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M. Gilden
12-04-2011, 12:26 PM
Hey GH users.

Some of you have probably seen me moderating the Canon and general DSLR section. I've seen some great footage coming from the GH2, and decided it really is a shame that I don't have more first hand experience with one (especially during those times that I'm worried about moire and aliasing).

That being said, I've got one in the mail (thanks to an Adorama.com sale) with the smaller kit lens (14-42mm, I think). And I'm suddenly realizing just how much I don't know about this camera!

Here's the thing- I don't want to invest too much into camera-specific accessories because I'm still mostly a Canon guy and not sure if I'll be keeping this long term. In fact, when the Digic5 cameras come out, I'll probably have to sell it. But in the mean time, I'd like to at least be able to substitute it for one of my canons.

I understand the crop is a hair tighter on this versus the Canon, so I'll have to back up a bit more with the same lenses. And since most of my lenses are vintage primes, I just need some new affordable ring adapters.
But what about using native EOS glass? My go-to wide angle lens is a Tamron 17-50mm F/2.8 EOS. Without that, I'm afraid the GH2 won't handle my wide low-light shots, and I'm not willing to invest in a new wide lens just for this yet. So, I'm reaching out to the community for suggestions and advice.
What say you, loyal GH users?

roei z
12-04-2011, 12:53 PM
don't have a lot of info, besides that i bought an FD ring mount and uses the vintage FD's, cause that's what i wanted in the first place.
i bet you could get any mount you need for a 20$ and use most of your lens.

mcbob
12-04-2011, 12:56 PM
Of the vendors I've tried, Fotodiox makes the widest range of decent vintage adapters, all relatively cheap ($20-$70). Red Rock makes a powered EOS lens adapter that allows full iris control (around $400?), or you can set the iris with a Canon body and then put it onto a cheaper "dumb" adapter.If the RedRock livelens works for you, I might recommend springing for a Tokina 11-16... Its an all-round good wide lens.

M. Gilden
12-04-2011, 01:13 PM
LOL- for $400 I might as well get a different lens. That's exactly what I'm NOT looking to do, but thanks for the suggestion!

I suppose for the kind of shoots I'd be doing, the aperture won't change- so I could set it on the canon, then turn it off and flip it over to the GH2 with a "dumb" fotodiox adapter. Annoying and less than ideal, but it will do for now. Wait... I'm actually not 100% certain that the aperture stays when you turn the camera off, come to think of it. It might reset. Are we sure that's how it works?

That Tokina is a great lens, I've been eyeing it for a while. But it isn't available for the m4/3rds mount, is it? See, that kind of lens selection is what kills my buzz for the GH2.

dan.carter
12-04-2011, 01:19 PM
I came to the GH2 from the Canon 7D, and find GH2 video usable at 3200ISO. The 7D was questionable beyond 800ISO. You may find the GH2 kit lens at 14mm sufficient for wide angle low-light.

Good luck with your GH2 adventure.

ingoandfloyd
12-04-2011, 01:35 PM
I have the tamron 17- 50 2,8 best zoom lens for the gh2! Not many gh2 use this suprb lens dont know why, its much better the the kit lens

mr bill
12-04-2011, 01:37 PM
I bought the kipon eos to m4/3 adapter, with the built in iris. Not recommended. Awaiting a simpler adapter from ebay, which I'll review when it arrives. The panny lenses (I have the 14-140 and the 100-300) are great in good light, but I'd like to use some of my eos glass in low light, in combination with a variND if I need to. Also have a 50mm 1.4 FD prime and adapter. I have the Tamron (non vc) but I'm under the impression it's an ef-s lens, and I haven't seen any adapters for that so far.

GH2user
12-04-2011, 01:59 PM
I have the tamron 17- 50 2,8 best zoom lens for the gh2! Not many gh2 use this suprb lens dont know why, its much better the the kit lens

I use it too all the time! Great lens! The stock Panny lenses just look awful to me. I don't understand why people are still using them...

Zxander34
12-04-2011, 02:44 PM
Aren't the newer nikon lenses more easily adaptable to M4/3 compared to canon lenses?

M. Gilden
12-04-2011, 03:09 PM
I have the Tamron (non vc) but I'm under the impression it's an ef-s lens, and I haven't seen any adapters for that so far.

Yes, I believe it is an EF-S lens (at least, the one I have is). Does that make a difference when working with a ring adapter? I'm under the impression that you can't use EF-S lenses on EF mount cameras because the mirror could collide with the glass, but when using an adapter on a smaller sensor size (and mirrorless to boot), why would it still make a difference?

As far as shooting with higher ISO on the kit lens instead of choosing a lower aperture option... That might work for low light, but I'll lose the narrow DOF. Also, I like using the Tamron to zoom during video (thanks to constant aperture). Most of my multi-camera shoots are live events, and require at least one to be on a zoom.

For now (since I'm only experimenting), I guess I could leave one of my Canons on the wide shot with the Tamron, and my vintage primes on the GH2. But the wide shots are the ones that stand to benefit most from the cleaner moire/aliasing image. Close ups with shallow DOF are hardly a problem with the Canon. Seems like a shame.

If this indeed works, my best option with available hardware might be to stop down the Tamron to the desired level first attached to the Canon, then attach it to the GH2 for wide angle zoom shots, and my Canon for the tight ones.

On that note- has anyone had any experience combining footage between a Canon and the GH2? I'm expecting the footage and coloring to look a bit different, but hoping it won't be too difficult to match in post.

J Davis
12-04-2011, 04:14 PM
On that note- has anyone had any experience combining footage between a Canon and the GH2?

When they first came out I shot a few projects for other people that combined gh1 and 7d, they mixed fine with no problem

Lucas Adamson
12-04-2011, 04:29 PM
I've combined GH1 and 60D footage with reasonable success, but the Canon's colours were VERY over-saturated by comparison. That said, I didn't do any experimentation with settings matching.

My main GH2 advice is to turn both NR and especially sharpening to -2, whatever else you do. Leave saturation and contrast on 0 or dial them down for better grading potential. The next one is to buy a couple of Canon FDs (the 50, 1.4 is cheap and excellent) and the 24mm or 28mm for a "normal" lens (preferably f2, but 2.8 will do if skint).

hendosan
12-04-2011, 06:59 PM
On that note- has anyone had any experience combining footage between a Canon and the GH2? I'm expecting the footage and coloring to look a bit different, but hoping it won't be too difficult to match in post.

I just got a GH2 and will be shooting 2 jobs with it and a T2i this week, so I'll post my experiences here.

Minor
12-04-2011, 07:46 PM
Prepare for excitement, glory and get ready to dump the canons!

Hutchman
12-04-2011, 07:48 PM
Welcome to the gh fold!

I used to use the 7 and 5d, but not only is the gh2 a fraction of the price, IMO it gives a much sharper image - the 7d/5d can look a bit "soft" in comparison. Don't take my word for it, check out Kholi's and Barry's posts on the matter.

The ability to monitor HDMI out while also having the viewfinder active is an emormous plus.

A 2.8 lens really isn't making the most of the incredible ISO performance of the hacked gh2 (you MUST hack it!). As someone noted, you can shoot 3200 ISO on the gh2 and with the hack, the noise (very little) looks like fine film grain. It really is amazing for shooting indoors with practicals.

I'd definitely recommend the pancake 20mm 1.7 lens, wonderful, wonderful, and a canon fd 50mm 1.4. These are really the only 2 lenses you need if shooting drama.

The only downside of the gh2 is the 2X crop factor, slightly more than the 1.6X of the 7d, so not hugely noticable, but if you're used to the 5d it was nice to be able to go wider. But as long as you don't shoot in lockers or coffins (planning on remaking BURIED?), you can just move back as you say.

I love the lack of moire, aliasing and no overheating as well.

Truly a remarkable camera.

I bet you don't end up selling it. I bet ;)

M. Gilden
12-04-2011, 08:22 PM
hahaha, bring on the fanboys! ;)

Seriously- thanks for the helpful posts so far, guys. Some of it has been very informative.

A couple of things to note:
1) I already own a set of vintage primes (all Nikon F-mount), so while I appreciate the FD lens advice, keep in mind that I'm coming into this with my trusted arsenal beautiful glass. I asked about EOS lenses because a wide constant aperture zoom is far more difficult to find in non-native glass.

2) The crop size of the GH2 when taking video is not really much different than the Canons, if I understand correctly. When the Canons shoot video, the aspect ratio cuts off the top and bottom (letterbox), making the 1.6x frame crop closer to a 1.8x crop. I have been told that the GH2 actually has a rectangular sensor that is already the appropriate dimensions for widescreen video, and it is actually the photo mode that cuts off the sides instead of vice versa. I may be mistaken about all this, but I'm under the impression that the GH2 is somewhere around a 1.89 crop already (we round it up to 2x when talking specs), and so it is perhaps fractions of a decimal point more cropped than the Canon's APS-C are.

3) Not that this was the topic of the thread, but those of you who are discussing price of the camera being so low, keep in mind that the Rebel T2i is currently my most recommended choice in Canons to shoot video. Magic Lantern gives it the feature set of a full blown camera (include manual audio control complete with headphone monitoring), with IQ on par with the 7D, and through Canon's loyalty program they are $500 and change with a kit lens. So, just to put it into some perspective, the GH2 is actually more expensive.

4) There is very good explanation for the Canons "soft" video. It has to do with the way the Digic4 chip resolves sensor data- it actually has to skip lines and upconvert to 1080p, likely because it is 4 years old and underpowered for the job. The GH2 has the horsepower to actually downsample the entire sensor image, which results in a clean and sharp picture. This is why I am interested in it for now. However, Digic5 chips are expected to change that, and are rumored to land in the next few months. This is why I am hesitant to go "all in" with the Panasonic for now.

5) Pumping up the ISO is nice, but it won't replace my Tamron 2.8 zoom for 2 reasons: 1) I use the constant aperture zoom for live event shots 2) shallow DOF.

That being said, between the impending digic5 and the occasional photography gig (which the Canons are better suited for), I don't plan to give up and sell my Canons anytime soon. Ok maybe one of them, but I'm still keeping at least the other. ;)
I do intend to hack the GH2 and get the most out of it in the mean time though.

hendosan
12-04-2011, 08:23 PM
Eh, I don't like shooting anything at anything wider than f/2.8. My main motivation in trying out the GH2 was to see if I could pump up the ISO and shoot at f/8.

J Davis
12-04-2011, 08:27 PM
M. Gilden - you can get m43 to nikon f mount with aperture controllers for modern nikon G and dx lenses

M. Gilden
12-04-2011, 08:31 PM
M. Gilden - you can get m43 to nikon f mount with aperture controllers for modern nikon G and dx lenses

That would require me to purchase modern Nikon lenses. Good to know that's an option if eventually switch full time to Panasonic- but I'm trying to be as cross-platform between my EOS as possible. Besides, from what I understand, there appears to be some (rather expensive) Canon EOS to M4/3 adapters that support aperture control as well. Are the Nikon ones cheaper/better?

J Davis
12-04-2011, 08:41 PM
The modern nikon lenses that don't have an aperture ring are still mechanical, not electronic like the canons. Instead of an aperture ring there is a tiny lever that moves in circular grove around the rear element. The m43 to F mount adapters with aperture control are not electronic they simply give you access to moving the lever. Some use a ring built into the adapter, the older ones use a bolt. Here is a shot of the first ever bolt version m43 to f on my nikon tokina 11-16 LINK (http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2564/3998310498_b15d9d3132_z.jpg?zz=1), the shot is a little dark but you get the idea. The later designs with the ring are cheaper and more elegant. Because the canon lenses are fully electronic only the very expensive birger adapter will control it properly, the much cheaper kippon adapters use a 2nd iris within the adapter. Every EOS lens defaults to open aperture so it doesn't shadow the kippon iris. When I was shooting my gh1 back in the day I mostly collected nikon ai's because I knew they could migrate to canon as well. Their color can match pretty well with modern glass including the nikon tokina (which you could always rent).

edit: going wide on micro 4/3rds is tough. Your best bet is to get a proper m43 wide lens like the 20mm f1.7 pancake, or go with a nikon mount tokina. There is also the vintage nikon ai 20mm f2.8 and 24mm f2.8 (avoid the ais 24/2 as it has bad ghosts)

Danielvilliers
12-05-2011, 01:26 AM
My advice to you would be to buy a Tamrom 17-50 Nikon mount. I see on ebay new ones for 350, and even better you could get a second hand in the range of $ 200/250. It is about the price of a prime lens. As stated above, because of the mechanical lever on the Nikon g lens you can use a Nikon adapter with iris control. I use this Tamron Nikon version on my gh2 without any problem and I am sure you will be able to resell it afterward if you decide to sell the gh2 afterward. Another solution is to get a nikon version of the tokina 11-16, because afterward you will be able to put it on your canons.

Ben_B
12-05-2011, 11:06 AM
Since your kit lens is the 14-42mm, why bother with the tamron? Is that kit lens f/3.5 at 14mm? It's wider than the tamron and only half a stop slower...not a huge difference

mcbob
12-05-2011, 12:52 PM
Yes, if you're using mostly f-mount glass, just get a single good-quality Nikon mount adapter with an aperture ring and you'll be golden.

maranfilms
12-05-2011, 01:04 PM
Prepare for excitement, glory and get ready to dump the canons!

Why dump the Canons? I think your gonna be better off if you have both. There's still times when the canons are great. especially if you shoot stills to.

M. Gilden
12-05-2011, 01:29 PM
Since your kit lens is the 14-42mm, why bother with the tamron? Is that kit lens f/3.5 at 14mm? It's wider than the tamron and only half a stop slower...not a huge difference

Well, the problem is that the zoom is not a constant aperture, so the video will noticeably flicker when zooming in/out during live event coverage. When shooting bands or events in dimly-lit halls, the ability to zoom + extra stop of light is totally necessary. What you describe is great if I only intend to use the wide angle as a prime. And if I were only shooting narratives I suppose.

That being said, is the kit lens really that good that you guys would recommend using it like that? My canon is 18mm F/3.5 at its widest point, and I still think the Tamron at 2.8 looks so much better. I'll have to play around when I get it.


Why dump the Canons? I think your gonna be better off if you have both. There's still times when the canons are great. especially if you shoot stills to.

Indeed. I have no intention of dumping all of my Canons. I'll probably sell one though, and then use the GH2 + t2i until the digic5 cameras are out. Then reevaluate the situation.

Lpowell
12-05-2011, 01:41 PM
I've used a variety of Nikon F-mount lenses on both GH1 and GH2 cameras with excellent results. One thing to note is that the focus rings on Nikon lenses rotate in the opposite direction than Panasonic and Canon lenses. I happen to prefer the Nikon focus rotation for use with 15mm rails-mounted follow focus units. Here's a link to a discussion on video-friendly lenses for the GH2:

http://www.personal-view.com/talks/discussion/859/video-friendly-lenses-for-lumix-dslrs

Some find it convenient to use Nikon-to-M4/3 adapters with "Lock" rings to manually control lens aperture on Nikon G lenses. If your F-mount lens already has a manual aperture ring, an adapter with a lock ring is unnecessary and potentially unreliable, even if you don't intend to make use of it. With the GH2, you don't need anything more than a simple mount adapter to use Nikon AI and AF-D lenses.

As for the Lumix kit lenses, none of them work very well for video shooting. Iris and focus are electronically controlled by the camera and exposure can shift in visible steps unless you have everything locked down during a take. This is one of the main reasons I use Nikon manually operated lenses instead.

Ben_B
12-05-2011, 02:00 PM
Well, the problem is that the zoom is not a constant aperture, so the video will noticeably flicker when zooming in/out during live event coverage. When shooting bands or events in dimly-lit halls, the ability to zoom + extra stop of light is totally necessary. What you describe is great if I only intend to use the wide angle as a prime. And if I were only shooting narratives I suppose.

That being said, is the kit lens really that good that you guys would recommend using it like that? My canon is 18mm F/3.5 at its widest point, and I still think the Tamron at 2.8 looks so much better. I'll have to play around when I get it.



Indeed. I have no intention of dumping all of my Canons. I'll probably sell one though, and then use the GH2 + t2i until the digic5 cameras are out. Then reevaluate the situation.

For events I like the 14-140mm, for run and gun b-roll ENG type work it's also a godsend. Yeah...I didn't realized you were talking about live event work..and no I'd say the optical quality on the 14-42 (a step down from the already meh 14-45) is probably not that great, especially open and full wide...though for video who knows it might be fine, and I don't (personally) think that highly of tamron anyway.

The lack of a fast wide angle is sort of the big downside with the m4/3rds cameras. For me the 20mm f/1.7 in low-light and the 7-14mm in daylight/narrative light work pretty well. Maybe look into some of the new X lenses? I haven't been following them much...

Ralph B
12-05-2011, 04:54 PM
When you hack the GH2, I recommend the 'SANITY' patch for all around great performance.
http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread.php?268039-Introducing-SANITY-the-Do-It-All-patch-for-GH2

J Davis
12-05-2011, 05:24 PM
As for the Lumix kit lenses, none of them work very well for video shooting. Iris and focus are electronically controlled by the camera and exposure ...

Thats the second time recently that I've read about this so I googled the panasonic 14-42mm to get to the bottom of this because my 14-42 has a focus ring. When I googled and clicked on images to take a look, it seems like there are two different versions. Mine looks like this with the focus ring on the outer and the larger inner ring is the zoom ring

http://static.bhphotovideo.com/images/images150x150/682980.jpg


So is this one pictured the normal version of this lens... or a newer version of this lens?

Lpowell
12-05-2011, 05:59 PM
...I googled the panasonic 14-42mm to get to the bottom of this because my 14-42 has a focus ring.
Yes, all Lumix lenses have focus rings. What makes them undesirable for video is that the focus ring is not mechanically coupled to the lens' internal focusing mechanism. Instead of directly controlling lens focus, the ring spins freely and merely feeds rotational data to the camera. The camera controls the lens focus electronically at all times - even when you set it to "manual" focus mode.

J Davis
12-05-2011, 06:04 PM
okay now I understand! Thanks for the explanation.

M. Gilden
12-07-2011, 07:59 AM
stumbled upon this nice find from Mr. Bloom:
http://philipbloom.net/2010/12/17/ne-adaptor-for-using-you-canon-eos-lenses-on-gh1-gh2-af101/

I (http://philipbloom.net/2010/12/17/ne-adaptor-for-using-you-canon-eos-lenses-on-gh1-gh2-af101/)ts not exactly cheap, but will take EOS lenses and give its own aperture control for just over $100.

I'm actually seeing tons of knock-off options on ebay for $60, but I'm not sure if they work as well- anyone have any experience with those?
Then I should be able to use my Tamron zoom on the GH2, which would be pretty great.


Meanwhile, what about the vintage glass that currently has an EOS adapter on it (for use in my canon)? I'm wondering, should I just get an EOS-to-M4/3s adapter and treat my vintage Nikons like EOS mounts (since they already have an adapter)? Or is it better to just buy a direct Nikon-to-M4/3s and take off the other adapter?

fde101
12-07-2011, 08:25 AM
If your lenses have their own aperture rings on them and can be set manually on the lens itself, you don't need the fancy adaptors with the electronics or even mechanical control -- you just need the ring adaptors that physically mount the lens to the camera, and those are MUCH cheaper than the ones with the built-in iris or the electronics on them.

Lpowell
12-07-2011, 09:23 AM
I'm wondering, should I just get an EOS-to-M4/3s adapter and treat my vintage Nikons like EOS mounts (since they already have an adapter)? Or is it better to just buy a direct Nikon-to-M4/3s and take off the other adapter?
Going Nikon -> EOS -> M4/3 is really asking for trouble. Of all the adapter types, the EOS attempts have been the most problematic. Also, when you use two adapters, you're much more likely to get rotational instability and infinity focus problems with the lens. It's really quite easy to find a decent Nikon -> M4/3 adapter, I'd suggest this one:

http://www.adorama.com/CZM43NK.html

c3hammer
12-07-2011, 09:30 AM
There must be something in the water over here in the panny groups :)

For EOS lenses WITHOUT manual apurture control those look pretty good, but the blades are not at the flip point of the image and therefore they vignette on most lenses before you can stop them down much.

Just use F4 L glass wide open with ND filters :)

Cheers,
Pete

M. Gilden
12-07-2011, 10:48 AM
If your lenses have their own aperture rings on them and can be set manually on the lens itself, you don't need the fancy adaptors with the electronics or even mechanical control -- you just need the ring adaptors that physically mount the lens to the camera, and those are MUCH cheaper than the ones with the built-in iris or the electronics on them.

That goes without saying.
But as I already mentioned, my favorite live event lens is a native EOS with electronic aperture control (unfortunately). So I'll either be stuck shooting wide open, using aftermarket aperture blades, or just leaving that lens on my Canons for now.
I asked about daisy chaining the vintage glass because then I could theoretically kill two birds with one stone and just get one adapter for now. But that brings us to the next post....


Going Nikon -> EOS -> M4/3 is really asking for trouble. Of all the adapter types, the EOS attempts have been the most problematic. Also, when you use two adapters, you're much more likely to get rotational instability and infinity focus problems with the lens.

I figured as much. Just thought I'd throw it out there as an idea, but the more I think about it, the more it seems like a bad one. Too many links in the chain to go wrong.


It's really quite easy to find a decent Nikon -> M4/3 adapter, I'd suggest this one:

http://www.adorama.com/CZM43NK.html

I'm pretty happy with the Fotodiox ones on my EOS cameras. I have one Bower one that I bought first and is excellent but cost me over $50. After hearing about the fotodiox for half the price and finding them work just as well, I don't think I could justify spending over $60 on the one you have listed here. Unless someone here has some bad experiences with Fotodiox on this mount?


There must be something in the water over here in the panny groups :)

For EOS lenses WITHOUT manual apurture control those look pretty good, but the blades are not at the flip point of the image and therefore they vignette on most lenses before you can stop them down much.


Yes, if you read Phillip's post on them, he says (as well as the manufacturer) not to stop it down past 6 levels, since it will start to vignette. Before that, he reports it working just fine (and there video samples to prove it).
But, I question how useful this really is compared to just a simple ring adapter. If I'm already going to buy Nikon-M4/3s adapters, I don't want to spend another $60-$120 just to get another adapter for a specific Tamron lens that I like to use. Its a shame as I think the GH2 would be better suited for those run-and-gun situations. But maybe I'll invest in more specific lenses for it down the road.

Lpowell
12-07-2011, 11:04 AM
If I'm already going to buy Nikon-M4/3s adapters, I don't want to spend another $60-$120 just to get another adapter for a specific Tamron lens that I like to use. Its a shame as I think the GH2 would be better suited for those run-and-gun situations. But maybe I'll invest in more specific lenses for it down the road.
From the GH2's perspective, the world of lenses breaks down into a few simple categories:

0. Canon EOS lens - xxx alien species!
1. Nikon G lens (no aperture ring) - cannot mate with this
2. C-mount lens - back alley down low hook up
3. Everything else - match made in heaven

M. Gilden
12-07-2011, 12:20 PM
From the GH2's perspective, the world of lenses breaks down into a few simple categories:

0. Canon EOS lens - xxx alien species!
1. Nikon G lens (no aperture ring) - cannot mate with this
2. C-mount lens - back alley down low hook up
3. Everything else - match made in heaven

Ok, so EOS is less than ideal. I get it- I'll stop trying. :)

C-mount is kind of interesting, but I don't understand why G lens with no aperture ring is a problem.
Didn't someone else in this thread say that the Nikon G was preferred because you CAN control the aperture with a mechanical connection?

Right now I'm comparing these adapters:
http://www.amazon.com/Fotodiox-Adapter-cameras-Olympus-Panasonic/dp/B003Y2XN9G/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1323287444&sr=8-2
(http://www.amazon.com/Fotodiox-Adapter-cameras-Olympus-Panasonic/dp/B003Y2XN9G/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1323287444&sr=8-2)and
http://www.amazon.com/Fotodiox-adapter-Adapter-Olympus-Panasonic/dp/B003G49V70/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1323287444&sr=8-1
(http://www.amazon.com/Fotodiox-adapter-Adapter-Olympus-Panasonic/dp/B003G49V70/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1323287444&sr=8-1)
It appears that the first one offers the ability to adjust aperture on G lenses for ~$2 more than the other.

For $2, it seems worth having that as an option in case I get my hands on some modern Nikon glass, but now I'm wondering if there is some reason to pick the other instead?

Lpowell
12-07-2011, 12:50 PM
Didn't someone else in this thread say that the Nikon G was preferred because you CAN control the aperture with a mechanical connection?
Though some may enjoy fiddling with after-market aperture rings on Nikon -> M4/3 adapters, I have found them to be finicky and unreliable. The last thing I want during a shoot is to have to second-guess and make sure an uncalibrated adapter ring hasn't inadvertently screwed up my exposure settings. In my view, a well-built adapter should be nothing more complicated than a precisely machined spacer whose sole purpose is to provide a secure mechanical connection between camera and lens.

Moreover, no one I've ever talked to who shoots video on DSLR's actually appreciates the lack of manual aperture rings on modern auto-focus lenses. It's a cost-cutting compromise that restricts the lens to a particular manufacturer's electronic interface, and is nothing but a drawback for end users. Nikon has made a wide variety of superb AF-D lenses with both auto-focus and manual aperture rings. These are ideal investments for the future, as they can be readily adapted to work on Canon EOS, Sony NEX, and Panasonic GH cameras, as well as on modern Nikon DSLR's (though in manual-focus only on the consumer models).

M. Gilden
12-07-2011, 01:16 PM
Though some may enjoy fiddling with after-market aperture rings on Nikon -> M4/3 adapters, I have found them to be finicky and unreliable. The last thing I want during a shoot is having to second-guess and make sure an uncalibrated adapter ring hasn't inadvertently screwed up my exposure settings.

Moreover, no one I've ever talked to who shoots video on DSLR's actually appreciates the lack of manual aperture rings on modern auto-focus lenses. It's a cost-cutting compromise that restricts the lens to a particular manufacturer's electronic interface, and is nothing but a drawback for end users. Nikon has made a wide variety of superb AF-D lenses with both auto-focus and manual aperture rings. These are ideal investments for the future, as they can be readily adapted to work on Canon EOS, Sony NEX, and Panasonic GH cameras, as well as on modern Nikon DSLR's (though in manual-focus only on the consumer models).

I think you misunderstood. No one is arguing that a manual aperture ring is better. If the lenses I am interested in adapting offered a manual aperture, this would be a no-brainier. But it is EXTREMELY hard to find vintage glass that is fast and wide, especially on a zoom level. That wasn't popular until more modern cropped sensors became the norm, and we had to go wider for the same FOV. Lenses like the Tamron 17-50, or Tokina 11-16 are prime examples of this. Lenses like this are not generally available with manual aperture control, so we are forced to deal with some sort of proprietary interface.

I own a Tamron in EOS mount that I was debating trying to get an adapter for, but someone here informed me that I'm better off getting the Nikon G version of the lens since the aperture can be controlled by a proper adapter. That is what I meant by someone said "Nikon G is preferred". I meant as opposed to other common modern lens mounts. I don't own any G glass at the moment, but I'm wondering if getting an adapter that has the optional control is a better investment just in case. Especially if it is a $2 difference in the case of Fotodiox.
Unless the version without the aperture control is preferred for some reason? Maybe more robust and solid build?

Lpowell
12-07-2011, 01:30 PM
...Unless the version without the aperture control is preferred for some reason? Maybe more robust and solid build?
That's exactly my point. Why would you want an adapter with a useless, unreliable control ring that has the potential to silently sabotage your take?

As for a wide-angle AF-D zoom lens with an aperture ring, Nikon has you covered. The Nikkor 17-35mm f2.8 is one of Nikon's finest.

M. Gilden
12-07-2011, 02:11 PM
That's exactly my point. Why would you want an adapter with a useless, unreliable control ring that has the potential to silently sabotage your take?

??
::scratches head::

Does it have that potential?
Worst case scenario, if I'm using full manual lenses the automatic aperture control will do nothing.
This isn't an adapter with its own aperture blades like the EOS one mentioned earlier- I believe this is supposed to interface with the lens' aperture system with an external dial, essentially making a manual aperture ring on lenses that don't have them. Yes, it might be difficult to determine what f-stop you are at since there aren't any markings, but aren't you still better off than having no option to use G lenses at all?


As for a wide-angle AF-D zoom lens with an aperture ring, Nikon has you covered. The Nikkor 17-35mm f2.8 is one of Nikon's finest.

And WAY out of my reasonable price range at $1500-$2000! The GH2 is an experiment, if you read the first post. I'm still primarily a Canon guy.
I'm willing to spend money to do it right, but there's a limit.

Lpowell
12-07-2011, 03:39 PM
Does it have that potential?
Worst case scenario, if I'm using full manual lenses the automatic aperture control will do nothing.
I suspect you're assuming that these adapter aperture rings will somehow lock securely when you rotate them to the "Lock" position or vice versa. In reality, there's no guarantee they will stay where you put them because the vast majority of these adapters are cheap disposable knockoffs made for a fraction of what they sell for. Some of them are so funky that simply mounting the lens on the camera can easily torque the adapter ring out of the delicate position you need them to stay in.

On the wide-angle zoom front, there are inexpensive alternatives to high-class Nikon glass: C-mount cine lenses originally designed for Super-8 video cameras. While there are a variety of vignetting and compatibility issues to beware of, the best of these can produce impressively cinematic results on the GH2. I've experimented with quite a few and the learning experience was well worth the rock-bottom entry fees.

M. Gilden
12-07-2011, 04:10 PM
I suspect you're assuming that these adapter aperture rings will somehow lock securely when you rotate them to the "Lock" position or vice versa. In reality, there's no guarantee they will stay where you put them because the vast majority of these adapters are cheap disposable knockoffs made for a fraction of what they sell for. Some of them are so funky that simply mounting the lens on the camera can easily torque the adapter ring out of the delicate position you need them to stay in.

On the wide-angle zoom front, there are inexpensive alternatives to high-class Nikon glass: C-mount cine lenses originally designed for Super-8 video cameras. While there are a variety of vignetting and compatibility issues to beware of, the best of these can produce impressively cinematic results on the GH2. I've experimented with quite a few and the learning experience was well worth the rock-bottom entry fees.

So you're saying having aperture control might not work all of the time. But not having it means it won't work ANY of the time! See where I'm going with this yet?

Again, if I'm using my vintage manual lenses, having the aperture control will just do nothing. Those lenses don't interface with it. Yet having the option means it could work should the situation arise. For an extra $2, I don't get what the fuss is about.

And for the record, Fotodiox isn't some no-name ebay knockoff company.

Ian-T
12-07-2011, 04:21 PM
I love Fotodiox BTW.

Lpowell
12-07-2011, 04:41 PM
So you're saying having aperture control might not work all of the time... For an extra $2, I don't get what the fuss is about.

And for the record, Fotodiox isn't some no-name ebay knockoff company.
No, what I'm saying is that most of these lock-ring adapters cannot be trusted to work reliably at any time. And in fact, vintage manual focus lenses do interface with the adapter lock-ring mechanism and rely on it to operate correctly at all times.

You describe yourself as a "Canon guy" and that may be part of the culture shock here. In some ways, the kingdom of Canon is similar to Apple's - a well-engineered world of components that are carefully designed to work together as you would expect - so long as you remain safely within its commercially-sanctioned boundaries. The GH2 'hood is more like Windows - a largely unregulated free enterprise zone rife with scavenged technology, where raspy incompatibilities and flakey merchandise are par for the course.

BTW, I happen to own a Fotodiox Canon FD adapter, and its built-in aperture ring is no more reliable than the rest.

M. Gilden
12-07-2011, 05:10 PM
Not exactly, what I'm saying is that most of these lock-ring adapters cannot be trusted to work reliably at any time.

You describe yourself as a "Canon guy" and that may be part of the culture shock here. In some ways, the kingdom of Canon is similar to Apple's - a well-engineered world of components that are carefully designed to work together as you would expect - so long as you remain safely within its commercially-sanctioned boundaries. The GH2 'hood is more like Windows - a largely unregulated free enterprise zone rife with scavenged technology, where raspy incompatibilities and flakey merchandise are par for the course.

BTW, I happen to own a Fotodiox Canon FD adapter, and its built-in aperture ring is no more reliable than the rest.

Careful- I know you are trying to help, but that tone can easily be interpreted as condescending.

Maybe I should try asking the question a different way: If I buy the version with the aperture ring, would it be any LESS reliable for my vintage primes than the one without?

Justyn
12-07-2011, 05:17 PM
I've had great success in using both Canon FD lenses and all of the Nikons that I've grabbed. Those with the Fstops and the G series newer ones. The adapter has a little lever that opens and closes the IRIS and it works really great. I think I paid about 20 bucks for each of them. On the other hand, I had a really bad experience trying to get some adapters to work with modern EOS lenses.. just didn't work at all. I think that the Redrock is possibly the best and only option. I tried the one that Bloom recommends and it didn't work on the Tamron zoom and or the 85mm Canon....


That being said.... I do understand the reluctance to buy a big deal of lenses but I can tell you that you WON"T loose your shirt if you buy some lenses to get you through on the GH2. The tokina is such a hot great little lens that I'm sure you'll get 90 percent of your money back and the same thing for the Voigtlander .95. Now that's a lens that truly stands to to toe with any Canon Fanboy offering... it's brilliant. You also might want to wait till the SLR magic comes out with their 12mm 1.6. You could also pick up the Olympus 12mm F2 that has autofocus and such...


I don't think a good lens purchase is one to worry on and in actuality the last series of lenses that I bought to use with a 5D, I sold them and actually made a profit... Pretty sweet! Good luck with the venture and we all do ourselves a good service by checking out what's out there and not being resigned to one camera. I know I certainly am not, but the GH2 is clearly the camera that I want to shoot video with even when I can use a 5D or a 7D for the same thing. I resign those cameras to shooting stills, but who knows what will happen in the future.


peace and respect!

Justyn
12-07-2011, 05:18 PM
Also... I second the idea of the Canon FD glass. I just picked up a 50mm 1.4 in mint condition for 60 bucks. That's a great lens for a super good price. I really want the 24mm 1.2 but that's really pricey. I will keep my eye out for sure...

Lpowell
12-07-2011, 05:23 PM
I'm not just trying to help, I'm trying to save you some grief. I've bought over a dozen adapters of various kinds and I've not seen a single one with a "Lock" ring that was reliable - on either G lenses or vintage primes.

M. Gilden
12-07-2011, 06:07 PM
I've had great success in using both Canon FD lenses and all of the Nikons that I've grabbed. Those with the Fstops and the G series newer ones. The adapter has a little lever that opens and closes the IRIS and it works really great. I think I paid about 20 bucks for each of them. On the other hand, I had a really bad experience trying to get some adapters to work with modern EOS lenses.. just didn't work at all. I think that the Redrock is possibly the best and only option. I tried the one that Bloom recommends and it didn't work on the Tamron zoom and or the 85mm Canon....

Thanks for the super helpful post, Justyn! So which adapter did you use, if you don't mind my asking?


I'm not just trying to help, I'm trying to save you some grief. I've bought over a dozen adapters of various kinds and I've not seen a single one with a "Lock" ring that was reliable - on either G lenses or vintage primes.

Maybe I'm missing something fundamental here, but isn't the lock mechanism just for controlling the aperture? What does it do for vintage primes? Is the lock supposed to also hold the lens in place or something?
It looks like the 2 adapters in question here are about the same, attaching to the body and lens in the same way, only one offers this extra feature of attempting to control the aperture if the lens is compatible.

If the aperture ring doesn't work, and I'm stuck using the same Nikon manual lenses that I would have been stuck using anyway, what would I lose aside from the $2 difference in price?

dishan
12-08-2011, 08:48 PM
I'm not sure why Ipowell is so negative- everyone else on the forum so far has been telling me to get lenses like the Tokina 11-16 in G-mount. Folks seem to like the fotodiox adapter with the apterture control, so I'm not sure what his fuss is about.
(Check his post history, btw. He just talks like that sometimes I guess)