March 22, 2016 at 10:28AM, Edited March 22, 10:30AM


Manual Wide Angle Lenses on GH2

Okay, so recently I purchased two Panasonic GH2s. These are great little cameras which produce awesome film-like footage. Lately, I’ve been really addicted to shooting with old manual vintage lenses. The old lenses usually are solidly built and add a unique characteristic to the image. Even though some of the lenses are pretty beat up, I like how each one of them tells their own story.

I own a generic speed booster for Canon FD to mft. I don’t know the specifics but I think this speed booster gives me approximately .72x wider angle and extra light. The Panasonic GH2s have a 2x cropped sensor. The formula for using lenses with my speed booster on the GH2 is [lens MM] x [0.72] x [2].

The widest lens I own is a Vivitar 24mm FD lens. (Using the formula above, {[24mm] x [0.72] x [2] = 34.56} This lens ends up being roughly 35mm (FF equivalent) on my camera.

I own a Helios 44-2, 58mm f2, m42 mount lens. To use this lens on my camera, I had to also purchase a standard m42 to mft adapter which basically doubled the lens to a 116mm. Then I thought of an idea, so I purchased an m42 to FD adapter. This allows me to mount the m42 Helios to my speed booster. The lens ends up being roughly 84mm with the FD speed booster. It works really well except for the fact that the lens focuses way past infinity starting at about 4 meters on the lens.

I am looking for an even wider lens to add to my collection. I am thinking I should get an 18mm or wider full frame lens that I can put on my GH2 and speed booster. I want a wide angle lens that would end up giving me an image that is equivalent to a 25mm (or wider) on a FF sensor. I’d prefer the lens to be under a few hundred dollars. I’d also prefer the lens to be a prime, fully manual, with little to no distortion.

Anyone have any ideas or know of any good lenses that work well on cropped sensors?


The "problem" with Micro 4/3 manual wide angle lenses is that you pretty much have to buy one of the Samyang ( or it's re-brands like Bower or Rokinon ) lenses because most of the older 35mm Film camera lenses are too long even with a SpeedBooster. So you really want something like this...

Rokinon 10mm f/2.8 ED AS NCS CS Lens : $399

Samyang 12mm f/2.0 : $299

Samyang 16mm f/2.0 : $352

Some of these lenses you can also buy with the Nikon F mount, which might make them useful for other camera formats like Super35. ( you can also get the "cine" version of these lenses for about $100 more than the standard still-photo version )

March 24, 2016 at 1:29PM

Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer

The Panasonic 15mm Summilux 1.7 is a great lens, also the Olympus 12mm 2.0 is pretty good.

I would advice against buying full frame lenses as you waste glass and lose resolution on the MFT. Of course a crop frame lens with a speed booster should work as well.

April 17, 2016 at 1:36PM

Cary Knoop

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