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Mmmbeats

Any ideas for a general-purpose zoom for MFT?

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For events and fast-unfolding coverage I currently use the trusty Sigma 18-35 f/1.8, and a Samyang (Rokinon) 85mm f/1.4 on a GH4 with Speedbooster (S version, similar to Ultra).

That combo has served me well, and I'm happy with just about every aspect of using them, except - lens changes is now driving me crazy.  It's an inconvenience at best, and at worst means either making creative compromises or missing vital shots.

I'm looking for a general (widish to portrait or even tele) zoom to take their place.  I'm upgrading to the GH5S at some point soon, too.

I have the following requirements:

  • Manual focus (no focus-by-wire)
  • Constant aperture  
  • Minimum f/2.8 (f/2 or more even better)
  • Weight, size, not really an issue (within reason!)
  • Zoom range replicating as much of my current available field of view as possible

Apologies in advance if the following contains mathematical or conceptual errors!

For reference, my current set-up covers:

18mm - 35mm on the Sigma w/SB, so that's ≡ 29mm - 56mm (FF),

and 85mm on the Samyang w/SB ≡ 136mm

So, here's some lenses that' I've considered so far:

  • Olympus ZUIKO 14-35mm f/2.0 w/ 4/3 adaptor ≡ 28 - 70

This is an out-of-production FOUR THIRDS lens that I got interested in.  It's the only viable f/2 zoom I could find.  Bit of a scary purchase though, as it is both expensive, and out of production (there are a few around though - B&H lists it as new!)

  • Sigma 18-35 f1.8 w/ Active adaptor ≡ 35 - 70

Then I had the inspired idea of taking my Sigma off of the Speedbooster and sticking it on a regular active EF-MFT adaptor.  That would give me extra reach at the cost of some light sensitivity (not such an issue moving to the GH5S), and save me a ton of cash compared to buying a new lens.

  • Samsung16-50mm f/2 -f/2.8 S w/ (sadly non-existent) adaptor ≡ 32 - 100

This breaks my 'constant aperture' rule, but I'd be willing to make an exception as it essentially adds in a bonus f/2 where ordinarily there would only be f/2.8 through the range.  Despite being theoretically possible, I don't think there are any Samsung --> MFT adaptors out there 😪.

  • Olympus M.ZUIKO PRO 12–40mm f/2.8 (native) ≡ 24 - 80

On to the more obvious choices.  Nothing wrong with this lens, of course.  Only thing holding me back is the f/2.8.  I'm not one of those people that plasters everything with shallow DoF shots, but I like to  have (and have become used to having) the option when it enhances the production.

  • Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II w/ SB ≡ 38 - 112

I think this is currently my favourite option, because I like the zoom range, though obviously the f/2.8 limitation is irksome.

So, any thoughts?  Any lenses I've missed out?  Am I going about this all wrong? Does one of the above stand out as a winner?

 

 


 

 

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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 have never tried it but what about the Canon APSC 17-55 2.8 with a non focal reducer smart adapter? 

Not sure if it works with a Speedbooster (other focal reducers?)

I had a Kipon non focal reducer smart adapter and liked that a lot but it was not great for video AF or AFC though almost native for AFS with a GX7 (all sold).

If you are keeping any Canon lenses, a non focal reducer smart adapter makes sense anyway just for an increase in range.

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What about the Olympus lenses with the MF Clutch? I think there is this variety of them? 12, 17, 7-14, 12-40, 40-150.

Well I forgot the killer lens from hell. The Olympus 12-100mm with the manual clutch. Man 24-200mm, what's not to like at a constant f4.

https://www.imaging-resource.com/lenses/olympus/12-100mm-f4-is-pro-m.zuiko-digital-ed/review/

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46 minutes ago, webrunner5 said:

Well I forgot the killer lens from hell. The Olympus 12-100mm with the manual clutch. Man 24-200mm, what's not to like at a constant f4.

https://www.imaging-resource.com/lenses/olympus/12-100mm-f4-is-pro-m.zuiko-digital-ed/review/

I ummed and ahhd about a used one during my lens buying frenzy. Slept on it and decided it was too good a price not to get it and went back into the shop the next day and they were literally handing it over to it's new owner when I arrived.

Apparently it's not polite to exclaim "Oh for fucks sake" in Japanese shops. Who knew.

Anyway, I thought we'd all agreed the other week that the best general purpose zoom lens for MFT was actually the LX100 ;)

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There have not been very many zooms at f2 or faster made for M43 or larger sensors for normal photography gear.

Pretty much Sigma 18-35 1.8 (APSC), Sigma 50-100 1.8 (APSC), Sigma 24-35 f2 (FF), Olympus  14-35 f2 (4/3), Olympus 35-100 f2 (4/3) and Tokina 12-20 f2 (APSC) is it I think.

Any others?

That is one reason I love my A7s as ANY lens can be a 2x zoom including fast primes and exotics for Jpeg stills and video using clear image zoom.       EG I have tried my old Canon FD 85 1.2 L as a 2x zoom for testing.

 

 

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2 hours ago, noone said:

I have never tried it but what about the Canon APSC 17-55 2.8 with a non focal reducer smart adapter? 

Nice.  But I think the 24 - 70 L looks superior for what ends up being a similar range.  Totally agree about getting a non SB adaptor.  Can't believe I only just considered it.

52 minutes ago, BTM_Pix said:

Anyway, I thought we'd all agreed the other week that the best general purpose zoom lens for MFT was actually the LX100 ;)

Looks like a nifty compact.  What thread were you discussing it on?

46 minutes ago, noone said:

There have not been very many zooms at f2 or faster made for M43 or larger sensors for normal photography gear.

Pretty much Sigma 18-35 1.8 (APSC), Sigma 50-100 1.8 (APSC), Sigma 24-35 f2 (FF), Olympus  14-35 f2 (4/3), Olympus 35-100 f2 (4/3) and Tokina 12-20 f2 (APSC) is it I think.

Any others?

That is one reason I love my A7s as ANY lens can be a 2x zoom including fast primes and exotics for Jpeg stills and video using clear image zoom.       EG I have tried my old Canon FD 85 1.2 L as a 2x zoom for testing.

 

 

Thanks.  Yeah, that pretty much confirms my list really.

GH4 / 5 also have Ex Tele Conversion mode, which extends view by cropping in to the sensor.  Can get a bit noisy though.  I think there's only a limited version of that on the GH5S 😥.

1 hour ago, webrunner5 said:

What about the Olympus lenses with the MF Clutch? I think there is this variety of them? 12, 17, 7-14, 12-40, 40-150.

Thanks, yeah, I had listed the 12-40.  Strong contender.

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1 minute ago, Mmmbeats said:

Looks like a nifty compact.  What thread were you discussing it on?

It's one of those perennials that pops up quite regularly when people are looking for a "standard" zoom lens for Panasonic cameras so it's in a few threads.

It pops up as an option because the lens range and speed it has isn't one that you can get in a native MFT lens and if you could it would certainly cost far more than the £300-400 price you can pick up a used LX100 for.

It's not a solution for everyone but it can make a lot of sense for many situations because you're basically getting a free backup camera into the bargain. Be aware though that the LX100 can't have the Cinelike D hack so you are restricted to standard profiles (or the excellent EOSHD profile) which is why it won't work out for everyone.

But if it does then it's an alternative worth considering.

It's one of a couple of such anomalies (like the Leica Q and Sigma DP0 Quattro) where even if you own the interchangeable lens version of the cameras (Leica SL and Sigma DP Quattro in this example) it's still actually cheaper to buy the fxed lens version of the camera if you need that focal length than it is for the equivalent lens for the interchangeable camera.

As I say, it's not for everybody but if it fits your needs then it's there as an option 

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3 minutes ago, BTM_Pix said:

....

As I say, it's not for everybody but if it fits your needs then it's there as an option 

Thanks.  Well, yes, as well as the upgrade (GH4 ---> GH5S), I'm also looking for a backup/ b-roll/ carry-about camera.  I had my mind set on a GX80 (GX85 European naming).  Can't believe I hadn't considered the LX100.  Am now reconsidering.

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The Olympus ZUIKO 14-35mm f/2.0 will really Only work on a Olympus EM1 or mk II. I have had several 4/3 lenses, Primes and zooms, all high end stuff when I had my EM1 for BiF stuff. They actually work pretty well, but they need PDAF. No m4/3 camera I know of other than the EM1 has it.

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10 hours ago, webrunner5 said:

The Olympus ZUIKO 14-35mm f/2.0 will really Only work on a Olympus EM1 or mk II. I have had several 4/3 lenses, Primes and zooms, all high end stuff when I had my EM1 for BiF stuff. They actually work pretty well, but they need PDAF. No m4/3 camera I know of other than the EM1 has it.

I'm all manual focus, no auto, would that work with the 14-35? What does BiF stand for?

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There is wonderful Angenieux 17.5-70mm f2.2 which is S16 lens - it covers GH4 without vigneting, so if you can tolerate some shadows and blur in the corner as artistic effects on 2x crop of GH5 etc, results could be majestic. (Older 17-68 and 12-120 are not S16, but 16 lenses).

If you work in more controlled condition, Zeiss 11-110 T2.2 is also S16 lens, but it is pretty big. Angenioux 17.5-70, contrary, is enough compact... (and probably only one lens I truly regret that I had too early in my passion for testing lenses and than sold it - I was so lucky to find, now it is so hard to repeat. )

 

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Has anyone mentioned the tamron 17-50 2.8?  That one could be nice and good for your budget. 
I think 2.8 is enough to shoot indoor events that are not well lit. 

Even though the lx100 is cheap, I don't see why you would consider that one over a used gx80 or not just keep your gh4 with a stabilized lense, for example 17-55 stabilized kit lense to begin with?

I think you will be able to still sell the gx80 in two years from now by the way, and while you might have reasons to do that, you don't wanna loose the lenses you have, rather your camera. 
With both the gx80 and lx100 you run into codec and therefore color restrictions, apart from IBIS your gh4 still is a far better camera in that context and has a mic jack too. Instead of getting IBIS and downgrade everything else you could even consider getting a small rig. 

Do you want to shoot b-roll slow motion or 24fps? If 24fps, you can get the gx80 with 4k 100mbs, if not, the 60p 25mbit/s 1080p will not hold up well to any grading or even nice luts you already use.  

Apart from that I think the mentioned nikkor zoom lense should give you everything you want, if you shoot manual like me. 
For B-Roll, I would consider getting a rather close lens. 40-50mm with a simple adapter should serve you fine. 


Last but not least,  two alternative ideas:
Is the problem for you changing lenses, or changing all your filters (tiffen contrast, nd filters..) as well? 

A:
Get some kickstarter lens flippers you can wear on your belt, will save lot's of time and you can use the lenses you alredy have! 
They have them from https://www.friidesigns.com/ or some simple ones for just two lenses: https://www.amazon.com/NEW-Gowing-Lens-Holder-Canon/dp/B00KYP0LK0. I met someone on event who changed his lenses lightning fast. Remember two lenses will always give you better quality than one with the same range. 

B:
If you have problems changing filters, I use XUME Magnets for like 80dollars total who are a life saver too and always impress people who don't know them.

My final advice would be: Always consider if you can get what you want cheaper too, instead buying a new big thingi. Go simple and future proof, and invest in lenses, not cameras. :) The lenses you already have are quite nice and so Is your gh4! 

What I use: Sharp vintage Lenses for the best look I can get. 
Once I get a client that want's a sharper/clinical look, I will use my 18-35 1.8 that I kept, paired with a simple 50-70mm range, like you. 

Cheers 

 

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6 hours ago, Mmmbeats said:

 What does BiF stand for? I'm all manual focus, no auto, would that work with the 14-35?

It will work with the Olympus ZUIKO 14-35mm f/2.0. AF and MF. It does have the MF linked Mechanically. SO it might be worth looking into.

BiF stands for Bird in Flight. It is pretty hard to photograph or even video really fast flying Birds. It is sort of a Art that that takes lots of skill and well a decent camera with AF in it. Some of the best ones are from people that just Manual Focus. But it takes years of practice to master that.

Kingfishers and Humming Birds are about the fastest in the United States to photograph. It can become addictive to try and shoot them. People spend crazy money on a great BiF rig, camera and lenses. But it is a very rewarding Hobby and you become One With Nature as they say. And the exercise is good for you to boot. Win, Win. It is sort of a Zen thing in a sense. I love it. Very calming. Good for people like me that have no Damn Patience! 😁

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Heck if you want a pocket camera than just buy the original BMPCC and put a Panny 20mm f1.7 on it and be happy. Doesn't get much better than that output wise. And a Bunch of batteries in the pocket on the other side! Bliss on the cheap. And damn near Arri output.

I know it is not fast enough for you but that Olympus M.ZUIKO Pro 12-40mm F2.8 is going to be pretty hard to beat if you want something that is top end stuff, well built, and can be a beast on a normal m4/3 camera down the road with the AF ability and the Clutch in it..

That is the same lens Blackmagic had on Every 4K BMPCC I saw in the videos. They must know something we don't. 😀

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6 hours ago, anonim said:

There is wonderful Angenieux 17.5-70mm f2.2 which is S16 lens - it covers GH4 without vigneting, so if you can tolerate some shadows and blur in the corner as artistic effects on 2x crop of GH5 etc, results could be majestic. (Older 17-68 and 12-120 are not S16, but 16 lenses).

If you work in more controlled condition, Zeiss 11-110 T2.2 is also S16 lens, but it is pretty big. Angenioux 17.5-70, contrary, is enough compact...

Useful info, cheers.

5 hours ago, canonlyme said:

Even though the lx100 is cheap, I don't see why you would consider that one over a used gx80 or not just keep your gh4 with a stabilized lense, for example 17-55 stabilized kit lense to begin with?
 

Yes, after giving it a bit of thought, I'm now leaning back towards the GX80.  Unfortunately the GH4 will have to go to part finance the GH5S (it's all a bit complicated!).

Useful advice in the rest of your post, thanks.

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2 hours ago, Mmmbeats said:

Useful info, cheers.

Yes, after giving it a bit of thought, I'm now leaning back towards the GX80.  Unfortunately the GH4 will have to go to part finance the GH5S (it's all a bit complicated!).

Useful advice in the rest of your post, thanks.

So are you going to use this "pocket" camera as sort of a B cam to the GH5s? Which I think the GH5s is an excellent choice by the way, and I can see theGX80 working with it pretty well also.

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IMG_0941.thumb.JPG.6a9bbe19c0ee789a74ee443beb1dc81b.JPG 

    This was some of the gear I used for BiF stuff a year or so ago. Oly EM1, Canon 1D mk III, Oly EPL1. I used the Fujinon lenses on the EM1, GH3, and my G7. They work damn well. But they Have to be on a tripod. No handheld stuff. They do cover the entire m4/3 frame if they have a Doubler in them engaged.

If you are serious about BiF or Sports, any fast action the Olympus EM1, EM1 mk II is crazy good at AF. I had Way better luck with it than any of my Canon 1d mk II, mk II n, Mk III ever did focus wise.  It is a top notch camera in every respect.

 

I had this Oly lens, 50-200mm. What a Jewel. No picture of it. https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/527566-REG/Olympus_261015_50_200mm_f_2_8_3_5_ED_SWD.html?ap=y&gclid=Cj0KCQjwmPPYBRCgARIsALOziAOFaK0elHilGL9HbFOO3zuEz4Hglv6dnWO6nWUf8los5Y5Ub9h8PYAaAusmEALw_wcB

And the Oly 12-60mm. Heavy, but a Seriously great lens. https://www.ebay.com/p/Olympus-Zuiko-12-60mm-f-2-8-4-SWD-ED-Lens-For-Four-Thirds/99757148?iid=171331085672&chn=ps

BiF.jpg

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