September 9, 2014 at 11:30AM

9

Micro 4/3

Hey guys. I just recently moved into the M43 world and have a few questions.

If I'm just starting with lenses, what should I buy? I've been using my Nikon glass, but I kind of want to get some native M43 lenses (since I still use my D5100 for stuff). Are the Samyang/Rokinon/Bower the best for the price? Also, is the Cine lens from them worth the extra money? As a low budget guy, I don't know if I can justify the extra money just for a declicked aperture ring and gears for the focus ring.

Feel free to give other suggestions on fairly low priced lenses. I'm looking for a pretty wide angle, too. Because right now the widest angle I have is my Nikon 35mm. I may or may not have dropped the Lumix kit lens the day I got it. And yeah...

Anywho. What do you all think?

8 Comments

My Rokinon 35mm 1.4 is pretty badass. But careful, remember this would be like a 70mm on a micro 4/3.

All my videos are shot with Rokinon 35mm, 1.4 https://vimeo.com/user14043949/videos

September 9, 2014 at 1:33PM

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Tommy Plesky
Director / D.P / Editor
1927

I really like the couple videos I saw. I love your editing. You're using a GH4?

September 9, 2014 at 4:24PM

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Paul Gall
Writer / Director / Editor
175

It is good you already have a few Nikon lenses, they're a great start. Especially once you put them on a focal reducer as that basically doubles your lens collection! I recommend the RJ Lens Turbo for its great price/performance ratio, it is the one I have myself for using on my Micro Four Thirds cameras and Nikon lenses:
http://www.personal-view.com/talks/discussion/9086/rj-lens-turbo-m43-ada...

Check this out:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flange_focal_distance
It basically tells you the distance from the front of the mount to the sensor.

If you're moving a lens from a longer one to a shorter one, then it is usually possible to make an adapter. The reverse however would generally be a physical impossibility. This is a big benefit of mirrorless cameras, as they lack the mirror DSLRs have, their mounts are much more shallow which gives you a wider range of lenses which can be adapted to them.

This is a reason why I prefer Nikon F mount, because I feel it is hard to predict into the future what camera I might get next (be it Panasonic, Nikon, Sony, Canon, Blackmagic, who knows....) and lenses can last many many years longer than a camera will. Nikon F mount gives me the maximum options open for the future, while it is also a very popular mount that has been production the longest out of all the stills mounts so there is more lenses made for Nikon F mount than anything else. Thus many affordable vintage lenses can be picked up for a bargain! Great if you're on a frugal budget like myself.

However I can also see some value in having a few native mount lenses occasionally for certain purposes. Thus the bulk of my lens collection is primarily built around the Nikon F mount (only some are actually Nikon branded however, I've got ones from Tokina, Tamron, Sigma, Vivitar, etc) but will be supplemented with just a few Micro Four Thirds lenses too (and if I ever get a Sony E mount camera one day, which I might, then I'll probably get one or three E mount lenses too).

A good low priced general purpose Nikon F mount lens is the Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8, and you can get a version of it too which will auto focus with your D5100 (btw check out the hack for the D5100 at http://nikonhacker.com, it makes the D5100 even better for filming with). I really like my Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 too, although you might find that too expensive or too wide.

When it comes to native mount lenses to consider, I would not go with any of the Samyang/Rokinon/Bower lenses with a m4/3 mount, because if you do get them you should get them in a Nikon F mount. As they're otherwise identical lenses! But the Nikon F mount allows you to use it with a focal reducer (thus two lenses for the price of one!) and you can take the lenses with you two use on your next camera, even if it isn't the same mount.

So when it comes to native mount lenses, I suggest (don't pick all of them obviously! Which ones are for you depends on your needs and budget):
Panasonic 14mm f/2.5 or 20mm f/1.7 (a nice couple of pancake lenses! Will let you shoot with a very small kit indeed)
Olympus 25mm f/1.8 or Olympus 45mm f/1.8 (a couple of the more affordable Olympus lenses)
Sigma 19 / 30 / 60mm f/2.8 (all rather cheap. The 60mm in particular is a rather good lens indeed for the price)

September 10, 2014 at 6:22AM

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David Peterson
Wedding Cinematographer
2281

Hi Paul,

I collected M43 glass (and other stuff that will fit with adapters) for the past year for a feature. I've just shot it on a BMPCC, and probably used less than half the lenses I'd bought. I have a GH3 too, but the BMPCC has a slightly higher crop factor (around x3), which slightly changed the lenses I needed (particularly at the wide end). Based on that, my most useful lenses have been:

MAIN LENSES:
- Kowa LM8HC C-Mount 8mm (its mount needs modding in order to allow it to focus on M43 cameras, but that's cheap to get done).
- SLR Magic 12mm M43.
- Voigtlander Nokton 42.5mm M43

OCCASIONAL LENSES
- Angenieux 12-120 Arri B Mount (also available in C-mount, which is more convenient)
- Pentacon 300 M42 (used in conjunction with an adapter)
- Voigtlander Nokton 17.5mm M43

I've got a load of screengrabs of shots taken with those lenses at www.facebook.com/dsrmovie (the colour ones are screengrabs, the b&w are production stills) - the vast majority are probably from the SLR magic, but there's a bit of everything in there.

September 14, 2014 at 4:37AM

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Alex Richardson
Director
3368

Hi Alex,

What do you think about the quality of that Kowa 8mm that you bought? I thought about doing that, but the whole modding issue sounded kind of shifty to me, like maybe something could easily go wrong.

But if yours went right, can you comment on the quality of the glass? For example, do you get distortion at that wide focal length on the BMPCC? I have just a 15mm Lumix lens, and am buying a new lens because I notice distortion in the image (i.e. straight lines are bowed outward near the edges).

Thanks!

May 30, 2015 at 4:28AM

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Harlan Rumjahn
Low-level government official
266

The Metabones SpeedBooster turns your Micro 4/3 camera into the equivalent of a Super35 camera, and makes older lenses like the Nikon AI-S range really shine with this format.

I would only look at native Micro 4/3 lenses for wide-angle or for still-photo shoots where AF can make a big difference.

September 23, 2014 at 10:00PM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
30681

If your budget is super broke, check out Mattias Burling's channel on youtube. He goes through how you can repurpose old lenses (for dirt cheap too, as in a couple dozen dollars) for select M4/3 cameras, such as the BMPCC. Some of the info there might be applicable to other M4/3 cams. https://www.youtube.com/user/mattiasburling

September 28, 2014 at 12:09AM

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Olympus 45mm 1.8 is awesome. Got one used in perfect condition for £109 ($150) the other day. Mght get the Panny 20mm 1.7 next which might be even cheaper. Generally the Panny kit lenses are very good for cheap zooms.

September 2, 2016 at 3:34PM

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Uscenes
Relaxation Video Creator
74

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