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Will the BMPCC + Lumix 12-35 be an adequate kit?
  • Pros and cons? My biggest fear is the lens itself seems to produce very "video-ish" quality, but I suspect under the right conditions (controlled environment, proper lighting) it may be able to achieve a more cinematic image... The lack of cine-lens features, and in fact the inclusion of "anti" cine features like focus by wire and electronic aperture are problematic but not deal breakers... I don't really mind that the lens isn't that fast - I don't care for very shallow DOF, though low-light shooting may be an issue... I just particularly like the fact that this lens would cover pretty much all the focal lengths useful on the BMPCC. What do you guys think?

  • 36 Replies sorted by
  • It works fine on the GH2 and I'm planning to use it on the BMPCC too when it shows up. If by "video-ish" you mean sharp, then yes it is a sharp lens.

  • @evilken "works fine" meaning...?

  • I wouldn't describe John Brawley's footage as looking video-ish

  • @Conformist I have been thinking exactly the same thing. I've tried to discuss the merits of the 12-35mm but I swear it drives me crazy cause all I see is quite dull looking footage online alongside people raving about how great a lens it is. One thing I do like is that it's the widest stablized zoom so far which I think people are underestimating will be important for handheld. The o.s seems almost steadycam good too.

    This is my thinking. I would rather see what people can do with the cam if it does get a rapid mass release. Loads of people have the m4/3 lenses that are using cams like the GH2 so a flood of footage should come pretty quickly, so it's worth sitting it out. The other funny thing is I have found footage using far cheaper stabilized zooms look nicer and less clinical looking. For example even the 14-45mm cheap zoom looks great, have a look at this,

    Looks great to me, so I'm thinking to first get a cheap zoom to start.

    Some other thoughts. There is a new Tamron 14-150mm that has been announced at the start of the year but has yet to arrive, I have a hunch based on the brand and its e mount zoom offering that it could be an interesting all rounder that has stabilization and also might not have the lumix video look.

    Something I would also consider is that if you can having a selection of lenses can help with the video look. I mean you can use the best zoom you can find and cut it with more expressive lenses like slr magic, pancakes like the 20mm, 14mm. Also stupidly expensive but the 30-100mm lumix looks like a nice lens to have too. Another option though some have expressed issues is four third leica 14-50mm 2.8 which is probably the best looking zoom I've seen that has stabilization, but is pretty big.

    one thing I want to challenge people who keep saying how great the 12-35mm is to show some damn footage that proves this lens is as awesome as people are saying. I've seen some ok stuff but nothing that justifies the price tag and is any better than much cheaper lumix zooms that are almost as fast.

    come on show me, prove me wrong!

  • @jimmykorea What really sold me on the 12-35 was this video:

    though of course it's all exteriors. The color and sharpness to my eye is quite cinematic. I would just really love to see the lens perform in a cinematic context with human subjects, professional lighting, etc so I can get a better idea of how it deals with motion. Sure there have been plenty of tests of events/crowds, but the look of running and gunning is very different than if you have planned movements, controlled setting...

    I have SLR Magic primes, but I am considering this lens as an all-in-one solution, specifically to rent out to others as a package with the BMPCC at low cost. I am always wary about renting out primes to people because of the damage that can occur when changing lens or the damage to lens mounts when changing. I have insurance, but I like to minimize the risk as much as possible. Haha

  • the footage I saw looked video-ish to me, but i believe it was probably the proRes and the grade

  • I'd have to agree I haven't been impressed with the 12-35 as well, but I'm not a big fan of any Pany glass. If I have to have stabilization I'll resort to it but I avoid it at all costs. Maybe the 20mm.

  • That clip is ok, near the end of the better stuff I've seen BUT its been processed with some kind of cinema look plugin ie that's after really trying to look cinematic! I'm not convinced. If your renting many will like the combo I'm sure, it's the emperor new clothes of lenses as far as I can see. If you renting a kit, then a 14-42mm might be a very compact option, you could also throw a prime in like a sigma 19mm or 14mm lumix for less than a 12-35mm.

  • I have high hopes for the 12-35 on the pocket cinema cam. Hopefully, there is no in-cam sharpening going on like there is on the gh2 which IMO is why the lens creates a video look on that camera. Sharpened edges has never been cinematic.

    The 12-35 has been OK for me as a utility lens (on the gh2) but it has it´s quirks which has managed to make me fuck up some stuff over time. Among other things it´s the lens that seems most prone to creating aliasing / moiré problems, maybe not surprising considering how sharp it is in itself and considering the in-cam sharpening.

    Gaussian blur is a friend in post with that one. Other than that, it is quite "neutral" and can relatively easily be corrected to fit other lenses in look.

  • MB pocket cinema has two options, video and cinema

  • Actually I'm not sure the sharpness is the problem, watching Inception as I type and its razor sharp, soft doesn't mean cinema. My opinion is the lens is, and I know this isn't technical but looks kind of dull, not glossy like Leicas and even other lumix lenses. I blame the coatings they use that takes away the glossy clearness of good glass. I could be wrong but I want to see some better footage before I risk on such an expensive lens.

  • I think the problem with the GH series is the in camera sharpening with the lack of dynamic range in combination with the sharp focus of the lumix lenses. I never use lumix lenses with my GH 3 or Gh 2. However, the pocket cam does not have in camera sharpening and of course it has 13 stops of DR, so I think the lumix lenses may very well work in this case. John Brawley's example looks pretty filmic to me. In addition Philip Bloom has just posted a test of the speedbooster with the Blackmagic cinema camera that looks pretty impressive as well, which will hopefully allow me to use my nikons with the pocket cam. Kholi was saying he doesn't like legacy lenses on the Blackmagic, however I'm hoping the added sharpening of the booster along with the other benefits will make the nikons a good match also.

  • @Trumpetman

    You just posted everything I was going to post except one thing. Every is talking about how the Speed Booster is a little soft on the edges. This will be less on the BMPCC since it is a smaller sensor, so the sharper center will be more prominent.

  • ...that's interesting , but I wonder how that offset sensor on the bmpcc will affect that ?

  • @kurth

    The active part of the sensor is still centered.

  • Why bother with the speed booster, it will add price, weight and I personally think it has horrible Bokeh. But the main reason I wouldn't bother on the Pocket is there are a number of great compact, wide lenses, slr magic 12mm, lumix 20mm, lumix 14mm, olympus 12mm, zooms include 7-14, 9-18mm. My point is as you can't have stabilization anyway you may as well use the great native options.

    A pocket cam with a large adapter and a tokina 11-16 kind of defeats the purpose of the form factor.

  • Don´t mistake sharpness and sharpening. It´s very different. While the 12-35 certainly is resolving a lot judging from stills, there is in-camera sharpening (gh2, gh3) which makes edges stand out, almost separated - judging from the videos shot with it. The look created is a bit similar to many camcorders and it cannot be mistaken for actual detail, f.i. from a 5k-2k downsampling which has all the detail but very even edges.

    Just downsample a still with 12-35 and you´ll see it looks remarkably different to a video frame grab of the same subject.

    Some cams will output 1080p which is very close to this. (highly detailed video with minimal artifacts)

    The thing with a cropped image circle is that you loose a lot of the feeling of a lens if it´s cropped too far (if the lens is designed for a much larger sensor). It will also magnify optical problems, like CA. Hence plenty of lenses will seem lacklustre or like bad performers on cameras with smaller sensors.

    The 12-35 however, is designed for a sensor that is not dramatically larger than s16. There is no sharpening in the bmdpcc afaik and so, there is a good chance the 12-35 will actually come to it´s own when shooting moving images on that cam.

  • but many including myself feel the pocket cam footage released suffered from the 12-35mm videoish look. No sharpening, but dull and muddy looking.

  • @jimmykorea I agree, but it's hard to say judging from that particular footage because it is essentially "home video" style. I expect the 12-35 is going to be a popular lens for this camera given the sensor size and given the odd focal length primes that one would get for it and wouldn't find very useful on other cameras. For instance, I would have a very hard time being able to justify having 5 different wide angle lenses for my GH3. On the BMPCC there would be a stark difference between them. As a rental, it would take a while to recoup that investment. So I'm just keeping my finger's crossed that the 12-35 is good enough.

  • dull and muddy looking? That´s vimeo for you.

  • Well I'm waiting it out till I see the kind of lens/ pocket cam footage that I'm looking for. I'm open to being proven wrong on the 12-35mm, just not that hopeful. hopefully we will soon see for ourselves...

  • @jimmykorea This was just posted in the 12-35mm thread. Gotta say, I'm sold.

  • Just sand the front element with super ultra fine sandpaper to get rid of the flare killing coating. Should get you the cine quality you're after ;) Id use 1800 grit.

    Seriously though, it is the coating thats probably keeping this lens from being 'cinematic'. The most realistic option would be asetone or something.

  • That clip is by far the best I have seen with the lens, so much better that I honestly question if it is indeed the 12-35mm. the first shots are nice, with an almost leica Bokeh. Not sold on one clip but still interested.

  • @jimmykorea Here's another by the same dude, with the 12-35. I agree it's hard to believe it's the 12-35, this is some of the best looking GH3 footage I've ever seen, period.