Cinematographer/director Paul Leeming of Leeming LUT Pro dropped by yesterday and very kindly gave us two vintage M42-mount manual-focus prime lenses, a Panagor MC 28mm f/2.8 and a Pentacon 50mm f/1.8.
Both lenses are in excellent condition and are a reminder of how useful such lenses are for shooting video with recent and current generations of hybrid cameras equipped with focus peaking.
This morning I googled adapters for these lenses and an Australian camera accessories company came up in the search results – Gobe Corp Pty Ltd, headquartered in Byron Bay.
I don’t know anything about Gobe’s products other than what is published in their website so cannot make any recommendations right now, but am pleased to note that they state that they plant five trees for every purchase made of their their products.
I will now be looking for hands-on reviews of Gobe products, especially of their fixed and variable neutral density filters, UV filters and lens adapters.
Camera-wiki.org – Panagor– “[Jaca Corporation] are most famous for their Elicar and Panagor brand lenses, made by a variety of Japanese lens manufacturers which included Komine and Kino Precision.”
Leeming LUT Pro – “Leeming LUT Pro™ is the world’s first unified, corrective Look Up Table ( LUT ) system for supported cameras, designed to maximise dynamic range, fix skin tones, remove unwanted colour casts and provide an accurate Rec709 starting point for further creative colour grading. Multi-camera shoots are now much easier, because you are starting with a common, colour-matched baseline, meaning much less time trying to match cameras in post before starting your creative grading.“
Wikipedia – Pentacon – “The name Pentacon is derived from the brand Contax of Zeiss Ikon Kamerawerke in Dresden and Pentagon, as a Pentaprism for Single-Lens Reflex (SLR) cameras was for the first time developed in Dresden. The cross section of this prism has a pentagonal shape. Pentacon is best known for producing the SLR cameras of the Praktica-series as well as the medium formatcamera Pentacon Six, the Pentacon Super and various cameras of the Exa series.”
“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!…”
Panasonic Lumix G 25mm f/1.7 Aspheric prime lens.
Panasonic Lumix G 42.5mm f1/7 Aspheric Power OIS prime lens.
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
Panasonic Lumix G 20mm f/1.7 II Aspheric pancake prime lens.
Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 25mm f/1.4 Aspheric prime lens.
Panasonic Leica DG Nocticron 42.5mm f/1.2 Power OIS prime lens. Considered a benchmark lens in its focal length but it is priced accordingly.
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.
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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.
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.