Quick Test of the New Digital Bolex Kish Optics Fixed Aperture Lenses on the Panasonic GH3
The Kish Optics lenses for the Digital Bolex D16 were unveiled not too long ago, and they are designed to be as inexpensive and sharp as possible for the new camera. The way the team is accomplishing that feat is by making them fixed focal length and fixed f-stop lenses (10mm, 18mm, and 38mm f/4). So while you won’t have as much flexibility as with your DSLR lens, they should be sharper for less money. Jared Abrams at Wide Open Camera got his hands on the lenses, and was actually able to test them on a GH3 — even though the Micro 4/3 imager is a bit larger than the Super 16mm size they were designed for.
The 38mm lens wasn’t working with the GH3, but it’s pretty impressive that they cover such a large sensor, so they may be useful far beyond just the D16 camera. One of the main concerns people had with these lenses was about controlling exposure. Since they have a filter thread, they will be able to take ND filters very easily, and if you plan on using them outdoors, that is the only way they are going to be useful.
These are going to be some of the cheapest options for high-performing lenses with the D16, though obviously they will not be right for every production since they will require a bit of planning in order to use them properly. On controlled indoor shoots they should be great, but if you do anything where variables are changing often, they may not be the best choice.