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Most recommended zoom lenses for m43, including not native
  • I'm looking to buy a Zoom lens for my Panasonic GH2 - that covers wide and medium focal lengths.

    Which one do you guys recommend the most?

  • 69 Replies sorted by
  • I just bought an old Sigma 28-70 F2.8 in canon FD mount, and it hasn't left my camera since. It's a little bit long on the wide-angle side (I'd really prefer it to be 14mm or 16mm), but for $100 it's got an amazing cinematic image. I can upload some footage if you want.

  • Panny's 14-140 if you're shooting outdoors and also want AF and OIS.

  • lpowell has taken some great vid with his Leicasonic. I personally like the Kobori 28-200 which you can pick up for $35. And recently I shot some vid with the Olly 45-150. But the vid just does not look like primes, so in the absence of a good, fast zoom I recommend getting a camcorder as a second cam with a fast lens, focus and exposure tracking.

  • Here's a link to a thread with details on a wide variety of video-friendly lenses for the GH2:

  • magnus387 - I think the f/2.8 is a put off for me, I'm after something faster. At least F2.

    Rambo - Haven't been too impressed with the 14 - 140mm stuff that much, looking for something that's even better. Also I'll be shooting with manual focus.

    Cheers for the suggestions though guys.

    LPowell - That list has some interesting zoom lenses. Any that can open wide to f/2?

  • 7-14, 14-140, 100-300.

  • My be some PL mount zoom for $30000?

  • Olympus Zuiko 14-35mm F2.0 and 35-100mm F2.0

  • The tokina 11-16 will be my next piece o glass.

  • @Psyco - Is the Olympus Zuiko 14-35mm and 23-100mm manual?

    I forgot to mention, manual focus is essential - I have no interest in auto-focus

  • Goodness me, just saw the price for that lens! I wouldn't want to go over £800 for a lens guys.


    • Manual Focus
    • Covers wide to mid focal lengths
    • Around f/2.0
    • Fits natively onto the GH2 - without an additional adaptor.

    Anyone have any recommendations?

  • Wait until someone builds it or the suggested ones are coming down on the second hand market …

  • @Donnie88 The 14-35 has a good manual focus ring (friction coupled). The 35-100 is focus by wire (ok to use by hand but not repeatable for FF work).

  • @Donnie My recommendation is to stop wishing for someone to give away their lenses. What you're asking for is unreasonable.

  • Based on what you're asking around 2.0 would be the panasonic 2.8 if not you have to settle for the Olympus lenses.

  • 20mm 1.7. If you don't have this lens, you haven't taken advantage of the m43 sensor.

  • I lied, I went with the Tokina 24-70 2.8 ATX Pro II. LOVING IT!

    Nice build and sharp. I need to get it geared and de-clicked...

    @Donnie88 - have you found your dream lens yet? :D Even the Angie Optimos only open up to a 2.2 . Having that fast of a zoom and planning to manually pull focus is counter-intuitive.

  • @rockroadpix

    Declicking the Tolinas is easy. They use a recessed bearing and spring. You just have to work out how to take off the electrical contact pins by working out the best angle etc. you shouldnt need to take much of the lens apart at all. I declicked all my own lenses, and the Tokina was no harder. Only thing with the zoom lenses to remember is that you need to align both apperture and focus sticks perfectly so they engage the internal leavers. Zoom are harder due to the restricted space available inside.

  • Contax Zeiss 35-70 3.4 - yum! :)

  • I'm happy with the 100-300. It has a similar IQ to the 14-140.

  • Hi there, I know the Tokina 28-70 2.8 ATX PRO is parfocal and really good. But do you know if older Tokina 28-70 2.8/4.3 is any good? I've been told that is parfocal also and 2.8 sounds fast enough for a zoom. It's in ebay for $75 bucks. Do you know if it's good enough for casual stills at least? Thanks!

  • @Donnie88 I have been looking for what you're looking for for a long time and I haven't found it, b/c it doesn't exist. I second @Vitaliy_Kiselev comment about a PL zoom. Just because the camera is inexpensive doesn't mean a good lens is too. Same rule applies for the tripod.

    It looks like what you want doesn't exist in that price range. You'll have to make a compromise somewhere. All still photography zooms are going to be a compromise anyway, they weren't designed for video work and cinezooms are parfocal and a lot more expensive.

    Close would be:

    -New Panasonic 12-35 F2.8, with OIS & autofocus (for somewhat over 800 sterling). -ENG lens with built-in doubler, with adapter to MFT (BUT, these lenses were not designed for a single chip camera and will most likely give you lots of CA and not all that wide (?) once the 2x is in).

    Personally I put up with the 14-140 and love/hate it (would love to get the new 12-35 if I had the cash).

    I also have a Tamron 28-105 f2.8 in Nikon mount I bought inexpensively (multiple hundreds of $) off ebay many years ago back when I had money to burn. Sounds great, but, it's not. It weighs 2 Lbs (tons of glass!), so better use an MFT adapter that has a tripod mount, isn't parfocal and if pointed down, the front cluster weight will make it zoom all by its self (so I keep a rubber band on it for extra drag). It gets the job done when needed, it's not really a zoom, but, a vari-focal prime. Every time you zoom even a little you need to refocus. That being said, it's great in a controlled setting or live event when there's time to refocus, it's faster and easier than swapping primes, but, so heavy you could damage the mount.

    If you find what you're looking for post it back here. You are not alone.

  • Parfocal zooms: Vivitar 70-210 3.5. (rather heavy) Canon FD 35-105 3.5 (not close focusing enough though) I use both on wedding shoots with excellent results!

  • Hi there, made a quick test with my vivitar 70-210 2.8-4.0

    HOVERFLY MACRO from Thomas Samson on Vimeo.