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


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Old August 5th, 2017, 06:33 PM   #1
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Recommended Lens for the GH4

Hello -

I happily own Panasonic's GH4 with two (starter) lens which I purchased along with the camera. One lens is Panasonic's LUMIX 25. The other is an Olympus 75 - 300 mm lens. Both meet my very modest photo and video-recording needs. (The Olympus 75 -300 mm lens requires that I use a tripod simply because my hands are not steady enough to hold the camera still.)

I'm looking to expand the collection of lenses. Of course, there're the ones manufactured by Panasonic for this camera. Yes, I am considering purchasing them. But, they tend to be a bit more expensive. In exploring on-line web-stores like BH Photo/Video, I'm finding that there are a number of different manufacturers making Micro 4/3s lenses for might work well for the GH4 (and GH5 which I plan to purchase within a years time). I would like a somewhat larger inventory of prime lenses, and another zoom lens, ideally incorporating some kind of stabilizing feature to them.

Most of my modest video projects are involved with the hospital where I work as an ICU/CCU nurse. I video-tape mostly educational in-services that ultimately go up on our hospital's web-site so that the employee can watch these (mandatory-viewing) videos. However, my wife and I enjoy hiking and canoeing, and I wish do more videography of our time together exploring the beautiful scenery of our ventures. (I live in the Berkshires where there're lots of lakes and mountains with beautiful vistas.) To be honest, I use another camera for these outdoor ventures (my happy Canon 70D) . But, I wish to use the GH4 as an option which I'm really not able to do, presently. (That Olympus 75-300 lens really needs a tripod which I don't usually take with me when we go hiking.) Finally, my wife and I (we're both nurses) wish to produce healthcare related educational videos of our own . . . to possibly market to other healthcare systems in the future. So, having a choice of prime lenses, and a second camera (like the GH5), seems like good ideas as we plan for this endeavor. We own a healthcare related production company called Too Live Nurse, which is currently in hiatus. Too Live Nurse is a musical-comedy troupe that has done some cool and significant projects for healthcare organizations in past years. Although certainly not experts, we're no strangers to the art and craft of the production process.

I am certainly not an expert to all things related to cameras and videography. . .

In addition to the Panasonic lenses available for the GH 4 (and GH 5), and in addition to the Olympus lenses that are also available, there are several others that make Micro 4/3s lenses as well. Currently I'm eyeing lenses made by Rokinon and Samyang. But there are other options as well!! I could purchase a lens mount adaptor like ones manufactured by Metabones. With this type of adaptor, it seems that I could use the lenses that I already own for that happy Canon 70D. (I own both EF and EF-S consumer-rated lenses, but mostly EF-S lenses.) But I am not sure that I want to go this route.

As you can see. . . LOTS of choices. I guess I'm seeking guidance. What are your experiences with the lens manufacturers that I mentioned? What other lens manufacturers are worthy of consideration? And, what are your experiences using a lens mount adaptor for your GH4 and/or GH5?

Thank you in advance for your time and thoughtful input.

Respectfully,

Ted
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Old August 10th, 2017, 07:00 AM   #2
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Re: Recommended Lens for the GH4

Apologies for that long-winded post above. I'll keep it simple.

Which lenses would you recommend that best works with the GH4/GH5 for videography???


Thank you. . .
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Last edited by Ed Fiebke; August 10th, 2017 at 02:21 PM.
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Old August 10th, 2017, 02:49 PM   #3
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Re: Recommended Lens for the GH4

Well, for specialty closeup work you won't fine a finer lens than the Olympus 60mm macro. Here are some shots with the GH4 in 4K with an Olympus 60mm macro and 75-300mm telephoto.

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Old August 10th, 2017, 10:55 PM   #4
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Re: Recommended Lens for the GH4

Wonderful work Mark,

I have been following your videos here for some time and you have a great skill of making these videos and they look superb.

Did love this one too.

For me i used the GH4 for 2.5 years and now using the GH5 the only lens of MFT i own is the 12-35 f2.8 of panny other than that i have always used the canon glass on these MFT cameras. For macro i have used the 100mm f2.8 L IS and it did work wonderful for 4 k recording. Since i use it with a dumb adapter it does have a few limitation but the DOF that these MFTs give is decent enough and i have been able to manage. Now going to try with this lens and a 12mm extension tube to see what i get.

The Olympus 60mm does look a powerful lens.
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Old August 11th, 2017, 01:36 AM   #5
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Re: Recommended Lens for the GH4

Mark - That was a beautiful video, as was the music. Will look into the Olympus 60mm Macro lens for close-ups.

Vishal - Will look into Panasonic's 12-35 lens as well. I'm still on the fence with regards to purchasing an adapter. As I mentioned in my initial (and long) post, I own several of Canon's lenses (both EF & EF-S Lenses). At present, I focusing my efforts and $$$ on purchasing MFT lenses that would work well with the GH4 (and GH5, down the road).

Thank you both for your time and thoughtful suggestions.
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Old August 11th, 2017, 03:58 AM   #6
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Re: Recommended Lens for the GH4

If you buy a 12-35mm f2.8 buy the first version, not the second, version 2 is more expensive and specifically designed to work better together with the gh5 ibis, for the gh4 the first version of the 12-35 is just fine and you will save some cash. If you want a macrolens look into the bresser 60mm: dirt cheap and great magnification, if you want to watch the video in that post, the password is "fly": Bresser 60mm F/2.8 Macrolens for MFT
Edit: I just see you might want to get a gh5 later, in that case the second version of the 12-35mm might be a better investment.
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Old August 14th, 2017, 12:33 PM   #7
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Re: Recommended Lens for the GH4

Prime lenses - I'm a fan of the 25mm 1.4. Small, not to expensive and good FOV.

More expensive are the Panasonic 12mm 1.4 and 42.5 1.2. The 42.5 is a stabilised lens and very good in low light and the Panasonic 12mm 1.4 is superb in low light and very sharp. A great lens. Almost gives you the fullframe look when shot at 1.4.

I've also added recently the 8-18mm 2.8-4 lens and from the limited use I have of it, I can see it being an excellent addition to my kit. Working indoors and outdoors, there is always a need for a wider angle than 12mm can provide and why I have decided to add this lens to my gear. I favoured it over the Olympus wide angle despite it being cheaper as I wanted the extra gain of f2.8.

You can see I do heavily favour Panasonic lenses, though also own a few Olympus lens, the 45mm and 75mm 1.8 are both very good lenses. Very sharp and with great contrast.

The advantage of using Panasonic and Olympus lenses are their small size. I often go walking and can carry 3-4 prime lenses in my small backpack. Often my choice being the 12mm, the 25mm, the 42.5mm and the 75mm. This gives me a good range of options. The GH5 5 axis IS ensures that those lenses without its own IS can be shot handheld, which is a plus when out and about, as carrying a tripod is hardly practical when walking.
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Old August 14th, 2017, 04:15 PM   #8
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Re: Recommended Lens for the GH4

Here's a good one for sale by a member:

Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 35-100mm f/2.8 ASPH. POWER O.I.S. Lens H-HS35100

I've used this lens once, at a wedding reception. I've also used the 12-35mm f2.8 MK1. Both were rented, and both worked great! (On the Panny GH4)

Good luck in your search!
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Old August 14th, 2017, 04:32 PM   #9
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Re: Recommended Lens for the GH4

Ed, you are planning to purchase a GH5 in the future according to your post. You might give some consideration to the 12-60 mm kit lens designed by Leica for Panasonic. The back of the GH5 manual has this statement "The LEICA DG lenses are manufactured using measurement equipment and quality assurance systems that have been certified by Leica Camera AG based on the company's quality standards." Leica doesn't build the lens but at least plays a role in managing quality control. The kit price gets you a decent lens for considerably less than buying it separately.

You mention that you hike in the mountains. I have a GH5 with the 12-60 and it does a good job for a compact and light weight lens. I bought the camera and lens to get a still/moving image camera for travel. In the past I have carried a Canon 6D with a 24-105mm L series lens but it is heavy for walking around playing tourist particularly at the end of the day. The Canon is great as a still camera but not easy to use for video. The GH5 is great for shooting video but still images are a compromise compared to the Canon. The GH5 UHD video is very good considering the price but you will need an ND filter for bright conditions.

The GH5 can also link to a smart phone to get GPS coordinates for image metadata. The link is a low power version of Bluetooth that doesn't seem to use much power. The smart phone application will automatically configure a WiFi connection to the camera after you set up the Bluetooth. The WiFi is useful if you want to use the camera remotely or transfer images to your smart phone.
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