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What lens would you buy for a GF1 if you were me? (fast 50mm equiv)

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by md6040, Jan 21, 2011.

  1. md6040

    md6040 New to Mu-43

    Jan 21, 2011
    Let's keep this short and sweet; I don't want to waist your time going into exhausting detail.

    I haven't purchased a GF1 yet, but I am attracted to them for their size and modest look. I want a lens for this camera that that will yield the equiv. of 50mm (approx) and will be fast (1.8 or so or faster).

    The main objective is to find a lens that that will produce some serious bokeh and shallow depth of field on portraits when taking torso to head shots on adults. I don't really care about auto focus or manual aperture, I'm open to all options. I checked out the 20mm f1.7 from Panasonic and am a little impressed, but overall the bokeh isn't as pretty as I would like. The voigtlander 25mm f0.95 looks pretty sexy, but 1. where the hell do I find it? and 2. it's a little out of my price range.

    Being a beginner to these cameras I would appreciate your input on new and vintage lenses, just as long as they're something that are somewhat easy to find. This will be the only lens I will use the majority of the time, if not the only lens I own for this camera. I don't care about AF speed for sports or kid, etc.

    thanks in advance :) 
  2. Burkey

    Burkey Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 26, 2010
    Northern New England
    Hello and welcome to the forum. I find that the Lumix 20/1.7 Pancake is my favorite 4/3 lens regardless of what 4/3 body I put it on. Nice 40mm focal length - 35mm FoV. Sharp too. I don't think the bokeh is quite as nice as the Nokton 25mm but for overall quality, speed and versatility it's still my pick. Good luck.
    . . . Burkey
  3. retnull

    retnull Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 12, 2010
    You say, "The main objective is to find a lens that that will produce some serious bokeh and shallow depth of field on portraits when taking torso to head shots on adults." In this case, why not go longer than 50mm equivalent? There are numerous adaptable fast lenses in 50mm, 75mm, 85mm, or longer, for reasonable prices, from Konica, Pentax, Canon, Nikon, etc.

    Also, just for the record, personally I like the bokeh of the Panasonic 20/1.7. SOmetimes I wish there was more, but that's just how 40mm equivalent lenses are.
  4. alipapa70

    alipapa70 Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 26, 2010

    Hi there,

    welcome to the world of µ4/3.

    If you're looking for a lens that will yield 50mm in fullframe terms, that would be quite an expensive lens to adapt for µ4/3. It would have a focal length of 20-28mm and a very fast aperture of 1.8 or faster. In this range only very few affordable lenses are out there and the bokeh on these for producing torso to head shots wouldn't be that spectacular because you'd be standing 2-3m away from your subject, thus enlarging your dof. Head shots would be great though.

    Here's a nice site for dof and focal length. Online Depth of Field Calculator

    The classic focal length for portraiture lies somewhere between 85-135mm in fullframe terms if I remember right. So a fast (<1.8) 40, 45, 50, 55 or 58mm would be your best option. Unless you want to do it like the pros and even go with a longer focal length, say 200-300mm with a 2.8 or faster aperture in fullframe terms. But those fast lenses have an astronomical price range.

    I would gladly provide some examples in the following days, as soon as I have my 20mm f/1.7 and adapters back from a friend.I'll post some shots taken with a few legacy lenses like the Zeiss C/Y Planar 50mm f/1.4, the Zeiss C/Y Planar 50mm f/1.7 and a few Canon FD 50mm versions.

    Old legacy lenses in the 50mm range are quite inexpensive because 50mm was the standard focal length for the kit lens back then. So you can really get some good fast ol' glas for little money on ebay or photo flea markets.

    Hope to have given you some advice and help.

    always good light
  5. alipapa70

    alipapa70 Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 26, 2010
    Panasonic GH2 with Carl Zeiss C/Y Planar 50mm f/1.7

    A torso to head shot.

    This is a shot from my friend's daughter with her face blurred out. But you can still see the sharpness of this lens in her hair and it delivers a pleasing bokeh in the background.

    good light

    Attached Files:

  6. snkenai

    snkenai Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 5, 2010
    Any major brand 50mm lens works great on the mu43. Some are slightly better in some Ways. But they all give very nice results when used properly.
  7. snkenai

    snkenai Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 5, 2010
    Pardon my last post. I did not read your question closely enough. You said 50mm equivalent. I have the vivitar 24mm F2.8 that is very good at close distances but not quite as well for landscape. That gives a 48mm equivalent. I like the pany 14-45 better for that.
  8. JCD

    JCD Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 10, 2010
    Palermo, Italy
    I think you should wait for the upcoming pana 25mm f/1.4
  9. benjomd

    benjomd New to Mu-43

    Nov 7, 2010
    Metro Philippines
    i find the bokeh on my 45 2.8 better than the pancake ( although not a 50mm equivalent ). Although, Im still yet to learn a lot in photography, I might be missing something.
  10. md6040

    md6040 New to Mu-43

    Jan 21, 2011

    That is a nice looking lens. Much better than I remember. Is that wide open?

    I've seen that one and it is a strong candidate. It is on sale online for around the $700-800 range.
  11. alipapa70

    alipapa70 Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 26, 2010


    if I recall right, I had to stop it down to 2.8 or even to 4 because the sun was shining.
  12. sparkin

    sparkin Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 18, 2010
    Lexington, KY
    In addition to all the excellent advice above, if you're new to this whole endeavor, you should stick to native lenses. The Pany 20 1.7 is excellent on the EP2, so it must be at least as good on a Pany body. Having said that (depending on where you are coming from), the kit zoom may very well exceed all your expectations. If you're an old hat, then the bets are off. There's a multitude of old lenses that each have their own qualities, but it is not easy to get good cheap stuff. Ebay is a crap shoot for that. It is easy to get good "common" lenses (e.g. 50mm f1.8 in 35mm parlance), but it is not easy to get good "uncommon" lenses without getting gouged.
  13. squidbrand

    squidbrand Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 22, 2010
    Hà Nội, Việt Nam
    Well... as I understand it, that's actually that's just how 20mm lenses are. If you used the 40mm equivalent length setting on a compact camera, which would actually be something like 9mm, you'd get even less of a shallow focus effect. And if you used a 40mm equivalent on medium format, which would be something like 70mm, you'd get more of that effect.
  14. md6040

    md6040 New to Mu-43

    Jan 21, 2011

    Going native is probably what I am going to do, I'm just inquiring on all the options.

    The nice thing about this M43 format is that Panasonic and Voigtlander are the first lens manufacturer that I'm aware of to design fast prime lenses around something smaller than the 24x36mm sensor. I has always wished Canon or Nikon would do something similar, but it won't happen. I still use a Hasselblad with an 80mm and a EOS1N with a 50mm for everything. I have thought about purchasing a Rabel T2i with a Sigma 30mm f1.4, but god those things are tacky looking
  15. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    For a m4/3 camera, my choice would be a Nokton 50mm f/1.1 or 35mm f/1.2, but those are out of your price range so... plan B is go with a legacy Nikon or Canon manual focus 50mm or 35mm f/1.4 lens. The 35/1.4 (70/1.4 equivalent) are not too difficult to find and not terribly expensive. And a 50mm f/1.4 (100/1.4 equiv on m4/3) is arguably as good or better as a portrait lens! Canon and Nikon 50mm f/1.4 lenses are plentiful and cheap.

    I earn a great living as a portrait photographer. Here's part of the formula: Position your subject in a deep and rich setting, strong backlight, good front fill light at about 35-40 degrees off camera axis, move in close to your subject with the camera, shoot with the lens wide open or close to it, and you'll have an awesome portrait look with significant bokeh. This is a slam-dunk, home run portrait set-up. Of course, posing, lighting, expression, composition, color palate, clothing selection, etc. are also important.
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