Widest, Sharpest, Shallowest DOF, Autofocus lens?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by CanonConvert, Jan 29, 2016.

  1. CanonConvert

    CanonConvert Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 22, 2012
    is there such a thing?

    17.5mm f0.95 nokton is a great focal length with the right aperture, but it's full manual.

    42.5mm f1.2 panny has AF, but it's too long for standard use.

    I'm using it purely for video purposes - anyone can suggest the Widest, Sharpest, Shallowest DOF, Autofocus lens?

  2. MarkRyan

    MarkRyan Instagram: @MRSallee

    May 3, 2013
    "Wide" and "shallow DOF" don't often come together, especially on Micro 4/3.

    For purely video purposes, a manual-focus lens isn't a bad idea. Manual focus is not hard to use.

    To answer your question directly, the best options are Olympus 17/1.8, Panasonic 20/1.7, and Olympus 25/1.8.

    Here's what the 17/1.8 gets you wide open. Note that if the subject gets further away, you lose the blurry background.




    • Agree Agree x 2
  3. jyc860923

    jyc860923 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 28, 2012
    Shenyang, China
    Real Name:
    if you don't mind slower af, you can consider 20 1.7 though it's not really wide. no native wider lens that has af provides shallower dof, the only other choice speedboosted canon af lens.
  4. siftu

    siftu Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 26, 2015
    Bay Area, CA
    Real Name:
    I didnt think AF was a big thing with video. Maybe the Sigma 18-35mm f1.8 with a speedbooster. Not sure if the canon version will AF
  5. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    If you can wait a few months a series of 1.2 lenses from Olympus should be released. Is not going to be cheap though.

    There are also the Pana 25/1.4 and Oly 12/2, do not know which focal length you are looking for.
  6. Vivalo

    Vivalo Olympus Loser

    Nov 16, 2010
    Panasonic 25mm 1.4 could be the sweet spot between angle of view and shallow DOF. With anything wider the DOF gets so deep that it is hard to get blurry background with anything than close subjects.
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  7. PakkyT

    PakkyT Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 20, 2015
    New England
    If that is about the focal length you want, then your choices in that same ball park with existing released lenses are:

    Panasonic 15mm f1.7
    Olympus 17mm f1.8
    Panasonic 20mm f1.7

    If you wanted to go even wider you could give up a bit of aperture and go with the Olympus 12mm f2.0. Other than that you would have to go longer in focal length or wait and see what lenses are coming out this year.
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2016
  8. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Real Name:
    I hate to be that guy, but I'm going to be.

    If video is that important and you need the level of control you are looking for, perhaps a lens on a hybrid camera is not the best option?
    I'd look into dedicated video cameras if you really need something like that, or perhaps go back to a larger sensor DSLR that shoots video.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  9. ahinesdesign

    ahinesdesign Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 6, 2011
    NC, USA
    Real Name:
    The 7-14mm f/2.8 and 8mm f1.8 fisheye are the widest, fastest AF options in m4/3. They are capable of shallow DOF but you'll have to be uncomfortably close to your subject. The 12mm f/2 might also do the trick.

    I don't like AF for video, personally, so I Would go with one of the much faster manual focus lenses in native m4/3 mount, like Kowa 8.5mm or Voigtlander 10.5mm... Even those won't give you very shallow DOF unless you are close to your subject.

    You'll want much longer focal lengths or much larger sensor camera to get shallow DOF at any kind of distance from the camera.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  10. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    I suspect 15mm/1.7 or 17/1.8 is probably the best compromise. They're wide enough to retain context - and can keep close subjects entirely in the frame - and you can get decent separation if you're willing to deal with a bit of perspective distortion.

    If you're willing to deal with more distortion, here's an indication of what you can get with just f2.8 @ 11mm...

  11. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    What kind of 'video purposes'... What are you trying to achieve and for what purpose?

    If 17mm is what you seek as a focal length , then the answer is the 17/1.8 or maybe the panasonic 15.

    Forget about worrying about the 'sharpest'... they will all be good enough for video

    • Agree Agree x 1
  12. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    What Kevin said about sharpness : I agree.
    My 20mm is usually my sharpest lens but it has poor video-AF and on some models that isn't even allowed.

    How about the little PanaLeica 15mmF1.7?
    • Appreciate Appreciate x 1
  13. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    Typically for video uses, full manual operation is preferable, unless it's just run-and-gun documentation, in which case you'll need to anticipate jittery focus hunting that you don't have control over.

    The 17.5mm/f0.95, realistically, is ideal for this since it's designed for this kind of operation and has a clickless aperture for smooth, silent adjustment of DoF as needed.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  14. EarthQuake

    EarthQuake Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 30, 2013
    If you want shallow DOF and an AF lens, the 25/1.4 is as wide as I would go in the M43 system. I've owned the 20/1.7 as well, and unless you're up pretty close it's hard to get subject isolation/background blur. As you go wider from there it gets even harder. Something like the 12/2 is fast and wide, but will only give you blurred backgrounds with closeups.
  15. brianc1959

    brianc1959 Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 14, 2013
    Real Name:
    Brian Caldwell
    You're right, AF, is generally not a big deal with video. However, the Sigma 18-35 with a Speed Booster XL will give you an 11.5-22.4mm f/1.1 with AF, and the Sigma 20/1.4 with the XL will give you a 12.8mm f/0.90 with AF. The latter is the widest fastest AF lens that I'm aware of, so I just made a quick cat snap @ 12.8mm f/0.90:
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  16. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    Do you lose a lot of edge performance or get any vignetting with the 0.64x Speedbooster on the 18-35mm at the wide end? At that point you're asking an APS-C lens to cover an APS-H image circle.
  17. brianc1959

    brianc1959 Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 14, 2013
    Real Name:
    Brian Caldwell
    For fullframe m43 stills (21.6mm image diagonal) the 18-35 doesn't have a big enough image circle when paired with the 0.64x XL. For Cinema 4k mode (17.4mm image diagonal) then the 18-35/1.8 is a perfect match for the XL without any vignetting, which is one reason why the 0.64x ratio was chosen in the first place. The Speed Booster XL was also designed to give very high edge/corner image quality on Cinema 4k mode. Note that the Speed Booster XL itself works perfectly well over the fullframe m43 format in stills mode, but the attached lens will have to cover 21.6/0.64 ~ 34mm in order to shoot stills without vignetting. All FF SLR lenses can do this, but only some DX/APS-C SLR lenses can do it.
  18. Speedliner

    Speedliner Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 2, 2015
    Southern NJ, USA
    Real Name:
    Pl25,1.4 and pl42.5,1.2
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  19. aidanw

    aidanw Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 19, 2012
    Wellington, NZ
    I've owned the O17 1.7, P20 1.7, PL25 f1.4, O25 f1.8 and O45 f1.8. Of all of them, the PL25 definitely creates the most bokeh at a usuable focal length.

    However, the O17 somehow defies the actual numbers and in my opinion, has useful bokeh at a more useful focal length (for the style of still photography I do).
    The P20 can do it okay in the right situation but the bokeh can be "busy". The PL25 either has beautiful creamy bokeh or quite harsh bokeh if the subject is too far away. The O25 is definitely less capable than the PL25. The O45 is an awkward outdoors only focal length in my opinion.

    I shoot on FF with a 35mm f2 normally, and I've compared wide-open directly to the O17 also wide-open on m43 with surprisingly good results for the m43. Obviously there is less bokeh with m43, but not as much less as you'd imagine.
  20. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    The PL15/1.7 looks like it's just about the only fast-wide prime you haven't tried, but in terms of both sharpness and bokeh it may actually be the best one, from what I've seen.

    Leica Summilux 15mm f1.7 bokeh comparison | Cameralabs