“Which lens is better for b roll? Which is better for the buck? Today we’ll look at 2 highly acclaimed lenses from the M43 system in this Panasonic shootout for B ROLL!…”
One of the many joys of Micro Four Thirds hybrid mirrorless cameras is their range of price points from affordable through to high-end and the same is true of lenses, making the M43 sensor format attractive to those of us just breaking into stills and video as well as more experienced practitioners.
While I often write about flagship M43 cameras and lenses here, I also use and value lower priced M43 gear for its affordability, smaller size and weight and its usefulness for discrete photography and b-roll video especially in multi-camera set-ups.
New vlogger Kim Cruz has recently produced some short, sharp videos about some of these affordable choices.
Lest one succumb to the commonly held belief that M43 sensor photographs cannot look as good as those from larger sensor cameras, I recommend trying out DxO PhotoLab and its companion applications for processing your M43 raw files.
I received a Panasonic Lumix G 25mm f/1.7 Aspheric prime lens with my Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8 camera as part of a promotion at the time and often use it for available darkness stills and video as well as in conjunction with the GX8’s wonderful tilting electronic viewfinder aka EVF when emulating the look of my former Rolleiflex Twin Lens Reflex cameras.
Other small Micro Four Thirds prime lenses for stills and video
- DxO – DxO PhotoLab – Its industry-leading Prime noise reduction algorithm helps M43 raw files look as good as or almost as good as those from larger sensor cameras. I also recommend companion DxO applications such as DxO FilmPack and DxO ViewPoint as well as Nik Collection, currently a set of plug-ins for Photoshop and Lightroom that I hope will also become a plug-in for DxO PhotoLab in due course.
- J.D. Hodges – Micro Four Thirds Lens Filter Size List (Olympus, Panasonic, etc.)
- Kim Cruz – A Guide to M43 Standard Primes
- Kim Cruz – Panasonic 20mm 1.7 vs Olympia 17mm 1.8- watch before buying!
- Kim Cruz – Panasonic 25mm 1.7 vs 42.5mm 1.7 for B ROLL- watch before buying!
- Tiffen Filters – Tiffen Filters Lens to Filter Chart
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- Aurora-Aperture 37mm PowerXND 2000 Variable Neutral Density 1.2 to 3.3 Filter (4 to 11 Stops) – B&H – Top quality variable neutral density aka VND filters are a great choice for fast-moving documentary cinematography as opposed to a set of fixed density neutral density filters. Small, narrow filter diameter lenses like the ones discussed by Kim Cruz in these videos can benefit from having their own native-sized VND filters attached when shooting video due to the size and weight of stacking up step-up rings to attach 77mm or 82mm ND or VND filters.
- Aurora-Aperture 46mm PowerXND 2000 Variable Neutral Density 1.2 to 3.3 Filter (4 to 11 Stops) – B&H
- Chiaro brass UV protection filters – B&H – I recommend brass filters for lens protection as they are not susceptible to binding like many aluminium-framed filters. Chiaro makes an excellent collection of brass-framed UV filters in filter diameter sizes from 37mm through to 122mm.
- Heliopan 37-46mm Step-Up Ring (#745) – B&H – I use a variety of brass step-up rings made by Breakthrough Photography, Heliopan and Sensei Pro. Brass step-up rings are best to avoid binding but they cost and weigh a little more than aluminium step-up rings. I like Breakthrough Photography’s step-rings the best due to their unique heavily-knurled traction frame but the company does not make all the sizes you may need such as 37mm, 40.5mm and 43mm.
- Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 17mm f/1.8 Lens – B&H – Filter diameter = 46mm.
- Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 25mm f/1.4 ASPH. Lens – B&H– Filter diameter = 46mm.
- Panasonic Leica DG Nocticron 42.5mm f/1.2 ASPH. POWER O.I.S. Lens – B&H – Filter diameter = 67mm.
- Panasonic Lumix G 20mm f/1.7 II ASPH. Lens (Black) – B&H – Equivalent in 35mm sensor terms to the 40mm “perfect normal” focal length, this pancake lens is better suited to stills photography than video but is a much-loved focal length for many movie directors and stills photographers. Filter diameter = 46mm.
- Panasonic Lumix G 25mm f/1.7 ASPH. Lens – B&H – Filter diameter = 46mm.
- Panasonic Lumix G 42.5mm f/1.7 ASPH. POWER O.I.S. Lens – B&H – Filter diameter = 37mm.