Luminous Landscape Forum

Equipment & Techniques => Cameras, Lenses and Shooting gear => Topic started by: adrjork on September 24, 2015, 09:22:47 pm

Title: m43 Lenses custom kit for video
Post by: adrjork on September 24, 2015, 09:22:47 pm
Hi guys,
I'm going to order a GH4R for still and (mainly) video shooting, and I'm searching for a small kit of lenses.
For ergonomic and sharpness reasons I'm searching for m43 lenses only (so no metabones) and I need to work in low-light, so lenses must be fast.
I'm searching for a really small kit: I think just 3 lenses: a wide, a tele and (perhaps) a macro.
I'd love you could help me to choose a custom 3-lenses kit.

I'm interested into 2 wide lenses:
1. Olympus Zuiko 7-14mm f/2.8 weather-sealed (no filters over it)
2. Panasonic Lumix 12-35mm f/2.8 OIS, weather-sealed
Both are weather-sealed.
Pana 12-35 has stabilization (good for video) and possibility of mounting ND filters, but I've the doubt that 12mm would not be a real landscape lens (2.3 crop factor: 28mm referring to 35mm).
On the other hand Oly 7-14 is a real wide lens but I can't use ND or IR filters over it (not a good new for GH4 outdoor) and it hasn't stabilization.
Perhaps I could solve the OIS lack with a pistol-gimbal, but the no-ND-filters issue remains.
So, what is in your opinion the best compromise, guys? Oly + gimbal (filtering in post), or Pana + filters (no gimbal need)?

The doubt is between 2 tele lenses:
1. Panasonic Nocticron 42.5mm f/1.2 OIS
2. Panasonic Lumix 35-100 f/2.8 OIS weather-sealed
Nocticron f/1.2 is perfect for my low-light need. (Anyway someone says it's "too" fast to use it as all-days-tele...)
On the other hand only Lumix is weather-sealed.
So, what do you prefer? A nice f/1.2 shallow DOF or weather-sealing?

Between two macros:
1. Olympus Zuiko 60mm (macro) f/2.8 weather-sealed
2. Panasonic Leica DG Macro-Elmarit 45mm f/2.8 OIS
Two differeces here: weather-sealing vs OIS, and 60mm vs 45mm.
Let say that if I'd buy the fast Nocticron 42.5mm, another 45mm (even if macro) could be a sort of a replica, isn't it? And perhaps, in a 3-lenses kit (with just a wide a tele and a macro) having a 60mm could be useful. But what does make here the dufference: weather-sealing or OIS?
Well, I can image that macro shots are critical for stabilization, but I can also image that I will want to shoot in macro exclusively with tripods, isn't it? (Or at least with the gimbal - if I'd buy one.)
Which one do you prefer, guys?

Thanks a lot for your help.
Title: Re: m43 Lenses custom kit for video
Post by: adrjork on September 25, 2015, 09:26:25 pm
Well, I partially replay to myself (please guys, don't let me alone in this topic!)

I've seen some demos, and it seems to me that curved Zuiko 7-14 gives a too strong distortion (for my taste) at 7 (but also higher). On the other hand Lumix 12-35's OIS seems to have some micro-jittering issue.
I'd say that for video-shots it's better to go for a 32bit-gimbal (like Pilotfly H1+) together with an OIS-free lens like the Zuiko 12mm f/2 prime lens. Yes, it's actually a mid-wide lens but hasn't distortion at all and it's fast! (See this VIDEO ( by Moeru Maruyama.)
Anyway I have to take into account that I could use the lens for stills too, and perhaps OIS becomes more useful than a gimbal for this purpose, isn't it?
So, what do you think is the best compromise:
1. 12-35 with OIS (for both video and stills)
2. 12-35 (OIS disabled + Pilotfly for video, OIS-on for stills)
3. 12 f/2 + Pilotfly (for both video and stills)

More or less same question here: it doesn't seem to me that 42.5's OIS can replace an "external" stablization for video. So the competition could be between two different lens: Pana 42.5 f/1.2 (OIS disabled) vs Zuiko 75mm f/1.8. I've seen wonderful videos with the 75mm (another Maruyama's VIDEO ( but I wonder if it's right for my purpose: I'd use tele for close-up shots, for details like hands, faces, eyes. 75mm seems perfect but I wonder if the great shallow DoF could become a problem, especially without a tripod (even with the gimbal). I've read someone saying that 75mm DoF forces you to stop down to take more in focus, but it means less light! Therefore many prefer a more "usable" (they say) 42.5mm.
And again there is my need for stills to take into account (do I need OIS for handheld stills?)
So, what is the best tele compromise?

Please guys post your advices!
Title: Re: m43 Lenses custom kit for video
Post by: razrblck on September 26, 2015, 02:07:23 am
If you need OIS, the Pana 12-35 2.8 is what you need. If you can skip OIS, you can find the Oly 12-40 2.8 PRO for less, giving you some more reach in a weather sealed lens with depth scale.

There's a big jump between 42.5mm and 75mm in terms of FOV and DOF. If you really need something in the 40mm range, get the Oly 12-40 so you'll reduce the kit to two lenses (zoom + macro). If you prefer going all the way to 75mm you can test it yourself first, maybe find a shop that lets you test it or rent the lens for a few days and see if it's something you might want.

The macro lens is a bit more of a specialty. In the normal range (30mm) the Panasonic has you covered with a rather inexpensive prime that can do 1:1. Getting instead the Olympus 60mm macro along with a 12-35 or 12-40 will let you get near the 75mm range AND give you a macro lens all in a two lens package.

Personally I'd go for a Oly 12-40 and 60 macro combo to be covered in most situations, and get a good stabilizer for smooth video. In lens stabilization does help a bit smoothing micro jitter, but you'll still need a rig or stabilizer of some sort with such small cameras because they will shake like crazy in your hands alone, so I'd rather save money on lenses and get a better rig.
Title: Re: m43 Lenses custom kit for video
Post by: adrjork on September 26, 2015, 10:56:39 am
Really thanks for the advice razrblck,

I think that OIS-skipped lenses + gimbal is a perfect solution for video purpose, but what about stills?
If my only purpose were videos, I had no doubt, but I will use the same lenses also for stills and perhaps (this is my question) OIS is a must for stills.
Just this: if your purpose were stills do you prefer OIS or no-OIS lenses?

Title: Re: m43 Lenses custom kit for video
Post by: razrblck on September 26, 2015, 11:35:59 am
My experience with VR lenses on Nikon has been great, but I've never had the need for optical stabilization. I'm sure it's a lot more useful on longer lenses, like from 150mm equivalent onward, but I never shoot above 90mm equivalent on any camera I have so I just stick to tripods, monopods, fast shutter speeds and steady hands.