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Video-Friendly Lenses for Lumix DSLRs
  • 210 Replies sorted by
  • Looking for information on this one as well:

    Tokina ATX-PRO 28-80mm 2.8 Aspherical Nikon mount
  • Auto-focus Zooms for Lumix DSLRs

    Here's how a variety of GH1/2-compatible auto-focus zooms rank in video-friendly qualities. In addition to auto-focusing on the GH2 (and the GH1 in certain cases), some of these lenses also have Optical Image Stabilization, which can be very useful on a shoulder-mounted rig.

    Panasonic 14-140mm f4-5.8 Micro-4/3

    http://www.photozone.de/olympus--four-thirds-lens-tests/682-pana14140
    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/panasonicdmcgh1/page17.asp

    Panasonic 14-45mm f3.5-5.6 Micro-4/3

    http://www.photozone.de/olympus--four-thirds-lens-tests/414-pana_1445_3556
    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/panasonicGF1/page19.asp

    Panasonic 14-42mm f3.5-5.6 Micro-4/3

    http://www.photozone.de/olympus--four-thirds-lens-tests/615-pana1442

    Panasonic 45-200mm f4-5.6 Micro-4/3

    http://www.photozone.de/olympus--four-thirds-lens-tests/417-pana_45200_456

    * Manual aperture ring: No - aperture set in camera
    * Direct-coupled focus ring: No
    * Proper focus ring rotation: Yes
    * Non-rotating outer barrel: Yes
    * Non-extending outer barrel: No
    * Constant field of view: No
    * Constant f-stop aperture: No
    * Rotational zoom ring: Yes
    * Shutter-button auto-focus: GH2 & GH1
    * Optical Image Stabilization: Yes


    Panasonic/Leica 14-50mm f2.8-3.5 Four-Thirds

    http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Leica1450mm/
    http://www.lenstip.com/index.php?test=obiektywu&test_ob=262

    * Manual aperture ring: Yes
    * Direct-coupled focus ring: No
    * Proper focus ring rotation: Yes
    * Non-rotating outer barrel: Yes
    * Non-extending outer barrel: No
    * Constant field of view: No
    * Constant f-stop aperture: No
    * Rotational zoom ring: Yes
    * Shutter-button auto-focus: GH2 only
    * Optical Image Stabilization: Yes


    Olympus 9-18mm f4-5.6 Four-Thirds

    http://www.dpreview.com/lensreviews/olympus_9-18_4-5p6_o20/
    http://www.lenstip.com/164.1-Lens_review-Olympus_Zuiko_Digital_9-18_mm_f_4-5.6_ED.html

    * Manual aperture ring: No - aperture set in camera
    * Direct-coupled focus ring: No
    * Proper focus ring rotation: Yes
    * Non-rotating outer barrel: Yes
    * Non-extending outer barrel: Extends only 3mm
    * Constant field of view: No
    * Constant f-stop aperture: No
    * Rotational zoom ring: Yes
    * Shutter-button auto-focus: GH2 & GH1
    * Optical Image Stabilization: No


    Olympus 11-22mm f2.8-3.5 Four-Thirds

    http://www.lenstip.com/index.php?test=obiektywu&test_ob=215

    * Manual aperture ring: No - aperture set in camera
    * Direct-coupled focus ring: No
    * Proper focus ring rotation: Yes
    * Non-rotating outer barrel: Yes
    * Non-extending outer barrel: No
    * Constant field of view: Yes
    * Constant f-stop aperture: No
    * Rotational zoom ring: Yes
    * Shutter-button auto-focus: GH2 only
    * Optical Image Stabilization: No


    Olympus 14-35mm f2.0 SWD Four-Thirds

    http://www.slrgear.com/reviews/showproduct.php/product/1137
    http://www.lenstip.com/260.1-Lens_review-Olympus_Zuiko_Digital_ED_14-35_mm_f_2.0_SWD.html

    * Manual aperture ring: No - aperture set in camera
    * Direct-coupled focus ring: No
    * Proper focus ring rotation: Yes
    * Non-rotating outer barrel: Yes
    * Non-extending outer barrel: No
    * Constant field of view: No
    * Constant f-stop aperture: Yes
    * Rotational zoom ring: Yes
    * Shutter-button auto-focus: GH2 only
    * Optical Image Stabilization: No


    Olympus 14-54mm f2.8-3.5 Mark I/II Four-Thirds

    http://www.slrgear.com/reviews/showproduct.php/product/1239
    http://www.lenstip.com/index.php?test=obiektywu&test_ob=227

    * Manual aperture ring: No - aperture set in camera
    * Direct-coupled focus ring: No
    * Proper focus ring rotation: Yes
    * Non-rotating outer barrel: Yes
    * Non-extending outer barrel: No
    * Constant field of view: No
    * Constant f-stop aperture: No
    * Rotational zoom ring: Yes
    * Shutter-button auto-focus: GH2 (& GH1 on Mark II version only)
    * Optical Image Stabilization: No


    Olympus 12-60mm f2.8-4.0 SWD Four-Thirds

    http://www.photozone.de/olympus--four-thirds-lens-tests/450-oly_1260_284
    http://www.dpreview.com/lensreviews/olympus_12-60_2p8-4_o20/

    * Manual aperture ring: No - aperture set in camera
    * Direct-coupled focus ring: No
    * Proper focus ring rotation: Yes
    * Non-rotating outer barrel: Yes
    * Non-extending outer barrel: No
    * Constant field of view: No
    * Constant f-stop aperture: No
    * Rotational zoom ring: Yes
    * Shutter-button auto-focus: GH2 only
    * Optical Image Stabilization: No


    Olympus 35-100mm f2.0 Four-Thirds

    http://www.thewsreviews.com/2008/09/olympus-35-100mm-f20.html
    http://www.lenstip.com/index.php?test=obiektywu&test_ob=242

    * Manual aperture ring: No - aperture set in camera
    * Direct-coupled focus ring: No
    * Proper focus ring rotation: Yes
    * Non-rotating outer barrel: Yes
    * Non-extending outer barrel: Yes
    * Constant field of view: No
    * Constant f-stop aperture: Yes
    * Rotational zoom ring: Yes
    * Shutter-button auto-focus: GH2 only
    * Optical Image Stabilization: No


    Olympus 50-200mm f2.8-3.5 SWD Four-Thirds

    http://www.photozone.de/olympus--four-thirds-lens-tests/454-oly502002835
    http://www.slrgear.com/reviews/showproduct.php/product/38

    * Manual aperture ring: No - aperture set in camera
    * Direct-coupled focus ring: No
    * Proper focus ring rotation: Yes
    * Non-rotating outer barrel: Yes
    * Non-extending outer barrel: No
    * Constant field of view: No
    * Constant f-stop aperture: No
    * Rotational zoom ring: Yes
    * Shutter-button auto-focus: GH2 (& GH1 on SWD version only)
    * Optical Image Stabilization: No


    Sigma 10-20mm f4-5.6 HSM Four-Thirds

    http://www.photozone.de/Reviews/308-sigma-af-10-20mm-f4-56-dc-ex-hsm-lab-test-report--review
    http://www.slrgear.com/reviews/showproduct.php/product/171

    * Manual aperture ring: No - aperture set in camera
    * Direct-coupled focus ring: No
    * Proper focus ring rotation: Lumix direction
    * Non-rotating outer barrel: Yes
    * Non-extending outer barrel: No
    * Constant field of view: Yes
    * Constant f-stop aperture: No
    * Rotational zoom ring: Yes
    * Shutter-button auto-focus: GH2 only
    * Optical Image Stabilization: No


    Sigma 18-50mm f2.8 EX DC Four-Thirds

    http://www.photozone.de/nikon--nikkor-aps-c-lens-tests/315-sigma-af-18-50mm-f28-dc-ex-macro-review--lab-test-report
    https://www.lensrentals.com/rent/four-thirds/lenses/normal-range/sigma-18-50mm-f2.8-ex-dc-for-four-thirds

    * Manual aperture ring: No - aperture set in camera
    * Direct-coupled focus ring: Yes
    * Proper focus ring rotation: Lumix direction
    * Non-rotating outer barrel: Yes
    * Non-extending outer barrel: No
    * Constant field of view: No
    * Constant f-stop aperture: Yes
    * Rotational zoom ring: Yes
    * Shutter-button auto-focus: GH2 only
    * Optical Image Stabilization: No


    Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 HSM II DG Four-Thirds

    http://www.dpreview.com/lensreviews/sigma_70-200_2p8_n15/
    http://www.cameratown.com/reviews/sigma/70200f28/

    * Manual aperture ring: No - aperture set in camera
    * Direct-coupled focus ring: No
    * Proper focus ring rotation: Lumix direction only
    * Non-rotating outer barrel: Yes
    * Non-extending outer barrel: Yes
    * Constant field of view: Mostly
    * Constant f-stop aperture: Yes
    * Rotational zoom ring: Yes
    * Shutter-button auto-focus: GH2 only
    * Optical Image Stabilization: No

  • Ok, how about Nikon 17-55 2.8?

    Also, you might want to mention how noisy the OIS is in the 14-50 Leicasonic. It's quite loud for video mode; even outdoors with the birds chirping I could hear it in all of my recordings.
  • @Shield
    The zoom lenses listed above all auto-focus on the GH2. The Nikon 17-55mm f2.8 G would be a very expensive and inconvenient lens to use on a Lumix camera. It neither auto-focuses nor does it have any way to set the lens aperture. The Sigma 18-50mm f2.8 listed above is much better suited for use on the GH2.

    While some may object to electronic lens noise, I think it's a non-issue when shooting with a shoulder-mounted rig with a follow focus. Neither the lens focus ring nor the follow focus gear mechanism are designed to operate silently. In cases where camera noise is a concern, microphones should be acoustically isolated from it.
  • @LPowell - I think many of us here shoot video in manual mode, and the compromise for slow lenses isn't worth the benefit of having autofocus. The Nikon 17-55's aperture can be controlled with the Novoflex adapter, but it isn't cheap for sure. I am going to pick up a used Nikon 17-55 for about $800 along with the Novoflex adapter and will report back in.
    Thanks for this thread,
    Shawn
  • @Shield - "I think many of us here shoot video in manual mode..."
    Indeed, that's why I listed video-friendly manual-focus lenses at the start of the thread in my second post:

    http://www.personal-view.com./talks/discussion/859/video-friendly-lenses-for-lumix-dslrs#Item_2

    I thought a follow-up on the auto-focus lenses listed above would be of comparative interest since many of them are widely used for video, in spite of their drawbacks.

    Although they won't auto-focus on the GH2, there are several video-friendly professional Nikon zoom lenses that have built-in manual aperture rings:

    Nikkor AF-S 17-35mm f2.8 D

    http://www.photozone.de/nikon--nikkor-aps-c-lens-tests/230-nikkor-af-s-17-35mm-f28-d-if-ed-review--lab-test-report

    * Manual aperture ring: Yes
    * Direct-coupled focus ring: No
    * Proper focus ring rotation: Nikon direction only
    * Non-rotating outer barrel: Yes
    * Non-extending outer barrel: Yes
    * Constant field of view: Yes
    * Constant f-stop aperture: Yes
    * Rotational zoom ring: Yes

    Nikkor AF-S 28-70mm f2.8 D

    http://www.photozone.de/nikon--nikkor-aps-c-lens-tests/239-nikkor-af-s-28-70mm-f28-d-if-ed-review--test-report

    * Manual aperture ring: Yes
    * Direct-coupled focus ring: No
    * Proper focus ring rotation: Nikon direction only
    * Non-rotating outer barrel: Yes
    * Non-extending outer barrel: No
    * Constant field of view: ??
    * Constant f-stop aperture: Yes
    * Rotational zoom ring: Yes

    Nikkor AF 80-200mm f/2.8 D

    http://www.photozone.de/nikon--nikkor-aps-c-lens-tests/252-nikkor-af-80-200mm-f28d-ed-review--test-report

    * Manual aperture ring: Yes
    * Direct-coupled focus ring: Yes
    * Proper focus ring rotation: Nikon direction only
    * Non-rotating outer barrel: No
    * Non-extending outer barrel: Yes
    * Constant field of view: ??
    * Constant f-stop aperture: Yes
    * Rotational zoom ring: Yes
  • @LPowell - I actually managed to find a Sigma 17-50 four thirds mount lens! I will report my findings with the GH2 once it arrives this week.
    Shawn
  • @LPowell Could you add the data to e.g. Google Docs Spreadsheet? Would make it easier to choose the right lens. It would also be nice to have price estimate and somekind of grade for optical performance.
  • @tonalt
    Sorry, I don't have the time to devote to a Google Docs project like that. If you have time to do some market pricing research, I'd be interested to add that data to this thread. Optical performance, however, is a complex judgment that I think is best evaluated by the individual reviews I've linked for each lens.
  • What about vivitar 28-90 f2.8-3.5?
  • @spike08
    The vintage manual-focus Vivitar 28-90mm is a one-touch varifocal lens (does not hold focus when zoomed), which in my view makes it impractical to use on a follow-focus/matte box rig. Here's how it rates on my list of video-friendly features:

    Vivitar Series 1 28-90mm f2.8-3.5

    http://jfcampbell.us/photo/vivitar28-90.htm
    http://www.photographyreview.com/cat/lenses/35mm-zoom/vivitar/series-1-28-90-f-2-8-3-5-mf/prd_84956_3128crx.aspx

    * Manual aperture ring: Yes
    * Direct-coupled focus ring: Yes
    * Proper focus ring rotation: Nikon direction only
    * Non-rotating outer barrel: Yes
    * Non-extending outer barrel: No
    * Constant field of view: No
    * Constant f-stop aperture: No
    * Rotational zoom ring: No
  • Has anyone tried the Sigma 10-20 f4-5.6 for static shooting or the olympus 12-60 f2.8 -4.0 as a all around camera?
  • @LPowell
    There is an error in your listing:

    "Olympus 14-35mm f2.0 SWD Four-Thirds

    * Direct-coupled focus ring: No"

    The 14-35 has a directly coupled focus ring. It is just friction coupled and if you turn it beyond min./max. it will slip further. But as long as you stay within these limits there is a mechanical connection between the ring and the focusing mechnism.

    Also the lens barrel extends, but only when zooming. It doesn't extend when only focusing - but I'm not sure which one counts for your "* Non-extending outer barrel: ?"
  • @Psyco
    I've been using strict criteria to judge both focus ring operation and lens barrel extension.

    By "direct-coupled focus ring", I mean one that has both calibrated focus ring position and hard stops at each end of focus ring rotation. Reason being, you want to be assured that the focus ring will not slip after attaching the Follow Focus gear to it. This cannot be guaranteed on a lens that lacks hard stops on the focus ring.

    Regarding lens barrel extension, it doesn't matter whether it occurs due to focusing or to zooming. In either case, extension of the lens barrel will likely conflict with the use of a rails-mounted matte box.
  • Sigma 18-50mm f2.8 EX DC Four-Thirds

    Constant field of view = No.
    This lens breathes quite a bit; about as badly as the Leicasonic 14-50mm. The exposure does not flicker while zooming though at any f stop, but the focus shifts noticeably while zooming in and out. Autofocus isn't too bad on the GH2. Push to focus does not work on the AF-100 but auto-iris does.
  • Only japanese lenses? What about the old M42 lenses?
  • @kazuo, on the second page I posted about the helios 44-2. I am looking for more m42 glass, but most of it ships from the ukraine, which takes about 2 months to get to me (according to ebay). The helios is a solid lens, built like a tank, very smooth focus ring, nice vibrant color rendition. Anyways, I copied my post and pasted it below.

    I just got a helios 44-2 (58mm f2), and I love it so far. I heard that on these lenses oil on the aperture blades also isn't an issue, as many soviet lenses came from the factory that way. Anyways:
    Manual aperture ring: yes (very cool 2 ring system, allows you to open the lens and have a completely step less aperture if you wish)
    direct couple focus ring: yes
    proper focus ring rotation: counter-clockwise to infinity
    non-rotating outer barrel: yes
    non-extending outer barrel: no, extends about 1cm, maybe a little under (just from eyeballing it)
    constant field of view: no, appears to zoom out slightly when focussed towards infinity, thought I haven't tested this thoroughly
  • @p_hawks
    Great to hear that you like Russian lenses. I was looking at a few Jupiters just the other day, but decided to grab the couple of Carl Zeiss Jenas that were on offer instead. The Jupiter 11A , and 37 are quite solidly built, and are multicoated as well, but I thought I would rather get the real deal. The Jupiters were actually built on Sonnar architecture, so between the two, CZ was a no brainer.

    You might also want to check out the Tair lenses, and the Pentacons (or the older Meyers). Pentax Takumars and Minolta lenses are also quite fantastic. So are the Konica Hexanons - easily available and inexpensive

    I generally prefer European lenses. Right now, I shoot a lot with Flektogons (20mm, 35mm, 135mm), and a few Zeiss T* lenses, but I make an exception for 2 outstanding Japanese lenses - the Nokton 0.95 (Voigtlander), and the Revuenon 55mm (which some say is a remake of the venerable Tomioka).

    I generally avoid AF lenses even though I sometimes need to be on the run and gun. I take it as good practice for me to get my focus and exposure right, no recourse just get it right!
  • Hey guys, do you know if old Chinon's lenses can be adapted on a Gh2?? What do i need for that to work??
  • @AlexManta

    Sure, just verify the mount, and get a suitable adaptor.
  • Planing to buy the Olympus 14-35mm f2.0 SWD Four-Thirds. Looking for quality 4/3 -> MFT adapter. Guess it needs to be have electrical connectors change aperture and use AF. Any hints?

  • @Meierhans
    Both Panasonic and Olympus make Four Thirds adapters that work equally well with all Panasonic and Olympus legacy Four Thirds lenses.
  • @Meierhans - The Olympus 14-35 has iris flicker / shifts while zooming on the GH2/Af100.
    From my research, only at f/2.8 does it not flicker while zooming. If you want to zoom while filming, you will notice this glitch and it's frustrating. If you want to use it like multiple fixed primes @ F/2, then it's amazing. Best footage I've ever taken was the AF100 / Oly 14-35mm @ F/2. Period.
  • The first post says that the 25mm does not focus breathe. It is actually almost as bad as the 20mm for focus breathing. It is really quiet though.

  • @mpgxsvcd Perhaps you're thinking of the Micro 4/3rds version of the Panasonic 25mm f1.4? My copy of the legacy Four Thirds 25mm f1.4 has virtually no visible focus breathing.