Which lens for G6 for a "run and gun" style documentary.. plus some stills usage.

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by fxyrslf, Aug 7, 2013.

  1. fxyrslf

    fxyrslf New to Mu-43

    Aug 7, 2013

    I am new the M 4/3 world and want to buy a camera in the near future to get into amateur film making - the Panasonic G6 seems like a good choice for my needs.

    My question is, should I go with just the body and purchase the 20mm/F1.7 Pancake or is it worth getting one of the kit lenses with the camera as well, and if so - which one?

    I will be using the camera mostly handheld, interviewing people in cars or other informal settings, as well as "general shots" (I know that is vague). I will be using a basic pistol grip most of the time.

    What are my best choices? Is the 14-42 worth getting when I purchase the camera, it doesn't make much difference vs just getting the body price wise. Are there other lenses I should consider starting with given my needs?

    I am (guessing) that I will use this thing 70% video 30% stills.
  2. griswoldo

    griswoldo Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 27, 2011
    If you're gonna be doing primarily handheld video with a Panasonic body, then you need a stabilized lens. If you want to keep it cheap, the kit 14-42 works just fine, but I'm not sure how "amateur" you are talking. For me, the quality of the 14-42 is perfectly acceptable for my use (family stuff). Otherwise you should consider the 14-140 or the 12-35.

    If you want a prime for some reason, I'd stay away from the 20mm. Focus is slow(ish) and noisy, and the motor can be audible in the video itself. The PL25 or the Oly 17/1.8 would probably be better choices.
  3. Gerald

    Gerald Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 20, 2011
    Definitely get a kit zoom with the body. The various focal lengths will come in handy so many times it will make you forget the few extra dollars quickly. Think of it in the way that you will gain yourself a wide angle lens, a normal lens and a portrait lens with a kit lens. Than an extra prime will help you in specific situations to make something 'extra'. 20mm is already quite tight if you're in a small room or car for example. And as mentioned the OIS stabilization in the lens can be golden for video.

    Kit lens sounds mediocre at best, but they are actually really good.
  4. fxyrslf

    fxyrslf New to Mu-43

    Aug 7, 2013
    Thank you for the replies.

    It would start as a hobby hopefully going into some paid work in the nearish future so I would say "prosumer" level is what I am aiming at.

    I thought maybe the wideness of the 20mm would mean that shake wouldn't be such an issue, I guess I will have to rethink then. Is the Olympus 17mm a good choice then as suggested or am I barking up the wrong tree with these pancake lenses for my needs?
  5. arson519

    arson519 Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 10, 2013
    are you going to manually focus? because the slr magic 12mm is very nice and the shake from your hands is minimal
  6. fxyrslf

    fxyrslf New to Mu-43

    Aug 7, 2013
    I wanted to avoid manual focus unless there are other overwhelming reasons to pick a manual lens. I'm not looking to be too cinematic at this point, just be able to shoot things fast and efficiently.
  7. klee

    klee Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 20, 2013
    Houston, TX
    I use the OMD for video a lot, and I've learned that adapted manual focus lenses are my favorite to work with, but only because of the IBIS. I would also avoid the 20/1.7 for the focus issues.

    For the G6, I would stick with OIS lenses and avoid any of the power zoom ones even though they're marketed towards HD Video use.

    Also, the kit lens could be fine. The small aperture doesn't give you great looking blurred backgrounds... but the larger depth of field would be helpful in keeping things in focus during "run and gun" situations.

    as far as the pancakes are concerned, I've made great looking video with them, but usually with manual focus. I own the 20/1.7 for stills. If I was only making lens choices for video, I would have spent the money on a voigtlander 12mm or the SLR magic. Both have much smoother focus rings and much larger apertures for blurry backgrounds.

    If I was shooting with a panasonic, I would also invest in a steady cam rig, gimble, or other things.
  8. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Have you previously shot any video?

  9. entropicremnants

    entropicremnants Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 16, 2012
    John Griggs
    I used a hacked GH1 and 7-14mm f/4 for this almost exclusively but there are some stills in it with a GX1 and 35-100mm f/2.8 and most of the interview segments are the 25mm f/1.4 but I screwed up the filtering, lol. Watch it full HD to see the goodness of the 7-14mm. YMMV on lens selection though.

    Really, there's no answer to your question because it depends on what you want to shoot and what you want it to look like.

    Nobody here can tell you what YOU should be shooting because there isn't a "right" answer. Once you have some idea of what you want it to look like, and what conditions you'll face, THEN you can decide what you're using. For instance, if you're shooting in bright sunlight you're probably going to need ND filters because the electronic shutter can only hit a certain speed and it's much less than the mechanical one.

    [ame=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZhXq1AQMj1c]Flying Patriot V3 -- The final, final, FINAL (I hope) Version - YouTube[/ame]
  10. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    For me, for stills = autofocus. Video? Manual. And adapted manual focus glass at that. Must admit that what little video I've shot has mostly been with a Canon DSLR, but it the throw of a good MF lens makes shooting manual focus a joy.

    Your subjects (interviewing people) are fairly static, so you don't want the camera to occasionally think it needs to change focal plane because it gets distracted by a changing bit of contrast (say, a hand going up and so forth). Also, MF is silent :)
  11. entropicremnants

    entropicremnants Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 16, 2012
    John Griggs
    Agree. AF was not used in mine either. I tried it at the beginning but it was MISERABLE, lol.

    For the most part though, I don't see any allure in adapted glass now that mu-43 glass is so good and it's MUCH more flexible. If you DO want to break and take still quickly as I did, it takes too long either for AF or for changing lenses. I shot with two bodies and the GX1 had the 35-100mm on it all day/night and the GH1 had the 7-14mm on it except for the interviews.

    The beauty of the GHx series is you have a simple switch to go between AF and MF -- no fooling around.
  12. fxyrslf

    fxyrslf New to Mu-43

    Aug 7, 2013
    Thanks for the helpful replies. My filming experience is limited to working on small stuff years ago using Sony PD150 type DVCAMS. I don't know much about lenses and I guess was hoping I could replicate the small video cameras I used to use with a M 4/3 and a couple of lenses set up. I think I am just more confused now!

    I think I had in my head "kit lens plus something wider and small" - but it seems like it's not so straight forward. Is there an easy way to tell which lenses have OIS?
  13. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    Yes. Look at the description on Panasonic's website. No oly lenses have OIS, few panasonic primes have OIS (the 45 macro), and almost all panasonic zooms have OIS (the 7-14 being the obvious exception).

    Shooting video with a MFT cam or a DSLR is not the same as shooting with a video handicam.
  14. ntblowz

    ntblowz Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 13, 2011
    Auckland, New Zealand
    handicam with it's tiny sensor can get away with AF since their DoF is deep (ie less background blur), but on larger sensor like M43 or FF where the DoF is much more shallow, focusing become more critical.

    For run'n gun I prefer 12-35mm, with OIS and F2.8 you can get stabilised view and bokeh on the 35mm end.
  15. John M Flores

    John M Flores Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2011
    Somerville, NJ
    Panny 12-35 F2.8. No contest. You can add from there - adapted MF primes for lock down interviews, wides for special shots, etc., but the 12-35 will be your meat and potatoes.
  16. klee

    klee Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 20, 2013
    Houston, TX
    sounds like winning advice.

    with F2.8, you'll want to invest in some ND filters to keep your shutter speed at 1/60 without overexposing your shots.
  17. fxyrslf

    fxyrslf New to Mu-43

    Aug 7, 2013
    Thank you, this has been very helpful.
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