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old nikon AF-S prime lens on m43 any good ones for video on GH4
  • have tried canon 35-105 f/3 and 300mm f/4 there fine for static shots and a small amount of zooming but at longer range there pretty poor due to the fact the manual focus is just too slack and is like 1mm to the adjust something in focus and out.

    was wondering if anyone has tried some older nikon af-s lenses , 70-200 f/2.8 and af-s 300 f/4 (for example) , for there compatability for wildlife videos, eg red kites soaring around looking for prey where i need to zoom in and out allot acurately.

    to be used on panasonic lumix gh4


  • 15 Replies sorted by
  • What do you expect? The focus throw on other still lenses is about the same and better than modern AF ones.

    If you need a very long focus throw, get cine lenses, but they are expensive.

    If you are complaining about narrow DoF – sorry, that's laws of physics…

  • i don't know how "loose" the focus adjustment should be on these early fd lenses as theres no reviews online of anyone specifically reviewing them for video work only stills photography.

    so i have to just try and get something suitable the hard way ie buy it try it keep it or sell it.

    but thanks i see what you mean , i'll look into cine lenses possibly one of the 135mm samyang's or just forget fast moving object filming and stick with more stationary subjects.

  • The Nikkor 300mm f 4.5 AIS has a long focus throw. It's a MF lens. I own one but the focus ring has some resistance due to it's age. I never use it so I don't have much need to get it serviced. I did just buy a D600 so, I may use it more soon.

    I briefly had the Canon FD 35-105 f3.5 in my hands, it belonged to someone else who had it mounted on a Sony a7. on his example the zoom & focus were butter smooth. I do not know if he had had the lens serviced to get it in that state. I thought it was a great lens for video. The zoom action was very similar to that of a cine zoom.

  • Generally Nikkor Ai lenses have longer focus throw than Ai-s, as shorter throw was one of the upgrades of newer Ai-s lenses.

    For example Nikkor 135mm f/2.8 Ai has huge 270° throw, and it is reasonably sharp wide open and very sharp stopped to f4, yet small and light, and it is very cheap. Very easy to declick, adapt to 77mm and you get your DIY "cine lens mod" for dirt cheap.

    1220 x 915 - 87K
  • My Canon FD 35-105 is very nice for video, focus is smooth and precise, with a focus throw a bit less than 180 degrees. For comparison: the Zeiss Contax zoom 28-85mm (one of the best manual zooms made for stills) has only about 10 degrees more.

  • @inqb8tr I was going to refute you, I always thought AI & AI-s were the same, until I came across this site: Holy mackerel, you are right! They have a column for focus throw and it clearly shows the difference.

    That link is a great resource for anyone interested in Nikkors and looking for the differences between models.

    Here is a link to help distinguish between the AI & AI-S lenses should they be in your hands:,-an-ai-s-lens,-and-non-ai-lens%3F

    Also before the AF-S series, there were AF.... D lenses (the first AF lenses form Nikon and there are one or two good ones in there too. The 18mm f2.8D come to mind). I thought that the AF-S series is the current series, therefore nothing "old" about them...?

    In general I find my AIS lenses perform better at least ½ stop from wide open. 1 full stop if I have enough light.

  • thanks for responding, i'll try out my 35-105 again and keep an eye on ebay for some good nikon lenses

  • I am into wildlife shooting and flying birds of prey are hard to track in flight generally. First tip is keep a big distance because when the Red Kites circle at a distance you need to move the camera a lot less to track them. Also at a big distance you don't have to focus spot on because the DOF is usually large. The extra crop space from 4k is handy for stabilizing in post. I'd go for a AIS ED 300mm f4.5 and shoot at 4k 30fps (slow down to 25p in post)

  • thanks RKM i'll check some out I have seen a really good condition one for £300 is that there going rate and do you have any test shots I can look at please ?

  • Yes, go for ED version. I own a non-ED 300 f/4.5 but it is a bit soft regarding sharpness and contrasts beyond f/8, also not good above that- it needs to be locked at f/8, LOL

  • ok bought and ed version mint condition off ebay cost me allot of money , used it for a week very poor sold it for 1/2 the price, imo do not use one, blurry lots of ca flares etc, did allot of test shots of canon fd l lenses which are night and day compared to the nikon, i even put it on my d7100 and it looked very poor stopped down etc etc.

  • @hammyuk basic questions: Did it have a lens hood? Did it look better 1 stop down (5.6 or higher)? Did the focus markings match your eye focus? Just things to check for when you get bad results.

    Can you post a sample?

  • @CFreak hi, yep i had the pullout hood extended i also tried it stopped down, i did some test shots which i will get the link to later so you can , the lens looked mint condition glass wise and body that's what i could not understand, it was bad on my gh4 and equaly as bad on my nikon d7100 (i set it to 300mm in the manual focus in the camera body) i did all the tests on a tripod, i percivered for about a week doing video etc but gave up.

  • that's at 1/60 on a tripod and a timer, @ f5.6

  • @hammyuk in that shot of the figurine, I don't see a problem... like flare, blurriness, chromatic aberration, etc. I do see waterspots on the window, lol.

    I'm confused here, or too used to old nikon lenses.