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Old September 3rd, 2017, 12:00 PM   #1
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FOCUS - experience with Lumix 12-35 F2.8 II ?

Hello,
I just spent one month using my new LS300 (immersion documentary). Coming from a Pana HPX170, I learned a lot from filming with a photo lens, and I really like the image look. I bought a Lumix 12-35 F2.8 II. (around $1000)

I must say I really struggle to use the focus.
I find the AF terrible. Does the J-Log (that I have used) cause bad AF?? I also tried face recognition: faces are recognized (yellow square), but half of the time the camera cannot focus on them!!
I am quite disappointed because I bought a Lumix lens precisely for the Autofocus…

Well, then I went for Manual focus, but I really struggle to use it.
The responsiveness of the ring seems to be intelligent, but I can't get how it works to be able to use it efficiently, and I have to "search" focus each time I need to refocus (which is all the time :-) )

Also, the focus distance shown on the LCD screen doesn't match reality at all!

Does someone experience the same issues? Does someone have some tips and tricks?
Thanks a lot!
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Old September 3rd, 2017, 12:07 PM   #2
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Re: FOCUS - experience with Lumix 12-35 F2.8 II ?

Having used the 12-35mm Mark I and currently using the 35-100mm Mark II on the GH5 I think their auto focus is excellent.

Of course I am not talking about continuous auto focus that just does not work well for video on any camera.
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Old September 3rd, 2017, 01:07 PM   #3
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Re: FOCUS - experience with Lumix 12-35 F2.8 II ?

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Originally Posted by Cary Knoop View Post
Of course I am not talking about continuous auto focus that just does not work well for video on any camera.
On the contrary, continuous auto focus works exceptionally well on the C300 Mark II, and nearly as good on the A7R Mark II. The GH5 isn't nearly as good (though we'll see how that improves with the 2.0 firmware) on the 12-35 Mark II, and I assume JVC is probably even worse.
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Old September 3rd, 2017, 01:44 PM   #4
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Re: FOCUS - experience with Lumix 12-35 F2.8 II ?

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Originally Posted by Gary Huff View Post
On the contrary, continuous auto focus works exceptionally well on the C300 Mark II, and nearly as good on the A7R Mark II. The GH5 isn't nearly as good (though we'll see how that improves with the 2.0 firmware) on the 12-35 Mark II, and I assume JVC is probably even worse.
Perhaps for more or less steady shots but I can't see how you can make a quality video with dynamic shots using continuous auto focus. A camera after all is not a mind reader and does not know what you want to keep in focus.
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Old September 3rd, 2017, 02:27 PM   #5
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Re: FOCUS - experience with Lumix 12-35 F2.8 II ?

I could be that the 12-35 v2 doesn't play nice together with the jvc, I have the 12-35 v1 and autofocussing is not that bad and manually focussing is possible but the focus ring on my 12-35 is a bit "sticky' and not that smooth. My experience is that JVC and panasonic/olympus lenses don't always work well together, I also have a 40-150mm from Olympus and manually focussing is more difficult on my jvc then it is on my gh5. The focus ring on the olympus is buttersmooth but it's difficult to finetune focus with the JVC. It allmost looks like the communication between camera and lenses is not always perfect. Best lenschoices for the jvc is still fully manual lenses if you want to manually focus, because the peaking is so excellent manually focusing is very easy.

I see you are from Brussels which is 45 min drive from my place, you are always welcome to test out some other lenses at my place if you plan on buying more lenses.
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Old September 3rd, 2017, 08:25 PM   #6
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Re: FOCUS - experience with Lumix 12-35 F2.8 II ?

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Originally Posted by Cary Knoop View Post
Perhaps for more or less steady shots but I can't see how you can make a quality video with dynamic shots using continuous auto focus.
You mean like this?

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Old September 3rd, 2017, 09:51 PM   #7
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Re: FOCUS - experience with Lumix 12-35 F2.8 II ?

I've had good luck with the Version I lens. It is the only MFT lens I have. I have my LS-300 set up to auto focus only with a press of a function button. So effectively I'm in manual focus and only using auto focus to gain initial focus. I have not tried it in full-time auto focus. With any AF lens I check to see what the camera actually focused on. Stabilization works well for hand holding as long as I stay at the wide end. I use 86% VSM and the slight vignette is not normally an issue.
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Old September 4th, 2017, 01:49 AM   #8
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Re: FOCUS - experience with Lumix 12-35 F2.8 II ?

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I have my LS-300 set up to auto focus only with a press of a function button. So effectively I'm in manual focus and only using auto focus to gain initial focus.
I shot a wedding like that and also had good results from using the first version of the 12-35mm.
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Old September 4th, 2017, 09:21 AM   #9
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Re: FOCUS - experience with Lumix 12-35 F2.8 II ?

My complaint in my very first post on this forum was, and still is, the incapability of this camera with native MFT zooms which SHOULD work flawlessly. I have a 12-40 Olympus, an excellent lens that works well on the LS300, but only in (the lens') manual mode. In auto, or press to focus, its chancy at best... I also have and use regularly a Lumix 35-100. This lens doesn't have a manual mode, but it works well with the camera's autofocus off... In auto it sometimes works really well in bright situations, which is fine because those are often the times it's most difficult to eyeball focus a lens, but it's not 100% reliable - and I make my living doing this so I need 100% reliability...

Consequently I primarily use manual primes and make use of the Prime Zoom feature, which is the one reason I continue to use this camera. My favorite is the Nokton f.95 17.5mm. With the VSM set at 92% it gives me the equivalent of a better than 2:1 zoom with excellent low light capabilities... I also regularly use two cine-modified Leica lenses, the 35 Summarit and 50 Summicron (VSM 100%). Those three lenses, combined with the Prime Zoom (and the occasional use of a Rokinon 12mm f2.2) cover most of my needs.

But I like zooms, so I'm currently testing my two EFs, the 24-105 and 17-55 again (on a Metabones "smart" adapter), so far without much satisfaction.

And certainly not with autofocus, which to be honest I'd be more than happy to do without if there was a good parfocal zoom that worked on this camera. (I have three S16 zooms that don't)... How I miss the halcyon days of zoom in to focus, pull back to frame...
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Old September 4th, 2017, 09:46 AM   #10
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Re: FOCUS - experience with Lumix 12-35 F2.8 II ?

I've been thinking of using a follow focus like the the Red Rock micro follow focus. Can anyone with experience tell me if this helps with smoother focus? (Obviously I'm only talking about shooting on a tripod or other mount.)
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Old September 4th, 2017, 10:51 AM   #11
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Re: FOCUS - experience with Lumix 12-35 F2.8 II ?

Thank you all for your answers!
I guess I should definitely train again, and also probably get an external bigger LCD monitor.
:-)
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Old September 4th, 2017, 01:20 PM   #12
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Re: FOCUS - experience with Lumix 12-35 F2.8 II ?

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Originally Posted by Conrad Obregon View Post
I've been thinking of using a follow focus like the the Red Rock micro follow focus. Can anyone with experience tell me if this helps with smoother focus? (Obviously I'm only talking about shooting on a tripod or other mount.)
The answer depends on what kind of lenses you're going to use it with. If you going to use photo lenses, then you'll need the Redrock focus rings, because the plastic ones that sit directly on the focus ring don't add any throw.

Frankly, the Redrock FF is very basic, and if I was going to spend money, I'd buy the Bright Tangerine Revolvr Atom. But aside from that, with a follow focus you will always be required to mount your camera on rails, and have your lens wear a focus ring that makes it's diameter wider. Will it be something you'll just talk yourself out of mounting time and time again?
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Old September 4th, 2017, 05:39 PM   #13
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Re: FOCUS - experience with Lumix 12-35 F2.8 II ?

Actually, I would use this device with my 100-400 mm. lens, my RRS bar, and my RRS Red Rock Micro Adapter. I expect to leave the ring permanently on and use it for wildlife photography. What I wonder is will the Red Rock Micro make it even a little bit easier to pull focus in Manual Focus Mode then just rotating the focus ring directly.
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Old September 5th, 2017, 08:00 AM   #14
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Re: FOCUS - experience with Lumix 12-35 F2.8 II ?

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Originally Posted by JeanBaptiste Dumont View Post
Thank you all for your answers!
I guess I should definitely train again, and also probably get an external bigger LCD monitor.
:-)
Hello, I have read your posts and if I may throw in a few cents... I will go on record saying from my experience the LS3 is better as a manual cam. This is why they advertise with the Manual Roki Lenses. I have 2 LS3's and I use them full manual. I have a third DSLR type cam that I use for B-roll that is autofocus. Allows me to use on a gumball and so on. It is not the answer you were looking for, but it is a method in which can be beneficial. I would learn the dull manual adjusting and pulling focus, and if possible get a second cam for autofocus.

I decided on the Samsung NX1 for the autofocus b-roll cam and it works out great for me. I hope this at least steers you in a progressive path.
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Old September 5th, 2017, 08:49 AM   #15
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Re: FOCUS - experience with Lumix 12-35 F2.8 II ?

Aaron... As you must know, I totally agree. I have 18 prime lenses, including five Rokinons, the Nokton and a variety of good 70's era still lenses, Leica and Canon... And with the LS300, shooting 1080, the Prime Zoom makes it a very versatile camera.

The problem, of course, is when you shoot 4K, which still isn't all that necessary for most projects, but does come up when planning for cable... Then you're stuck with the primes and a lot of lens changing... That was fine in my college days with a Bolex H16 - it was std16 and had a turret - but carrying a pocket full of S35 lenses isn't fun (I shoot documentaries)...

I've begged for over ten years for a good manual 5:1 or 4:1 parfocal T2.8 zoom lens - as have others - but apparently there just isn't a perceived market for one in this lazy, auto-everything world...

(Although even a newly designed parfocal lens probably wouldn't work on this camera since none of my legacy S16 zooms do)...
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