PANASONIC GH5 - LENS ADAPTERS AND SPEED BOOSTERS

Canon EF (EOS AF) lenses

Nikon F (MF) lenses

Leica M (MF) mount lenses

Leica R (MF) mount lenses

One of the things that first attracted me to m4/3 was the ability to use other lens ranges via adapters. And that continues to this day. I've built of a collection of mostly second hand lenses for Canon EF, Nikon F, Leica M and Leica R mounts. I also have a collection of adapters including speed boosters for the Nikon, Canon and Leica R sets. I'm gradually working my way through the combinations and will post as soon as I have enough samples to assess each set. However up to now there are very few problems. My m-mount Voigtlander 10mm isn't that great and my Canon 7-14mm zoom is somewhat softer in the corners than it is on my Leica SL (Typ 601) but thats about it. The usual Wide angle issues of course. 

I mention the Leica, because I have adapters for all these lenses for the Leica T mount as well. All the lenses are full-frame, so they don't need the 'widening' effect of the speed boosters. But of course I get the benefits from the longer end and for my GH5 I have some pretty impressive telephoto options. As regular readers will be aware, these days I'm shooting more video than stills and a lot of these options are geared to that. Here's a few 4K footage adapter samples below. 

Now in many ways I prefer using adapted lenses. True most are MF only, but the 'equivalents' are amazing. These are only approximations and are more about how the camera reacts to what is coming into it via the lens mount. For example I was using my Canon 85mm f/1.8 EF AF lens today. It was fitted to the GH5 using a Metabones 0.64x Speed Booster. Now these are fancy (and expensive!!) adapters that give me AF (Slower than native but not bad), 'widen' the lens so it appears to be similar to a 110mm (approx.) lens on full frame (instead of the normal doubling to 170mm) AND gives me a 1.25 stop increase in light gathering ability. Since the Metabones gives me a lens readout, when I open the lens up fully the camera says that I'm at f/1.2. Now if I could actually get a 110mm f/1.2 lens and use it on a full-frame sensor camera, then the images wouldn't look like what I'm getting on the GH5, BUT it's still a very fast medium telephoto option whichever way you look at it. And I am always wary about about these 'equivalents', preferring to judge what I'm getting on it's own merits. And I can certainly testify that the combination, with the GH5's IBIS works very well in low light, with the speed boosters extra stop and a quarter of light coming in very handy. I was so impressed I've sourced used Canon 28mm f/1.8 and Canon 50mm f/1.8 lenses to add to my collection.

So, the GH5 certainly continues to impress. I've even done some low light tests at ISO 3200 and they are certainly very useable. The sensor and processing engine seem to be a significant improvement on what I've used before with m4/3. Though with what I shoot, I will be using those high(er) ISO settings very rarely. However, the GH5 is proving to be an even more versatile camera than I expected and I expected a lot. I can't really see why the GH5 can't be classed as a genuine 'pro' camera, even though I doubt Panasonic would make that claim for it. It's fast, pretty robust, easy to use and seems to handle whatever I throw at it. And it doesn't weigh over a Kilogram like the amazingly overhyped Nikon D850. You know my feelings about reviews by the usual suspects wined and dined by Nikon, so I won't be going into that. However to say that the Nikon has 'saved the DSLR' without anyone seeing any proper stills (and RAW files) assessed any 4K footage or using it for any length of time is somewhat premature to say the least. And Nikon bought and paid for hacks don't count.

Returning to the GH5, which I will be using a lot for real world stock work (and not trying to impress other baby boomers that my manhood is still intact!) it really is a delight to use. And even more importantly the results are impressive. It doesn't take the best stills or video with the cameras I own, (That's still the Leica SL) but it's pretty damn close and much less difficult to carry around. For example I was out with the Leica SL + battery grip + video tripod the other day and that was not a pleasant experience. Sure the results were lovely, but the GH5 produces quality not far from the Leica and is a much more pleasant experience, allowing me to walk further and thus get more images / footage. 

And finally it's nice to be back with m4/3 again. I was an early advocate of the format and have seen it continue to make a nonsense pf FF and APS-C. Finally an image to show that yes you can get great bokeh from m4/3. You just need a GH5, a Leica R 70-210 zoom and the right adapter.

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