April 25, 2015 at 7:45AM

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GH4 Lens Package for $2000 Suggestions

Hey guys,

I'm picking up a GH4 soon and I'm starting to research lens options. My budget for lenses right now is $2000 and I'm getting kind of overwhelmed with the amount of options so I'm here looking for suggestions.

I'm looking Rokinons and some native Panasonic lenses. If possible I would like to avoid a Speedbooster until I have more money. Otherwise I might buy one of those bargain speedboosters until I can afford the upgrade. It's just that getting the speedbooster would take a big bite out of my budget.

I'm shooting video, and mainly documentary stuff, but some commercial and narrative stuff too. What I'd like is 1-2 decent primes and 1 or 2 zoom lenses, preferably one with image stabilization. I have a pretty steady hand, even without IS, but I do like to have at least one IS in my kit.

I'm coming from using a Canon 6D with cheap lenses so I'm used to making cheap work. I usually have a 30mm 1.4, a 2.8 zoom, and a cheapo 3.5-5 17-135 zoom lenses. I just need as must versatility as possible within my 2K budget.

I appreciate any help you guys might offer, I'm totally lost.

Thanks.

7 Comments

I'm also open to FD/nikkor lenses with an adapter. Or really an older classic primes that give a good image. I really only need 1 native zoom so I can have IS. I know this is such a broad topic, but I'm just looking for a push in the right direction. In a perfect world I could spend half of my budget on a really good native zoom, and the rest on a whole slew of vintage primes and/or zooms.

April 25, 2015 at 7:58AM, Edited April 25, 8:26AM

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Anthony Lopez
Documentary Filmmaker
129

The first lens to buy if your budget can afford it is the Lumix 12-35mm f/2.8. This is such a workhorse lens with a 24-70mm FF equivalent field of view, and it has good optical stabilization for handheld work. ( if you buy it used make sure you are running the latest firmware, which fixed a "jitter" problem in the original lens. )

Beyond this I would buy the Mitakon Zhongyi Nikon AI / AI-S speedbooster that costs $138 from B&H Photo. I own both the Mitakon and the Metabones speedbooster, and the Mitakon model is quite useable. ( the Metabones is better made and offers step-less aperture control, but it's $400 )

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1072737-REG/mitakon_mtkltm1aim43_l...

Alternatively you can buy the regular ( non-speedbooster ) Metabones Nikon G lens adapter that will allow you to mount pretty much any Nikon lens ( even the new ones ) and it features step-less aperture control so you can smoothly open or close-down your lens aperture while you shoot.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1002612-REG/metabones_mb_nfg_m43_b...

And to finish off I would invest in some used Nikon AI-S lenses that are in good condition. I bought most of mine through eBay, as I could not find anything in good shape locally. The Nikon lenses that I would buy are as follows...

Nikon 50mm f/1.4 AI-S : Fantastic interview lens ( especially with a speedbooster )

Nikon 85mm f/2.0 AI-S : Great for close-ups and tight headshots.

Nikon 35mm f/2.0 AI-S : A great "tight" normal lens, or even a standard "normal" lens with a speedboster

I recommend Nikon AI-S lenses because they can be adapted for almost any camera ( including Canon ), and they are pretty easy to find used.

April 25, 2015 at 1:09PM, Edited April 25, 1:11PM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
31643

Guy,

Thank you so much. This is a great start. I've been looking at the budget speedboosters an dI know they come with some chromatic aberration problem, but for now I think they'll be worth the setbacks until I can upgrade. I'm so excited to get away from the canon look and start playing around with some cool older lenses.

Thanks also for the confirmation on that Lumix lens. That was on the top of my list for zoom lenses. On top of that I think I'll probably just pick up a cheap 200mm zoom.

April 25, 2015 at 2:28PM, Edited April 25, 2:28PM

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Anthony Lopez
Documentary Filmmaker
129

My Mitakon Zhongyi speedbooster doesn't have a chromatic aberration problem, and pretty much produces the same type of image as my Metabones speedbooster. The only thing I notice a little bit is the build quality, where the Metabones is better built and has the step-less aperture control which is great when shooting video.

Guy McLoughlin

April 25, 2015 at 7:34PM

I've got the Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8. A great wee lens that covers a decent range and has good image quality.

For more cinematic stuff and for better low light shots, I'm planning to invest in some Rokinon/Samyang cine primes. I'll get a Zhongyi adapter ($150) for these (don't need the Metabones as these lenses are fully manual), which essentially gives the GH4 an APS-C sized sensor. I haven't actually used these but you can get the 24mm, 35mm and 85mm for about $1300 on B&H (I think the offer ends 30th April! )which is really good. They get good reviews too.

B&H link:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1016624-REG/rokinon_super_fast_t1_...

The nice thing with these cine lenses is that they cover full-frame so should essentially last a lifetime, even if you change your body regularly.

Hopefully that's of some use!

April 27, 2015 at 9:02AM, Edited April 27, 9:04AM

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I have been eying that Rokinon package as well. Having the manual aperture ring would save so much not needing the speedbooster. And as you say they all have really good reviews, alot of people commending the sharpness across the whole frame. all f/1.5 too

Liam Leyland

April 27, 2015 at 10:49AM

Definitely get some of the Rokinons. I bought the 85 mm (T1.5) and am using it on the GH4. It does not have IS and you'll need a tripod for using it. But it gives you a lovely shallow depth of field @ F1.5 and at only 271 USD it's a steal. I bought the Canon version and use a low cost MFT adapter with it. That means I can optionally use a speedbooster, which results in F1.1. I also got the Rokinon 12 MM F2.0 (so not the cine lens) in native MFT. It is wide angle and pretty good for low light. Besides that I am using the MFT Olympus 14-150 MM lens, which is a great all round lens, sharp and detailed. No IS on that though. Good luck with your GH4, it's a lovely camera.

April 27, 2015 at 2:41PM, Edited April 27, 2:42PM

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Erwin Hartsuiker
CineVideo-NL videographer
788

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