PDA

View Full Version : GH2 What are the 3 best fixed lenses for cinematic look (under $1,000 total) ?



Julie_Freed
04-05-2012, 06:47 AM
I am torn on what to buy for my new GH2. After some advice on this board, I've decided to skip the zoom lens altogether and just go for prime. 3 of them for now. I would love recommendations for that cinema look. :)

roxics
04-05-2012, 07:04 AM
Cinema look is more than just the lenses. You could get some old Nikon or Canon primes if you want something a tad more vintage looking. But if you want something sharp and contrasty go for the panasonic glass. If you really want cinema, rent some Zeiss PL mount lenses with adapter. :)

Dan Pears
04-05-2012, 07:13 AM
I use the Voigtlander Nokton 25mm F0.95 and the Canon FD 50mm F1.8 with my Gh1. Sometimes I'd like something a bit wider, but otherwise I find with these two primes I've got most bases covered

The Nokton is pretty pricey at around $1000 but the 50mm FD was only $50 so evens out.

awelgraven
04-05-2012, 07:30 AM
Something in the 20-30mm region, a 50mm, and something long (I have a 105mm nikkor, but I'd probably rather have an 85mm lens)

I also really love the 20mm Panasonic lens... although people often say it's too sharp and video looking... I guess I haven't noticed...

Jaime Valles
04-05-2012, 09:28 AM
SLR Magic 12mm f/1.6 (http://www.dpreview.com/news/2011/11/10/slrmagic12_1p6) - $499
Canon FD 50mm f/1.4 (http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p5197.m570.l1313&_nkw=canon+fd+50mm+f1.4&_sacat=See-All-Categories) - Approx. $100 ($80 + FD to M4/3 adapter)
Rokinon 85mm f/1.4 (http://www.amazon.com/Rokinon-85M-C-Aspherical-Canon-Black/dp/B0025EWXEU) - $299

TOTAL= ~ $900

stoneinapond
04-05-2012, 09:31 AM
SLR Magic 12mm f/1.6 - $400
Canon FD 50mm f/1.4 - Approx. $100 ($80 + FD to M4/3 adapter)
Rokinon 85mm f/1.4 - $299

TOTAL= ~ $800

And if you can find something in the 20+ range for the last $200 (not the easiest thing, but doable), you'll be set.

Isaac_Brody
04-05-2012, 09:37 AM
Contax Zeiss 28mm f/2.8. Hands down my favorite lens to throw on my GH2.

Jaime Valles
04-05-2012, 09:44 AM
And if you can find something in the 20+ range for the last $200 (not the easiest thing, but doable), you'll be set.
I changed the totals a bit, because the 12mm is actually $499, not $400. But, still, $900 for three fast prime lenses is a sweet deal. As you said, throw on a 20-30mm lens in there and you have a complete working set for a little over $1000.

As for me, I went with the Voigtlander 25mm f/0.95 to fill that gap. Expensive (though I got it when it first came out for $850) but gorgeous.

EDIT - Well, look at that. I already have 1003 posts!

Mercatus
04-05-2012, 10:06 AM
is that SLR magic 12mm for sale anywhere? i would love to have that.

I'm currently working with panasanic's 20mm f/1.7, a canon nFd 28mm f/2.8, contax zeiss 50mm f/1.7, and rokinon 85mm f1.4. together the cost was under $800, and their cinematic qualities come from putting them to good use, not anything inherent to them.

mentatDUKE
04-05-2012, 10:30 AM
14mm nikon compatible
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Pro-Optic-14mm-f-2-8-Aspherical-Lens-Nikon-SLR-Cameras-PRO1428NK-/390361584332?pt=Camera_Lenses&hash=item5ae35d12cc

24mm nikkor f2 or 2.8
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Nikon-AF-Nikkor-24mm-f-2-8D-Lens-front-Rear-len-caps-IN-Great-condition-/320882847119?pt=Camera_Lenses&hash=item4ab61bad8f

35mm nikon f2 or 2.8
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Nikon-Nikkor-35mm-1-2-Lens-/270945818436?pt=Camera_Lenses&hash=item3f15a11744

Aki_Hartikainen
04-05-2012, 01:16 PM
- Minolta MD 28 f2.8
- Minolta MD Rokkor-X 45 f2
- Minolta MD 35-70 f3.5 Macro
- Olympus 0.8x wide converter

Total cost ~300 dollars including MD to m4/3 adapter. Full Big Picture lens set for cinema making.

Per Lichtman
04-05-2012, 02:53 PM
The aforementioned 25mm Nokton is amazing - easily worth the money and one of my favorite ones to rent.

But the most inexpensive lens I like to use wide open (for a softer look) is the Rokkor 58mm f/1.4 for the MD mount. They are low-priced and look great.

If you look at the singing footage, that was shot 1080P wide open with that lens. The flower shots were shot at 1280 50P with the lens wide open (very narrow angle shutter, often 1/4000), then slowed-down in post.


http://youtu.be/Q8SjuOGAJ9Q?hd=1


https://vimeo.com/39811189

P.S. Obviously the footage has been heavily graded. :)

DrDave
04-05-2012, 04:12 PM
The two lenses I use the most are the Panny 20 and the Olly 45. However, the Rokkor X 50/1.4, Vivitar 55mm macro, Nikon 85/2 and so on, these legacy lenses are so cheap!

dvxhutch
04-05-2012, 05:09 PM
is that SLR magic 12mm for sale anywhere? i would love to have that.

Go to their website and email them. It's available for preorder. Mine was 6 weeks delayed due to large demand, but it's worth it. GREAT LENS

To answer the OPs question:

Noktor 12mm 1.6~$499
Lumix Panckae 20mm 1.7~$350
Canon FD 50mm 1.4~$90 on ebay
Samyang 85mm 1.4~$250

TOTAL= $1189, just over, but you're set. Upgrade panckake to Voightlander 25mm 0.95 down the track.

Don't forget a Fader ND!

JeffHarriger
04-05-2012, 06:38 PM
I just clicked over to Amazon and looked at some I have and like, and might go with, assuming you're starting from nothing

Lumix 14mm used $213
Lumix 20mm used 380
Nikkor 35mm (f2) used $280 (I don't have any experience with the newer 1.8 which is 200 new

You could then get a 50 1.8 too for around 130. But that 1.6 12mm sounds pretty cool, so maybe move things around... blah blah blah. I will say I actually like the Lumix 14 (with exception of the awful focus by wire rings on the Panny lenses), and I know a lot of people don't seem to like it. I could live without a 50mm 90% of the time, and I just never grab an 85 anymore. I'm partial to Nikons myself, and love the F2 35. I have a 24 and 28, too, and again it depends on the focal ranges you think you'll use. My answer is completely non-definitive, but I'd err on the wide side, whichever brands you opt for.

Jaime Valles
04-05-2012, 07:20 PM
is that SLR magic 12mm for sale anywhere? i would love to have that.
I just placed an order myself for the SLR Magic 12mm f/1.6 here:
http://noktor.com/products.php

Just select which lens you want from the pull-down menu and click "add to cart" and that's it.

Julie_Freed
04-05-2012, 07:33 PM
The Voigtlander Nokton F0.95 25mm, is it a sharp picture, like too sharp? I read one comment that it's not a "film like" image.

mentatDUKE
04-05-2012, 08:26 PM
You may want to choose a lens that is manually focusable rather than electronic/autofocus. With the Nikons you can either rack focus by hand or attach a follow focus and do it that way. I'm not sure this is possible with some of the other suggestions.

Jaime Valles
04-05-2012, 08:46 PM
The Voigtlander Nokton F0.95 25mm, is it a sharp picture, like too sharp? I read one comment that it's not a "film like" image.
To my eye, the Voigtlander 25mm f/0.95 has an EXTREMELY film-like image. Especially when shooting with the aperture wide open, it's gorgeous. Not super-sharp and video-ish like some of the modern Lumix lenses. To me, this lens is THE cinematic lens on a GH2, and it cuts together very well with other vintage lenses, like the Canon FD 50mm f/1.4.

Here's a still from a test shoot I recently did with that lens. Straight out of the camera, no color correction or effects applied.

http://img205.imageshack.us/img205/1001/springtrees.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/205/springtrees.jpg/)

Julie_Freed
04-05-2012, 09:16 PM
Very nice :) thanks for posting! Do you think the SLR Magic HyperPrime 50mm f/0.95 is comparible to this Voigtlander 25mm in film-like image quality? I noticed they are nearly the same price and the exact same Aperture (f/0.95).

Or, perhaps a more apples to apples comparison, what about the SLR Magic HyperPrime 50m f/0.95 -vs- the Voigtlander 50mm f/1.1 ? Again, nearly the same price.

maranfilms
04-05-2012, 09:49 PM
Contax Zeiss 28mm f/2.8. Hands down my favorite lens to throw on my GH2.

My 28mm (Canon fd ssc 2.8) is usually my goto lens for my gh2 as well. I also like the fd 24mm, 2.8 as well.

Jaime Valles
04-05-2012, 09:59 PM
Very nice :) thanks for posting! Do you think the SLR Magic HyperPrime 50mm f/0.95 is comparible to this Voigtlander 25mm in film-like image quality? I noticed they are nearly the same price and the exact same Aperture (f/0.95).

Or, perhaps a more apples to apples comparison, what about the SLR Magic HyperPrime 50m f/0.95 -vs- the Voigtlander 50mm f/1.1 ? Again, nearly the same price.
Not sure. I read a review somewhere that didn't like it much. Let me see if I can find it...

Here it is:
http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/2010/03/03/the-noktor-50-f0-95-lens-review-diary/

But then Philip Bloom really liked it:
http://philipbloom.net/2010/03/10/review-of-noktor-f0-95-hyperprime-50mm-lens-for-micro-four-thirds/

So, tough for me to say without having used either one... But the Voigtlander 50mm f/1.1 is probably a better image than the Nokton 50mm f/0.95.

Julie_Freed
04-05-2012, 10:25 PM
Not sure. I read a review somewhere that didn't like it much. Let me see if I can find it...

Here it is:
http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/2010/03/03/the-noktor-50-f0-95-lens-review-diary/

But then Philip Bloom really liked it:
http://philipbloom.net/2010/03/10/review-of-noktor-f0-95-hyperprime-50mm-lens-for-micro-four-thirds/

So, tough for me to say without having used either one... But the Voigtlander 50mm f/1.1 is probably a better image than the Nokton 50mm f/0.95.

You're great. Thank you very much for being so helpful. :)

Per Lichtman
04-05-2012, 10:32 PM
@Julie_Freed The Nokton 25mm f/0.95 is one of my favorite lenses I have ever used. If I could only have one lens for my GH2 it might be that. The feeling I got using it was like the feeling I got when I strapped on a $10,000+ telephoto lens onto my Canon (the Canon 600mm f/4): this lens has got some special.

If you are shooting with it wider than f/2.0 it is a more on the soft side, but at f/2.8 and f/4.0 it is quite detailed.

In terms of how it compares to the Noktor and Nokton 50mm options, it is hard for me to say. But from the rather limited comparisons I checked out, I would give a definite edge to the Nokton 50mm over the Noktor.

Per Lichtman
04-05-2012, 10:36 PM
There are some decent test pics in this one between the Lumix 20mm and Nokton 25mm f/0.95 but the reviewer leaves out critical comparisons.

http://matthewduclos.wordpress.com/2011/06/08/voigtlander-25mm-f0-95-nokton-teardown/

In the review we see how shooting wide open with each lens compares. But we do not see how the Nokton performs at optimal apertures. In my own testing, the resolution increases drastically as you stop down and by f/2.8 it may be sharper than the Lumix 20mm at the same setting.

Per Lichtman
04-05-2012, 10:38 PM
If you shoot wide open with the Nokton, things tend to look intentionally soft and smooth and the bokeh is really nice. The bokeh on the Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 (already decent) seems a little harsh by comparison.

Per Lichtman
04-05-2012, 10:50 PM
Oh, and here are some shots I took using it at various apertures for comparison.

http://www.personal-view.com/talks/discussion/comment/26743#Comment_26743

daihard
04-05-2012, 11:14 PM
Cinema is not as defined as one would think.
Firstly, if you are going for a GH2... I think most people would agree, the Nikon lenses are the best bang for the buck and deliver a more "cinema look"
Personally, if your going primes. Then a 35mm f2, 50mm f1.8, and 85mm are the first lenses you should invest in. Also the 24/28mm are really nice, but awfully expensive.
So look at the Panasonic 20mm f1.7 pancake lens, and the newer 25mm f1.4 lens are really nice lenses to grab. Extremely sharp and fast focusing.
Mind you the crop factor of the GH2, so your looking at almost double everything you are using on the GH2. So the 35mm is closer to a 70mm lens. Which make the 20mm and the 25mm very valuable lenses for the money.

If you have the money, then a
Voigtländer
and some Zeiss lenses are good investments.
Four Thirds | Micro Four Thirds | Products(Lenses) (http://www.four-thirds.org/en/microft/lense.html)

Per Lichtman
04-05-2012, 11:15 PM
The Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 is very easy to get detail and focus out of, even in auto modes, so it is a pretty easy one to use.

DPStewart
04-05-2012, 11:30 PM
Everything I've seen out of that Voigtlander 25mm was insane. I mean really nice - a super "artful" look - not like Panny sharp lenses at all, and what folks are doing with it in low light is nearly unmatched.

Per Lichtman
04-05-2012, 11:32 PM
It is a really great lens. I have never tried the 50mm Noctilux (and it seems it handles coma much better) but at 25mm, there is nothing like it to date.

mcbob
04-06-2012, 06:40 AM
It all depends what you define as "cinematic," since cinema incorporates all kinds of different looks.

If you want images with great color and contrast, you may be able to get a Leica R Elmarit 28, Summicron 50, and Summicron 90 for about that much.

If you want low-contrast mushy 5D-ish stuff, Canon FD and Olympus OM lenses seem to yield that.

Julie_Freed
04-06-2012, 09:09 AM
@Julie_Freed The Nokton 25mm f/0.95 is one of my favorite lenses I have ever used. If I could only have one lens for my GH2 it might be that. The feeling I got using it was like the feeling I got when I strapped on a $10,000+ telephoto lens onto my Canon (the Canon 600mm f/4): this lens has got some special.

If you are shooting with it wider than f/2.0 it is a more on the soft side, but at f/2.8 and f/4.0 it is quite detailed.

In terms of how it compares to the Noktor and Nokton 50mm options, it is hard for me to say. But from the rather limited comparisons I checked out, I would give a definite edge to the Nokton 50mm over the Noktor.

I am very intrigued by the Nokton 25mm. Do you think it is far superior to, say, the Panasonic Leica 25mm f/1.4 Summilux? I have to admit, I do like the option of having autofocus if I needed it. But if the optics quality is far superior, I would be okay with the trade off.

Jaime Valles
04-06-2012, 11:28 AM
I am very intrigued by the Nokton 25mm. Do you think it is far superior to, say, the Panasonic Leica 25mm f/1.4 Summilux? I have to admit, I do like the option of having autofocus if I needed it. But if the optics quality is far superior, I would be okay with the trade off.
Another tough question. ;)

It will depend on your priorities. The Leica 25mm f/1.4 is probably sharper at all apertures than the Voigtlander 25mm f/0.95 and it has full autofocus features (and is much cheaper). But if you want to focus manually (like most video shooting requires) the all-metal Voigtlander has a terrific silky-smooth focus ring that the Leica can't match. It's also 1 stop faster, at the expense of sharpness and $$$.

So... my advice is: if you're going to be shooting mostly video, the Voigtlander is hard to beat in the 25mm range as far as build quality and aperture, and has that dreamy film look going for it. But if you'll use it primarily for still photography (autofocus), or if cash is a concern, the Leica is a great lens at a great price.

ipcmlr
04-06-2012, 11:55 AM
14mm f2.5 lumix - $170 new on ebay there are a bunch of sellers
20mm f1.7 lumix - $350 new
58mm f2 Helios 44 - $30 + $20 adaptor

Total - $570

12mm f1.6 slr magic is probably better than 14mm lumix -- add $330
I would rather get a used panasonic 14-140mm which sells for $400-450 used on ebay. Add that to your $570 and you get everything from wide to telephoto.

Julie_Freed
04-06-2012, 12:22 PM
Another tough question. ;)

It will depend on your priorities. The Leica 25mm f/1.4 is probably sharper at all apertures than the Voigtlander 25mm f/0.95 and it has full autofocus features (and is much cheaper). But if you want to focus manually (like most video shooting requires) the all-metal Voigtlander has a terrific silky-smooth focus ring that the Leica can't match. It's also 1 stop faster, at the expense of sharpness and $$$.

So... my advice is: if you're going to be shooting mostly video, the Voigtlander is hard to beat in the 25mm range as far as build quality and aperture, and has that dreamy film look going for it. But if you'll use it primarily for still photography (autofocus), or if cash is a concern, the Leica is a great lens at a great price.


Is the Voigtlander hard to focus without a monitor?

Jaime Valles
04-06-2012, 01:00 PM
Is the Voigtlander hard to focus without a monitor?
Any lens at f/1.4 or wider aperture will be hard to focus. That said, because of the long focus throw of the Voigtlander, it's probably a lot easier to manually focus than the Leica 25mm. Obviously, the autofocus on the Leica will be much faster than manual focus on the Voigtlander.

But using the GH2's 1:1 focus assist works wonders. I routinely shoot stuff with that lens on my GH2 without a monitor and I can get focus tack sharp using the magnification feature. It just takes a few seconds.

Peter J. DeCrescenzo
04-06-2012, 01:06 PM
Some additional lens resources, if they haven't been mentioned already:

Detailed evaluations of old manual Nikon Nikkor "F" (full frame SLR) prime lenses:
http://www.naturfotograf.com/lens_surv.html#top1
http://www.photosynthesis.co.nz/nikon/lenses.html

KEH is a long-time dealer of used & new camera gear, including old Nikkor lenses, graded & priced by condition:
http://www.keh.com/Camera/format-35mm/system-Nikon-Manual-Focus/category-Fixed-Focal-Length-Lenses?s=1&bcode=NK&ccode=6&cc=80342&r=WG&f

I currently own the following Nikkor F prime lenses: 24mm f2.8, 35mm f2, 55mm f1.2, and 85mm f1.8 "HC". All are Nikon "AI" type except for the 55mm f1.2 which is "non-AI". Aperture & focus on these lenses are fully manual.

These Nikkors are fairly sharp, especially considering their cost & age, @ f2.8 or higher. The ones I bought are KEH "BGN" (bargain) grade, which KEH says are optically perfect but may have wear marks on the barrel, etc. KEH has very good customer service & return/exchange policies.

B&H also stocks some used lenses, but typically has a much smaller inventory of them compared to KEH. If you're inclined toward eBay, check there, too.

I use lens mount adapters from Fotodiox to mount these lenses to GH2 & Sony FS100 cameras:
http://www.fotodiox.com/product_info.php?products_id=476
http://www.fotodiox.com/product_info.php?products_id=727&osCsid=0b7e1fbadbdfa3e88644f6fe7ae0b085

Some new, modern lenses have their advantages, such as uber-sharpness, or improved anti-flare coatings, or resistance to internal reflections, and so forth. But so far I'm enjoying using these +45-year-old lenses. They have a certain warmth that helps take some of the "edge" off digital video. Plus, old Nikkor (and Canon FD & other) full-frame lenses can be adapted to almost all cameras.

There are various companies that can convert non-AI Nikkor lenses to AI, necessary for compatibility with newer cameras (including the new Nikon D800). Some of these companies can also de-click lenses to allow smooth, silent exposure changes. I haven't used the following service, but they come recommended. I'm sure there are many others:
http://www.aiconversions.com/images/AIOrderForm011026.htm
http://www.chr-breitkopf.de/photo/aiconv.en.html

For most shoots I find f2.8 provides plenty shallow (narrow) DOF, and in many situations too shallow. Obviously that's a subjective thing, and also depends on focal length, production design, light levels, ISO, shutter speed, etc.

I typically use individual Tiffen ND filters instead of a variable-ND (dual polarizer). Although less convenient, ND filters are generally less-expensive, and also much sharper than all but the most expensive vari-ND.

Cheers.

EDIT: I've attached an example frame shot using a Sony FS100 (in 1080p24 mode, 1/48th sec. shutter, with +9db gain) approx. 8' from the subject, with an old Nikkor 85mm f1.8 "H-C" lens @ f2.8, with black pro-mist 1/2 & polarizer filters in the matte box. In my experience a GH2 would look very similar to this, but a bit noisier (the much more expensive FS100 records very low noise video). The primary light source was a 650-w. tungsten fixture in a 32" china ball positioned about 5' from the subject. The grey background cloth was approx. 12' behind the subject.

51868

Julie_Freed
04-06-2012, 01:13 PM
Any lens at f/1.4 or wider aperture will be hard to focus. That said, because of the long focus throw of the Voigtlander, it's probably a lot easier to manually focus than the Leica 25mm. Obviously, the autofocus on the Leica will be much faster than manual focus on the Voigtlander.

But using the GH2's 1:1 focus assist works wonders. I routinely shoot stuff with that lens on my GH2 without a monitor and I can get focus tack sharp using the magnification feature. It just takes a few seconds.

Sorry for all the dumb questions, but I have another. :) Can the 1:1 focus assist work while recording? Or only before?

Peter J. DeCrescenzo
04-06-2012, 01:24 PM
Only before. However, the GH2's EVF will display a slight shimmer (slight aliasing) when a detailed image is in focus, which helps a bit.

ipcmlr
04-06-2012, 01:30 PM
I'd love to see what you think looks cinema vs what doesnt look cinema. An example video would be cool.

DPStewart
04-06-2012, 03:07 PM
I'd love to see what you think looks cinema vs what doesnt look cinema. An example video would be cool.

I think that most folks could go with the following description:
"Not overly sharp or literal in color reproduction in the manner that VIDEO has shown it can excel at - (especially in the application of forensics and documentation)."

CINEMATOGRAPHY aspects aside - some lenses really just really give a different look. "Cinematic" is defined differently by too many people to be useful. The term "artful" might be better maybe. When I say the Voightlander .9 looks artful - I mean it can produce looks that may remind you of something you might see on an art gallery wall. In many cases it will give a very different look than the 4 most popular Panasonic lenses even when pointed at the same scene with the same camera settings.
These 'artful' looks may indeed by technically less realistic looking, but in a manner that most viewers seem to identify as pleasant or appealing.

Justyn
04-06-2012, 09:41 PM
You can get the SLR magic direct. I use it probably even more than the nockton.. which I love. Something you just need something that wide and the stopless aperature is great. That is by far the best deal on the market for a fast wide...


I also like the 35mm 1.4 that a few places make. That's my next purchase. I've got about 4K invested in lens, but it's still not enough and there's gaps in there that I see. Like the 7-14 is pricey, but sometimes it's the only thing that will work.. and it looks great!

Justyn
04-06-2012, 09:54 PM
The Nokton people also announced a new micro 4/3 lens that sounds fantastic. It has the ability to turn off the stepped aperature. IT's a 17mm .95. To me, man that might be the super special spot. I love the 25 but it's limiting cause it's really a 50, but it depends. I wish I could get eveything I want.... LOL