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kye

Fast walk-around lens for MFT?

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Now I've gone MFT, I plan to eventually get a nice lens around the 15-20mm mark as my walk-around lens for travel and home videos.  In combination with the ETC mode on the GH5 that makes it a ~35mm lens and ~50mm equivalent lens - the two most flexible focal lengths.

My criteria are:

  • nice MF ring
  • aperture control (manual aperture ring or electronic control from the camera are both fine)
  • faster than 1.8
  • nice 3D rendering
  • neutral or on the warmer / nicer / more flattering side

I have other wider and longer lenses to compliment it, but as I think the ~35mm focal length is the most useful, I think I will do most of my shooting with this lens.  As such, I'm saving up and will have a bit of budget.

The options I've found are:

  • SLR Magic 17mm T1.6
  • Olympus 17mm F1.2
  • Voigtlander 17.5mm F0.95  (winner in the Hurlblog comparison)
  • Panasonic 15mm F1.7 (looked ok in the Hurlblog comparison)
  • Rokinon 20mm T1.9 (borderline fast enough)
  • Sigma 16mm F1.4
  • Panasonic 20mm F1.7
  • Speedbooster + Canon Nikon etc fast prime??
  • Adapter (not SB) + Canon mount ~16mm fast prime??
  • Adapter (SB) + nice ~28mm vintage lens (eg Minolta Rokkor 28mm F2.0)

Eliminated options:

  • Veydra 16mm T2.2 (not fast enough)
  • Olympus 17mm F1.8 (in the Hurlblog comparison it looked flat and lacked contrast)
  • Speedbooster + Sigma 18-35 F1.8 (too large / heavy)
  • Adapter (non SB) + vintage wide angle (I couldn't find any wides fast enough or that weren't fisheyes...)

Please help!!

Ideally I'd love the Voigtlander 17.5 0.95 but if there's a better deal then I'd love to know.  Otherwise its a case of saving up.....

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I wouldn't totally discount the Olympus 17mm f1.8. I used that lens exclusively as my walk around for 2 years. And also used it for music festival photography.  

The Panasonic 20mm is another good option but the AF is a bit slow on it and the MF ring is unusable.

15mm is a bit too wide imo. 

 Your best bets are the oly 17mm f1.2 or voigtlander 17.5mm, though the latter is fairly heavy (heavier than most m43 bodies)

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33 minutes ago, Inazuma said:

The Panasonic 20mm is another good option but the AF is a bit slow on it and the MF ring is unusable.

...and the AF is noisy.

On the other hand, it's very compact & light weight (and cheap secondhand) - the sort of lens that you just slip in a corner of the camera bag/pocket in case you need it.

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I also suggest the Panasonic 20mm f1.7, followed by DJI 15mm f1.7 (cheaper version) then Leica 15mm f1.7, they're small and light and has good bokeh. But the fly by wire might frustrate you so I think you should go with the Olympus 17mm f1.2. Panasonic 25mm f1,7 too for for the price and compactness (just feels too light though because of the plastic build). I can't suggest the Voigtlanders for walkaround since they're manual focus and manual aperture and not weather sealed but they're great if you're not in a hurry. I personally like the rendering of the 17.5mm and 10.5mm Voigts and use them whenever I can.

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Voigtlander 17.5mm makes sense, and the Panaleica 15mm f1.7 would also serve well I believe.

But I'm tempted to say SB+28mm vintage lens (Contax/Zeiss, Nikkor 28mm f2, Minolta 28mm, Canon FD, Olympus OM, options are limitless). Reason being, I'm quite fond of the ~40mm focal length you can get from this combination, I consider it perhaps the most cinematic one. Especially combined with a vintage lens' rendering and the effective f1.4 aperture you'll be getting with SB. And it's not that big or heavy on the GH5. 

If you go this way, de-clicking the lens would also be a good idea. 

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9 minutes ago, eyesuncloudedphoto said:

Voigtlander 17.5mm makes sense, and the Panaleica 15mm f1.7 would also serve well I believe.

But I'm tempted to say SB+28mm vintage lens (Contax/Zeiss, Nikkor 28mm f2, Minolta 28mm, Canon FD, Olympus OM, options are limitless). Reason being, I'm quite fond of the ~40mm focal length you can get from this combination, I consider it perhaps the most cinematic one. Especially combined with a vintage lens' rendering and the effective f1.4 aperture you'll be getting with SB. And it's not that big or heavy on the GH5. 

If you go this way, de-clicking the lens would also be a good idea. 

Which Contax Zeiss?

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Just now, eyesuncloudedphoto said:

28mm f2.8 or f2 "Hollywood" if you can catch a bargain (which happens from time to time). 

I was gonna say not the Hollywood please but it looks like it's the best among the Contax ones. It's just too rare and expensive nowadays 😁

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Just now, TurboRat said:

I was gonna say not the Hollywood please but it looks like it's the best among the Contax ones. It's just too rare and expensive nowadays 😁

Hahahah, true. You can safely bet you can find the newer ZF or ZE version for less. It's also not that small... but it has the mojo for sure. 

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Thanks all, just what I was hoping for :) 

This video was what made me eliminate the Olympus 17 f1.8 - it just looks so flat and 2D, like she's standing almost against the back wall.  I've linked to the comparison shot in the video below.  There's obviously a grading difference, but I don't think it accounts for the lack of depth.

The Panasonic 15mm 1.7 looks much closer to the Voigtlander which is encouraging.

The Olympus 17mm F1.2 looks like it has potential but is the same price range as the Voigt which has a stop or so more aperture (not that sharp mind-you, but it is there).

Size isn't that much of a problem as long as the lens isn't larger than my Rode mic on top of the camera.  

I am also kind of intrigued about the vintage glass, and full manual controls don't fuss me.  I'll build the muscle memory and the GH5s autofocus isn't reliable so I'd rather gear up for MF than have a hit-hit-miss-hit-hit type scenario when I can just do it myself.  I looked up the Hollywood Contax and just about had a heart attack!  Not cheap!!  Still, it warrants further research.
I found it difficult to find 28mm lenses that were fast enough, but maybe I'm not searching for the right things yet.  I'm still learning.

I did some tests today with a few lenses to compare and the results are interesting.

Left = Panasonic 14mm F2.5
Centre = Yashikor 28mm F2.8 (no SB, so 56mm equiv.  and lens has lost its front coating so flares the highlights a lot!)
Right = Helios 44M 58mm F2 (no SB, so 116mm equiv)

1413521929_GH5lenses(GHaLogCResolve)_1.1.1copy.thumb.jpg.4ff1fa6d19c2d01dd17f1cca75a2b06e.jpg

While the middle one has too much flare, the right one has a nice balance between detail and softness.  The full images from it look just like film.

I've played around copying the look by softening the left one and sharpening the middle one, and the left one can be softened but the middle one didn't give me much success.

What other ~28mm vintage lenses are F2 or faster?

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Although it is obvious that you are extremely accurate, clever and experienced to find all appropriate answers, maybe it can help or be encouraging a little bit: it is very safe to buy second hand Voigtlanders - for the quality their price is, actually, IMO unbeatable.

Again: for the quality. I had and tested many Zeiss's an Leica R's - m43 Voigtlanders are mechanically even better build than Zeiss lenses (same comment I got also from some old skilfull lens-repair masters), closer to Leica precision.

For example, interesting and passionate review if you missed it:

http://streetsmartphotos.blogspot.com/2016/05/105mm-f095-voigtlander-nokton-8-month.html

Metabones speedboosters are, of course, great, but after some time, if you don't tend also to use FF lenses on FF cameras, they could become annoying - regarding existence of Voigtlanders, SLR Magic Hyperprimes and, maybe (I didn't try them, as also Sigma 16mm) newer Olympus pro primes.

About Nikon 28mm f2 - it is the must to check it before buying... they easy could be different kind of "lemons" samples. 28mm f2.8 Ais is brilliant lens, but speedboosted will be f2.

With base f2.8 FF lenses options are many...

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After the wife saw how much effort I was putting into looking at various options she just told me to buy the Voigtlander and be done with it, so I now have a 17.5mm 0.95 on order!!

I wonder if I've managed to escape without having been bitten by the vintage lens bug?  Probably not! 😂😂😂

So, my lineup will now be:

  • SLR Magic 8mm (for "wow" landscapes and cityscapes / tight interiors)
  • Voigtlander 17.5mm (for the 80% of shots)
  • Helios 58mm + 0.71 SB (for quirky portraits or without SB for tele detailed shots from lookouts or what-not)

No excuses now :)   (not that I ever had any before anyway....)

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1 hour ago, kye said:

After the wife saw how much effort I was putting into looking at various options she just told me to buy the Voigtlander and be done with it, so I now have a 17.5mm 0.95 on order!!

I wonder if I've managed to escape without having been bitten by the vintage lens bug?  Probably not! 😂😂😂

So, my lineup will now be:

  • SLR Magic 8mm (for "wow" landscapes and cityscapes / tight interiors)
  • Voigtlander 17.5mm (for the 80% of shots)
  • Helios 58mm + 0.71 SB (for quirky portraits or without SB for tele detailed shots from lookouts or what-not)

No excuses now :)   (not that I ever had any before anyway....)

Enjoy your Voigtlander! Never learned how to declick their apertures though but that one's handy!

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54 minutes ago, TurboRat said:

Enjoy your Voigtlander! Never learned how to declick their apertures though but that one's handy!

I thought the aperture was de-clicked already?  Might have to do some reading.  If I'm going to be composing a shot and want to change the aperture to get the right depth-of-field then the last thing I need is the horizon to rotate wildly each time I go through a stop marker!  

With shooting manually and in fast-changing situations I'm learning that you have to hit record almost before you've composed the shot as for some things a slightly wobbly or not quite focused shot is better than missing the moment, so I'll be adjusting things when the camera is recording.

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12 minutes ago, kye said:

I thought the aperture was de-clicked already?  Might have to do some reading.  If I'm going to be composing a shot and want to change the aperture to get the right depth-of-field then the last thing I need is the horizon to rotate wildly each time I go through a stop marker!  

You do a sort of masonic handshake on it to put it into clickless mode by pulling the aperture ring toward the camera and then rotating it 180 degrees and then turn it again until you hear a click.

The instructions will be in the manual.

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