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Panasonic LUMIX G / GF / GH / GX Series
4K and AVCHD on a Micro Four Thirds system camera with interchangeable lenses.


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Old November 21st, 2011, 03:16 PM   #1
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One Lens. Which one?

I have just been hired by an attorney to do a "day in the life" video. The case involves a minor who had a stroke and a mother that must now take care of the disabled child. The lawyer wants me to shoot the child at home, at school, and at the doctors. The lawyer will be with me at all times, directing me as to what he wants me to capture. I need to be discreet and fast. (sort of wedding like). If possible, I would like to shoot everything with one lens. Below is a list of lenses I have. I'm thinking maybe I need to buy another one. Do any of you have any recommendation? I'm shooting with a GH2.

Panasonic lenses I own,
14-42
14-45
100-300
20mm

I also have some "effects" lenses (SLR Magic, lens baby) and about 5 different FD lenses)

Thanks for your help.
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Old November 21st, 2011, 03:30 PM   #2
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Re: One Lens. Which one?

You'll be shooting indoors under less than ideal lighting, I'm sure. Ideally you'd want a fast zoom, or to use a real video camera good in low light. But you do not list those options.

With that in mind the only real choice is the 20mm, which should work very well. The 14-45 and 14-42 are nearly useless is poor lighting.

I would put the 20mm on the camera and stick the 14-45 in a belt pouch. You can use the 14-45 for outdoor establishing shots, where you would want a nice wide shot.

Shoot photos of exteriors rather than video to speed things up. At the doctors, shoot a photo of the door with the Dr.'s name on it, for example, same for the house.

You need to know how to use the lens with the camera, and if you don't know how you will want to practice like hell. You need to turn continuous AF off in the menu. Use a large square for your focus area and depress the shutter halfway for getting focus. Avoid pans when possible to simplify editing.
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Old November 21st, 2011, 03:50 PM   #3
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Re: One Lens. Which one?

Agree with Jeff on the 20mm stopped down to look personal with min DOF.
Establish a style first - whether it will be handheld or on a pod with a bit of wobble, or just steady on the pod. Stick with the one lens - don't go mucking around changing constantly. Shoot from diffferent angles and heights.
Establish whetehr you need lights at all - probably not.
Shoot exteriors and overlay after you finish with the subject so they are not hanging around - leave yourself plenty of time.
But practice lots before you go because it is always different and more demanding on the day than when you're sitting at home focussing and racking exsposure changes on the dog or a tree out the back.
Remember AUDIO is as important as the pictures. No-one wants to watch beautiful pictures with no audio or audio blown out.
Good luck.,
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Old November 21st, 2011, 03:59 PM   #4
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Re: One Lens. Which one?

Audio, forgot about that. Good catch Chris. I'd recommend the tiny Sennheiser shotgun. You said you must be discreet. You likely won't want light in that case, so the shotgun will work out fine. Videomic pro is better but costs more and doesn't travel as well as the Sennheiser due to the shock mount with bands. Of course you can glue those to keep them in place, but the Sennheiser is much smaller and easier to handle, IMO. I removed the shockmount from my Videomic Pro so it is much better for handling purposes now.
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Old November 21st, 2011, 04:39 PM   #5
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Re: One Lens. Which one?

Thanks guys. I have the audio covered. I have a Rode video mic on the camera and I will place a discreet digital recorder/lav on the subject. I was thinking about using the 20mm as well. I guess I was wondering if the new 25mm or the Oly 12mm might be better for this application. I love the 20, but it isn't exactly designed for video.
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Old November 21st, 2011, 05:33 PM   #6
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Re: One Lens. Which one?

20mm is perfectly fine for video, unless you're going to manually focus, which is not necessary. If you've got the 20mm I would suggest learning it, but that would be me. No need to purchase another lens. 12mm has a faster auto focus, and might be nice for the extra width. I guess in close quarters it would be ideal, like at the doctors office possibly.

If you learn how to use the auto focus (not CAF) and set the focus area to the right size, you can always be in focus with a quick touch of the shutter button. It's easy as pie. Doesn't have to be complicated. Some people think only amateurs use auto focus. It's a tool like anything else, and when you are in a high pressure fast paced shooting situation and only have one shot, do you want to be fiddling with auto focus as you lose your shot? Instead you can concentrate on framing correctly, and telling your story instead of the audience watching the focus go in and out. Just my 2 cents.
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Old November 21st, 2011, 06:01 PM   #7
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Re: One Lens. Which one?

Agree as well - don't let the stigma of auto-focus/exposure deter you. I shoot on Sony digi-cams and the auto settings are great - as are most cameras these days. When you need stuff quick or are not yet comfortable, switch to auto even if it's to check that your manual exposure, focus, balance are correct.
Great for going indoor to outdoor - dark to light - tungsten to natural. Try manual when you have more time on the exteriors and overlay.
My 2 cents worth as well.
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Old November 21st, 2011, 06:47 PM   #8
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Re: One Lens. Which one?

Thanks for the advice. I'll stick with my 20mm and save the $.
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