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Purchasing the GH2, need help finding a lens to go with it..


craigbuckley
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I don't want the kit lens that comes with the GH2 on amazon, so which lens should I purchase? I am mainly purchasing this for shooting short films... Do I need an adapter for all lenses on this camera? What would be the best lens for video??

And second question, with the GH2, can I easily edit the footage in FCP X? That is my editing software...

Thanks guys!

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Few questions first:

1. What are you shooting? Do you need wide, normal, and/or telelphoto to tell your story? Will it be in daylight or at night/indoors?
2. What's your lens budget? Are cheap primes OK with you (requiring switching out depending on the situation), or do you need an all in one solution (or however close you can get)?
3. Do you need autofocus? Do you have a monitor with focus peaking, or do you need the camera to be able to lock onto the subject?

I actually just picked up the 14-42 kit lens, and it's not bad at all. I primarily use Nikon 2.8 zooms, a few primes, and one big Canon ENG zoom (all with adapters), and really the worst part of the kit lens is its lack of constant aperture. The AF comes in handy, making it quick to get accurate focus instead of relying on my monitor with focus peaking. The lens is very small and light, making the setup featherweight and easy to deal with compared to a standard DSLR (used to shoot with a D7000).

Not 100% sure about FCP X, but I have heard of people having issues with using the MTS files on a Mac. Pick up 5DtoRGB and convert to ProRes and you should be fine. It also significantly improves the quality on the chroma side of things, smoothing out the otherwise chunky color that 4:2:0 encodes.

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I like the idea of purcashing old prime lenses to get the real film look (which I have read about), but I do not have a monitor... IS there an all in one adapter I can get so I can purchase some nice old prime lenses? I am going to get the kit lens that comes with it, I just want have a nicer lens as well. My budget is 200-400 for the nicer lens.. I am looking on amazon. I heard the Canon FD series can give a good look. Any recommendations out there?

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Canon and Nikon are pretty similar, though Nikons tend to be a bit sharper more often than not, especially when you get to the higher end primes that are also more contrasty and colorful. There are adapters for each specific brand/lens mount. Even the cheap ones work (around $25), though may need a bit of tightening (slip a knife in the prongs of the mount). If you look hard enough, you can probably get an old F/1.8-2.8 prime between 28-55mm without issues for as low as $50, though they usually hover around $100. Go wider/longer/faster and the price starts to go up.

The biggest limitation when using primes on a GH2 is when it comes to wide angles. You'll usually find down to 28mm cheaply enough, but things start to get more expensive past that. Primes tend to bottom out at 20mm, too, which is about a 40mm equivalent on the GH2. Not very wide. I have a Nikon-mount Tokina 11-16mm F/2.8 so I can go wider than that (about 22-32, wide enough), though it's above your suggested budget at $650 (and needs a slightly more expensive adapter because no aperture ring). Sigma makes a cheaper, slower, wide angle lens that can work, too. A bonus to these is that under good lighting, you can use ETC mode's additional 2.6x crop for a normal field of view. Like having two lenses in one! :)

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Thanks for the response. I am going to drop the kit lens and pick up the 20mm pancake, and then pick up 1 prime lens. The canon FD 28mm F/2.8 is on ebay new for 50 bucks, so I think I will get that. Should I go with the fotodiox like this

http://www.amazon.com/Fotodiox-Adapter-Olympus-Panasonic-Cameras/dp/B003EAVUMK/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1349019069&sr=1-1&keywords=Canon+FD+gh2

or a better adapter? Thanks again.

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Yup, I've got one of those for my Nikon G (electronic aperture) lenses and it works just fine. Just be aware that if you're also using lenses with electronically actuated apertures, the adjustment ring on that adapter is very coarse, with a very short adjustment range (still goes from min to max aperture). It's pretty much impossible to get any type of repeatable precision when setting the aperture. If you're just adjusting aperture based on the appearance of the light and/or bokeh in the scene, that adapter is fine. But if you need to know the precise aperture setting being used, and/or be able to return to it later, you'll need an expensive adapter with a fine adjustment. One of the biggest reasons to get fully manual primes.

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In FCP X, there are no 'issues' with the GH2. You also won't need 5D2RGB. Just skim through the import-window with patience, in order not to crash the program by to hecticly hopping between AVCHD files, choose your desired clips, hit 'import' and leave the 'optimized media' preset at it's default (ProRes like with 5D2RGB). Then meticulously tag and rename the clips in the event browser, avoid too fast skimming movements between clips. Once you are finished, the selected clips have been transcoded in the background and you can create a project. With this workflow and disciplin you won't see the beachball even on slower macs and will be faster than with every other NLE.

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Yup, prime, though I hear the AF speed is a bit slow compared to other native GH2 lenses. I'd say get that over the kit lens either way because of the significant difference in aperture. The kit lens is really only good in daylight unless you don't mind noise. Then just pick up a manual prime in a different focal length + adapter, and you have a good starter kit.

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  • 2 months later...

Canon and Nikon are pretty similar, though Nikons tend to be a bit sharper more often than not, especially when you get to the higher end primes that are also more contrasty and colorful. There are adapters for each specific brand/lens mount. Even the cheap ones work (around $25), though may need a bit of tightening (slip a knife in the prongs of the mount). If you look hard enough, you can probably get an old F/1.8-2.8 prime between 28-55mm without issues for as low as $50, though they usually hover around $100. Go wider/longer/faster and the price starts to go up.

The biggest limitation when using primes on a GH2 is when it comes to wide angles. You'll usually find down to 28mm cheaply enough, but things start to get more expensive past that. Primes tend to bottom out at 20mm, too, which is about a 40mm equivalent on the GH2. Not very wide. I have a Nikon-mount Tokina 11-16mm F/2.8 so I can go wider than that (about 22-32, wide enough), though it's above your suggested budget at $650 (and needs a slightly more expensive adapter because no aperture ring). Sigma makes a cheaper, slower, wide angle lens that can work, too. A bonus to these is that under good lighting, you can use ETC mode's additional 2.6x crop for a normal field of view. Like having two lenses in one! :)

You talk about using a tokina 11-16. I was looking into getting a GH2/3 and was going to get this lens. But lots of adaptors say they only deal with focal lengths of above say 25mm; mind these are the cheap ones. Was just wondering what the difference between cheap adapters and expensive ones our apart from build quality and apature control. How can they use wide angle lenses when some of the cheap ones can't??? Thanks

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  • 1 month later...

I know I'm a new guy here but I've been over at PV for some time now. Anyways, I'm going to jump on in here. @Joe Skinner You don't need to worry about that adapter problem with a MFT camera. You can purchase any cheap, piece of crap adapter from Ebay and it will work...well sort of. I've tested about every damn adapter out there and I use only Nikon mount lens on my GH2, besides the MFT mount glass and I have a buttload of crap adapters here. I found one that was cheap and worked well, controlled the iris, focused to infinity with the Tokina 11-16 and had a tripod mount from Ebay but it didn't focus to infinity at all focul lengths on my Tokina 28-70. Finally I said enough is enough and had to stop the bleeding. I scooped up a Novaflex adapter for $200 and couldn't be happier. It's solid as a rock, focuses to infinity on every damn piece of glass from and manufacture and any era like a gem. Another thing that is nice on the Novaflex is the apature control is dampened, which means your iris will not slip on you if you go handheld or something like that. Mine did a couple times. Also, the Kipon is a good one too. Some people get lucky with the cheap Ebay ones, some don't. I got tired of playing russian roulette and just bit the bullet. Hope that helps if you're still watching the thread.

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  • 10 months later...

Just wondering if many people here have MC or MD Rokkor lenses attached to there GH 2. I'm currently playing with 50mm & 28mm MD lenses and find them to be outstanding, and both really complement each other with the same look.

Also wondering if some one has used a speed booster with MD to m43. 

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  • 2 months later...

 

 

Should I go with the fotodiox like this

http://www.amazon.co...ds=Canon FD gh2

or a better adapter? Thanks again. 

Order yourself the Fotodiox lens Adaptor, I went for it a while back when I still had an Old canon AE-1 with prime FD lenses and bought a Lumix GH2, specifically I have a prime FD 24mm at f2.4, a 50mm at 1.4, a 135mm at f2.4 and a Macro Adaptor that produces amazing results. The best part is that these lenses last forever, cost nothing on Amazon or Ebay, aren't demanding in maintenance and produce amazing results for film. I can't recommend it enough after having used them for a year. The only downside is that they are only really useful in controlled environments, so if you're planing to shoot on the go, I would recommend the Lumix 14 - 140 mm, it has served my very well.

(Here's a photo with a 50mm f1.4 FD + Macro Adaptor on the Fotodiox Lens Adaptor mounted on the Lumix GH2):

737591_10152377301425387_2062839371_o.jp

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