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Panasonic LUMIX G / GF / GH / GX Series
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Old March 4th, 2012, 01:16 PM   #1
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Decent wide lens for use with a follow focus? 20mm 1.7 won't fit.

Looks like my lovely pancake is actually TOO small to work with my follow focus setup, so I'm wondering if there is something a little longer/larger out there. I've been suggested the Sigma 20mm F1.8 or the Sigma 30mm F1.8. I'm looking for something fast but not outrageously expensive.

Any experienced users have suggestions?

Any suggestions? I'd like to be fast 1.4-1.8 and also not more than 400 bucks if possible. Larger (64-78mm body) I'm looking for a lens I can make my primary cinematography tool ;p

I've found the Panasonic Leica D Summilux Asph 25mm F1.4 but it is too expensive. Must be some cheaper alternatives.
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Old March 4th, 2012, 01:47 PM   #2
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Re: Decent wide lens for use with a follow focus? 20mm 1.7 won't fit.

I don't know what will work or not work with a follow focus, but the first thing that comes to my mind in a normal lens would be the Pana 25mm F/1.4. It's made for the camera which means no adapter which is a plus in my opinion.

It does cost over $400. I've had the Sigma 30mm F/1.4 and it was a decent lens. I don't care for Sigma lenses on the GH2, but it's more personal preference than anything.
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Old March 4th, 2012, 01:49 PM   #3
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Re: Decent wide lens for use with a follow focus? 20mm 1.7 won't fit.

Jeff, the requirement for the follow focus is basically just a lens that is at least double the length of the lumix pancake and i'd like to see a body size of like 62-78 mm.

Yeah, I was looking at that one, it looks like it would be perfect but wow 700 bucks is out of my budget.
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Old March 4th, 2012, 01:50 PM   #4
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Re: Decent wide lens for use with a follow focus? 20mm 1.7 won't fit.

Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 25mm f/1.4 ASPH Micro 4/3 H-X025 B&H

$700 is higher than it should cost, wherever you found that price don't shop there anymore, they are overpriced.
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Old March 4th, 2012, 01:56 PM   #5
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Re: Decent wide lens for use with a follow focus? 20mm 1.7 won't fit.

oh, well thats nice to see. i just referenced some quick ebay searches. good call. hmhm.
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Old March 4th, 2012, 02:01 PM   #6
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Re: Decent wide lens for use with a follow focus? 20mm 1.7 won't fit.

IMO opinion Ebay is often a poor place to find prices, except for used items and even then you have to watch out. Ebay has a lot of opportunists and suckers on it. For new camera gear there is no reason to look much farther than B&H or Adorama for prices.

Amazon will often have outrageous prices on used gear, often higher than prices for new, it's really stupid and I don't understand it. Sellers bet there are people that will buy things without checking, I guess.

When things get sold out at stores like B&H some people will overprice things on Ebay betting that someone wants it enough to overpay. Sometimes opportunists will buy up a lot of an in-demand product which actually causes a shortage and drives prices up on auction sites.
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Old March 4th, 2012, 02:07 PM   #7
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Re: Decent wide lens for use with a follow focus? 20mm 1.7 won't fit.

Yeah, very good points. I'll keep that in mind. You know, I'm surprised the price of the sigma 20mm 1.8 is still as much as it is with the lumix 1.7 around. I'm thinking I should try and keep some kind of wide angle option open.

Yeah, I'm going to sell the pancake and prob go with the 25 1.4 panny
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Old March 4th, 2012, 02:56 PM   #8
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Re: Decent wide lens for use with a follow focus? 20mm 1.7 won't fit.

James, there's another thread around here about wide lenses, look for it also and see if there's anything of interest to you. SLR Magic makes a 12mm lens for the m4/3 cameras, but I can't find their website anywhere. Good luck.
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Old March 4th, 2012, 08:01 PM   #9
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Re: Decent wide lens for use with a follow focus? 20mm 1.7 won't fit.

James, My favorite lens and the one I've been testing with all week, is a Nikkor 24 f2.8.
It's wide angle and gives stunning stills and video.

It is a prime with a silky smooth focus and with a little looking can be found for $75.00. Not quite as fast as you're looking for but it is a fantastic lens.
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Old March 4th, 2012, 10:59 PM   #10
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Re: Decent wide lens for use with a follow focus? 20mm 1.7 won't fit.

You might want to avoid Lumix lenses with a follow focus... they are all focus-by-wire, and vary their focus throw by the speed at which they're turned. It is very, very difficult to get repeatable focus turns from them (which is the point of a FF). This points you towards lenses with mechanical focus.

Jeff, correct me if I'm wrong, but the Olympus 12/2 has a mechanical focus ring if you pull it a certain way, doesn't it?

Also, the SLR Magic 12/T1.6.

There is a range of Navitar lenses for 4/3" c-mount, all are full manual, f2, but I've never seen them used and they aren't cheap.

I'd second Don's recommendation of a legacy manual lens in <24mm.
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Old March 4th, 2012, 11:27 PM   #11
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Re: Decent wide lens for use with a follow focus? 20mm 1.7 won't fit.

Kevin, after doing a lot of reading I found that same sentiment elsewhere online - so I decided to give the Sigma 20mm F1.8 EX DG Aspherical RF a shot. It pretty much provides manual everything and seems perfect for a manual follow focus setup. Should work better for my indie film work.

Now, for my wedding work, I would still love that panasonic lens, but we just can't have everything <3 lol
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Old March 5th, 2012, 07:25 AM   #12
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Re: Decent wide lens for use with a follow focus? 20mm 1.7 won't fit.

Yes Kevin the 12mm has a very nice mechanical focus. I can't find the 12mm F/1.6 lens anywhere, went looking for it all I could find were reviews. I swear I've been to the manufacturer's website for it, but I can't find it now.
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Old March 5th, 2012, 03:43 PM   #13
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Re: Decent wide lens for use with a follow focus? 20mm 1.7 won't fit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin McRoberts View Post
You might want to avoid Lumix lenses with a follow focus... they are all focus-by-wire, and vary their focus throw by the speed at which they're turned. It is very, very difficult to get repeatable focus turns from them (which is the point of a FF).
How is it possible in this case to focus during a shot? Isn't it just guesswork with these lenses, plain and simple? Given that the autofocus is pretty dire compared to a camcorder, how does anyone use the Lumix lenses for video work?
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Old March 5th, 2012, 03:50 PM   #14
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Re: Decent wide lens for use with a follow focus? 20mm 1.7 won't fit.

The auto focus with the 25mm, 12mm and 45mm m4/3 lenses is nearly instantaneous.

The Continuous auto focus works poorly, I don't use it myself and it is useless IMO for video work.

For video the Lumix lenses are superb, you get focus the same way anyone using any DSLR system does it, or you can use the focus area on the GH2 LCD to pinpoint your desired area of focus, slightly depress the shutter button and focus instantly. Or you go manual. It's like anything, you have to learn how to work with the equipment you have. Any system has it's drawbacks, but each system has it's advantages as well.

You pays your money and you takes your chances.
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Old March 9th, 2012, 08:37 AM   #15
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Re: Decent wide lens for use with a follow focus? 20mm 1.7 won't fit.

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Originally Posted by Jeff Harper View Post
The Continuous auto focus works poorly, I don't use it myself and it is useless IMO for video work.

[...] For video the Lumix lenses are superb, you get focus the same way anyone using any DSLR system does it
It was the continuous auto focus that I was referring to; I haven't really tried the half-button-press method but it sounds like I ought to. Do you use it to gain focus occasionally, as with the Push AF button on some camcorders? You must do this pretty successfully if you're doing weddings in this way. My wife does weddings, but hasn't so far ventured out with the GH2 (she hands over the rushes to a separate production company, so sticks to the safety of a Z7 rather than risk the inevitable reduction in usable footage!).

My focus method consists of focusing with the magnified view before hitting record and then using the lens' focus ring while recording. This makes getting a feel for the lens' focus ring rather important. Not being able to do that on the Lumix range surely means that you can't "get focus the same way anyone using any DSLR system does it", though I guess the electronic focus ring ultimately just has a different 'feel' - same as the ring on my XHA1 come to think of it, though that showed the focal distance on the OSD.
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