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QuickHitRecord

My Lens Kit: Thinning the Herd

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[color=#222222][font=Helvetica Neue', Arial, Verdana, sans-serif][size=4][background=rgb(255, 255, 255)]Somewhere between ditching my Canon 7D and now (shooting primarily video with my GH2), I have bitten off more than I can chew. I have acquired more than twenty lenses, many of which I rarely or never use. With this much glass, I do not feel like I know and love my kit like I used to, so I have decided to pare things down to include only the lenses that I am most excited about.

Some considerations:[/background][/size][/font][/color][list]
[*]I prefer the character of older lenses.
[*]I shoot a lot of anamorphic footage these days, so I don't want any lenses that have barrels that rotate when focusing or that have large-diameter front elements. 55mm is about as big of filter size as I want to deal with. Also, it may be a petty consideration but having a standard 52mm filter size across as many lenses as possible is appealing to me from a convenience standpoint.
[*]Though I'd like to have a go-to, image-stabilized lens in my kit (I'm looking at you, 12-35mm Lumix X), I want to wait until the GH3 specs are announced -- it's a stretch, but in-body stabilization could void the need for this.
[*]I am trying to think about the future. I want lenses that I can take to another camera system should the situation arise.
[/list]
Here is what I am thinking about keeping:[list=1]
[*]12mm SLR Magic f1.6 -- Mostly for steadicam work.
[*]25mm Voigtlander Nokton f0.95 -- Good all-round low-light lens.
[*]40mm Konica AR f1.8 -- Sharp, compact, and works well with my anamorphic lenses.
[*]55mm Nikkor Micro AI-S f2.8 -- Mostly used for product photography.
[*]58mm Helios 44 f2 -- Interesting bokeh, is a perfect fit for one of my anamorphics.
[*]85mm Nikkor Non-AI-S f1.8 -- Fast, and a great focal length for interviews.
[*]100mm-300mm Lumix f4-5.6 -- For wildlife shooting.
[/list]
I think that this represents a good range with little redundancy. But there are some shooters with a lot more experience than I have on these boards and I'd be curious to hear what you think, or what you have in your lens bag.

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EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs
I don't consider the Voightländer a good all-round. The Panleica 25mm does that job much better with the Voightländer stepping in for extreme low-light. I find the Voightländer to be too way soft compared to the Leica.

55mm sound a bit long for product photography unless the products are quite small. For hand-sized to arm-sized objects I use the 25mm with about a step distance. Why the longer one? Distortion?

An f1.8 sounds a bit expensive for non-improvised interviews with ample light.

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I'm no expert, and still building my lens collection, but have had great pleasure using my heavy Olympus Zuiko 11-22/ 2.8-3.5, Konica AR 40/1.8 and AR 135/2.5 . I'm hoping to find a Konica AR 85/1.8

The kit 14-42 lens is residing on my B camera GF2...

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[quote name='marcuswolschon' timestamp='1343823654' post='14776']I don't consider the Voightländer a good all-round. The Panleica 25mm does that job much better with the Voightländer stepping in for extreme low-light. I find the Voightländer to be too way soft compared to the Leica.[/quote]

I have never used the Panasonic Leica 25mm. Is it stabilized? The Voigtlander is a touch soft but I can rely on it. My GH2 in particular struggles with low-light. I don't trust it not to band anywhere above 640 ISO. It's good to have a lens in my kit that can produce usable video in all but the worst lighting conditions.

The 12-35mm Lumix may end up becoming that all-round lens for me. I had the 17-55mm EF-S with the 7D and it was so useful that I rarely took it off the camera. But it does seem like it might be a bit clinical and I am trying to stay away from that.

[quote name='marcuswolschon' timestamp='1343823654' post='14776']55mm sound a bit long for product photography unless the products are quite small. For hand-sized to arm-sized objects I use the 25mm with about a step distance. Why the longer one? Distortion?
[/quote]

I bought it for another purpose but found that it is great for shooting close up shots of products. Very little distortion, and I can get the camera to within [i]inches[/i] of the subject. For eBay product shots, I can show people a lot of detail.

[quote name='marcuswolschon' timestamp='1343823654' post='14776']An f1.8 sounds a bit expensive for non-improvised interviews with ample light.[/quote]

It's a non-AI. I was able to pick it up for about $100. It is a bit heavy though. I am considering switching to the slightly more expensive Nikkor AI-S 85mm f2, which is much smaller and lighter (and sharper from what I hear).

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[quote name='kirk' timestamp='1343831722' post='14782']I'm no expert, and still building my lens collection, but have had great pleasure using my heavy Olympus Zuiko 11-22/ 2.8-3.5, Konica AR 40/1.8 and AR 135/2.5 . I'm hoping to find a Konica AR 85/1.8[/quote]

I love the Konica 40mm too. I didn't even know that they made an 85mm, but I gather from what you say that they aren't easy to find. If you are able to get by with three lenses, then I envy you!

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The Leica is not stabilized but has AF (I find that helpful to catch lot's of 10 second B-roll clips and to pull out the camera and record instantly when something unexpected happens), is much sharper and has much less problems with halos around small light sources.
(My Voightländer has purple halos around small but intense lights in dark scenes and I find the overall colors less accurate but of cause it stll produces footage at all where all other lenses have to give up.)

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I own the Leica 25mm and it's not stabilized. But it is very sharp, produces very nice bokeh. Not a great test, but you can check my raw video on youtube:

http://youtu.be/fegdWuleupE

Tried to do some shallow DOF:

http://youtu.be/bDEEfWSn9Ho

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[quote name='QuickHitRecord' timestamp='1343836999' post='14784']


I have never used the Panasonic Leica 25mm. Is it stabilized? The Voigtlander is a touch soft but I can rely on it. My GH2 in particular struggles with low-light. I don't trust it not to band anywhere above 640 ISO. It's good to have a lens in my kit that can produce usable video in all but the worst lighting conditions.

The 12-35mm Lumix may end up becoming that all-round lens for me. I had the 17-55mm EF-S with the 7D and it was so useful that I rarely took it off the camera. But it does seem like it might be a bit clinical and I am trying to stay away from that.



I bought it for another purpose but found that it is great for shooting close up shots of products. Very little distortion, and I can get the camera to within [i]inches[/i] of the subject. For eBay product shots, I can show people a lot of detail.



It's a non-AI. I was able to pick it up for about $100. It is a bit heavy though. I am considering switching to the slightly more expensive Nikkor AI-S 85mm f2, which is much smaller and lighter (and sharper from what I hear).
[/quote]

I have the 85 ais f2. It never leaves my gh2. I love the look. I'm on my phone so it's a bit of a pain to post a link, but hop on vimeo and look up "Jubilee" by jeremy woods.

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