What lens do I buy first? - Beginner GH4

3 years 2 months ago #638425 by tommytime
Hi... I'm a tad lost on all the lens specifics.

I have a GH4 body.... I need to shoot interviews, indoors with a semi-shallow depth of field. 

Can anyone make recommendations on a lens? Perhaps a prime lens that might can handle this?

Thank you much!


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3 years 2 months ago #638785 by garyrhook
You're going to want light, no matter what, I would think.

That said, it's a micro 4/3s camera and any lens for that system will work. What you have to decide is your look, and how far back you want the camera. You don't want your DoF too shallow, and you'll want to test the AF tracking.

Got to a local store to try out lenses, or rent one and work with it to figure out what you want.

Photo Comments

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3 years 2 months ago #638970 by Piechura
There are a few questions to consider.

Firstly is budget. I'd recommend the 12-35mm f2.8, but it's not cheap at $900.

Another thing to consider is sound recording. Will you be using a separate device or will the camera need to be close to the subject? In which case, it's no use having a lens that will mean the camera's halfway across the room. But obviously this depends on what kind of interviews you're talking about. Interviews at an event with an on camera microphone will be a different prospect to sit down interviews where you have complete control over the environment. In which case a longer, more flattering lens that doesn't have to be right in your subject's face might make them more comfortable.

And finally, obviously it depends on the sort of framing you want. Whether it's full body or just a talking head, for example.

As for primes, take a look at the following (prices from bhphoto):
Panasonic 15mm f1.7 ($600)
Olympus 17mm f1.8 ($450)
Panasonic 20mm f1.7 ($270)
Panasonic 25mm f1.7 ($150)
Panasonic 25mm f1.4 ($600)
Panasonic 42.5mm f1.7 ($400)
Olympus 45mm f1.8 ($350)

I've got the 45mm f1.8 and the 20mm f1.7, and I think both are nice lenses, and both will give you a nice out of focus background. But looking at those prices, that 25mm f1.7 looks like a real bargain at the moment.

These are two pictures I took on each lens, just to give you an idea of the blurring when the aperture is wide open. The one of the bird on its own is the 45mm and the other one is the 20mm.

Make: Panasonic
Model: DMC-GH2
Lens: LUMIX G 20/F1.7
ISO: 160
Aperture: f/1.7
Shutter speed: 1/800 sec
Captured: Thu, 12 Aug 2010 13:22pm
Make: Panasonic
Model: DMC-GH2
Lens: OLYMPUS M.45mm F1.8
ISO: 160
Aperture: f/1.8
Shutter speed: 1/1600 sec
Captured: Thu, 12 Aug 2010 14:21pm


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