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Old January 19th, 2012, 05:05 PM   #1
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Affordable portrait lens for the GH2? Suggestions?

The Olympus M.zuiko Digital 45mm F1.8 is too expensive for me at the moment, so I'm looking at some maybe older prime alternatives that would work? Even if I need an adapter?

Any suggestions? I've heard something about the Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 with an adapter, though I'm not sure what kind if adapter to get. That lens is also rather expensive. Id love an old ebay 100 dollar lens and adapter combo that would work well.

Also heard something about a Minolta MD Rokkor 50mm which is around ~60 bucks on ebay.

Currently I have the 14-45, 20 1.7 and soon to get moderately priced 45-200.
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Old January 19th, 2012, 05:30 PM   #2
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Re: Affordable portrait lens for the GH2? Suggestions?

"portrait" usually means a fast telephoto... luckily the GH2's crop factor makes a whole lot of lenses telephoto.

Find a good quality "fast fifty" of any number of makes and models and you're pretty much there. Anything from 40-105 is a likely contender.

Here's a rundown of some Nikon options:
Nikon 50mm Lens Comparison

I've got a mess of the things... Olympus OM, M42, Leica, Nikon, and more. My two favorites? A Leica R Summicron 50/2 (not cheap) and a M42 mount Vivitar 50/1.7 (ultra cheap)... but the OM's and SMC's each have their charm as well. I can't tell you what you'll like, so just find a used camera/lens store and try out a few. Get some cheap adapters from someplace like Fotodiox and upgrade if you settle on a mount you prefer.
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Old January 19th, 2012, 09:20 PM   #3
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Re: Affordable portrait lens for the GH2? Suggestions?

Years ago as a still photog doing lots of head shot for families and corporations, when I shot 35mm I always preferred something a bit longer than 50mm. I like 85 up to 135mm. When I shot 6X7 format I preferred a 150 which at that time was the longest lens available for the particular camera I was using.
I just felt the 50-55mm lenses to be a bit short for portraiture.
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Old January 20th, 2012, 08:11 AM   #4
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Re: Affordable portrait lens for the GH2? Suggestions?

The EF 50/1.4 is not a good choice for a GH2, you have no builtin aperture control.

I have many vintage lenses from my photography days, so I have the Minolta 50/1.4, 50/1.7, 50/2, 45/2, 55/1.7, 58/1.4, Canon FD 55/1.2, 50/1.4, OM 55/1.2 50/1.4, SMC 50/1.4, 55/2, various m42 50's and 55's in f2, f1.9, f1.8, f1.7 and an old Biotar clone 58/2, Y/C mount Yashica 50's, Nikon 50's, and also Leica M and LTM mount 50's that I can put on my GH2.

With all these choices, I like my Minolta mount glass, the more modern MD's are physically lighter than most (doesn't feel lopsided on a GH), cheap, but very sharp. The older Rokkors and metal mount lenses have a lovely feel to the image.

With that in mind, except for the lenses that are hazy due to age (think of it as a builtin soft-filter) I would not hesitate to use any of them.

@Don... we're talking about the GH2, a 2x crop. The 50mm is a 90-100mm equiv.
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Old January 20th, 2012, 11:12 AM   #5
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Re: Affordable portrait lens for the GH2? Suggestions?

Kin, thanks for that info. I honestly didn't realize the GH2 was a 2X crop. Wow, give me a good old 35mm lens then. ;-)
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Old January 20th, 2012, 06:43 PM   #6
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Re: Affordable portrait lens for the GH2? Suggestions?

Nice cheap portait lens for the GH2? I would suggest an old Nikkor 50mm 1.8 AIS with adaptor... the samples I've had were better at f2-2.8 than the 50 1.4 versions I've owned... and very affordable/easy to find.

Great build quality too and lovely focussing ring.

A lot of people really like the Pentax SMC Takumars/ Super Takumars... which are also cheap and very good in 50mm 1.4/1.8 variants... - personally I prefer the Nikkors.
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Old January 20th, 2012, 09:47 PM   #7
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Re: Affordable portrait lens for the GH2? Suggestions?

awesome advice everyone. thank you so much. love how much experience there is in this place
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Old January 20th, 2012, 11:38 PM   #8
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Re: Affordable portrait lens for the GH2? Suggestions?

I think the Olympus 45mm you mentioned is great value. Yes, there's lots of cheaper second hand ones around but with Olympus you get good glass, full functionality and F1.8 for $350. Thats not bad!
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Old January 24th, 2012, 03:32 PM   #9
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Re: Affordable portrait lens for the GH2? Suggestions?

I old have Minolta Rokkor lenses (used with MD to 4/3 adapter) and they are nice.

My favorite lens is a 1950's vintage Nikon 105mm f2.5. The camera shop had the newer ai version of this lens as well, and that's actually the lens I was planning to purchase because I wanted the newer, better lens coating. I'm not sure what prompted me to try the older lens, but I'm glad that I did because the difference was surprising: the older lens with its yellow-brown coating rendered much warmer and more natural looking skin tones. The lens was about $100 cheaper than the ai version: $95

I've used the lens on our D7000 and it looks great with that camera as well.

Info & pic here: Nikon Nikkor-P Auto 105mm f/2.5 Pre-AI Review
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Old January 25th, 2012, 07:36 AM   #10
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Re: Affordable portrait lens for the GH2? Suggestions?

Of course on the GH2 it's effecive view would be 210, a little long for a portrait, unless you're very shy:)
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Old January 25th, 2012, 07:59 PM   #11
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Re: Affordable portrait lens for the GH2? Suggestions?

I have a Canon FD 50mm f1.8 that I love to death. Paid about $30.00 for it and another $30.00 for a FD to M43 adapter. I love the creamy look of this lens. It is almost dreamy in a way.
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Old January 26th, 2012, 08:15 AM   #12
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Re: Affordable portrait lens for the GH2? Suggestions?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roy Feldman View Post
Of course on the GH2 it's effecive view would be 210, a little long for a portrait, unless you're very shy:)
Fast ~200mm lenses work pretty darned well for portraits and interviews
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