GH2 Sit Down Interview Lenses - My Final Quest 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 July 7th, 2013, 04:22 PM   #1
Tourist
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Plymouth, Devon
Posts: 2
GH2 Sit Down Interview Lenses - My Final Quest

Hello to everyone here on DVINFO, I've read lots of forum posts on here and a lot of you have helped me understand a great deal about my camera, lenses and the general cinematography and photography world, so cheers for that.

The reason why this is my final quest, so to speak, is because for days upon days I have been searching the net researching (as I always do) a good lens for a 'Sit down interview' - and I've failed. There are lots of different answers out there but I can't seem to get a good answer for what I'm looking for,

Last week I invested in a Canon FD 50mm 1.4 legacy lens for my GH2, and don't get me wrong it's cool, but it's not solving my problems. With this lens I need like 1 - 2 meters at least to generally get a subject in the shot and it's a close up when I do (shows little more than their heads/shoulders maximum). I'm sure it's a great lens, but I don't have the luxury of having huge studios or spaces where I can back up meters to get a nice shot. I want to be able to get a 'proper' interview shot from the waist up or near enough etc whilst not having to be miles away.

With the crop factor of roughly 2 on the GH2 I know my 50mm is actually 100mm in terms of focal range. So what is the right lens for me? The answers I've got so far seem to be "Get some lens between 20-30mm", "A kit lens will do", "A 20mm pancake lens" and a "35mm lens".

I'm really getting pretty tired of going around in circles so I really hope I can finally find some good answers. Right now I've got the FD 50mm 1.4 and a 14-42mm kit lens. I don't have a ridiculously high budget and could probably stretch up to 200 if I really tried, but then there are other things I would like such as a decent tripod and perhaps a zoom as my tripod is currently a rubbish screw head Hama and my microphone is a Rode Videomic.

Help me DVINFO.Net - You're my only hope.
Jack Eaton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 7th, 2013, 07:02 PM   #2
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Romania
Posts: 201
Re: GH2 Sit Down Interview Lenses - My Final Quest

I'm not a regular on here, but welcome!

So, I have to ask, what's wrong with using your kit lens? 14mm should be enough for your interview needs. My widest lens that I use for weddings is a 25mm f1.4 and I actually found myself closing in on my subjects several times during this Saturday's wedding. I have a GH3 btw, so same crop factor.

I heard the Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 is a good lens and an overall wise choice, recommended by some members here and also by Drew from the Drew Network (youtube channel), a hardcore GH2 fan with loads of experience. He actually advised me to get that lens instead of the 25mm f/1.4, but I REALLY wanted the fastest lens there was, Voigtlander f/0.95 aside.

So that would be my recommendation for you, I know it's significantly cheaper than the f/1.4 as well.

Here is the review for it:



PS: as I was focusing on trying to think of a cheap wide lens for you, I completely forgot that this particular one would not be good for interviews and close-ups in general as it distorts at close range from the subject. I think the best solution for you would be to make that Canon 50mm work. Then again, I'm pretty new at this whole DSLR filming thing, so I'm just on a hunch here.

Last edited by Luc Spencer; July 7th, 2013 at 07:34 PM.
Luc Spencer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 7th, 2013, 09:56 PM   #3
Trustee
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: San Angelo Texas
Posts: 1,510
Re: GH2 Sit Down Interview Lenses - My Final Quest

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luc Spencer View Post
I heard the Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 is a good lens and an overall wise choice, So that would be my recommendation for you, I know it's significantly cheaper than the f/1.4 as well.
That would be one of my recommendations, too. But I would also recommend considering the Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 25mm f1.4 as well. I think either could work well for Jack.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luc Spencer View Post
I completely forgot that this particular one would not be good for interviews and close-ups in general as it distorts at close range from the subject.
The "distortion" you refer to is called "foreshortening" and happens with any lens focal length used too close. It is most evident with the shorter focal lenghts though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luc Spencer View Post
I think the best solution for you would be to make that Canon 50mm work. Then again, I'm pretty new at this whole DSLR filming thing, so I'm just on a hunch here.
He's tried. He found out as many others have, that using a 50mm lens on APS-C sensor format or on m4/3 can have you backing into the next room to get the framing needed (assuming there is a doorway to "back through". It's great where you have the working distance but in many interview settings...Not.

Jack: See if you can try the 20mm and 25mm zoom settings on your 14-42mm "kit" lens and see which will work best for you in simulated interview settings. I can't remember if the GH2 tells you in the EVF what focal length is being used, I sold mine several months ago. But that may help you make a decision.

Where you have plenty of ambient light or can bring your own lights the "kit" lens may work just fine.
Bruce Foreman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 8th, 2013, 10:54 PM   #4
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: sydney
Posts: 304
Re: GH2 Sit Down Interview Lenses - My Final Quest

I shoot stacks of interviews and a good cheap interview lens is the Olympus Zuiko 45mm F1.8. You can set up at a "normal" distance of a few metres and it is crystal clear. Fits straight onto a GH2 and costs less than $400. It is a prime lens so you have to fiddle back and forth to get exact composition, however you can always go a bit wider and then scale and crop your shot in post as the quality is excellent. Don't get into wide-angles less than 25mm at all if you want an "interview or portrait" look. My other main interview lens, which may be too pricey for you is the Lumix 35-100 F2.8. It is a brilliant interview/portrait lens but costs around $1200.
Chris Duczynski is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 9th, 2013, 07:13 PM   #5
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Charlottesville, VA
Posts: 700
Re: GH2 Sit Down Interview Lenses - My Final Quest

I shoot a lot of interviews, some relatively high-profile.

There are a lot of lenses I could recommend, but fact is (as you state), you have a shitty tripod and no good audio solution and only ~200 to spend. You could shoot interviews with a $10K Leica Noctilux and they'd still be intolerable if the audio was "atmospheric" and unintelligible and any camera movement was accompanied by herky-jerky photo head movement.

Even your kit 14-42 and 50/1.4 will do the job "OK" for the time being until you sort the other bits.

First, a decent wired lav and an OK external recorder... if you've an iPhone, even a Rode "Smart Lav" might cover this until you can finance more purposeful gear that you can monitor while shooting.

Second, any fluid video tripod will be better than any photo tripod. I won't bicker about quality, just get a light, smooth video head.

After that, the 20/1.7 is a good cheap first ~normal fast lens, or if you want to just plunk right down and cover your interview range, save up your shekels for the forthcoming Nikon-mount Sigma 18-35/f1.8 and an adapter. 75% of all my interviews are shot within that range on a variety of primes (Voigt 17.5/0/95, Summilux-25, Summilux-35), the others with my Nikon mount Sigma 50-150/2.8 (which, as you mention, needs a lot of seperation).
__________________
Freelance pudgy bearded lighting camera operator
www.mcbob.tv
Kevin McRoberts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 10th, 2013, 10:56 AM   #6
Tourist
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Plymouth, Devon
Posts: 2
Re: GH2 Sit Down Interview Lenses - My Final Quest

That Smart Lav looks amazing! It's got the right frequency range for sure, and so far the research I've done has said that it doesn't do too bad compared to the more expensive ones, which is quite shocking!

Also which tripod would you recommend? I went into a camera shop to speak to them about perhaps trying out a few lenses sometime and they recommended a Manfrotto 190XPROB with a 701HDV which would come to around 200.

I like the Olympus Zuiko 45mm F1.8 but I can't help but feel that this lens would give me exactly the same issue as my 50mm 1.4 - I'd have to get a fair bit of space between me and the subject.

The camera shop did suggest a Panasonic 12-35mm lens would suit me perfectly, but obviously that is a little out of my price range (..just a little ;) )

I don't know what to do really. I'm now kind of thinking that maybe what I should do is just shoot outside interviews in parks and things and try and pick up a couple of those Rode Smart lavs and a tripod at some point. I could get some space in parks/fields and the sound would be covered by the smart lavs.

What do you guys think? Ditch the idea of going for a lens and go for the sound and then the tripod and do it outside?

Perhaps if I did that I could try and save up and wait for some new lenses to come out and push the price of some of the ones that would be great for my purposes to drop a little in price (although lenses are something that drop in price much less than all other electronics).
Jack Eaton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 10th, 2013, 09:24 PM   #7
Trustee
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: San Angelo Texas
Posts: 1,510
Re: GH2 Sit Down Interview Lenses - My Final Quest

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Duczynski View Post
I shoot stacks of interviews and a good cheap interview lens is the Olympus Zuiko 45mm F1.8.
I have this lens and LOVE it! But it puts him in the same ballpark as his 50mm which has him baking away uncomfortably far to get the framing he wants.
Bruce Foreman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 10th, 2013, 09:43 PM   #8
Trustee
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: San Angelo Texas
Posts: 1,510
Re: GH2 Sit Down Interview Lenses - My Final Quest

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin McRoberts View Post
fact is (as you state), you have a shitty tripod
Jack, if your tripod has a removable head and the thread on the bolt sticking up from the legs is 1/4x20 (same as standard 1/4x20 tripod thread) there is an excellent inexpensive "fluid effect" had available from B&H for $38.36. The Velbon PH 368.

Not a true "fluid" head but a smooth "fluid effect" head, this thing is incredibly smooth on pans and tilts when properly adjusted. I have one and know what I'm talking about on this one. I also have a set of carbon fiber lengs with a Manrotto 501 head on it so I have something good to compare the PH 368 to.

Here is a link:

Velbon PH-368 Fluid Head PH-368 B&H Photo Video

Mine is about 5 years old, I had a SunPak 7575 tripod with a real "crappy" video pan head on it, the legs were fairly good so I ordered this to replace it
Bruce Foreman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 11th, 2013, 12:08 AM   #9
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: sydney
Posts: 304
Re: GH2 Sit Down Interview Lenses - My Final Quest

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Foreman View Post
I have this lens and LOVE it! But it puts him in the same ballpark as his 50mm which has him baking away uncomfortably far to get the framing he wants.
I don't find that at all - no more than 3 metres (10 ft) for a head to waist. It is after all a portrait/interview lens. In fact the subject feels more comfortable with a camera at a medium distance rather than in their face with a 20mm. Unless you're interviewing them in a cupboard under the stairs 35 - 50mm is the perfect focal length.
Chris Duczynski is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 11th, 2013, 07:12 AM   #10
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Charlottesville, VA
Posts: 700
Re: GH2 Sit Down Interview Lenses - My Final Quest

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Foreman View Post
Jack, if your tripod has a removable head and the thread on the bolt sticking up from the legs is 1/4x20 (same as standard 1/4x20 tripod thread) there is an excellent inexpensive "fluid effect" had available from B&H for $38.36. The Velbon PH 368.
Very nice... I've been putting together a 2-cam "carry on" kit and have been looking for an inexpensive yet serviceable head for the unmanned camera
__________________
Freelance pudgy bearded lighting camera operator
www.mcbob.tv
Kevin McRoberts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 11th, 2013, 01:42 PM   #11
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 48
Re: GH2 Sit Down Interview Lenses - My Final Quest

You've received a number of excellent recommendations here. If you need to free up budget space I can recommend a less costly option: Nikon 35mm F 2 0 High Speed Non AI Wide Angle Lens 018208019236 | eBay

It appears to be an older lens; I've purchased a couple of 50's - 60's vintage Nikon lenses and found that their yellow/brown anti-glare coating produces warmer looking skin tones on my GH1 & 2 compared to the purple/green coatings on Nikon's later lenses.
Guy Smith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 13th, 2013, 01:55 AM   #12
Trustee
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: San Angelo Texas
Posts: 1,510
Re: GH2 Sit Down Interview Lenses - My Final Quest

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Duczynski View Post
I don't find that at all - no more than 3 metres (10 ft) for a head to waist. It is after all a portrait/interview lens. In fact the subject feels more comfortable with a camera at a medium distance rather than in their face with a 20mm. Unless you're interviewing them in a cupboard under the stairs 35 - 50mm is the perfect focal length.
I don't fundamentally disagree with this, but he has found his 50mm has him backing uncomfortably far away from the subject. He is likely working in more confined spaces than you do. While I've had situations where what I was trying to use was a 50mm on an APS-C camera (80mm equiv) and found myself running out of space, and now have other lens options (14mm and 12mm - 28 and 24mm equiv) I can still understand his situation.

Being a retired portrait photographer I fully appreciate what you say (and really like the perspective the 45mm f1.8 brings), but when someone asks advice and mentions certain constraints I try to fit my advice realistically to the situation described.

He's likely best off using his 14-42mm "kit" lens and insuring he has enough light to make that work for now.
Bruce Foreman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 13th, 2013, 08:01 PM   #13
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Sunny California
Posts: 513
Re: GH2 Sit Down Interview Lenses - My Final Quest

Hi Jack - Here is what a 30mm Sigma 1.4 legacy lens looks like on the GH2 in an interview setting:




Sadly, these lenses are usually over 200 - and with an adapter, they cost even more.

But you can get a native micro 4/3 mount Sigma 30mm f2.8 for 131 at Amazon UK. Thenewer model is 159.

These lenses are both below 200 brand new, come with warranty, perform well in low light, and will allow you to get closer to your interview subject than your 50mm Canon FD.

Hope this is helpful,

Bill
Hybrid Camera Revolution
Bill Bruner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 13th, 2013, 11:37 PM   #14
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: sydney
Posts: 304
Re: GH2 Sit Down Interview Lenses - My Final Quest

Jack, you already have two lenses, the 50mm and the 14-42mm - what ELSE do you need for interviews - NOTHING ?
Use one when you have space and one when you don't- you don't need ANOTHER lens, especially for under 200 pound. Buy a nice soft battery- powered dual temperature light instead or a good lav mic.
Chris Duczynski is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 14th, 2013, 11:06 AM   #15
Trustee
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: San Angelo Texas
Posts: 1,510
Re: GH2 Sit Down Interview Lenses - My Final Quest

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Bruner View Post
Hi Jack - Here is what a Sigma 30mm f1.4 legacy lens looks like on the GH2 in an interview setting:
Bill: That looks super to me!
Bruce Foreman 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 10:01 PM.


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