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Panasonic LUMIX G / GF / GH / GX Series
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Old July 19th, 2012, 10:26 PM   #16
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Re: GH2: Help me with my shopping list

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Originally Posted by Joe Piechura View Post
Okay, that seems like a good enough reason. Would 2 batteries be enough or will I need 3?
Depends on your usage. I don't know what your working conditions will be (when I was there we had a war going on). I personally would like the security of having 3 batteries I could have charged up and ready to go. One thing to be faced is that even with the genuine Panasonic battery that doesn't totally rule out failure, the chances are of course FAR LESS than with the third party batteries I've experienced.

But having "one more" is never a bad thing. And all batteries do have a limited life. You can generally count on about 2 years for most good ones. Don't leave them in the camera for long periods of time, there is a "safety" discharge limit while the camera is on. It will give you some warning (with Lumix batteries) then shut down before the battery is damaged. But if not powered on the battery will discharge below that "safety" discharge limit and can be damaged to the point of being totally unusable.
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Old July 19th, 2012, 10:44 PM   #17
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Re: GH2: Help me with my shopping list

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Originally Posted by Joe Piechura View Post
I've just been looking into this a bit more. Are you suggesting that I get just these two lenses, or get them in addition to a basic zoom (like the 14-45)? I've just looked at the ex-tele mode, which I didn't know about until now, and it's very impressive. Just one question though. Is it 2.6x zoom or nothing, or can you choose how far to zoom/crop in?
We're all different and our wants and needs are different. Zooms are OK but the failing most have is the maximum apertures tend to be too slow in anything but bright daylight/sunlight conditions.

He is suggesting the 20mm f1.7 as one lens and it is very good for several reasons. Sharp and small in size, very effective in low light as well, it is inconspicuous and on the GH2 you can often be mistaken for having a "nice" tourist type "point 'n shoot". Not a lot of folks will take you serious and this can be a very good thing. You also become less of a conspicuous target for thieves.

The 12mm f2.0 and 45mm f1.8 (both Olympus Zuiko's) are exceptionally compact for what they are as well as being exceptionally sharp. All 3 lenses share a quite "fast" maximum aperture so you can work quickly and effectively in marginal lighting to sometimes quite low lighting levels and everything can pack into a very compact inconspicuous looking bag (again, less of an obvious target for thieves).

If the 12mm f2.0 seems expensive you might get by for far less with the Lumix 14mm f2.5 (even smaller than the Lumix 20mm f1.7 yet still not a bad low light performer. I have it myself).
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Old July 20th, 2012, 02:11 AM   #18
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Re: GH2: Help me with my shopping list

Yeah I think the Lumix 14mm might be a better option for me. The Olympus one looks great, but even with just the 2 Olympus lenses, we're getting towards the limit of my budget. To then add the 20mm Lumix lens would push the price a bit high. Incidentally, I also found the Voigtlander 25mm for 560 and was very tempted to just completely blow my budget. But I resisted.

So here's my current thinking then:

GH2 Body (510)
14mm Lumix F/2.5 (180)
20mm Lumix F/1.7 (270)
45mm Zuiko F/1.8 (229)
1189

Seems like a good range of focal lengths to get me started especially when combined with the ex-tele mode, and frees up a bit of cash to buy a couple of extra batteries.

Thanks for the help everyone. I came on here with an idea about what I wanted and I've completely changed my mind, which is exactly why I came on here in the first place.
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Old July 20th, 2012, 03:30 AM   #19
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Re: GH2: Help me with my shopping list

One final question. If I use filters with a step-up converter, will this create a problem if I want to use a lens hood? The filters I want are only available in 52mm.
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Old July 21st, 2012, 02:24 AM   #20
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Re: GH2: Help me with my shopping list

Hi Joe

If you update the firmware with one of the many available hacks you can firstly disable the short record time and also you can enable the body to use generic batteries which work fine but at something important use a genuine battery first and the generic as a back up...now thirdly the hack also enables PAL/NTSC switching so you don't have to buy a PAL camera ..mine is a US camera and they are way cheaper in the USA!! Once the firmware is loaded (as Bruce says use the genuine battery) you can switch from NTSC to PAL. I use my GH from the USA and shoot in PAL!!

Chris
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Old July 21st, 2012, 10:58 AM   #21
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Re: GH2: Help me with my shopping list

Tou will have to reformat your card for PAL, which probably doesn't matter. Just a heads up in case you have anything important on it.
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Old July 21st, 2012, 12:31 PM   #22
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Re: GH2: Help me with my shopping list

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Originally Posted by Joe Piechura View Post
So here's my current thinking then:

GH2 Body (510)
14mm Lumix F/2.5 (180)
20mm Lumix F/1.7 (270)
45mm Zuiko F/1.8 (229)
1189

Seems like a good range of focal lengths to get me started especially when combined with the ex-tele mode, and frees up a bit of cash to buy a couple of extra batteries.
I think your list is best for your budget, and you are NOT sacrificing any quality. That's a good set of lenses and you'll be surprised at how small a bag you can get by with. And I suggest you go for something inconspicuous in a bag that does not look like a photo gear bag.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Piechura View Post
One final question. If I use filters with a step-up converter, will this create a problem if I want to use a lens hood? The filters I want are only available in 52mm.
No. If the "front" of the filter accepts 52mm accessories all you need are 52mm hoods. I suggest a wide angle rubber hood for the 20mm (standard hood will vignette), and no hood for the 14. A "standard" rubber hood will work fairly well with the 45mm although you can use a "deeper" one.

Why rubber hoods? They're usually cheap, they work, and they can serve as a bit of an "impact" bumper on the front of the lens/camera combo. And always put the strap over your head when the camera is out of the bag.

One thing about putting hoods on the filter. If the filter is a variable ND the thread on the front may be a different size than the one that fits the adapter ring. I'm running into this with the Polaroid ND Faders. The 46mm has 46mm threads that fit the the Lumix 14mm and 20mm but the "front" (where the hood would go) is 49mm. I have not confirmed what the "front" size is on the 52mm Polaroid ND Fader nor on the 37mm version.

Check this out in the store you purchase your filters from. I order mine from B&H.

Good luck
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Old July 21st, 2012, 06:11 PM   #23
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Re: GH2: Help me with my shopping list

Another vote for the 14mm. If you're shooting video, the 14mm's silent autofocus motor is a big deal. The 20mm sounds like a washing machine (or a Canon STM lens ;)) by comparison:


Cheers,

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Old July 21st, 2012, 09:22 PM   #24
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Re: GH2: Help me with my shopping list

Joe,
I wouldn't worry about getting a 14mm and a 20mm - just get one or the other. I have the olympus zuiko 12mm and 45mm and they're more than enough to swap out during shoots. I would probably ditch the 20mm and use the money to buy a good loupe like a varavon ex.
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Old July 22nd, 2012, 12:20 PM   #25
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Re: GH2: Help me with my shopping list

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Originally Posted by Bruce Foreman View Post
I think your list is best for your budget, and you are NOT sacrificing any quality. That's a good set of lenses and you'll be surprised at how small a bag you can get by with. And I suggest you go for something inconspicuous in a bag that does not look like a photo gear bag.
I went for a Lowepro slingshot (the smallest one). I really wanted something in backpack form, because bag snatching is the one crime here that's pretty common. I quite like how inconspicuous the camera is though. I can probably do a lot of shooting with people assuming that I'm just a tourist taking pictures.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Foreman View Post
No. If the "front" of the filter accepts 52mm accessories all you need are 52mm hoods. I suggest a wide angle rubber hood for the 20mm (standard hood will vignette), and no hood for the 14. A "standard" rubber hood will work fairly well with the 45mm although you can use a "deeper" one.

Why rubber hoods? They're usually cheap, they work, and they can serve as a bit of an "impact" bumper on the front of the lens/camera combo. And always put the strap over your head when the camera is out of the bag.

One thing about putting hoods on the filter. If the filter is a variable ND the thread on the front may be a different size than the one that fits the adapter ring. I'm running into this with the Polaroid ND Faders. The 46mm has 46mm threads that fit the the Lumix 14mm and 20mm but the "front" (where the hood would go) is 49mm. I have not confirmed what the "front" size is on the 52mm Polaroid ND Fader nor on the 37mm version.

Check this out in the store you purchase your filters from. I order mine from B&H.

Good luck
Thanks.

I had to buy 52mm filters with step up converters, because one of the filters was only available in 52mm. As for the hoods, I just went generic, so I've got no idea how good they are.

I bought what I wrote above in the end. I guess I can easily sell any lenses that I don't need in the long run. I'd probably sell the 20mm if I ever get enough for the Voigtlander 25mm.
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Old July 22nd, 2012, 12:25 PM   #26
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Re: GH2: Help me with my shopping list

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Originally Posted by Bill Bruner View Post
Another vote for the 14mm. If you're shooting video, the 14mm's silent autofocus motor is a big deal. The 20mm sounds like a washing machine (or a Canon STM lens ;)) by comparisonl
I can't say I've ever really auto-focused when making films.

Anyway, thanks for the help everyone. I'll be sure to post the results when I get all the kit (most likely just a video of my cat admittedly).
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Old July 26th, 2012, 08:57 AM   #27
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Re: GH2: Help me with my shopping list

Bloody hell, I just flew through Dubai and found the GH2 with a 14-42 lens for sale for $525US. That's insane. And I'm guessing there's no tax on that either.
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Old July 30th, 2012, 10:21 PM   #28
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Re: GH2: Help me with my shopping list

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Piechura View Post
So here's my current thinking then:

14mm Lumix F/2.5 (180)
20mm Lumix F/1.7 (270)
45mm Zuiko F/1.8 (229)
Since you were originally interested in the flexibility of a zoom lens, have you considered the Panasonic 12-35 f2.8 zoom that just hit the market? I just bought one off Amazon. It is $1300, but would cover a wide range at a reasonably fast and consistent aperture. It's great if you want to adjust your focal length on the fly without adjustment. It also has image stabilization, which is awesome. It's going to be great for handheld shooting on a shoulder rig.

Regarding camera bags, if you are looking for one that doesn't look like a camera bag, I recommend the Domke F803 in olive. It's very inconspicuous.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Piechura View Post
What does "fast" mean in practical terms? How will it affect my shot?
A fast lens is going to have 2 features that will dramatically affect your shot:
1. Brighter exposure in low light settings. A wider aperture will give you a brighter shot in dim settings without having to resort to a high ISO, which reveals noise.
2. A shallower depth of field. If you are going for a cinematic look, you'll want to have some focus separation between your subject and the background. The smaller apertures of a slow lens will keep more of your foreground to background depth in focus, while a fast lens will allow you (when desired) to have a shallow focus, to draw the viewers attention to the subject and not distract with a sharply focused background. This is just a basic explanation - you can research "depth of field" and "bokeh" for more elaborate details.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Piechura View Post
What's bad about them, other than the lack of on-screen display? Because 50 for a battery is a rip off and the display isn't a massive issue to me.
While I have not used any generic batteries in the GH2, it is universally accepted that generic batteries often perform much more poorly that name brand batteries. Panasonic batteries are more expensive because they are held to a certain manufacturing standard, including better materials, consistency, and quality control. Generic batteries can fail quicker with no notice, will not accept a proper charge, will give a false indication when they are fully charged, overheat, etc.... I've had terrible luck with generic batteries on video cameras, and I've read the same feedback from others. I firmly believe that generics are a waste of money since they will most likely fail prematurely and ultimately result in lost time and/or work.

Good Luck,
Angelo
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Old August 16th, 2012, 10:10 AM   #29
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Re: GH2: Help me with my shopping list

So I went out on the roof for sunrise this morning to try out the low-light performance of my new lenses. Gotta say, the 20mm and the 45mm are really impressive. Great detail and clarity, and it wasn't even properly light before I had to start using the ND filter. The 14mm is noticeably worse in low light, although that's to be expected as it's about half the price and quite a bit slower. I had to ramp the ISO up, whereas on the other two lenses, I could use them in the lowest ISO setting and there was still enough light to work with.

Unfortunately, I didn't realise my ND filter was a different thread size on the front compared to the back, so I need to get a new lens hood, because the flare is pretty bad (and green). And also the batteries didn't arrive before I left the UK, which means I now have to try and source some in Asia, which is a nightmare. If anyone knows somewhere that will deliver to Vietnam for a reasonable price, let me know.

Oh, and that camera I saw in Dubai was a G2, not a GH2, so it was actually a massive rip off, because you can buy it in Tesco for 200.

Last edited by Joe Piechura; August 16th, 2012 at 10:58 AM.
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