SHG Lenses on a GH1

I was scouting some locations a couple of days ago for the low light shootout I’m planning and I was able to take a friends Panasonic GH1 along to shoot with.

I decided to try shooting some video on the GH1 as I’d heard a lot about how capable they are and I also had my Olympus SHG lenses with me that I was keen to try.  It was kind of an audition for the GH2 which is due very soon.  I’m very interested in using this on the next season of Offspring instead of the 5Dmk2.

So I wasn’t really planning to post this footage but I’ve been often asked about using SHG lenses on m4/3 cameras like the GH1.

This is what I learned….

Take a monopod !!! The SHG lenses are pretty heavy in comparison to the GH1. I found it VERY difficult to hand hold the cameras while shooting video and pulling focus. I consider myself a pretty competent hand held operator and I really really struggled to hold the camera still on longer lenses.

The SHG 35-100 wasn’t so great at F16. Well we all know lenses don’t perform as well wide open, but they also don’t perform well stopped all he way down. I was shooting into the sun a lot, and I didn’t have an ND with me, so I was relying on aperture alone to get the exposure down.  There are a couple of longer lenses shots which just went very soft overall.

So most of these shots were on the Olympus 35-100 F2 with a few using the 14-35 F2. You’ll pick those when you see them. All the night material was shot with the Sigma 50mm 1.4 at ISo 800.

I will do some more staged drama style tests down the road.  This was more a convenient chance to try out the GH1 with the SHG lenses.

All the footage is straight out of the camera with no colour correction applied at all.  Just shot as 5600K WB and manual exposure using the (not to bad) exposure controls on the GH1.  Imported into FCP as pro res 422, edit (about 2o mins total time !) and exported.  that’s it.

It does give me pause to think about the camera shake situation.  Olympus have In-Body stabilising and Panasonic have In-Lens stabilising so putting Olympus lenses on a Panasonic means NO STABALISING at all.   It’s probably something that wasn’t helped by the fact I was using the much longer lenses as well and didn’t take a monopod.  In a drama situation, I’d be more likely to be using the short 14-35.  I shouldn’t expect to be able to hand hold anything steady beyond 35mm on 4/3 or m4/3 anyway without stabilising….and come to think of it, it’s pretty hard beyond 85mm on the FF Canon 5D too.  Of course most of these shots are towards 100mm (cause it looks so good !)

So forgive the camera shake !

About johnbrawley

Director Of Photography striving to create compelling images
This entry was posted in Available Light Test, Equipment and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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