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Old November 14th, 2016, 06:56 AM   #1
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GH4: MFT vs. EF w/ Speedbooster?

I'm looking for opinions, pros & cons, thoughts one way or the other on using native MFT lenses like the Lumix 12-35 f2.8 vs. Rokinon EF primes/L-glass etc. I'm not looking for price comparisons or the pros & cons of Canon vs. Panasonic; just the pros & cons of using MFT vs EF (modified to fit a GH4).

I'd love to get the thoughts of the community on this. Thanks!
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Old November 15th, 2016, 06:16 AM   #2
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Re: GH4: MFT vs. EF w/ Speedbooster?

MFT lenses are smaller lighter (in most cases), have auto focus. Plus with Panasonic lenses you get some correction in camera for distortion, vignetting and Chromatic aberrations. I'm not sure how non Panaosnic lenses hold up on this, but pretty sure CA correction is only possible with Panasonic lenses.

I know some turn those noses down on MFT compared to EF, but there's some fantastic lenses in the MFT range. It seems silly to go for a smaller sensor camera only to attach a brick of a lens that doesn't even give you the functions of the smaller MFT lenses. If you're running APS-C or Fullframe as well, then I can see the point. However if your camera is MFT, makes perfect sense your lenses should be too.
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Old November 15th, 2016, 07:08 AM   #3
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Re: GH4: MFT vs. EF w/ Speedbooster?

Thanks, Steve! Great insight here. One additional thing I wanted to look at was future proofing as an item in consideration.
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Old November 15th, 2016, 08:17 AM   #4
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Re: GH4: MFT vs. EF w/ Speedbooster?

Hi Bob,

My opinions mirror those of Steve's. If I was sitting on the handful of full frame lens the adapter would provide the opportunity to share those lens on the GH4. Without that availability of either having other lens on hand or readily available to rent, I would op to purchase the native Panasonic MFT lens (high end models).

I think the pro series of lens from Panasonic or Olympus compete with OS, Nikor or Rokinon lens as far as quality goes and they are usually much smaller and lighter to extend the advantage of the 4/3 compact design.

There may be a slight advantage using the speedbooster adapter to gain a f stop for low light situations, but that is a very thin specific combination which may work for you, may not depending on your type of filming.

I have four lens for my GH4, three are great, the fourth is just OK......

The Olympus M.ZUIKO Digital 12-40mm f2.8 I think is a great lens. But because of the difference in how Panasonic and Olympus design their stabilizer, putting this Olympus on the GH4 retains the AF, but loses the OIS.

The Lumix G Vario 45-150mm f4.0-5.6 MEGA OIS is what I think an OK lens, but not great. It is one of their low end models.

The Lumix G Vario 45-200mm F4.0-5.6 Mega OIS is I think a great lens. AF and OIS work nice.

The Lumix G Vario 100-300mm F4.0-5.6 Mega OIS is I think a great lens. AF and OIS work nice.

The next lens on my list is the Lumix G Vario 7-14mm F4.0.

I don't have any prime lens, but there are many to choose from. If you have a primary need for fast lens, then I think the speedbooster and full frame lens may provide that need as a consideration.
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Old November 15th, 2016, 11:23 AM   #5
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Re: GH4: MFT vs. EF w/ Speedbooster?

Ah, but the beauty of the system is the simple fact that you can use pretty much any lens! I do love the simplicity of the native lens' but i also use my Nikon glass via a couple of different adapters. In one instance, when i am shooting night time lapses, i use a Nikon mount Rokinon lens. It is a 10mm f2.8 rectilinear that is very sharp & when used with the Metabones adapter, gives me the same angle of view as roughly a 7mm lens & at f2.0! Another instance is where i use my Nikon 80-400 & Tamron 150-600mm lens'. These lens' are slower, but again, used with the Metabones adapter, i gain a stop of light. The other very useful adapter i use with all my Nikon mount glass is a Fotodiox ND throttle adapter. This little beauty allows me way better control of my settings in harsh light.
All this will be the same with Canon glass but with the added bonus of more control via the smart adapters that are available from the likes of Metabones.
So for me, there really is no issue, the GH4 just works with whatever you put on it! At least that's my opinion.
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Old November 16th, 2016, 09:04 PM   #6
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Re: GH4: MFT vs. EF w/ Speedbooster?

Hello,
I use both a set of M43 Voightlander and Rokinon/Nikon lenses with speedbuster.
The Voightlanders are super fast, f 0.95 so there´s no difference with the 1.5 rokinons with one stop lighter with the speed buster.
I think this is one of the biggest advantages using a GH4 you can invest your money in optics and play a lot with them.
I have been finding my preferences for different circunstances.
Both options are great, I think is not matter of which one is better, is the chance to get and aplay different optics.
Saludos!
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Old November 30th, 2016, 01:28 AM   #7
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Re: GH4: MFT vs. EF w/ Speedbooster?

Hi
The great thing about GH4 is that you can use the lens you like! I use Sigma and Zeiss(nikon mount), Canon EF and Voightlander MFT lenses. I have now started buing Canon to get image stabilisor. Disadvantages is the electronic controlled iris does not move smooth enough for video. I make a lot of macro work so I can go for the sharpest lens with the closest focus and the most light without giving the brand many thougths.
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Old November 30th, 2016, 03:20 PM   #8
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Re: GH4: MFT vs. EF w/ Speedbooster?

I have lots of old Nikkors I've used for years and they are great on the GH4 with SpeedBooster. I also have the Panasonic 12--35 which is a nice and well built zoom, f2.8 all the way. The advantage of native MFT lenses would be that they're smaller and lighter than "full frame" lenses, and you can get really fast ones like the Voigtlanders (f.95). Veydra also makes real cine lenses for the mount, I believe all a T2.

My feeling is that if you already have a set of good primes, then go with the SpeedBooster. My old Nikkors have a great look but if you want the super sharp neutral Zeiss look, the Voigtlanders fit into that category better. The Voigtlanders now all have a switch to de-click the apeture at will, which is nice. In my case I've had my Nikkors all de-clicked at Duclos.
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Old November 30th, 2016, 03:55 PM   #9
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Re: GH4: MFT vs. EF w/ Speedbooster?

I saw a weddingvideo just recently where a panasonic gx85 was used with a 12-35mm f2.8 and a set of Voigtlanders lenses, when he used the Voigtlanders lenses he shot wide open and the chromatic aberration was horrible, it looked so bad that I would find it unusable. The videographer who shot it said that if he stopped down the lens a bit the purple fringing disappears but what's the point of having f0.95 lenses if you can't shoot wide open.

I am not sure if this is typical behavior for these type of lenses or if it has to do with the camera?
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Old November 30th, 2016, 04:45 PM   #10
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Re: GH4: MFT vs. EF w/ Speedbooster?

I have a mix of native lenses for my GH4, and Canon lenses that I adapt with the MB Speedbooster. As others have noted, MFT lenses are smaller and have some built-in lens correction. I believe the lens correction only works with still images, so it may not be a plus for you if you only shoot video. I love the light weight, and generally lower price of MFT lenses, but my Canon L lenses have a nicer "look" to them. If you already have lenses that can be adapted to the GH4, the cost of a good adapter is typically much less than the cost of another lens. I have invested in less native lenses, and more Canon and Canon mount Sigma lenses, with the intent to adapt them as needed for other cameras (like my SONY FS5).

One trade-off is that I must use an adapter (one more thing to deal with when changing lenses and one more thing to fail). Full frame lenses' extra size/weight can be a factor for some shoots (trekking, carrying lots of gear, etc.). On my SONY FS5, the Canon lenses auto focus is very, very sluggish, but works just fine on my GH4.

FWIW, I find adapting lenses has worked out very well for me, and I'm glad to have a couple MB Speedboosters for my cameras.
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Old November 30th, 2016, 06:09 PM   #11
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Re: GH4: MFT vs. EF w/ Speedbooster?

I have the Lumix 14-140 (the newer one which is smaller and a stop faster)
the Lumix 12-35 2.8
Had the 20mm pancake but sold it.
Voitlander 0.95 25mm
Sigma EF mount Art 18-35 1.8 on a Speedbooster
ancient 50mm 1.7 Ricoh on a cheap adapter

The lenses I use most are the 14-140 outside because of fantastic reach (10 times zoom!) With a vary ND to control exposure.
The Sigma gets slapped on as soon as the light starts to go, or if I'm doing interviews.
The Voitlander can virtually see in the dark and also can focus extremely closely so good for macro too.

I hardly ever use the 12-35 as I found I couldn't trust the auto focus when I really needed it, and manual focussing is not too easy on this little lens. It is very light weight though and the same diameter as the 14-140 so less filters to buy. Fantastic picture quality but I get a more pleasing look from the similar 18-35. This goes to f1.2 on the speedbooster so nearly as fast as the Voitlander.

Depends what you're using them for. You definitely couldn't use the Sigma on a drone or gimbal, whereas the Lumix 12-35 would be ideal.

The Voitlander is well worth the money, is solid, all manual. easy long throw focus and images look fantastic. Also very small. Even the old 50mm Ricoh has a nice look. I'd recommend a cheap Canon "Nifty 50" or similar Nikkor on a dumb adapter. Very useful, light weight, giving you that 100mm look but very fast.

Not forgetting that f2.8 gives a pleasing bokeh on a 35mm camera but not so much on an M4/3. You need a couple of stops faster to get the same look. A lot of people write off the GH4 as not that good in low light. With fast lenses it is great. F2.8 is definitely not fast enough though.

I haven't experienced any CA issues with the Voitlander at all. I use it wide open when I have to but don't need to most of the time.

I'd like something wider but not planning on getting any lenses ATM.
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Last edited by Mark Whittle; November 30th, 2016 at 06:17 PM. Reason: fix spelling
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Old November 30th, 2016, 06:34 PM   #12
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Re: GH4: MFT vs. EF w/ Speedbooster?

I find it interesting that chromatic aberration has come up. Like i had mentioned in a previous post, i am using some old Nikkor lens' with my GH4 via adaptors. Some of those same lens' i used on my Sony EX-3. Interestingly, i find CA a non issue with these lens' & the GH4, whereas, the same lens' with the Sony EX-3 had lots of CA issues. I don't understand why this would be the case, but i don't care that i now don't have to worry about CA in high contrast edge situations.
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