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Andrew Reid

An adventure into the Panasonic GX85/80 begins - and a look at the Leica Nocticron for Micro Four Thirds

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2 hours ago, jase said:

Why wouldnt you use the SIgma handheld? Because it is so big? I would tend to put both hands on the lens and leave the body "handsfree" (the same i did with the Voigtländer in combination with the GM1). Dual IS is tempting, but focus by wire simply doesnt cut it. I hate it... so in the m43 realm, the only lenses that would be suitable for me are the oly pro 7-14 or 12-40 since they have a good manual mode (at least thats what i have read). Of course, the Pana 12-35 2.8 could be a perfect fit for Dual IS, but yeah.. focus pulls will be a pain.

Yeah, looking at the footage shot, it doesn't look like the gear is holding you back from the actual experience. The camera is just casually there, sorta speak. But the Sigma is a beast, true in performance as well, but the size and weight is not to be underestimated. I'd only really use it in combination with a cage/rig/tripod (and indeed boosted). But if you think it's manageable for you, then by all means! But maybe see if you can borrow one from someone for a day... might change your mind for using it on hikes 'n trips like that. Think the Panasonic might be a good bet, especially because of the OIS. If focusing with the 20mm works for you, this should too? I personally opted for the Olympus one, because it also matches up really well with the E-M1 and I indeed like that MF-declutch with hard stops, the built quality and the optical performance/look; trade-off was: no OIS and it's a heftier piece of equipment as well. 7-14mm is brilliant too with its rectilinear design, great for landscapes and has come down in price quite a bit since I got it at launch. But on a Panasonic body, that smaller lens, correction and OIS could mean the Panasonic 12-35mm would be well suited. Though I'm not sure if that micro jitter issue is still there?

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4 minutes ago, Cinegain said:

Yeah, looking at the footage shot, it doesn't look like the gear is holding you back from the actual experience. The camera is just casually there, sorta speak. But the Sigma is a beast, true in performance as well, but the size and weight is not to be underestimated. 

Truth is: thats exactly what I thought. I have seen it in real once, and it is really big - but well, there is no such a thing like the perfect lens, is there? The Sigma ticks nearly all the boxes (focal length, lowlight, dof, AF & no fly by wire MF) yet at the expense of being huge.

It is true that I like the 20mm, but only for doing AF without any focus pull afterwards - too much throw for my taste and the ring is far away from being smoothly. I fear that the focusing of the 12-35 Pana wont be much better and I dont think i necessarily need the Dual IS, I am quite pleased with the footage tbh in terms of (or better lack of) shake.

Even more interesting is that M43 lenses know different types of manual focussing. Some of them are linear, no matter how fast you turn the focus ring (Pana 20mm, Pana 15mm), some respond to the speed of turning the wheel (oly 17mm) which is even more of a pain in the ass.

Choices... :(

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2 hours ago, jase said:

Truth is: thats exactly what I thought. I have seen it in real once, and it is really big - but well, there is no such a thing like the perfect lens, is there? The Sigma ticks nearly all the boxes (focal length, lowlight, dof, AF & no fly by wire MF) yet at the expense of being huge.

It is true that I like the 20mm, but only for doing AF without any focus pull afterwards - too much throw for my taste and the ring is far away from being smoothly. I fear that the focusing of the 12-35 Pana wont be much better and I dont think i necessarily need the Dual IS, I am quite pleased with the footage tbh in terms of (or better lack of) shake.

Even more interesting is that M43 lenses know different types of manual focussing. Some of them are linear, no matter how fast you turn the focus ring (Pana 20mm, Pana 15mm), some respond to the speed of turning the wheel (oly 17mm) which is even more of a pain in the ass.

Choices... :(

I thought the Sigma is fly by wire, it's just designed better. 

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56 minutes ago, mercer said:

I thought the Sigma is fly by wire, it's just designed better. 

mh, but if it would be fly by wire, this would mean that Sigma changed the focus mechanism specifically for the EF mount, since the Nikon Version doesnt need any electronical contact. I doubt so, tbh.

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31 minutes ago, jase said:

mh, but if it would be fly by wire, this would mean that Sigma changed the focus mechanism specifically for the EF mount, since the Nikon Version doesnt need any electronical contact. I doubt so, tbh.

Maybe, but it's my understanding that it is focus by wire.

Nikon cameras focus differently than Canon and since Sigma is a 3rd Party lens company, it isn't beyond the realms of possibility that it would be a slightly different design for different camera manufacturers. 

Also remember there are no hard stops either. I've never used one, but the Sigma seems to be a fine lens. I just wouldn't expect anywhere near the Voigtlander experience. And honestly for the price of the set up, you could buy a used Voigt 10.5mm and a second camera... It would probably be smaller and lighter too. 

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Or another option would be to buy the LX10 when it comes out. In 1080p you will have Dual IS with f1.4 at its widest. 

@jase

17 hours ago, jase said:

Finally finished the recap of 3 weeks of backpacking in Peru!

Lessons learned:

  1. Dont just bring a MF only lens with you, I had discard too many shots that would have been great, yet where out of focus.
  2. Next to 1, dont just bring a 25mm lens with you, especially for landscape this does not cut it. Next time I will buy a (ultra) wide zoom, this will give me much more possibilities. Maybe the Sigma 18-35, will see...
  3. And dont forget your sun hood

Great job!!! You're a talented dude. If I were you, I would consider doing travel videos... I think you could be really successful at it. What music was that? I don't think it's a take on traditional Peruvian music... Is it?

If I had to give one criticism, I would suggest using the rhythm of the music to inspire some cuts... Occasionally cutting to the music could be cool and liven the piece in a few places... 

Just a thought. 

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@mercer thanks man, I always appreciate your opinion!

regarding the lens stuff: for now i am very happy with the GX80, it is compact enough to bring it everywhere without issues, so buying a new camera (except some canon 5d mk 3 :D) is currently not an option.

regarding your criticism: weird, because i made all cuts based on the bass within the song, so there shouldnt really be a cut that is not in sync :/ any particular cut you could point me to?

the soundtrack is rather known: it is an instrumental version from Macklemore's song Downtown (in a selfmade edit).

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46 minutes ago, jase said:

@mercer thanks man, I always appreciate your opinion!

regarding the lens stuff: for now i am very happy with the GX80, it is compact enough to bring it everywhere without issues, so buying a new camera (except some canon 5d mk 3 :D) is currently not an option.

regarding your criticism: weird, because i made all cuts based on the bass within the song, so there shouldnt really be a cut that is not in sync :/ any particular cut you could point me to?

the soundtrack is rather known: it is an instrumental version from Macklemore's song Downtown (in a selfmade edit).

You've inspired me to take my microphone and audio recorder out of the closet, Jase. I wish I new something about how to mix my own music. May I ask how you added the sound of the water and stuff? Was that recorded on location, or added in editing? Surely, not the camera's internal microphone? And the editing, did you lay the soundtrack first, then cut the clips to the music, or what? Anyhow, i've got a lot to learn... :( 

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8 hours ago, jonpais said:

You've inspired me to take my microphone and audio recorder out of the closet, Jase. I wish I new something about how to mix my own music. May I ask how you added the sound of the water and stuff? Was that recorded on location, or added in editing? Surely, not the camera's internal microphone? And the editing, did you lay the soundtrack first, then cut the clips to the music, or what? Anyhow, i've got a lot to learn... :( 

About 70% of the sounds I got from freesound.org - the other 30% are from the internal microphone of the GX80, believe it or not :) The sound of the creek with the frozen flowers is added, the other water sounds are from the internal mic.

I dont start editing without a soundtrack. Sometimes this is a process of weeks before finding some track that matches my idea of the video. Fun fact: I knew the soundtack already while being in Peru, so this wasnt so had this time. Since this is the first time that I used sounds additionally to a soundtrack, I experimented quite a lot how they can play nicely with the soundtrack. My findings are that i always use a very short fade in and a longer fade out, that sometimes goes into the next clip (for example the waves at the beginning). Yet sometimes you dont need a fade in/out (for example at the beginning when you hear the childrens giggle (which is btw from the GX80) followed by the birds).

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You'd never know this was your first time adding sounds. It works perfectly with the soundtrack. I watched it a few times already.

So my big question for you is: one of the things I like most about the micro 4/3 system is that there are so many great lenses, and you can adapt anything you like. Many forum members are purchasing the G80/GX80 for the IBIS. Besides being compact, what would you say is the one feature about the GX80 that you like the most? 

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9 hours ago, jase said:

@mercer thanks man, I always appreciate your opinion!

regarding the lens stuff: for now i am very happy with the GX80, it is compact enough to bring it everywhere without issues, so buying a new camera (except some canon 5d mk 3 :D) is currently not an option.

regarding your criticism: weird, because i made all cuts based on the bass within the song, so there shouldnt really be a cut that is not in sync :/ any particular cut you could point me to?

the soundtrack is rather known: it is an instrumental version from Macklemore's song Downtown (in a selfmade edit).

I did not mean to replace the GX85 with the LX10, I mean for a cheaper price than the Sigma and the Metabones, you could buy the LX10 instead of, so you would be covered with a fast lens, with IBIS on the wide end. And probably, even with 2 cameras you would be carrying less weight than you would with the Sigma and Metabones. 

As far as your cutting, I would have enjoyed a few cuts that followed the snares since they were really driving the melody of the music.

Sorry, I never heard of Macklemore. I guess I'm showing my age. When you're in your early 40s, you probably will too.

 

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44 minutes ago, mercer said:

I did not mean to replace the GX85 with the LX10, I mean for a cheaper price than the Sigma and the Metabones, you could buy the LX10 instead of, so you would be covered with a fast lens, with IBIS on the wide end. And probably, even with 2 cameras you would be carrying less weight than you would with the Sigma and Metabones. 

As far as your cutting, I would have enjoyed a few cuts that followed the snares since they were really driving the melody of the music.

Sorry, I never heard of Macklemore. I guess I'm showing my age. When you're in your early 40s, you probably will too.

True indeed, the lens is rather heavy and big. Yet, I dont see myself switching cameras during the trip a lot, again: choices...

About bass vs. snare: valid point. After watching again I think you are right that this would improve the video.

About this Macklemore guy, I did not want to express that everybody should know this song, I am sorry!

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I thought I might weigh in on this lens discussion. First, the GX80 is small and IMO it deserves a lens that is small. Isn't that a major reason to go MFT anyway? Secondly, I agree with @jase that focus by wire isn't the best for video, but I think it would easily work in a pinch. When you look at the Sigma 18-35 with a Speedbooster, it would probably be the last lens-combo you buy, especially if it works flawlessly with IBIS (not sure about that). However, it'd be $1000-$1500 for the Sigma/Speedbooster combo and you can't really go "small." I find it unfortunate that you almost have to buy the Metabones Speedbooster if you want communication between a zoom and the GX80. Otherwise, I'd buy a cheap Speedbooster and a cheap/good Canon zoom.

Personally, I've decided to go with:

  • Panasonic 25mm F1.7 - $180 (new)
  • Pentax 50mm F1.7 - $30 (used), $15 adapter
  • Samyang 12mm F2.0 -$309 (new)

The total comes to less than the Speedbooster new or even a used Sigma 18-35. These 3 lenses are small enough, are arguably fast enough, cover the majority of focal length situations, and at least two of them offer great manual focus rings. I have yet to buy the Samyang 12mm, but 99% sure it'll be the one. Does anyone else have any experience with it?

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