I just noticed that Panasonic 12-35mm F2.8 was just announced and people are all amazed about this. This got me thinking. This newly release Panasonic lens is only equivalent to a pedestrian 24-70mm F5.6 full frame lens. Coming from a 7d, I'm not impressed.
Why didn't Panasonic make a faster lens? Perhaps a 12-35mm F1.4. That would be as fast as a F2.8 on a full frame and have similar Depth of Field. Is the GH1/2 sensor so small that its virtually impossible to make really fast lens? Heck, there's a few F1.4 canon lenses made for the full frame and Apsc sized sensors - doesn't seem to be a big deal for the manufacturers to make. To have the same depth of field on a gh1/2, the M43 lens has to be at least as wide as f0.7; I don't think there are any lenses with a wider aperture than the voigtlander f.95 -- and even at its widest, the voigtlander has haze.
Is the M43 just a stop gap? Will it ever be physically able to compete with the APSC/full frame sensors (especially DOF). I want to buy more equipment for the m43 system, but if its a dead end system -- then perhaps, i will not buy so much stuff and wait for the apsc/full frame manufactures to get their act together. It seems that it would be able easier for companies to create a APSC/full frame camera with all the benefits of the M43 system (resolution, sharpness, colors, etc), than a M43 system with all the benefits of the APSC/full frame camera.
Heck, everyone gets a tizzy for the voigtlander f.96 -- but on the APSC/full frame sensors; this lens would be aprox equivalent to F2. - nothing that people should bust a nut over. In addition, the F2 in the APSC/fullframe world would be a lot cheaper. Heck, the canon 50mm, F1.8 is only around $100. The voigtlander F.95 is over a thousand and has worst optics...
Am I wrong about all of this? By the way, I did just buy an gh2 and I am waiting for an adapter from ebay so I'm not trying to put down the M43 system -- just trying to be realistic.
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05-21-2012 09:01 AM
- Join Date
- Jun 2009
05-21-2012 09:25 AM
- Join Date
- Dec 2008
- Charlottesville, va
It's only equivalent to a 24-70/5.6 in terms of DOF characteristics. It's approx. equivalent to a 24-70/2.8 in terms of FOV and light handling. That means you can get proper exposure and actually retain a useable depth of focus, so you're not constantly hunting or having your interviewee go blurry if they lean in forward slightly.
Ultra fast zooms get obscenely large quickly. Compare the weight of the Olympus 14-35/2.0 vs. the ~12oz of this new X lens, for instance. Faster cine-zooms are available... and you're not going to be dangling those unsupported too easily.
m43 has some of the fastest professional lenses available in the Voigtlander 17.5 and 25 f0.95 (and can also use various ultra-expensive ultra-fast 50's in things like Leica M mount - or just about any other lens). Yes, their DOF is the same as a full-frame f2... which is just about perfect in practical use. Try a 50/0.95 on a full frame wide open sometime and see if you can keep anything that moves at all in focus for more than two seconds.
Personally, I don't think there's any better system for things like travel and documentary... you can get exposure AND focus, can easily blur backgrounds when needed, and all in a size far easier to tote than the equivalent speed and range in full frame or APS-C lenses.
Last edited by mcbob; 05-21-2012 at 09:31 AM.
05-21-2012 09:30 AM
You're seeing it the wrong way. The aperture you're looking at here is only based around DoF. So while the DoF of the 12-35 is equivalent to that of a 5.6, it's still a 2.8 light wise.
There's a very good reason they didn't make it an F1.4. Because that is REALLY hard to build.
Zooms and wideangles (this is both) requires many elements, meaning a lot of light loss and larger elements for a bigger opening, costing more and so on. So to get it to be a 1.4 it would not only have to be a lot bigger, it would cost A LOT more. A 2.8 zoom is standard for a fast zoom, most ones that are faster costs a lot more.
Primes are much easier to build, that's why you see many fast primes.
But last... You're one of those guys who's obsessed with short DoF, right? You'd love to shoot at 1.4 on a 5D?
This is something the DSLR generation has brought something that I can not stand. Sorry.
Professionally, you rarely want to go below 2.8, with the prefered aperture for cinema is 4 or 5.6.
At that aperture you get proper depth of field, making sure the actors are always in focus, the lens performs better and so on.
Trust me, get out there and do some jobs as a focus puller and come back to me saying you want that short DoF after having to pull of a crane shot... Please do.
But really, a 2.8 is a decently fast zoom. An aperture is always the same and will always give the same amount of light, while the DoF might change... But we're cinematographers! Full frame for us isn't a 5D. For a long time the standard was academy film, which is equivalent to GH2 in size. It's only lately it's gone over to Super-35 (or APS-C sized).
05-21-2012 10:31 AM
- Join Date
- Jun 2009
Wow, coming from a image (dslr) backgroup , IMHO, it looks like there will always be issues with DOF on the M43 format. I'm not a DOF addict, but sometimes its nice to blur out the people in the background who are doing things they shouldn't (i.e., picking their nose, etc). Oh, well, looks like the GH2 will be a stop gap camera until the other manufacturers get their act together. Geeze, 2lbs for a Olympus 14-35/2.0 @ $2,300.. man... thats rough. In any case, maybe I'm just thinking of it all wrong. After all, at the end of the day, all camera's are "stop gap" until the next, whiz bang camera comes out. hahaha.. thanks for all the info though ;-) I'll just start to appreciate all the other benefits of the gh2 (sharpness, bit rate, etc.)..
Last edited by eleison; 05-21-2012 at 10:36 AM.
05-21-2012 10:55 AM
- Join Date
- May 2005
I didn't find a price indication of what this lens may be, but from the site, it seems that Panasonic only has a couple of lenses over $1K, and if this one is a constant aperture lens, perhaps it'll be in the $1K
range... but I'll bet it will still be cheaper than the older version of the Canon lens.
As for the Holy Grail of Paper Thin DoF... When I first arrived on Planet DVXUSER many people where madly putting on adapters on to their SD video camera to get the thinest of DoF, and still wondering why the did not get that 'cinematic' look... The video DSLR revolution has not changed that sort of attitude among some. However there are many more who are now really looking at 'film' and understanding that shallow DoF is only a small number of shots, and that f/4-f5.6 are often fine. The biggest cinematic look is in lighting... and talent in front of the camera... relative to what the viewer perceives... and of course the telnet behind the camera to make the image happen...
Oh, yeah, the other item that has come to the fore is the Holy Grail of One Photon Image Formation... shooting with wide open 'fast' lenses, at inconceivablely high ISO values...
And then wonder why their efforts still don't produce 'cinematic' quality...
And heck, if one does want phenomenally fast lens... one can with an adapter find any number of solutions...
Personally I'm looking for a 500mm F/1.4 Panasonic Lumix offering... because I want to go into the business of spying on celebs and selling their back porch midnight escapades to the gossip rags...
Panasonic has really let me down in my future cash cow potential...
05-21-2012 12:03 PM
- Join Date
- Sep 2003
The f/2.8 lens is going to perform exactly the same, in terms of light and sensitivity, as a 2.8 lens on any other camera.
Heck, I would love to have a f2.8 APSC equivalent zoom in the GH2 mount. Sadly, that doesn't really exist.
Wow, coming from a image (dslr) backgroup , IMHO, it looks like there will always be issues with DOF on the M43 format.
05-21-2012 01:00 PM
I'll use mostly primes when working video, and not wanting to go exotic prices for exotic optics, two of the primes I've chosen for the GH2 are the Lumix 20mm f1.7 and the Olympus Zuiko 45mm f1.8
With the Canon 60D I get essentially the same kind of perspectives with the EF 28mm f1.8 and the original metal barrel EF 50mm f1.8
You want a "fast" zoom, that would be one heckuva convenience but I don't want to pay for what it would cost. So I'll work with affordable optics that will do it.