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Panasonic LUMIX G / GF / GH / GX Series
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Old February 27th, 2012, 04:11 PM   #1
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A good wide lens

Wondering what a good wide lens is that's under 500. Ive been out of commission with a Hurt back so I haven't messed with any camera stuff for quite a while, but now I'm back to 90 percent so I'm ready to break out the gh2. I'm ok with other lens sugg. Now I just have two lenses the 14-42 kit and the 20mm 1.7
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Old February 27th, 2012, 04:30 PM   #2
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Re: A good wide lens

It may not be possible to get good and wide for $500, but the Lumix 7-14mm f4 is both for $890.

Good luck.
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Old February 27th, 2012, 06:34 PM   #3
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Re: A good wide lens

The Olympus 14-54 F/2.8-3.5 isn't exactly wide, but it's a fast zoom that can be had for under $500 used. The 12-60mm F/2.8-4.0 is nice and wide, relatively speaking, and can be had for under $700 used. The 12mm F/2.0 by Panasonic is $799.

The lens Dan recommends produces stunning images and is a best bet if you don't need faster than 4.0.
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Old February 28th, 2012, 08:59 AM   #4
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Re: A good wide lens

Increasing your budget slightly will get you into a used Tokina 11-16 for Nikon mount... several adapters are available that will control the aperture.
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Old February 28th, 2012, 03:59 PM   #5
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Re: A good wide lens

It took me a while to come across this but it seems that all M43 lenses (including non-Panny ones) on GH2 body result in a lot of sharpening done in processing whereas if you use lenses that have no connection to the body, so most non M43 lenses, then no sharpening is done in the camera.
Turning down the sharpness to -2 helps a little but isn't enough control.
GH2 Digital Sharpening removable with hack? - Personal View Talks

In professional post production environments sharpening is best left to the final finishing/grading stage and is very undesirable if overdone in camera.
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Old February 28th, 2012, 04:06 PM   #6
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Re: A good wide lens

"If overdone in camera" being the operative phrase. At -2 I just don't see the issue.

One poster mentioned in the thread you linked to that he could see the effects of the sharpening when he zoomed in on the image 400%. I personally do not find that level of "distortion" an issue. The images from the camera are stunning using m4/3 lenses or not. For my purposes, the auto sharpening is much ado about nothing.
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Old February 28th, 2012, 04:54 PM   #7
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Re: A good wide lens

That's interesting - thanks.

I've only had my GH2 for a few days and only have the standard 14-42 lens but already I notice the ringing caused by sharpening. I'm hoping to match to my EX3 which is set up to BBC spec with almost no sharpening so it is an issue for me.

I don't have any non-M43 lenses to fit (except Canon 300/2.8L and 500/4.5L old manual primes) and test so I'm keen to find out if it's worth my time getting some. I don't want to spend a lot but the Tokina 11-16 seems almost the only option even though what I really want is a zoom 14-35'ish or a prime or two around 14mm and 20mm as I have a 28-500 lens on my EX3 to do the rest (wildlife).
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Old February 28th, 2012, 09:54 PM   #8
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Re: A good wide lens

The auto-sharpening issue would likely be more of an issue for outdoor shooting, I'm sure, and since it sounds like that's what you do, then the Tokina would definitely be the choice for you. For wedding and other non-broadcast work such as I do, I have little issue with the auto sharpening, for the most part.

After reading the thread you linked, I understand why some of my outdoor footage set in parks, had some weirdness associated with greenery, etc.

In retrospect, I can see the "feature" of auto-sharpening could have been the culprit in some cases and that I was simply not aware of the cause at the time. Seems I learn something every day around here.
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Old February 28th, 2012, 11:52 PM   #9
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Re: A good wide lens

I'm guilty of using all Panasonic lenses at +2 Saturation and +1 Sharpness, mostly landscapes with massive amounts of detail, and no issue with so called over sharpening.

I might guess it is a personal preference issue. My attraction to the GH2, and many other Panasonic cameras, is their ability to produce razor sharp video.
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Old February 29th, 2012, 01:43 AM   #10
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Re: A good wide lens

Yes Dan except for an Olympus 9-18 all my lenses are Panas, I also like sharp video, that's what HD is all about IMO.
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Old February 29th, 2012, 02:38 AM   #11
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Re: A good wide lens

The trouble is the way the sharpening is implemented - spoils edges that are already very high contrast and therefore don't really need sharpening, producing the ringing artefact. In low contrast areas it's effect is usually good and not a problem.

Getting a bit off topic now but I've read that when used for independent features and TV the settings that are almost 'standard' now are 'Smooth' (or Nostalgic for low light) and all but the chroma turned down as much as possible, ie. -2, -2, 0, -2.
This maximises the dynamic range, and leaves as much fexibility as possible to the grading/finishing. The only reason for leaving colour setting at 0 is because the colour resolution data is already particularly low in the 4:2:0 format that is used.

Looks like for unsharpened video the Tokina 11-16 is my only option until Samyang improves the distortion in their 14mm prime.
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Old February 29th, 2012, 03:00 AM   #12
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Re: A good wide lens

Regardless of anything else, the Tokina is certainly a very popular lens. Reviews I've read are extremely positive.
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Old February 29th, 2012, 05:30 AM   #13
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Re: A good wide lens

Just discovered the Tokina 12-24 too - not quite so commonly used on the GH2 but a better focal length range for my purposes and still well thought of it seems.
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Old February 29th, 2012, 06:06 AM   #14
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Re: A good wide lens

Looks like a nice lens, but obviously slower than the 11-16. Certainly a better range. If you're shooting primarily outdoors it would appear to be a decent option. When you get into shadows, etc, I would think you might have trouble, but I've never used a lens that slow, so I could be wrong, might be fine.
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Old March 7th, 2012, 08:13 AM   #15
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Re: A good wide lens

Mike - for $500, I recommend a used or refurb'd Olympus 11-22mm f/2.8-3.5 for 4/3.

You can find the Oly 11-22 used for less if you're willing to wait and scour craigslist or eBay, but the link above to a dealer with several refurbs in stock for $500 seems to me to be a pretty good deal.

Hope this is helpful,

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