June 14, 2016 at 2:45AM

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Difference between 1.4 and 0.95 for M43

I made the transition from Canon bodies to the GH4, and the inability to achieve a shallow depth-of-field has been a difficult one to deal with.

I have the panasonic 25mm 1.4 and obviously the shallow dof is nowhere near a full frame 1.4. With the 4k 2.3 crop the 1.4 is around 3.22.

My question is, if I bought a 0.95 lens, would it make that much a difference compared to my 1.4?
I've used DSLRs in the past, from the 60D to the 5Dmiii, and I should be able to mathematically figure out the numbers based on past experience with lenses and f-stops...
...but, for anyone that has used a 0.95 lens on a M43 camera, is there a noticeable difference with the bokeh, particularity cinematically with video, between 1.4 and 0.95. I'm sure I could look at a chart, but does anyone have practical experience with these two types of lenses?

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The difference, that is very noticable, is that the f/0.95 is about 2.2 stops brighter than the f/1.4. Less noticable it the difference of bokeh you get. There is definitely a smaller depth of field but not very much difference of the bokeh itself.
It's like comparing a f/2.2 and a f/3.2 on a full frame.

June 14, 2016 at 7:11AM

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Eric Halbherr
Director, DP, Editor, Creative Storyteller
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Here's a demo of a 25mm f0.95 Voightländer's narrow depth of field on a m43 sensor: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LtTTasPnZ8o .

You tell me if you think the DOF is narrow enough. I think so. Best to watch it full-screen.

June 14, 2016 at 8:06AM

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Of course there is a difference, however aperture is but one of three factors in DOF. I'd say it is actually the least important one. Distance from the subject and focal length of the lens are the two other factors.

If have the 25mm 1.4 and I find the DOF shallow enough if I get close enough to the subject.

Could you give me examples where you absolutely need something like 0.95?

June 14, 2016 at 10:32AM

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Cary Knoop
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The DOF difference between the M4/3 and Full Frame formats is 2 F-stops, so wide-open a M4/3 Voightlander 25mm f/0.95 lens will have the same DOF as a Full Frame 50mm f/2.0 lens.

I owned the Voightlander 25mm f/0.95 lens for about 1 year and then I sold it. I found that the f/0.95 aperture was very soft and "bloomy", just like a Full Frame 50mm f/1.4 lens is when used at f/1.4. Generally I would use the Voightlander lens at f/1.4 or smaller to clean up the softness. The reason I sold this lens was two-fold, one because 25mm is my least favorite M4/3 focal-length ( I much prefer a wider lens like the Voightlander 17.5mm f/0.95 lens ) and I had bought the first generation that did not have the step-less aperture feature that was added to the version 2 model.

Most of the time I am shooting at f/2.0 - f/2.8 with my GH4 camera, which gives me a good "working" DOF range for my work. Occasionally I miss the extra shallow DOF of a Full Frame camera but not very often. If I was shooting with Full Frame cameras I would be shooting at f/4.0 - f/5.6 to get a "workable" DOF range, where I have enough in focus to make a good shot, but not TOO shallow DOF which can look like a big mistake.

The GH4 is not a perfect camera ( and neither are Canon / Nikon / Sony cameras ), so you go with what it's strengths are and live with it's weaknesses, just like you would with any other camera.

Since I own 8 Nikon AI-S lenses that I use with my GH4, I have been tempted to buy a Nikon D750 body to use with my GH4 when I want that extra shallow DOF look. ( it shoots good video and is also a great still photo camera )

June 14, 2016 at 1:06PM, Edited June 14, 1:10PM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
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