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Best micro 4/3 lens for shooting 4K video on GH4


Neil Anderson

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5 hours ago, Michael Ma said:

I like the Panasonic Leica 12mm f/1.4.  This makes the GH4 a low light camera with incredible sharpness.  It provides very shallow DOF for things at chose proximity.  It addresses 2 of mft's biggest weaknesses.  It's also wide enough to shoot in any environment.  The crop mode can be relied on for 2x zoom.  I've heard great things about Voigtlander f/0.95 but I like the better integration with the Panasonic bodies and autofocus.  The 12mm doesn't have the stabilization though.

If this were the 8th lens in his kit, okay, but rather than spend $1,600 USD on one ultra wide, I think it would be wiser to buy a set of Panny lenses 20 1.7, 25 1.7, 42.5 1.7 or whatever (not sure about those numbers^^) if I were on a budget (which the OP apparently is) and sticking with Panasonic (remember, even the manual aperture ring, supposedly splendid, only works with Panasonic bodies, if I am not mistaken). More and more manufacturers are going to release micro 4/3 mount cameras in the future (I'm guessing), and I wouldn't want to be locked into one ecosystem.

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26 minutes ago, jonpais said:

If this were the 8th lens in his kit, okay, but rather than spend $1,600 USD on one ultra wide, I think it would be wiser to buy a set of Panny lenses 20 1.7, 25 1.7, 42.5 1.7 or whatever (not sure about those numbers^^) if I were on a budget (which the OP apparently is) and sticking with Panasonic (remember, even the manual aperture ring, supposedly splendid, only works with Panasonic bodies, if I am not mistaken). More and more manufacturers are going to release micro 4/3 mount cameras in the future (I'm guessing), and I wouldn't want to be locked into one ecosystem.

His original question was "if you had to choose one (micro 4/3) lens for shooting narrative films on the GH4 (without a speedbooster) in 4k what would you choose?"  That's what my answer was based on.  He never mentioned price originally so why restrict yourself to the budget.  We're talking about "in your opinion, the best one lens for this job with these specifications".  Sure, if we had the option to choose many lenses for the job, I don't know if 12mm f/1.4 would even be in consideration for a wide or a low light shot.

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8 minutes ago, Michael Ma said:

His original question was "if you had to choose one (micro 4/3) lens for shooting narrative films on the GH4 (without a speedbooster) in 4k what would you choose?"  That's what my answer was based on.  He never mentioned price originally so why restrict yourself to the budget.  We're talking about "in your opinion, the best one lens for this job with these specifications".  Sure, if we had the option to choose many lenses for the job, I don't know if 12mm f/1.4 would even be in consideration for a wide or a low light shot.

With all due respect, shooting an entire narrative film on a 28mm equiv. is a very... specific... style. I wouldn't exactly suggest it as a catch-all recommendation for new GH4 shooters.

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1 hour ago, Michael Ma said:

His original question was "if you had to choose one (micro 4/3) lens for shooting narrative films on the GH4 (without a speedbooster) in 4k what would you choose?"  That's what my answer was based on.  He never mentioned price originally so why restrict yourself to the budget.  We're talking about "in your opinion, the best one lens for this job with these specifications".  Sure, if we had the option to choose many lenses for the job, I don't know if 12mm f/1.4 would even be in consideration for a wide or a low light shot.

Maybe because - at the moment he can only afford one lens? :)

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4 hours ago, TheRenaissanceMan said:

With all due respect, shooting an entire narrative film on a 28mm equiv. is a very... specific... style. I wouldn't exactly suggest it as a catch-all recommendation for new GH4 shooters.

In hindsight, the 12-35mm f/2.8 would probably be a better choice.

2 hours ago, jonpais said:

Maybe because - at the moment he can only afford one lens? :)

You're projecting again jon.  :grin:  But 12mm f/1.4 is certainly the most expensive lens that I own.

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Just now, jonpais said:

Any particular reason you're asking about this lens in this thread?

Am I in a wrong thread? 

But anyways I'm looking for a fast m4/3 prime lens. but about this Sigma I'm not if 30mm would be a good range. I already have panasonic 12-35 and 25mm f1.7.

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Man, I was about to go with the GH4, but the lack of image stabilization that people have pointed out here is worrisome. I plan on ordering the DNA 6000 and 5050 (cheap) steadicam combo as well, but it worries me that any handheld shots will basically be unusable (especially without a stabilized lens). Has the stabilization issue been a deal breaker for people? The two things that keep me coming back to the GH4 (besides battery life) are Vlog abilities and the ability to get true 24fps with cine 4k. This question is slightly off topic, but if my plan is to bounce the 4K image down into 1080 for better detail, does it matter whether its being bounced down from true cine 4K or UHD? 

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It really depends. If your handholding technique is good and/or you use a cheap shoulder rig, you can get pretty usable handheld with no IS, provided you use a reasonable focal length. I do so regularly with my 12mm and 17mm lenses, and even got a few nice 25mm handheld shots on the BMPCC (although it takes on a little Paul Greengrass "nervousness" at that point).

Narrative tends to be almost entirely on sticks, dollies, and cranes, so I don't see the lack of IS as a deal-breaker if I like the camera in every other regard. Building it up a bit will also give it a more "professional" handheld look, as the added inertia will resemble what you get with a larger cinema camera (think Breaking Bad).

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  • 2 weeks later...

I received my repaired Zhiyun Crane back from China this week and had my first opportunity to test it out with my newly purchased Nokton 17.5mm f/0.95 and can confirm that it does indeed work. After testing the Sigma 30mm f/1.4, I will be publishing a mini-review of the Crane with various u43 lenses.

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