Buying the GH3. Ultrawide lens and variable ND filter?

Started Jan 26, 2013 | Discussions
babybunny Regular Member • Posts: 272
Buying the GH3. Ultrawide lens and variable ND filter?

I'm buying the GH3. Having used APS-C for forever, I need some lens recommendations, primarily for travel, so it needs to be light and minimal.

I'm thinking about:

Ultrawide - but I need one that can take a variable ND filter. How can this be accomplished with m4/3?

Superzoom - Panasonic 14-140mm f/4.0-5.8 ASPH./MEGA O.I.S. Lumix G Vario HD

Prime - Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 Aspheric G- Series Pancake Lens (46mm)

Any input?

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3
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EarthQuake Senior Member • Posts: 2,382
Re: Buying the GH3. Ultrawide lens and variable ND filter?

babybunny wrote:

I'm buying the GH3. Having used APS-C for forever, I need some lens recommendations, primarily for travel, so it needs to be light and minimal.

I'm thinking about:

Ultrawide - but I need one that can take a variable ND filter. How can this be accomplished with m4/3?

Superzoom - Panasonic 14-140mm f/4.0-5.8 ASPH./MEGA O.I.S. Lumix G Vario HD

Prime - Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 Aspheric G- Series Pancake Lens (46mm)

Any input?

The only UWA lens that takes filters for the M43 system is the Olympus 9-18mm(18-36mm FF equiv or 12-24mm APS-C equiv).

The Panasonic 7-14 is wider but like the Sigma 8-16mm and 12-24mm, it has a non-removable lens hood and can't take thread mount filters.

cfh25 Senior Member • Posts: 1,070
Re: Buying the GH3. Ultrawide lens and variable ND filter?
1

The general consensus appears to be that UWA lens and variable filters don't go together, for example:

"Variable ND filters are made from 2 polarizers. When using Ultra Wide's you will get the same uneven "polarization" with the Variable ND effect as you will get using any circular polarizer or linear polarizer on any ultra wide lenses."

amtberg Veteran Member • Posts: 5,726
Re: Buying the GH3. Ultrawide lens and variable ND filter?

EarthQuake wrote:

babybunny wrote:

I'm buying the GH3. Having used APS-C for forever, I need some lens recommendations, primarily for travel, so it needs to be light and minimal.

I'm thinking about:

Ultrawide - but I need one that can take a variable ND filter. How can this be accomplished with m4/3?

Superzoom - Panasonic 14-140mm f/4.0-5.8 ASPH./MEGA O.I.S. Lumix G Vario HD

Prime - Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 Aspheric G- Series Pancake Lens (46mm)

Any input?

The only UWA lens that takes filters for the M43 system is the Olympus 9-18mm(18-36mm FF equiv or 12-24mm APS-C equiv).

The Panasonic 7-14 is wider but like the Sigma 8-16mm and 12-24mm, it has a non-removable lens hood and can't take thread mount filters.

Agree with the above.  I also endorse the 14-140 as an excellent superzoom.  Heavy by MFT standards, but worth it if you want that kind of range in a single lens.

One thing about the 20mm is that it can produce some banding with the GH3 (and OMD) at high ISO.  I've seen it occasionally with my GH3 but it's not enough to put me off.  It's very fine bands only in shadow areas, and I doubt anyone would notice it unless they were looking for it.

An alternative would be the PanLeica 25/1.4.  Bigger, but still pretty compact and definitely better for video than the 20mm if you're into that.

ryan2007 Forum Pro • Posts: 12,001
Re: Buying the GH3. Ultrawide lens and variable ND filter?

Just remember if you buy a zoom with variable aperture and you zoom while taking video the exposure will change. If video and the GH-3 are not that important then it does not matter as much.

In general don't use filters with ultra wide lenses mainly because of vignetting or darkening of corners.

See what photographers are doing with a DSLR and UWA lenses.  Much of the methods DSLR users employ can cross into MFT's.  Check B&H photo when they re-open as another opinion source, so call to speak to a person if you can.

jalywol
jalywol Veteran Member • Posts: 8,825
Re: Buying the GH3. Ultrawide lens and variable ND filter?

babybunny wrote:

I'm buying the GH3. Having used APS-C for forever, I need some lens recommendations, primarily for travel, so it needs to be light and minimal.

I'm thinking about:

Ultrawide - but I need one that can take a variable ND filter. How can this be accomplished with m4/3?

Superzoom - Panasonic 14-140mm f/4.0-5.8 ASPH./MEGA O.I.S. Lumix G Vario HD

Prime - Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 Aspheric G- Series Pancake Lens (46mm)

Any input?

I have the 12mm f2 Oly, and it is just a fantastic lens.  It does take ND filters, although I have not used them with mine.

I also have the 14-140mm, and I am always surprised by how good the IQ is on it when I use it.  It is really perfect for travel, even though it is not the lightest lens in the world....it enables such a wide range of shots to be acquired without any lens changing that it is really convenient and useful in a walk-around situation.

I would get the 25mm f1.4 as the prime of choice in that focal range.  It is a really wonderful lens...I had the 20mm and never warmed to it, but the 25 is something special.

These three would give you quite a bit of flexibility with a very small footprint in your luggage or small bag.  The only thing I personaly would add would be a macro, but that's because I do a lot of macro work in general, so it's nice to have if you are traveling and do that sort of photography too...Although the 14-140mm at full extension can give you a pretty close up FOV...I've gotten a fair bit of decent insect shots with it, too.

Anyway, I think that kit would cover all of your bases pretty well.

-J

-J

CharlesTokyo Contributing Member • Posts: 721
Re: Buying the GH3. Ultrawide lens and variable ND filter?

cfh25 wrote:

The general consensus appears to be that UWA lens and variable filters don't go together, for example:

"Variable ND filters are made from 2 polarizers. When using Ultra Wide's you will get the same uneven "polarization" with the Variable ND effect as you will get using any circular polarizer or linear polarizer on any ultra wide lenses."

This matches my experience, Variable NDs don't work well with wide angles. If you can use it, it's only a couple stops at most. I'd recommend normal NDs in this case.

 CharlesTokyo's gear list:CharlesTokyo's gear list
Ricoh GR Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 Olympus OM-D E-M5 Olympus E-M1 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm F4.0-5.6 +22 more
Shirozina Regular Member • Posts: 422
Re: Buying the GH3. Ultrawide lens and variable ND filter?

If you are using a variable ND for stills you will have a loss of resolution unless you buy the very best like Heliopan  which are nearly the same cost as a good lens.

Corkcampbell
Corkcampbell Forum Pro • Posts: 17,099
Assuming you will use your GH3 for some video shooting, I wouldn't get the 20mm.

It's lousy for video - too slow AF. Before buying any lenses get opinions on their use for video; the lenses that are optimized for video are going to be the newer ones, anyway, and will have other updated aspects. The ultra-cheap (now) Sigma 19mm 2.8 is quite good for video. I would assume that the new Oly 17mm is also good. Remember that for video, you can still get good video from a slower lens, which is why I mentioned the Sigma. I use the HBR video setting on my GH2s with auto ISO for good results, especially indoors.

Although not UW, I would suggest the Oly 12mm.

Notes: I don't have a GH3, but have 2 GH2s (used when video is primary) and two OM-Ds, for when stills are primary. Obviously, most of the time I just carry one of each.

I had the Pany 20mm for a couple of years before selling it. That was before my video days, and I still didn't fall in love with it. I would suggest the 25mm 1.4 instead - better bokeh and focal length. However, I don't own - it's number two on my list - just bought the 75mm 1.8 - so can't give an opinion on its video capabilities.

 Corkcampbell's gear list:Corkcampbell's gear list
Sigma DP2 Merrill Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 Sony RX100 III Sony RX10 III Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 +6 more
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