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Old February 14th, 2017, 10:00 AM   #1
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new JVC LS300 owner- lenses

Hello there, it's my first post and to start I'd like to say thanks for some discussion of the JVC LS300, it's hard to find a lot of info and reading the posts here have been very informative. I come from the land of ENG shoulder form and small (1/3" 2/3") sensors, just recently purchased an LS300 as my first foray into larger sensor and a "rig" set-up.

I have many questions but my first one is about lenses:

If you bought an LS300 and didn't have any lenses to start, would you go with the adapter and use full frame lenses or stay with MFT and use the VSM when necessary, and why? For example if you had similar quality glass, would the Full Frame lens produce a significantly different image or quality than the MFT?

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Thanks for any input, I shot with 3 CCD until very recently and am admittedly late to the large sensor party, it would be cool by me if they could just throw a s35 sensor into the HM 850 form, but it's past time to learn some new ropes.
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Old February 14th, 2017, 11:52 AM   #2
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Re: new JVC LS300 owner- lenses

There is plenty of info out there about the benefits and drawbacks between M4/3 lenses and full frame with adapters. Given that the LS300 is a sort of hybrid itself, info available for these lens on other cameras doesn't always translate into the same performance on the LS300. The one advantage you have with the LS300 coming from an HM series video camera, is that the controls and handling are much closer to what you are used to than if you switched to a DSLR camera for video.

The first thing to remember is that there is no equivalent zoom lens for the LS300 to what you can get on a pro video camera so my recommendation is to research what sort of prime lenses work for the types of filming you would use this camera for. I film interviews often and the LS300 works great for those with a 20mm or a 45mm depending on the amount of room I have to set up. There are reasonably priced M4/3 lenses in this range from Olympus, Panasonic, Rokinon and others. The VSM gives me the ability to vary the framing without worrying about focus drift which you would get from a photo zoom. And primes give you a great image. I also film theatrical productions often and the LS300 is not very good for that unless I have two cameras running so I can use the LS300 for medium shots and close-ups using the 45mm prime or a 45 - 175mm zoom. The on-lens zoom makes things difficult with wild variations in exposure and focus so I usually do these theater jobs with one of my HM600 video cameras.
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Old February 14th, 2017, 12:21 PM   #3
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Re: new JVC LS300 owner- lenses

I primarily use full frame Nikon lenses since I have a lot of them. I added the Panasonic 12-35 f2.8 just so I would have autofocus and stabilization on occasion. I prefer to shoot 4K even though I will normally deliver in 1920x1080. With the Pany 12-35 I have to set VSM to 86% (the 4K setting) and will get a bit of vignetting with that setting which is not normally an issue. Other MFT lenses may perform differently.

I really love the image quality from the Super 35 sensor especially when using 100% of it with my full frame lenses. As far as I know there are no MFT mount adapters for my Nikon lenses that pass the camera mount electrical connections so everything is manual. I believe there are mount adapters that allow full lens functionality for Canon lenses and perhaps others. I think if I owned no lenses I would buy full frame lenses that would fully function (with the right mount adapter) rather than MFT lenses.
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Old February 14th, 2017, 01:04 PM   #4
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Re: new JVC LS300 owner- lenses

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Originally Posted by William Hohauser View Post
There is plenty of info out there about the benefits and drawbacks between M4/3 lenses and full frame with adapters. Given that the LS300 is a sort of hybrid itself, info available for these lens on other cameras doesn't always translate into the same performance on the LS300
I agree, have been doing a lot of research on interchangeable lenses because that was never my thing. I feel like I have the fundamentals down, now I'm curious about how lenses perform specifically on the LS300, which one all the electronics work on and so forth.

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Originally Posted by William Hohauser View Post
The first thing to remember is that there is no equivalent zoom lens for the LS300 to what you can get on a pro video camera so my recommendation is to research what sort of prime lenses work for the types of filming you would use this camera for.
I understand, but I do shoot some sports, and one thing I've done is added an adapter for a B4 2/3" ENG style power servo zoom lens. The VSM sets to low-end 43% and I haven't had a chance to see how well it performs under game conditions, and one thing I've been curious about is if an old 2/3" lens performs better on the small sweet spot of a large sensor or the same as a 2/3 sensor. I'm looking forward to testing it out.

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Originally Posted by William Hohauser View Post
I also film theatrical productions often and the LS300 is not very good for that unless I have two cameras running so I can use the LS300 for medium shots and close-ups using the 45mm prime or a 45 - 175mm zoom. The on-lens zoom makes things difficult with wild variations in exposure and focus so I usually do these theater jobs with one of my HM600 video cameras.
That's what I mean too, I could cover that with one camera and the zoom ability on the HM700 but couldn't see anything in the dark haha. That's what I'm researching, is there a lens out there that can handle longer zooming in a scenario like that and the electronics work.

Thanks for your reply I appreciate it.
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Old February 14th, 2017, 01:12 PM   #5
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Re: new JVC LS300 owner- lenses

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I really love the image quality from the Super 35 sensor especially when using 100% of it with my full frame lenses. As far as I know there are no MFT mount adapters for my Nikon lenses that pass the camera mount electrical connections so everything is manual. I believe there are mount adapters that allow full lens functionality for Canon lenses and perhaps others. I think if I owned no lenses I would buy full frame lenses that would fully function (with the right mount adapter) rather than MFT lenses.
This is the way I'm leaning, I don't know how much it matters but I like the idea of using the full sensor and the few videos I've seen full frame do look nice. Since I don't have lenses already, my thinking is to locate the Canon or whichever brand full frame lenses that do work with the electronics and head in that direction if that makes sense.

The hard part for me is finding that information, not a ton out there on this camera, I'm glad I found this spot and if someone is working with full frame lenses that the electronics work on I'd be interested to hear which ones they are.

Thanks for the response.
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Old February 14th, 2017, 07:01 PM   #6
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Re: new JVC LS300 owner- lenses

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Originally Posted by Jay P. Kaley View Post
I agree, have been doing a lot of research on interchangeable lenses because that was never my thing. I feel like I have the fundamentals down, now I'm curious about how lenses perform specifically on the LS300, which one all the electronics work on and so forth.


I understand, but I do shoot some sports, and one thing I've done is added an adapter for a B4 2/3" ENG style power servo zoom lens. The VSM sets to low-end 43% and I haven't had a chance to see how well it performs under game conditions, and one thing I've been curious about is if an old 2/3" lens performs better on the small sweet spot of a large sensor or the same as a 2/3 sensor. I'm looking forward to testing it out.


That's what I mean too, I could cover that with one camera and the zoom ability on the HM700 but couldn't see anything in the dark haha. That's what I'm researching, is there a lens out there that can handle longer zooming in a scenario like that and the electronics work.

Thanks for your reply I appreciate it.
Search around here. I put up my experiments with my M4/3 lens collection a few months ago in one of the threads. The Lumix lenses don't perform consistently between lens models. I figure this is more due to Panasonic having different firmware in each lens and JVC either was never given all the codes or JVC decided that it was too much to program around. This doesn't mean that any malfunction on the LS300, you can always get a working image, it's just that some functions are not there or they perform oddly. For example, the 20mm Lumix pancake lens provides a beautiful image but the auto-focus doesn't work, it's fully manual. No problem for me, that's how I like to work filming interviews. However I wouldn't use that lens to follow a subject around outside in uncontrolled conditions, I would use the 14-45 zoom with OIS. That one the auto-focus works.

If you can get the adapted B4 lens to work, good for you. There is no suitable TV/film par-focal zoom that works on the LS300 that I know of. Canon makes a 18-80mm par-focal zoom f4.4 EF mount for $5300 which is quite a bit cheaper than their previous model which was around $23,000 or the 10x zoom for $45,000. But $5300 for a 4x zoom is still pretty pricey. Regardless, I have not heard of anybody trying these Cine-zooms on a LS300.
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Old February 14th, 2017, 08:20 PM   #7
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Re: new JVC LS300 owner- lenses

I've actually read every post here on the LS300, it takes a long time to be approved to post. :) I read your lens posts and have that 14-45 on a short list because of it, but since I'm starting from scratch I'm leaning toward investing a little more in full frames and an adapter, but I'm not in a big rush so trying to research and narrow it down to 2 or 3 solid options that fully interact with the camera if I can.

I saw some video shot with a Canon 24-105mm that looked pretty good and seemed to fully function, it's on my possible list too. Seems so many to choose from, and I'd be in the 1k range, those 5-20K lenses are way out of my league.

And I did use an adapter and mounted an old Fuji 14x ENG 2/3" lens I bought on eBay. Like I said the VSM needs to be at 43%, but it's called the HD setting and the power zoom and iris worked. Just got it late yesterday haven't had a chance to test, but my thinking is the image should look as good or better than it did on a small sensor so it might be a good option for long zoom sports that don't require the shallow DoF and pretty picture as much.

I'm an old dog trying to learn some large sensor tricks, it's been interesting stuff for sure, and that nice shallow DoF really does jump out when you've used small sensor forever.
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Old February 16th, 2017, 07:31 AM   #8
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Re: new JVC LS300 owner- lenses

If the EF to Micro Four Thirds speed booster is made to cover an MFT sensor, does that mean there is vignetting using that speed booster with the super35 sensor?
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Old February 16th, 2017, 08:15 AM   #9
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Re: new JVC LS300 owner- lenses

In theory you are right that it will reduce the image size too much for a S35 sensor. Metabones themselves recommend the 0.71x adaptor but state that you must still crop into the sensor using VSM. Perhaps a 0.75x adaptor like the Aputure Regain might be better, but it won't fit on the LS300 AFAIK.
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Old February 16th, 2017, 12:57 PM   #10
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Re: new JVC LS300 owner- lenses

In theory and in practice right? The metabones page says the adapter covers 17.3mm x 13mm and the s35 sensor is in the 27mm range, that seems like a lot of unused space. What I don't fully understand is how cropping he VSM affects the image, if at all. Is there any advantage to using the full sensor over 86% for example.

I"ve never used or bought interchangeable lenses, the choices and price range is a bit intimidating, so any input I can plug in is appreciated.

Also I'm not making movies or anything, just wanted to get the most out of the larger sensor experience.
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Old February 16th, 2017, 01:53 PM   #11
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Re: new JVC LS300 owner- lenses

You've obviously realised that having a S35 sized sensor inside a MFT mount has great potential for using any glass you like. But a MFT Speedbooster is designed to concentrate the image down onto a MFT sized sensor. The lower the reduction, the better coverage you will get on the LS300 sensor.

If you are shooting in HD then using some VSM to crop into the sensor won't have any real impact at all on your final image. If you are in 4k then you can only crop in so much.

I'd suggest that you simply VSM in a little when using your 20mm.

You are also looking for zoom lenses. You can buy large expensive lenses and get control and stabilisation working via smart adaptors. But you should also seriously consider MFT lenses like the Panasonic 12-35 and 35-100 f2.8 which are stabilised, very really lightweight and (I think) handle nicely on the camera. I've posted plenty of examples that I've shot with them on this forum and on a Facebook user group too.

If you try using adapted broadcast lenses on a tiny camera like the LS300 you'll need to think carefully about lens support and general handling, plus you lose the large sensor look.
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Old February 16th, 2017, 04:54 PM   #12
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Re: new JVC LS300 owner- lenses

I've owned a lot of cameras and still have some S16 lenses I bought in the 70's (although they don't work well on the LS, they are no longer parfocal and they aren't sharp enough). In my mind that's a consideration when buying a lens. You may sell the camera in a year or two, but you can keep the lens.

In my opinion the single best lens for the LS300 is the Olympus 12-40 f2.8. It holds the maximum aperture through the zoom range, it just covers at 92% VSM, at 12mm its nice and wide, and 40mm is just enough longer than the Lumix 12-35 (which I had and sold). If you're shooting HD, the Prime Zoom feature allows the long end of the lens to be the equivalent of about 90mm. So you have one lens that holds f2.8 and has a zoom equivalent of 12-90mm. It isn't parfocal (I have yet to find a zoom that is on this camera) and it doesn't have stabilization.. but it's very sharp _ I've posted stills somewhere on this site.

However, MFT may be dying, and with the exception of Panasonic GH and BM Pocket and Micro, there aren't many possibilities. If you have a Canon EOS in your future, get EF lenses (like the 24-105 or 17-55, which is excellent) and use the Metabones smart adapter (not the SpeedBooster)... Beware though. If you get a Metabones, be sure the iris adjustment works well with the LS. Mine doesn't, so I use it on my Micro instead.
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Old February 16th, 2017, 05:36 PM   #13
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Re: new JVC LS300 owner- lenses

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You've obviously realised that having a S35 sized sensor inside a MFT mount has great potential for using any glass you like.

If you are shooting in HD then using some VSM to crop into the sensor won't have any real impact at all on your final image. If you are in 4k then you can only crop in so much.

You are also looking for zoom lenses. You can buy large expensive lenses and get control and stabilisation working via smart adaptors. But you should also seriously consider MFT lenses like the Panasonic 12-35 and 35-100 f2.8 which are stabilised, very really lightweight and (I think) handle nicely on the camera. I've posted plenty of examples that I've shot with them on this forum and on a Facebook user group too.

If you try using adapted broadcast lenses on a tiny camera like the LS300 you'll need to think carefully about lens support and general handling, plus you lose the large sensor look.
Yep I have realized how many options are available, makes it hard to make the final decision. I am very seriously considering between MFT and adapter EF at the moment, it's not an easy choice. I have those lenses you mentioned on my short list as well, actually most of the lenses mentioned here are on it, the information you guys have shared has been really helpful to me, my intent with this post is in case of new insight or options in the last few months.

On the old ENG B4 lens, if I use it at all it would only be for long range fast moving sports, like a soccer match. I see the DSLR type guys shooting game and they can't follow the action and be sure not to miss. When they get the shot it's pretty, but they can't see "the whites of a players eyes" and quickly zoom out to the shot, and one thing I don't know is if any reasonably priced DSLR-type set-up can match the old style shoulder form in that specific environment where a pretty picture isn't the most important thing if you miss it or it's so wide you can't tell what happened. I could be wrong about that, but the DSLR guys tell me they can't be sure to get the shot every time. It's just something I'm going to experiment a bit with, might look funky good enough for youtube.
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Old February 16th, 2017, 05:43 PM   #14
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Re: new JVC LS300 owner- lenses

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In my opinion the single best lens for the LS300 is the Olympus 12-40 f2.8. It holds the maximum aperture through the zoom range, it just covers at 92% VSM, at 12mm its nice and wide, and 40mm is just enough longer than the Lumix 12-35 (which I had and sold). If you're shooting HD, the Prime Zoom feature allows the long end of the lens to be the equivalent of about 90mm. So you have one lens that holds f2.8 and has a zoom equivalent of 12-90mm. It isn't parfocal (I have yet to find a zoom that is on this camera) and it doesn't have stabilization.. but it's very sharp _ I've posted stills somewhere on this site.
Yep I've read your posts about that lens and others, was very close to getting it when I reconsidered EF again, like i said I'm having a tough time deciding. The lesser expensive option of that zoom you mentioned and some of the Rokinon primes is my other consideration. Price isn't the most important factor, but my top end would only be 1k range or so anyway so I think the Rokinon's are in the game.

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Originally Posted by Steve Rosen View Post
Iuse the Metabones smart adapter (not the SpeedBooster)... Beware though. If you get a Metabones, be sure the iris adjustment works well with the LS. Mine doesn't, so I use it on my Micro instead.
I was wondering about "smart adapter" v "speed booster", if you could tell me what you mean as it relates to the LS300 I'd appreciate it, I've googled but kinda thought they were very similar, or maybe the smart one doesn't boost the light but I don't know.



/All of your responses and archive posts have been very helpful even if you don't know it, thanks again.
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Old February 17th, 2017, 01:12 AM   #15
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Re: new JVC LS300 owner- lenses

I use Fotodiox dumb adapters for my Nikon and Samyang (Rokinon) canon mount lenses to my MFT and Sony cameras. They are simple metal tubes that hold the lenses onto the camera.

A smart adapter has electronics added that allows the camera to control the electronics in the lens (some work better than others)

A Speedbooster is a focal reducer (sometimes called Lens Turbo) which compresses the projected image of a lens onto a smaller sensor area. This increase the field of view and light gathering intensity.

For interviews my main goto lens is the same one I've used on my Sony FS100 for years, a Sigma 24-70 f2.8. It manually focusses in a direction that I'm used to, and it's almost par focal. I use a dumb adapter and in most situations the zoom range (approx 36mm-105mm) is just right to zoom optically from a two shot to a CU and I can get to a ECU by using VSM. It's not stabilised, but I use it on a tripod anyway as large lenses make the LS300 front heavy.

I couldn't shoot at 100mm without some kind of lens stabilisation which is why I use the Panasonic lenses, and while they aren't as good as Sony's Steadyshot they are quite useable and balance perfectly.
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