Wide angle lens meant for smaller sensor sizes,or Super 8 have never been much good on Micro 4/3rds.
They still aren’t!
This is a shame because there is currently a really fast wide for the GH2 and AF100 like a F1.4 12mm or 14mm.
The nearest we get from Panasonic is the 14mm F2.5, and for my taste that is neither quite wide enough or quite fast enough. Reviews of the Lumix have been rather mixed as well but the excellent Tokina 11-16mm F2.8 is worth a look provided you don’t do extreme low light with it.
I have some huge exclusive news coming regarding a fast wide lens next week.
Currently the 5D Mark II remains the camera of choice for fast wides but the GH2’s better video processing means it resolves more detail which is great for wide shots – with hardly any noticeable moire or aliasing.
The look I am after is a wide field of view, but maintaining a fast aperture and some nice bokeh on portrait shots, with minimal distortion. Like this:
Now I love Computar’s TV lenses, they are super sharp at fast apertures. The 25mm F1.3 is one of my favourite lenses, even though it vignettes slightly and is rather soft in the corners – it all adds to the charm. It’s like an L version of SLR-Magic’s Toy Lens, similar effect but much higher quality. The 75mm F1.4 is also very sharp in the middle even wide open, whilst the 50mm F1.3 is an absolute gem – far better than rival c-mount TV brands like Cosmicar-Pentax and dare I say it Canon’s own TV lenses.
To get a wide field of view equivalent to 24mm on a 5D Mark II we need a 12mm lens on the GH2. Putting wide angle c-mount lenses on a GH2 however is a flawed idea if you have to use crop mode.
Enabling crop mode to get rid of vignetting on a standard 8mm c-mount lens means that the field of view ends up less wide than my lovely 25mm F1.3 – so you may ask, what is the point?
Worse, I have found that most wide c-mount lenses protrude frighteningly close to the sensor.
Some c-mount adapters are thinner than others too, so it’s pointless measuring the lens alone. You never are quite sure on sight whether or not the lens will screw right into the sensor, and if it does then you will need a new camera.
It gets scarier. Micro 4/3rds cameras (apart from the AF100) still use a mechanical shutter, a very delicate precision engineered curtain which whips down over the sensor at high speed. I have no idea how that delicate mechanical part would react when it encounters the back of a c-mount lens, and frankly I have no desire to find out!
Put simply, I’d avoid buying anything wider than 25mm when shopping for c-mount lenses, unless it’s a zoom. My 10-150mm zoom does not protrude any further back than a normal c-mount lens, thankfully – but it does vignette so I have to use it in crop mode rendering the 10mm wide end not very wide at all.
As for the 8mm it will break your camera if you take a photo by accident. Snap! (Literally). I’ve done my calculations and 8mm is around 38mm in full frame terms when used on the GH2 in Ex-Tele crop mode. It just isn’t worth it!