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Had an outing with the Panasonic-Leica 10-25mm F1.7 on GH5


Andrew Reid
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Yes, it IS a great lens and a great system...

Even Toneh had to admit this recently when he shot with this lens on the GH5-II... He now says it is the best vlogger combi on the market...

According to him Panasonic finally fixed the CAF on that camera…

It is clear that unsubstantiated one-liners do get him a lot of clicks!

Furthermore he is firmly within the group that doesn't understand equivalence.

Yes, it behaves like a 20-50 mm in FF terms, and yes it has the bokeh of a 3.4 FF lens, but as aperture is concerned, it DOES behave as a 1.7 as far as the exposure triangle (aperture - shutterspeed - iso) is concerned. Not as a 3.4 lens! How unfortunate that Toneh doesn’t understand this…

People get confused by the fact that the light-gathering of this 1.7 lens is lower than with a 1.7 FF lens, but that is of course relative to the sensor size. On a MFT sensor you need less light to cover the sensor.

This actually means that you gain nearly two stops compared to a FF 2.8 lens, and this handily does make up the ISO disadvantage that MFT has compared to FF.

As to bokeh, it is very dependent on the type of footage one shoots. For my line of work, I am in 95% of the cases perfectly fine with the bokeh of a 1.7 aperture on MFT. Having a shallower depth of field can easily become tricky. My 42.5 mm 1.7 gives me a gorgeous look in the right balance of shallowness. If I want a real FF look, I reach for my 1.2 Sigma zoom (with speedbooster) or my excellent (sharp!) 0.95 17mm Mitakon.

Only if one needs extrem bokeh, a FF camera with a 1.4 lens will be the better choice.

The 10-25 1.7 zoom is really tack sharp, and it even outperforms most primes in this range.

I will be curious to see whether they can make the announced 25-50 1.7 zoom optically as good as this one…

 

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1 hour ago, LPG said:

Even Toneh had to admit this recently when he shot with this lens on the GH5-II... He now says it is the best vlogger combi on the market...

Well he would say that, now vloggers are probably 40% of his viewers.

1 hour ago, LPG said:

Furthermore he is firmly within the group that doesn't understand equivalence.

Yes, it behaves like a 20-50 mm in FF terms, and yes it has the bokeh of a 3.4 FF lens, but as aperture is concerned, it DOES behave as a 1.7 as far as the exposure triangle (aperture - shutterspeed - iso) is concerned. Not as a 3.4 lens! How unfortunate that Toneh doesn’t understand this…

I agree. There is more to aperture than a shallow DOF.

Some shots look better with a deeper DOF anyway.

Some of the F0.95 super fast super 16mm lenses are a prime example - by equivalence terms to full frame, they're only F1.8 - but they look nothing like a full frame lens, full stop.

And sometimes they look terrible wide open and sometimes glorious.

This is why people need to get off the specs bandwagon and shoot more stuff.

For most lenses, F1.7 on 2x crop sensor looks very different to F3.5 on full frame.

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People get confused by the fact that the light-gathering of this 1.7 lens is lower than with a 1.7 FF lens, but that is of course relative to the sensor size. On a MFT sensor you need less light to cover the sensor.

This actually means that you gain nearly two stops compared to a FF 2.8 lens, and this handily does make up the ISO disadvantage that MFT has compared to FF.

Well there are some Micro Four Thirds sensors that are better in low light than certain full frame sensors.

It's important to look beyond the catch-all equivalency formulas that pixel peepers like.

You can have a large sensor with small pixels and large gaps between them. Blackmagic Production Camera 4K is one of those. The GH5S with smaller sensor would have it for breakfast at ISO 1600.

If both sensors have the same pixel architecture, but one is 10 megapixels 4K native and the other 60MP with pixel binned 4K it gets even more complicated.

The earlier pixel binning high res full frame cameras do not look as clean as the GH5S with 2x crop sensor. Later, the image processing and pixel binning methods improved and light gathering efficiency per pixel increased.

I keep seeing people say that no matter if the GH5S has a 10 megapixel sensor and A7R IV 60MP, the larger sensor will always 'gather more light' and that is just not true.

It's much more complicated.

When it comes to F1.7, F1.7 is F1.7. It's always going to be brighter than F2.8 or F3.5, and shallow DOF does not make or break every shot. In 20-30% of cases it might hinder the shot. Sometimes I want to see the background just slightly out of focus and not a complete watercolour. It might have visual details or information in it relevant to the story.

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As to bokeh, it is very dependent on the type of footage one shoots. For my line of work, I am in 95% of the cases perfectly fine with the bokeh of a 1.7 aperture on MFT. Having a shallower depth of field can easily become tricky. My 42.5 mm 1.7 gives me a gorgeous look in the right balance of shallowness. If I want a real FF look, I reach for my 1.2 Sigma zoom (with speedbooster) or my excellent (sharp!) 0.95 17mm Mitakon.

The advantage of F1.7 on Micro Four Thirds in low light is when you need a deeper DOF without stopping down and harming low light performance.

So you can be assured of ISO 800, say, on the GH5 with this lens and be able to get the shot that is right for the scene and not have to shoot F1.7 on full frame with no background detail, or have to move further away from the subject.

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Only if one needs extrem bokeh, a FF camera with a 1.4 lens will be the better choice.

The 10-25 1.7 zoom is really tack sharp, and it even outperforms most primes in this range.

I will be curious to see whether they can make the announced 25-50 1.7 zoom optically as good as this one…

It is amazingly sharp, as good as a Leica prime.

When the 25-50 comes out that is just two lenses that replace all primes from 20mm to 100mm in full frame terms.

If you wanted that kind of sharpness and optical performance from your full frame camera you'd have to have primes. There is no zoom 20-100mm that is that good (yet), let alone as bright as F1.7 in low light.

20-100mm is at least 7 prime lenses.

20mm, 24mm, 28mm, 35mm, 50mm, 85mm, 100mm.

On Sony E-mount for those 7 at F1.7 or faster, and premium-end sharpness you are looking at about 10 grand!

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This lens for me was always the temptation to go 4/3rds for pure video work.

For stills, nah. My previous 4/3 cameras could not quite match my at the time APSC cameras and there is zero doubt in my mind if I were to compare to my current FF pairing.

What the combo of 4/3 with this lens lacked for me however was a longer equivalent.

With the GH6 officially coming, though spec not yet fully known, it makes for a very interesting potential set up for me for 2022.

I do need one more camera (yes, ‘need’) and a GH6 with twin zoom set up would tick probably every box, so my S1H could go full-time stills and S5 hybrid.

And yep, that Sigma 28-70mm f2.8 is great. I shot 2x commercial jobs (hybrid) with it last week and another with the Sigma 65mm f2 which was also very nice but a bit limiting at times.

But the GH6 with this twin zoom set up looks a very promising proposition for ‘22!

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I have the 10-25 1.7 (replaced the Sigma 18-35 and speedbooster) mainly due to AF (go on, laugh😆) as I often use back button focus when in MF to grab a quick focus. It's on the camera 90% of the time (95% video). I've often thought it would be great on a m43 with better lowlight as the GH5 struggles in many scenarios that I face. I'd hoped it would make my kit a better hybrid kit but I've never really liked the photos I get with my GH5 (I'm no great photographer but the difference with the photos I take with my A73 is brutal. The FF helps cover many of my failings whilst the m43 exaggerates them!). That said, for video it's very nice to use. If the GH5S had IBIS I'd never need to worry. I think it is over priced though and I got mine for around 1500€ (about 250€ less than the normal price). I think 1000-1200€ would be acceptable. I had been thinking about going all in FF Panasonic (I'm not so keen on the Sony for video as overheating is a problem here in Madrid) and selling the lens but the GH6 and the 25-50 1.7 have piqued my interest.

A bit of a ramble, but I guess what I want to say is that the lens is great but the m43 cameras need to move up a good couple of notches to be top hybrids now. If the GH6 does that then this is clearly the lens to have, otherwise I'd invest my money in FF.

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Compare to the behemoth RF 28-70 F2 this lens is way smaller/lighter.

 

4 hours ago, Thpriest said:

I had been thinking about going all in FF Panasonic (I'm not so keen on the Sony for video as overheating is a problem here in Madrid) and selling the lens but the GH6 and the 25-50 1.7 have piqued my interest.

 

Yeah i m curious to see what Panasonic brings to the table with GH6, they have high end lens and now need high end camera to match.

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7 hours ago, Thpriest said:

Just to add, I'm thinking of selling my GH5 and the 10-25 and getting a S1 and 24-105 f4. I just really like what I'm seeing from the FF Panasonics. I'd get a S5 if it had a better EVF as I shoot 70% with EVF

Well if you do and are interested in buying a used 24-105 in mint nick, let me know...and postage from France to Espagne is cheap 🤑

Nothing wrong with it, just no place in my kitbag and it’s gathering dust.

The only reason I still have it is I need to exchange my Sigma 28-70mm at some point due to the ghosting issue and I have been holding on to the Panny zoom for that eventuality, but it’s not critical.

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On 6/3/2021 at 7:26 AM, MrSMW said:

The only reason I still have it is I need to exchange my Sigma 28-70mm at some point due to the ghosting issue and I have been holding on to the Panny zoom for that eventuality, but it’s not critical.

What's up with the ghosting issue?

 

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On 6/3/2021 at 6:26 AM, MrSMW said:

The only reason I still have it is I need to exchange my Sigma 28-70mm at some point due to the ghosting issue and I have been holding on to the Panny zoom for that eventuality, but it’s not critical.

This the L-mount version I take it?

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Yes L Mount and the ghosting issue is with all early models below a certain serial number.

It is apparent as far as I understand it when strong light hits the lens at a certain angle.

I’ve had a few examples of ‘not as respected’ results and after my next 2 jobs are in the bag, this Sunday and Monday, I will send it in as I will have a window to do so.

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2 hours ago, leslie said:

care to share a little on your black and white workflow or even a blog perhaps. I for one would be interested in that.  

It was just the monochrome art presets in Adobe Camera Raw. They're pretty decent.

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I freaking love that lens and it's a gorgeous pair with the EM1 as well! Used it as my primary lens for a while on the Olympus bodies. Just a bit big for everyday carry (which is all i need these days). Been using my 15mm f1.7 pancake on the EM1 mkiii for all my photography of the kids these days. 

Screen Shot 2021-06-09 at 4.29.10 PM.png

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Nice to see you here again Dave! Yeah, bet the AF is better on the Olympus too!!

It makes for a great run & gun video lens. I have the 15mm F1.7 as well, that is far smaller.

They should make a rotating turret with 3 tiny primes on it instead! LOL!

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7 hours ago, Andrew Reid said:

They should make a rotating turret with 3 tiny primes on it instead! LOL!

I actually wish for that and took a look the other week to see if there was anything ‘vintage’ I could adapt.

There wasn’t. As expected.

That 10-25 is massive though isn’t it? I hadn’t realised it’s size.

OK, primes it is for me then.

Shot a job the other day entirely on the Panny 85mm f1.8 and though in crop mode (4K 50p) the equivalent of a 127.5mm lens indoors was ‘a bit tight’, easily the best quality footage compared with my other lenses.

The 50mm version is becoming available shortly and then hopefully the 35 and 24 soon.

Stick a 1/8th mist VND on each and I’m sorted.

Small, light and for me, the perfect DOF.

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