Fastest Manual Lens w/ Widest Zoom Range at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Panasonic P2HD / AVCCAM / AVCHD / DV Camera Systems > Panasonic LUMIX G / GF / GH / GX Series

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


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old February 4th, 2013, 02:52 PM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Central NJ
Posts: 106
Fastest Manual Lens w/ Widest Zoom Range

Hello,

I am trying to start shooting live concerts with my GH2 handheld (on a shoulder rig). I shoot from the foot of the stage, so I need a wide range of focal lengths to cover both wide shots and close ups. (I usually use a Sony Nx5 video camera for this application, which works great, but I want the DSLR look)

I did a test shoot this weekend and had poor results with my Panasonic f2.8 12-35 lens. It was wide enough, but I was not able to zoom in far enough for tight closeups. I turned on ETC as a test, but then I was not able to get wide enough.

I want to be able to manually focus to allow for live focus pulls - and that is another area where the Panasonic f2.8 12-35 failed. The focus ring is decent for an electronic auto-focus lens, but it doesn't have the same feel as a real manual lens. Not to mention you can't use a follow focus with these electronic focus lenses, I've tried with my 12mm and 25mm and it just doesn't work well.

I think the perfect lens for this application would be a legacy / manual focus lens with a fast aperture and a wider zoom range than 12-35. Does such a lens exist? If so, can anyone make a recommendation?

Lastly, this is off topic, but now that I've been shooting more live concert stages with dim lighting - I can't seem to get a useable image out of the GH2 over ISO 800. Anything higher is way too grainy.

Thanks,
Angelo
__________________
Ironbird Studios - www.IronbirdStudios.com
New Jersey / New York City - Music / Audio / Video Production
Angelo Ucciferri is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 4th, 2013, 03:10 PM   #2
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Charlottesville, VA
Posts: 700
Re: Fastest Manual Lens w/ Widest Zoom Range

Try a Nikon DX lens in the ~17-50 range (Tamron 17-50/2.8, Nikon 17-55/2.8, etc). That will get you a bit more reach, albeit at the same speed and zoom multiplier. There are very few f2.8 stills lenses with more than a 3x zoom range... the Tamron 28-105/2.8 would be the only one I know offhand, and no idea how well that works for GH video. There are a few 5x cine zooms, which would likely be weight and cost prohibitive.

Slowing down a little, Olympus 14-54/2.8-3.5, 12-60/2.8-4, and Leica 14-50/2.8-3.5 are good lenses in the right range but don't have constant aperture and have electronic focus.
__________________
Freelance pudgy bearded lighting camera operator
www.mcbob.tv
Kevin McRoberts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 4th, 2013, 05:24 PM   #3
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Central NJ
Posts: 106
Re: Fastest Manual Lens w/ Widest Zoom Range

Thanks Kevin,

This was just the info I was looking for, thanks! I am not really knowledgeable about lenses outside the M43 range, so this helps point me in the right direction.

I should of mentioned that I obviously am not looking for a cinema zoom lens. Like you said, cost and weight prohibitive for handheld / shoulder shooting. SLR lenses are what am I after.

I am really liking the sound of the Tamron 28-105/2.8. That is a huge range! I'll do some research and let you know what I find out.

On a side note, I should also mention that I tried the last test shoot with a Varavon loupe as a means of manual focusing. It didn't work well at all. No fault of the loupe...I think it's just the fact that the GH2 LCD screen must be low resolution. So a magnified image of the LCD screen is not necessarily any better for manual focusing. I might have to splurge for one of the Small HD or Zacuto EVF options if I am going to plan on focusing off a screen while shouldering the camera.

Thanks,
Angelo
__________________
Ironbird Studios - www.IronbirdStudios.com
New Jersey / New York City - Music / Audio / Video Production
Angelo Ucciferri is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 4th, 2013, 05:30 PM   #4
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Central NJ
Posts: 106
Re: Fastest Manual Lens w/ Widest Zoom Range

FYI: It looks like the Tamron 28-105 focus ring doesn't stay in the same location when zooming. This rules out it's use with a follow focus. Too bad.
Attached Thumbnails
Fastest Manual Lens w/ Widest Zoom Range-tamron-28-105.jpg  
__________________
Ironbird Studios - www.IronbirdStudios.com
New Jersey / New York City - Music / Audio / Video Production
Angelo Ucciferri is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 5th, 2013, 02:47 AM   #5
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: U.K
Posts: 154
Re: Fastest Manual Lens w/ Widest Zoom Range

The Olympus ZD 15-54MKII or ZD 12-60 lenses could fit the bill. The 12-60 has a short throw focus, but is mechanically coupled. It's not the same as a broadcast ENG style/ or cine lens, which are really designed for this job though. You'd need a 4/3 to m4/3 adapter for either of these.
__________________
Adrian
http://chillfactorfilms.com
Adrian Frearson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 5th, 2013, 10:29 AM   #6
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Central NJ
Posts: 106
Re: Fastest Manual Lens w/ Widest Zoom Range

Adrian, you mention "short throw focus". I assume you are referring to a focus ring with a very small amount of rotation. I was just going to post about my experience with a Sigma 18-50 lens that I believe falls in to that category.

I took out my Sigma 18-50 f2.8 lens which I forgot I had. (it's part of my old Pentax DSLR kit that I rarely use anymore.) I happen to have a Pentax to M4/3 adapter, so I tried out the lens for video us with mixed results.

The image quality seemed great. However, the focus ring (like Adrian hinted at previously) seemed too sensitive and "short throw". In other words, if I turned the focus ring 1mm, the focus changed significantly. So making fine focus adjustments was near impossible without significant back and forth hunting for a sweet spot.

I suppose this could be resolved with a follow focus with a modified gear ratio that converts the short throw of the focus ring to a longer throw of a follow focus knob.

Maybe an AF lens is not the best option for this application.

Thanks,
Angelo
Attached Thumbnails
Fastest Manual Lens w/ Widest Zoom Range-sigma_18-50mm_f2.8_ex_dc_macro_lens_hood.jpg  
__________________
Ironbird Studios - www.IronbirdStudios.com
New Jersey / New York City - Music / Audio / Video Production
Angelo Ucciferri is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 5th, 2013, 12:36 PM   #7
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: U.K
Posts: 154
Re: Fastest Manual Lens w/ Widest Zoom Range

Yeah, that's exactly what I was saying, though it really is a nice lens to use. But, I honestly haven't come across a lens that works well for what you are doing. All of them are stills optimised, so it's always a compromise, unless you use them as a variable prime.
Personally, for shooting gigs, I would prefer to use the Sony you are using, saving DSLR for side of stage shots. Obviously not possible if you're solo.
__________________
Adrian
http://chillfactorfilms.com
Adrian Frearson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 5th, 2013, 07:01 PM   #8
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 8,421
Re: Fastest Manual Lens w/ Widest Zoom Range

Angelo, why not a second GH2 body, use the 12mm or 25mm as a stationary wide shot, then use a second longer lens or longer zoom for your tight shots?

As Adrian, says, pretty hard to do with a single camera. If you can find a way to plant the second cam, it would make life incredibly easier, and would lift the quality of your videos immensely.

Adrian's suggestion is a good one. But also GH2s are inexpensive right now!
Jeff Harper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 6th, 2013, 01:47 PM   #9
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Central NJ
Posts: 106
Re: Fastest Manual Lens w/ Widest Zoom Range

I'm not sure where you got the impression that I only have a single camera. I have 2 GH2 bodies, and 1 Sony HXR-NX5u video camera. My concert shoots are 3 camera. (1 handheld and 2 stationary)

I've been using the Sony video camera as my handheld and I was trying to get a GH2 in to that role. I always have a GH2 as a wide shot with the 12mm f2 or the 7-14mm f4 if it's bright enough.

Having a zoom as the handheld is a requirement since I need to actively recompose the frame based on the position of the musicians on the stage. But zoom range and focusing becomes the issue.

I wish my 12-35 f2.8 would fit the bill, but 35 is just not tight enough and manual focusing is difficult with these electronic focus lenses and the low resolution LCD screen.

Angelo



Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Harper View Post
Angelo, why not a second GH2 body, use the 12mm or 25mm as a stationary wide shot, then use a second longer lens or longer zoom for your tight shots?

As Adrian, says, pretty hard to do with a single camera. If you can find a way to plant the second cam, it would make life incredibly easier, and would lift the quality of your videos immensely.

Adrian's suggestion is a good one. But also GH2s are inexpensive right now!
__________________
Ironbird Studios - www.IronbirdStudios.com
New Jersey / New York City - Music / Audio / Video Production
Angelo Ucciferri is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 6th, 2013, 02:23 PM   #10
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 8,421
Re: Fastest Manual Lens w/ Widest Zoom Range

I got that impression because in your original post you never mention more than using one camera. How could I know what you use and do not use?

I also got the impression because you're seeking such a wide range from a fast lens as if you are trying to do everything with a single camera. That is why I thought you were using one camera. Sorry.
Jeff Harper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 8th, 2013, 03:13 AM   #11
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: U.K
Posts: 154
Re: Fastest Manual Lens w/ Widest Zoom Range

Angelo, to be fair, it did sound in your OP that you were looking to replace the Sony with a GH2, for covering gigs. Anyway, if you've got 3 cameras, couldn't you use the Sony as wide/safety, GH2 no1 with a longer lens ( + operator? ) and go with the GH2 no2 with 12-35 as stage cam? This would be fairly conventional coverage and in this role I would imagine that 12-35 would be a good range, on the presumption that you're right in on the stage.
__________________
Adrian
http://chillfactorfilms.com
Adrian Frearson is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Panasonic P2HD / AVCCAM / AVCHD / DV Camera Systems > Panasonic LUMIX G / GF / GH / GX Series

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:23 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network