd get you approximately a 10mm f/2.0 lens which would be 2 stops faster than the native options, albeit quite a bit tighter FOV.
     
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  10. ntblowz

    ntblowz Mu-43 Veteran

    312
    Nov 13, 2011
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Panasonic one is $119 while Sony one is $99, and Panasonic one is less wider too ( 11mm vs 10.5mm), though Panasonic one is lighter.
     
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  11. Just Jim

    Just Jim Mu-43 Top Veteran

    941
    Oct 20, 2011
    There's an old Nikon fisheye, a 7.5mm... it may scrape your sensor. ...and it weighs a ton. I picked one up years ago back in 2011, I didn't have the balls to use it and sold it for 5x+ what I paid for it. On my G2 it came REAL, (I mean REAL CLOSE, there is not enough caps lock for that statement) close to the sensor, like to the point of tapping the sensor so close like I said, didn't have it in me to use it. My G2 has been through some hell, it doesn't need sensor damage either.

    Dude, real close. I mean I would have sold the the G2 but it DID tap my sensor...
     
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  12. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    Gordon
    The 7-14 is a fine lens. As good as the Canon 16-35 optically. Maybe a touch better. It has issues on some Olympus bodies and is prone to a bit of flare when shot into the sun. But you don't use Olympus and your indoors.

    I wouldn't write it off without testing it yourself.

    Gordon
     
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  13. John M Flores

    John M Flores Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 7, 2011
    Somerville, NJ
    F4 is going to be a challenge when shooting with an 180 degree shutter (1/50, 1/60, or 1/120). May have to turn up the ISO to gather more light.
     
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  14. gnargiz

    gnargiz New to Mu-43

    9
    Sep 23, 2013
    Thank you everyone!

    Thanks to all for the advice and so many potential solutions to explore. Hopefully I can find among them a potential workaround which will allow me to use the GH3. It's still sitting new in the box because I have not even taken it out yet fearing that there may not be a solution and I may have to sell it and cut my losses. You guys have given me some hope. Autofocus lens is not a necessity since I'm shooting video. Below is a link to an example of what I am trying to emulate. These property's i believe were shot with a Cannon MK5 III and a 14 mm lens. Of course that cameras full sensor gives it an edge in lower light performance so I don't expect to be able to match it to the same degree in that way. I was hoping to be ale to capture the same ultra wide perspective with decent low light performance. In normal videography working with camcorders I generally can use external lighting solutions to assist but if you look at this type of videography you can see that it's quick flying through property interiors where setting up lighting kits or using on board lighting which can create hot spots when shooting ultra wide perspective is not really an option.

    here's a link to the video. The first minute is demonstrating why it's not a good idea to shoot interiors in the middle of a sunny day. If you advance the video to the one minute mark you can see a typical shooting condition just using the homes available lighting. This ultra wide perspective is what I'm trying to nail.

    [ame]http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=c0knpxu5oOk[/ame]

    Thanks again to all u guys for taking the time to share your ideas. I will follow up on the suggestions you have offered and report back the results I get. If the video link adds any more reference which might cause you to advise me further please know your thoughts are greatly appreciated.
     
  15. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
    Patrick
    Other than the camera model and lens FOV, do you know what settings were used in making the above video for the dusk and night shots?

    Looking at the video, I don't think it is something that your GH3 cannot simulate with the 7-14 set at f/4 and ISO boosted up to 1600. As others have already suggested, I think you should rent the 7-14 and test it out...
     
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  16. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    Yeah, without knowing what's in the video it's hard to say for sure, but I would suspect this sort of example is doable with the GH3.

    It doesn't look like he's shooting very high ISO, and it doesn't look like shallow DoF, so I have my doubts he's shooting wide open either. If so, that extra stop between f/2.8 and f/4.0 on the 14mm equivalent seems irrelevant.

    Renting the lens and trying it is a good suggestion. For that matter if you're looking to do this commercially, I'd say invest a little in making sure you have what you need. Consider renting a FF DSLR and appropriate lens as well for comparison, and see what is best for your needs.
     
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  17. gnargiz

    gnargiz New to Mu-43

    9
    Sep 23, 2013
    yes I will try the 7-14

    Unfortunately I don't know the specific settings used but I'm sure that could vary slightly depending on the available light with each shoot. I will in first order rent and give the 7-14 a try with the ISO boost then if I can't get the results I was hoping for with that lens follow up on each of the creative solutions many of you guys have been so generous with your time to share. I mean providing links which demonstrate the results of some of the suggested solutions was above and beyond what I expected when I posted the question. What a great community. You really know how to make a new forum member feel welcome. I feel like I should tip you guys!
     
  18. ToxMox

    ToxMox Mu-43 Rookie

    23
    Oct 9, 2012
    This is just my opinion, but I don't think that video was shot with a 14mm on a 5d3. Doesn't look wide enough. I feel there would be more distortion on the edges if it were shot that wide. (again, I could be wrong here)

    I looked into it a bit and based on this page:
    http://www.nashuavideotours.com/pag...raphy/Wide-angle-real-estate-photography.html

    They seem to use a Canon 16-35mm which tould translate to 8-17.5mm on the GH3. Is there somewhere that you saw that they are using a 14mm?
     
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  19. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    If you read the video comments he says they use both a 14mm and the 16-35mm so it could be either lens, and he wasn't sure which that video was shot with.

    Regardless, there's only two wide angles in that ballpark for m4/3 and that's the 7-14mm f/4.0 and 9-18mm f/4.0-5.6 we've been discussing.
     
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  20. ToxMox

    ToxMox Mu-43 Rookie

    23
    Oct 9, 2012
    I hear what you are saying but if the video was shot with the 16-35mm then it could mean that it was shot anywhere in that range so for all you know you don't need to be super wide to achieve that look which could open more possibilities for you in lens selection.

    Regardless, I think the folks here have a point. You'll never know unless you try, so I also recommend renting the 7-14mm and just giving it a whirl. :)
     
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