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    Lens Options for the Panasonic GH4
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    Senior Member Sol M.'s Avatar
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    I'm writing a series of guides on lens options for the GH4. This series is particularly suited to those coming over from other platforms (Canon, Nikon, etc.), but it should also give experienced M43 shooters some ideas. The goal of this series is to get you up to speed so that you can hit the ground running by the time you receive your GH4.
    Last edited by Sol M.; 04-23-2014 at 11:25 PM.


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    Good Start. Easy to understand. The list of native lenses contains the ones I am most familiar with. Also the mention of Focus By Wire is welcomed. Had I known about the dreaded FBW my lens buying choices would have been quite different.

    If the focus change rate wasn't contingent upon the speed of the barrel adjustment these lenses wouldn't be so bad. I manually focus everything and having the focus rate change depending on how fast you adjust the barrel is something I just never adapted to. Wish there was a firmware option to remove this unwelcome feature.
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    Senior Member Sol M.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Lantern View Post
    If the focus change rate wasn't contingent upon the speed of the barrel adjustment these lenses wouldn't be so bad. I manually focus everything and having the focus rate change depending on how fast you adjust the barrel is something I just never adapted to. Wish there was a firmware option to remove this unwelcome feature.
    Completely agree. I can deal with the focus-by-wire and the lack of hard stops (you can lock it off using a follow focus with hard stops), but the variable focusing "feature" makes these lenses unusable when hitting specific focus marks is necessary. Nice for macro photography where fine adjustment is necessary, terrible for video production, which is sad because Panny's and Oly's glass are quite nice.


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    Senior Member Jaime Valles's Avatar
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    Great articles!

    Don't forget to add the Panasonic Lumix 7-14mm f/4 lens. Excellent super-wide angle (non-fisheye) for m4/3, and not very expensive. One of my favorite lenses to use with a GH3.
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    Post deleted. All my line breaks disappear, and I can't format the message as intended. (WTF!!!)

    Found the problem. Damned yahooapis needs to run. (I really hate it when sites rely on third-party scripts).
    Last edited by Jim Simon; 04-17-2014 at 05:04 PM.


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    Member bboyfasteddie's Avatar
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    darn, i wish i saw this earlier. i pre-ordered a gh4 primarily for video. i'm coming from an ENG broadcast background so DSLR/DSLM style shooting is completely new to me, and i currently own no DSLR or MFT lenses. i ordered a follow focus and lumix 14-140 without a second thought, thinking manual focus would be fine with that combo. this is the first time for me hearing about the focus by wire issues, and now i'm concerned. i'm not really used to relying on AF for video, but it sounds like using a follow focus on these lenses is too difficult. so if i use native lenses i guess i have to use AF? kinda throws my whole lens purchasing plans into a loop, now i'm even more seriously considering non-native lenses. btw i was planning on using the camera for one man band event/wedding video and possibly some documentary filming.


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    Hey Jaime

    How is this lens indoors? F/4 is more than adequate for outdoors with decent sunlight, but you kind of lose the ability to get shallow depth of field. Really looking forward to the Olympus 7-14 f/2.8

    Nice shot by the way!


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    Senior Member Michael Carter's Avatar
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    Really helpful info on native lenses (for DSLRs I've always been a Canon/Nikon guy but the GH4 has caught my interest)...

    On the overview though:

    ..."the one camera to rule them all..." I almost closed the page right there. F*cking please. Don't publish stuff that suggests you've had a head injury so severe that you don't even recall having a head injury. There's no camera to rule them all. If there were, it would be the Epic. Or maybe the Alexa. See? But it sure as hell ain't a DSLR, especially one that doesn't shoot raw.

    Rant over.

    ..."With MFT, nothing stands between the lens and the sensor."
    When I shoot video (or even stills) with my Nikon or Canon DSLRs, nothing comes between the lens and the sensor either. The mirror rotates up. Video isn't shot from the mirror, neither are stills. The mirror is only there when shooting stills without live view, it's used for framing and focusing. It seems the GH4 may have near-prores codec quality, to the card, and that's impressive. No need to sound misleading about mirrorless' impact on image quality.


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    Senior Member Sol M.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaime Valles View Post
    Don't forget to add the Panasonic Lumix 7-14mm f/4 lens. Excellent super-wide angle (non-fisheye) for m4/3, and not very expensive. One of my favorite lenses to use with a GH3.
    Price might be subjective, but I wouldn't exactly call that lens cheap either at $900+. It's a rather niche lens with a very specific use-case. When you need to go wide though, it fits the bill.

    Quote Originally Posted by bboyfasteddie View Post
    darn, i wish i saw this earlier. i pre-ordered a gh4 primarily for video. i'm coming from an ENG broadcast background so DSLR/DSLM style shooting is completely new to me, and i currently own no DSLR or MFT lenses. i ordered a follow focus and lumix 14-140 without a second thought, thinking manual focus would be fine with that combo. this is the first time for me hearing about the focus by wire issues, and now i'm concerned. i'm not really used to relying on AF for video, but it sounds like using a follow focus on these lenses is too difficult. so if i use native lenses i guess i have to use AF? kinda throws my whole lens purchasing plans into a loop, now i'm even more seriously considering non-native lenses. btw i was planning on using the camera for one man band event/wedding video and possibly some documentary filming.
    If you can no longer return the lens, then you still have some options. While I definitely would not plan on relying on the lens' AF, using a friction follow focus (or converting your current FF to turn the focus ring with friction rather than gears) will allow you to at least reach both ends of the focal range. Here's a good overview of converting a conventional FF to a friction FF. You still won't get repeatable focus (e.g. based on marks you set on the FF).

    If you don't need the extreme range of the 14-140, have a look at Olympus' 12-40 f/2.8. It's a native lens, but the focus ring can be switched into a mode with hard stops and repeatable focus (with distance markings and all). Some of Oly's other lenses also have a clutched focus ring such as the 12mm f/2 and 17mm f/1.8.


    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Carter View Post
    ..."the one camera to rule them all..." I almost closed the page right there.
    Waitaminit, not everyone's web browsers understands the <sarcasm> tags I painstakingly added?!? Here's the thing, every new camera is the "best camera ever", so the only thing you can do is poke fun at it.

    Thanks for the heads-up though, I'll follow up with those <sarcasm> tags, you better believe it. (did it work there?)
    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Carter View Post
    When I shoot video (or even stills) with my Nikon or Canon DSLRs, nothing comes between the lens and the sensor either. The mirror rotates up. Video isn't shot from the mirror, neither are stills. The mirror is only there when shooting stills without live view, it's used for framing and focusing. It seems the GH4 may have near-prores codec quality, to the card, and that's impressive. No need to sound misleading about mirrorless' impact on image quality.
    Nothing was mentioned regarding a connection between mirrorless and image quality. However, the post does state:

    MFT is a modern system and does away with the mirror completely.
    The key word here is modern. True, the mirror does not block the sensor when taking pictures or video in a conventional SLR. That's what makes Mirrorless modern-- it does away with that vestigial attachment.

    Thanks for the feedback though, I'll work on making things clearer in future posts in the series.


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    Senior Member Jaime Valles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by True North View Post
    Hey Jaime

    How is this lens indoors? F/4 is more than adequate for outdoors with decent sunlight, but you kind of lose the ability to get shallow depth of field. Really looking forward to the Olympus 7-14 f/2.8

    Nice shot by the way!
    Thanks!

    It's certainly not the best lens in low light because of the f/4 maximum aperture, but for landscapes it can't be beat. The upcoming Olympus 7-14mm f/2.8 should definitely be better for indoor use, and I'm very much looking forward to seeing it in action.

    As for shallow depth of field, when it's such a wide angle I don't know that you can even get shallow depth of field regardless of aperture. My guess is it's either going to be sharp, or sharper.
    Last edited by Jaime Valles; 04-18-2014 at 12:02 AM.
    Jaime VallÚs
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