Lens Suggestions for Newbie with a Panasonic GH4

Started Mar 11, 2014 | Questions thread
Ido S
Ido S Senior Member • Posts: 4,923
Depends on the lighting conditions

I'm sure it was already put up here, but I don't tend to read through all the comments of every post I reply to, and this one is no exception...

It all depends on the lighting conditions in the venues you shoot at. If it's a dark venue, then you should really look into f/2.8 zooms. The range between f/2.8-4 can also be useful -- especially for video, as you actually shoot at a relatively slow shutter speed -- but it's a stretch, in my opinion, beyond f/3.2. Anything narrower than f/4 will be utterly useless.

If it's a brightly lit venue, then a lens with a relatively narrow variable maximum aperture, like f/3.5-5.6, will usually suffice.

You may not like my recommendation for shooting in a dark venue, but there's really no cheaper option than the Panasonic 35-100mm f/2.8 ($1,275). I assume that for most concerts you'll be using the telephoto much more than the standard zoom, as I know some concert photographers, and they shoot concerts almost exclusively with their 70-200mm f/2.8 behemoths on their huge full-frame DSLR cameras. If that's the case, then you can probably make do with the latest version of the 14-42mm kit lens (II). It's really quite a sharp lens, significantly better than the typical kit lens in the same equivalent range of focal lengths. If you do need to use the standard zoom often, then the Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8 is your best option. I would usually recommend the newer, cheaper, and equally impressive Olympus 12-40mm f/2.8, but for shooting video on a Panasonic body, the Panasonic lens's optical image stabilization will usually come in handy, unless you shoot on a tripod.

For a well-lit venue, just get the Panasonic 14-140mm f/3.5-5.6. It's quite a fine lens, in fact, and has become pretty much a favorite among video shooters, apart from those who need the f/2.8 zooms...

 Ido S's gear list:Ido S's gear list
Olympus 40-150mm F2.8 Pro Olympus OM-D E-M5 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm F4.0-5.6 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-50mm 1:3.5-6.3 EZ Olympus M.Zuiko ED 75-300mm 1:4.8-6.7 II +1 more
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