Lens Suggestions for Newbie with a Panasonic GH4

Started Mar 11, 2014 | Questions thread
DonTom Contributing Member • Posts: 535
Re: Lens Suggestions for Newbie with a Panasonic GH4

scottyd5 wrote:

Posted this in the Beginners Questions forum, but would also like some opinions from you guys.

I mainly shoot concerts and other live events for IMAG (image magnification) where it's displayed on video boards. I would also be using it to record various events in a "run n gun" atmosphere. Most of the gear I have experience shooting on is pro-sumer type video cameras such as Panasonic AG-HMC80 with fixed lenses. I want to learn about lenses and such so I thought getting a DSLR/M would help me do this and also give me a chance to produce better quality footage.

I've been reading about the Panasonic GH4 and I'm really impressed with it. I went ahead and pre-ordered it, but now I need to decide on lenses. I'm guessing 2 lenses would be a good start. 1 being a close, mid range lens and another being a telephoto. Budget wise I don't want to spend more than a few hundred on each. I was wondering if you guys have any suggestions? Thanks!

Hi Scotty,

You've received lots of good info here, but I think you may be better served over at EOSHD, that is where the video gurus hang out...

My 2 cents anyway, and I feel you may be overbuying on the camera, underbuying on the lens:

(1) How do you manage the live feeds to the video boards, and what resolution is required? That should be your starting point, and make sure everything you are looking at matches. It may be that any m43 body with HDMI out will serve you just as well. Certainly the GH4 will be the most "future proof" body at the moment.

(2) Your budget (about $400?) for lenses is very low. I guess it means you are thinking $2000 all up. For that money, the Panny 14-140 HD used is probably the best option in a native, AF lens. BIG drawback is that it is not really a low light lens. If you buy old legacy manual focus lenses, you lose AF, and other issues such as flare and resolution need to be thought about.

(3)Tele-Conversion:  Do you need continuous footage? Or is there a mixer choosing video from several different videographers? If you can break up your footage, the video teleconverter would work really well with legacy manual focus lenses, which are quite cheap, or a single native m43 lens (like the Olympus 12/2.0). This gives you up to a 2.4x magnification, while keeping full HD (1080) or 3.6x in 720. There are a few things to be aware of with this. The big positive is no real loss of resolution or aperture, because the camera is reading a progressively smaller section of the sensor. On the negative ? You have to stop filming to activate the conversion, and the GH4 is really no better for this feature than the GH2 or 3, because there is no crop factor available in 4K, which uses most of the sensor.

What would I do in your situation? Talk to my peers, those doing similar work.

 DonTom's gear list:DonTom's gear list
Olympus PEN E-PL1 Olympus E-M1 Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH Panasonic Lumix G 14mm F2.5 ASPH Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm F1.8 +9 more
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