View Full Version : Good *fast* wide-angle lens for GH1 (2x crop)?


lifeisbetterwithketchup
05-19-2011, 04:07 PM
I'm DP on a feature that began shooting last week. I'm using my Panasonic DMC-GH1. My lens toolkit at the moment is a 12-24mm f/4 Tokina Nikon-mount lens, a 50mm f/1.4 Canon FD lens, and a 35-105mm f/3.5 Canon FD lens. With the 2x crop factor of my GH1, these are of course equivalent to 24-48mm, 100mm, and 70-210mm, respectively.

The 12-24mm f/4 Tokina is a great lens, don't get me wrong, but when shooting indoors (and I don't have my lights available or able to be set up), I very often find myself wanting an extra stop or two of light. In a pinch, I do occasionally borrow my friend's Nikon 35mm f/1.8 DX, and while that does get me the extra light, it really isn't wide enough for cramped space indoors (with the crop factor of my camera).

The simple way to fix this problem of course is to crank up the ISO on my camera. However, I ended up at ISO 1600 last week for one small sequence, and the results were not great. Screenshot. Tokina 12-24mm f/4, at 12mm, f/4, 1/50s, and ISO1600 on Panasonic GH1, downscaled but image noise is still very apparent. (http://i91.photobucket.com/albums/k317/mooseteeth/00004MTS_snapshot_0102_20110514_120919.png)

I have looked into wide fast lenses such as the Nikon 24mm f/1.4 AF-S and Canon FD 24mm f/1.4, and even 21mm rangefinder lenses, and while these are all excellent, they are extremely expensive.

I guess my question is this: Is there a cheap (cheap being at the most a few hundred dollars), wide, fast, good (this is the real kicker I'm sure. I don't need something ridiculously fantastic, but that would at the very least blend in with footage shot on my other glass) lens that I'm overlooking?

Note: I am very aware that the real solution to this problem is better lighting. With proper lighting (which I do indoors when I can; I have a few worklights from Home Depot), I rarely have any need to shoot wider open than f/4 at 100-400 ISO. However, good lighting isn't always practical or possible with the locations and budget of this film. There aren't many other scenes that will require this type of terribly-lit location, but I'd prefer to be ready for them because I don't want them to stand out like a sore thumb in terms of image noise. The scene shot already will be the opening of the film, so I can dress it up in post a bit to make it contrasting to the rest on purpose, but this anywhere else would be a jarring difference. Just getting this out of the way before someone yells at me about proper lighting, because I know that's exactly what my response to this query would be.

brianluce
05-19-2011, 04:30 PM
There's a video floating around somewhere of a Pentax 6mm f1.2, but I'm sure it's an expensive lens. Glass of often cheap to rent, that might be worth looking into.

wheatgrinder
05-19-2011, 07:30 PM
yeah the pentax 6mm lens is a cheap C mount, but it you need EXT TELE mode on the GH2 for it to work. Does the GH13 (GH1 with a hack) allow something similar?

http://vimeo.com/20766631

wheatgrinder
05-19-2011, 07:34 PM
I have a zenitar 16mm f2.8 thats kinda fun. Got it local for $50 or so. Ebay they go for $200.

Be advised there is a small (very easy) mod needed to get good focus on the zenitar 16mm.

here is my own short test video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=veqicndXuwA

here is a good GH1 and zenitar test
http://www.vimeo.com/10803556

Also check this out for ISO.. its for gh2 but maybe it applies..
http://www.vimeo.com/18580410

calif0rnian
05-19-2011, 09:15 PM
So jealous :( I want a wide angle that's cheap for my t2i! :(

wheatgrinder
05-19-2011, 11:03 PM
I use the zenitar on the T2i just fine

brianluce
05-19-2011, 11:07 PM
Personally I use the Oly 14-54 f2.8. It's nice.

Gonzo_Entertainment
05-20-2011, 11:10 AM
Trying to shoot any film, especially a feature, without lights is like trying to rebuild an engine with a pair of vise grips and a butter knife for a screw driver. It's not technically impossible, but you probably aren't going to be happy with the results.

lifeisbetterwithketchup
05-20-2011, 03:12 PM
Thanks a bunch for all the replies!

Trying to shoot any film, especially a feature, without lights is like trying to rebuild an engine with a pair of vise grips and a butter knife for a screw driver. It's not technically impossible, but you probably aren't going to be happy with the results.

This I am very well aware of. I have a few worklights that we have been using, with good results. It was just this one particular bit that was in a darker location where we could not set up our lights. I want to be able to work better with it the next time such a situation arises.

There's a video floating around somewhere of a Pentax 6mm f1.2, but I'm sure it's an expensive lens. Glass of often cheap to rent, that might be worth looking into. I looked into this, and this lens in only really effective on the GH2 (I have a GH1), due to the 1:1 mode required to crop out the vignetting on that lens. However, reading about that lens led me to this. (http://www.eoshd.com/content/535-EXCLUSIVE-12mm-F1.3-with-full-sensor-coverage-on-the-GH2-and-AF100) This looks very intriguing, and I will be buying this and the appropriate adapter to play with it and see how well it works.

I also found that it would appear Olympus is gearing up to release a m4/3-mount 12mm f/2.0 lens. Link. (http://www.43rumors.com/ft4-the-olympus-12mm-f2-0-coming-in-june-already-in-production-in-tatsuno/) I'm sure this will be pricey, but if it's a quality lens, I just may bite. I'm sure it will yield way better image quality than that 12.5mm Computar lens.

wheatgrinder
05-23-2011, 11:43 AM
hey for you folks in the LA basin I see two ads for the 16mm zenitar f2.8 on cl

http://losangeles.craigslist.org/ant/pho/2395211545.html

http://losangeles.craigslist.org/sfv/pho/2396901632.html

just thought youd like to know

IndieBudget
05-23-2011, 03:24 PM
Get you a cheap paper lantern, put in a bulb and go

wheatgrinder
05-23-2011, 06:56 PM
IndieBUdget.. that wosh you just heard is your comment flying over my head :)

Can you connect the dots for me, I missed something..

IndieBudget
05-23-2011, 07:07 PM
Note: I am very aware that the real solution to this problem is better lighting.
Wheat, NP ..most people have that whooshing sound when I talk. Look at his quote from the original post above. He wants to solve the issue w/ lenses and admits lighting could fix his issue. Im suggesting he look hard at a $9.00 paper lantern vs much more for lenses is my point. Even some battery powered solutions would be cheaper than lenses. I have some accessory headlamps and a 12v battery I use in some instances. Work for me








.

wheatgrinder
05-23-2011, 07:10 PM
gotcha... ..

Im of the opinion that f2.8 is plenty fast... the price diff of anything beyond 2.8 (in wider lenses) is astronomical.

lifeisbetterwithketchup
05-25-2011, 03:05 PM
Wheat, NP ..most people have that whooshing sound when I talk. Look at his quote from the original post above. He wants to solve the issue w/ lenses and admits lighting could fix his issue. Im suggesting he look hard at a $9.00 paper lantern vs much more for lenses is my point. Even some battery powered solutions would be cheaper than lenses. I have some accessory headlamps and a 12v battery I use in some instances. Work for me








.
I already have a few lights that we are using, and they work great. The shot where I could have used a faster wide lens took place in the hallway of an apartment complex. We could not set up lighting of any kind, as we very much did not have full control of the location. I don't foresee similar conditions happening, but they very well could. Everything else has been shot either outdoors, or indoors in locations we have full control over and can set up our lights. A fast wide would be handy for situations where we need to work fast and unobtrusively.

wheatgrinder
05-25-2011, 04:21 PM
right... the faster and the wider the more the money. You can have anything you want with enough money!

Settle for f2.8 (which is MUCH faster then f4 and your golden, faster =$$$$$)

chilipie
05-25-2011, 04:30 PM
right... the faster and the wider the more the money. You can have anything you want with enough money!

12mm T1.3 do you? :)

http://www.fsfsweden.se/ee/media/2010/12_mm_master_primes_thumb.jpg

brianluce
05-25-2011, 05:39 PM
12mm T1.3 do you? :)

http://www.fsfsweden.se/ee/media/2010/12_mm_master_primes_thumb.jpg

Hmmm...and what might that little morsel be? (want want want want)

chilipie
05-25-2011, 05:48 PM
Hmmm...and what might that little morsel be? (want want want want)

An ARRI Master Prime (http://www.arri.com/camera/lenses/35_format_lenses/master_primes.html) will set you back about 12-16,000 each.

brianluce
05-26-2011, 03:33 PM
An ARRI Master Prime (http://www.arri.com/camera/lenses/35_format_lenses/master_primes.html) will set you back about 12-16,000 each.

She's beautiful. want want want want.

wheatgrinder
05-27-2011, 01:12 AM
$35 pawn shop special or $15,000 cine lens.... uh, tough choice that.. lol