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Old May 9th, 2013, 11:21 AM   #1
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GH3 Lens Options

I've been looking into lens options and came across the following info which may be of use to others:
Top 10 Native Lenses for Micro Four Thirds cameras 2012 | OSGFilms

I'm thinking of either:
* Panasonic Lumix H-H020E (HH020E) 20mm f1.7 Micro Four Thirds Lens for AG-AF101 and DMC-GH3
Panasonic Lumix H-H020E (HH020E) 20mm f1.7 Micro Four Thirds Lens for AG-AF101 and DMC-GH3

or:
* Panasonic Lumix H-H014E (HH014E) 14mm F2.5 Micro Four Thirds Lens for AG-AF101 and DMC-GH3
Panasonic Lumix H-H014E (HH014E) 14mm F2.5 Micro Four Thirds Lens for AG-AF101 and DMC-GH3

I'm assuming these will work with either GH2 or GH3? Want to keep options open - may have a cheap GH2 body on the way.

I'm thinking these would be suitable for a locked-off shot, mainly for church/reception interiors - this sound like a good use?

Would they also work well with Sliders and Steadicam? I'm thinking they'd be better than the stock lens coming with the GH3 (14-140).

Any opinions?
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Old May 9th, 2013, 03:05 PM   #2
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Re: GH3 Lens Options

There are pros and cons of both lenses, but the 20mm F/1.7 is going to give much better performance in low light situations. It is a very nice focal length and can be used for a wider variety of circumstances than the 14mm.

I have shot many weddings using the GH2 with a variety of lenses, and in my opinion, if I could only choose one lens, the 20mm would be an ideal choice.
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Old May 9th, 2013, 03:57 PM   #3
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Re: GH3 Lens Options

I advise both. I have and use both.

The 14mm is a good "workhorse wide" lens at a reasonable price and the f2.5 aperture is a fair performer for low light situations (the Olympus 12mm f2.0 would be a lot better but might be a bit out of budget range). The Lumix 20mm f1.7 is almost a must have although the Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 25mm f1.4 is awful appealing for about $150 more.

Again I have and use both the 20 and the 25.

And if you don't mind lens changes at an event, the Olympus 45mm f1.8 is another almost must have.

I've used the above lenses on Olympus cameras, GH2's, and now on GH3's.
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Old May 9th, 2013, 04:06 PM   #4
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Re: GH3 Lens Options

Here's a useful guide from Panny on all the various features and restrictions across the lens space for the GH3. Change the URL to gh2 for that camera's compatibilities:
Compatibilities of DMC-GH3 | Compatibility | Digital Camera | Digital AV | Consumer Products | Support | Panasonic Global
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Old May 9th, 2013, 06:17 PM   #5
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Re: GH3 Lens Options

I agree, both are fine lenses. If I could only have 1, it would be the wider 14mm. However, my favorite pair are the 12-35 f2.8 and 20mm f1.7.

Best of luck with your choice.
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Old May 10th, 2013, 04:29 AM   #6
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Re: GH3 Lens Options

Thanks for all the advice and info -

Some honest reviews I came across that may help others in a similar situation:

14mm: "It's crappy but I like it"

20mm: "Mixed bag review"


And footage from the Olympus 45mm:

And Olympus 12mm:

All very nice options... the advice here and some of the footage from the 20mm clip above (filmed inside a cathedral) has me leaning towards that lens though.

Again, thanks for the help.
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Old May 10th, 2013, 11:21 AM   #7
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Re: GH3 Lens Options

Good reference videos Ryan. Thanks for sharing.

Something that is seldom mentioned, but significant is, when using Lumix lenses on GH cameras, many of the technical issues mentioned in reviews are being corrected in-camera. These include distortion, vignetting, chromatic aberration, etc.. Even more significant is, when using non-Lumix lenses these corrections are NOT being made.

Happy hunting.
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Old May 10th, 2013, 11:48 AM   #8
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Re: GH3 Lens Options

Ryan, the reviews and comparisons of the lenses can cloud the issue you are facing.

Your question should not be which is the best lens, because they are all good lenses. More importantly, you are dealing with prime lenses, and none of them, by themselves, will be right for every situation.

Dan recommended both the 14mm and the 20mm so you would be prepared in a larger variety of circumstances, and his advice was sound, based on what you asked.

However, your original question was about choosing only one lens.

As a wedding shooter, if you only choose one lens for now, you will need the best low light you can afford, and something not too wide or too long. The 20mm fits this bill.

The 14mm would provide you a great lockdown shot, but only IF the church is not too long. If the church is large with a long aisle, your 14mm will be too wide. I have used the 12mm for dozens of lockdown shots and in a large church it's a great lens but the footage from it in larger venue is limited in it's usefulness.

I have also used the 20mm and 25mm lenses from Panasonic for lockdown shots for a number of weddings, and overall, the 20mm footage is more useful in the cutting room.

Conversely, I have used both the 20mm and 12mm at the same time from different sides of the aisle, and the 20mm shots are much more useful.

I have sold my 20mm and got the 25mm F/1.4, but I do miss the 20mm at times, it was a nice focal length, and I find the 25mm a tad to narrow at times, albeit it is a better lens.

Despite everything I've said, the 12mm is my favorite lens by far. It is a handy lens, and has provided me with great shots and some of my best video.

In your shoes, however, I would without question begin with the 20mm. It's good in low light, it's wide enough to be usable in most wedding situations, especially for receptions, dancing, etc., it's a killer lens.

Ideally a fast zoom is the best solution, but they are expensive!

I'm of the belief that you could shoot an entire wedding with nothing but the GH2 or GH3 and the 20mm lens, as long as you can get down front for the ceremony.

Good luck with your decision!
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Old May 10th, 2013, 11:57 PM   #9
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Re: GH3 Lens Options

I have to agree about the 20mm. Killer lens. I just sold mine with my GH2 to buy a GH3. I honestly now miss it and am thinking of getting one again. Torn between that and the Olympus 17mm.

I found the 20mm to have a good focal length for M4/3, Sometimes 24mm and larger can be too tight for certain situations. 12mm and 14mm is nice to have but like Jeff says isn't always useful and can create some shots that are just too wide. This is fine for an establishment shot or cut away but you wouldn't want to only use it. Jeff is spot on that if you can only get one lens right now then the 200mm may function better in a greater percentage of your shots you need to get.

The main reasons why I sold my 20mm were:
1. Give an incentive to sell my GH2.
2. Autofocus not as good.
3. Kind of hard to manual focus since it is so tiny. I actually like a nice solid feeling lens to shoot with and grip.

I know some may not factor these lenses in but there is also the new Sigma f2.8 primes. Not as fast for low light but just as bright as the very popular f2.8 zooms and almost as bright as the 14mm f2.5. The lenses are fairly highly rated in reviews and very sharp wide open even in the corners. The best part is the price. There is a 19mm, 30mm and very soon a 60mm all of which are $200.00 each. Getting the 19mm and 60mm could cover you in many situations. Autofocus is also very quick. I know many M4/3 users dismiss them right away because they want to shoot in the dark but from what I have read they are very good lenses.
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Old May 11th, 2013, 06:13 AM   #10
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Re: GH3 Lens Options

The M.ZUIKO 12mm f2.0 looks interesting. Does anyone use the M.ZUIKO 17mm f1.8 or f2.8 pancake?

Olympus M.ZUIKO Digital 17mm f/1.8 Lens (Silver) V311050SU000

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 17mm f/2.8 Lens for Micro Four 261502
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Old May 15th, 2013, 10:40 PM   #11
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Re: GH3 Lens Options

I have the 20 f1.7 & 12-35 F2.8. It obviously depends on exactly what you are using it for. The 20 is great as it is a 40mm is old money (i.e. 35mm full frame), so it is slightly wider than a standard lense. It depends how much an issue low light it. Bear in mind that if you dont want noise you need to shoot at 800iso max in low light so the faster the better.
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Old May 16th, 2013, 11:26 AM   #12
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Re: GH3 Lens Options

Thanks for the input - very helpful

Since I last posted, I'm after coming across a secondhand Lumix GF2 for sale with three lenses:
14mmm
14-42mm
45-200mm

That really shakes it up! I think the lot could be had for around the 400/450euro mark and I'm sure it would tide me over nicely. The GF2 itself looks like a decent camera so could also be used as a third camera (to a Sony EA50 and Panasonic GH3).
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Old May 16th, 2013, 11:36 AM   #13
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Re: GH3 Lens Options

The 14-42 and 45-200 are not suitable for low light situations, been there, tried that. The GF2 has very limited frame rate selection, you should want to try to shoot with cameras with matching frame rates. As long as you know this then you are walking into things with your eyes open.

It is not what I would consider a good wedding kit, but that is just my opinion.
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Old May 16th, 2013, 12:26 PM   #14
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Re: GH3 Lens Options

Thanks for the reply Jeff,

I get what you're saying - I wouldn't be hoping either lens would cover me for low-light any better than the kit lens that's with the GH3 (14-140).

It's the 14mm in the secondhand package that has me tempted - as it's going for 315euro (ex VAT) new.

And I'm not really content with the length of the 14-140 kit lens either, the 45-200mm would be useful for general photography work.

I see the GF2 can be hacked also... so must look into that more. The GH3 would be a 'b camera' to a Sony EA50, so the GF2 would not really be needed - but may as well set it up in case of a worst case scenario.
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Old May 18th, 2013, 11:31 AM   #15
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Re: GH3 Lens Options

There is actually little difference in focal length between 140mm and 200mm. There is but not by as much as you would think.

I had the 14-42 and 45-200 lenses. They were great in good lighting and I loved the 45-200 but during weddings it was a pain to switch lenses. Sold them to get the 14-140 and never looked back. What you gain in being able to zoom the entire range without having to stop shooting was worth so much more than the little extra reach. The 14-140 is not very great in low light but in my opinion a beautiful lens and almost perfect for live shooting outdoors. For outdoor events it would never leave the camera.
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