GH5 Lenses

Best GH5 lenses: Which One Should You Buy?

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Looking for a new lens for your GH5? As discussed in our recent blog best cameras for filmmaking on a budget the Panasonic GH5 has fast become one of the go-to hits for filmmakers far and wide.

So, if you’ve made the sensible decision of purchasing one, you may now be wondering about lenses. Which one should you buy?

Of course, there are a number of different factors when it comes to picking the right lens for the GH5. Things such as price point, your shooting needs, focal length, aperture and mount.

As a result, we’ve hand-picked a few below that serve a variety of different purposes and are all great options.

→ Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 ART lens

Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 ART lens

Price: £599.00 (Canon EF/EF-S)

Mount: Canon EF/EF-S, Nikon F, Sony Alpha, Pentax K, Sigma SA

Good for: Landscapes, portraits, still-life and close ups.

ProsCons
✔ Low aperture means plenty of light and a soft bokeh effect with depth.✘ No image stabilization
✔ Beautiful cinematic image✘ Relatively short focal length range
✔ Great build quality

Firstly, Sigma’s legendary 18-35mm f/1.8 art lens.

I say legendary because, much like the GH5 itself, this piece of glass has become a firm favourite across a wide and varied spectrum of filmmakers.

Why? Quite simply, the combination of price and image quality is impossible to beat. This thing creates beautiful images and doesn’t cost you the earth.

It is important to note that when looking at lenses for the GH5, the camera operates using the micro four thirds system. So, for some GH5 lenses, you’ll need a speedbooster.

However, this actually works to your advantage. It reduces the crop factor of the GH5 and consequently, you end up with a wider view and access to more light.

The camera isn’t the best low-light performer, so it’s pretty useful to operate with a ‘the more light the better’ mindset when comparing GH5 lenses.

The fact this Sigma is f/1.8 all the way through means that it’s perfect for the GH5, giving you plenty of light and with it, extra depth of field and a beautiful, cinematic bokeh effect.

Finally, despite not being made for cameras operating with a micro four thirds system, the lens is still moderately sized enough and doesn’t completely dwarf the GH5 when fitted. It’s almost as if they were accidentally made for eachother. A great choice.

→ Olympus 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO lens

Olympus 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO

Price: £849.99

Mount: Micro Four Thirds

Good for: Landscapes, property shoots, vlogging

ProsCons
✔ Small, solid build✘ No image stabilization
✔ Sharp and fast with low aperture that allows a lot of light✘ Bulbous front may leave glass exposed to damage
✔ MFT native✘ Very, very slight distortion and vignetting possible when at 7mm. Not a deal breaker.

Secondly, the first of our native micro four thirds lenses.

The Olympus 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO is a fantastic wide-angle lens for the GH5. Due to the fact that micro four thirds systems crop an image and essentially shorten your focal length, it can be quite difficult to find a decent wide angle.

The 7-14mm roughly translates to 14-28mm so, we think this is one of the best. It comes in particularly useful if you’re vlogging or shooting property where you can really show off as much of the space as possible.

In addtion to this, it has a really solid build quality to it and, thanks to that micro four thirds system, it’s really quite small and unimposing – perfectly fitting on to your GH5 to create a discreet, small but powerful package.

It’s sharp, weather sealed, fast and, most importantly, can handle low-light conditions with an aperture of f/2.8 all the way through.

→ Olympus 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO lens

Lens for GH5

Price: £678.99

Mount: Micro Four Thirds

Good for: Landscapes, vlogging, portraits and close-ups. Honestly, just about everything.

ProsCons
✔ Small, solid build✘ No image stabilization
✔ Very sharp and fast with a nice snap-back focus ring for manual focusing
✔ MFT native
✔ Versatile range

Next up in the Olympus PRO series is the 12-40mm f/2.8.

This piece of glass inherits pretty much all of the same characteristics as it’s 7-14mm brother. A solid build quality that feels great, a small little body that’s perfect for the GH5, weather sealed, fast, sharp.

Similarly, an f/2.8 aperture that helps with overcoming low-light downfalls. It’s all here.

Above all, what really makes this one stand out is it’s impressively versatile range of focal length. Roughly translating to a 24-80mm if it were on a 35mm system, this is a great mid-range lens that can offer you a bit of everything.

It goes all the way from landscapes at one end to portraits and close ups at the other. The range gets even more impressive if you consider punching in on 4K footage.

Whilst other GH5 lenses may do a better job with specific types of shooting, it’s hard to beat just how versatile this Olympus is. It’s our go-to all rounder in the kit bag and we think you’ll struggle to find a better native micro four thirds zoom lens.

In short, if you’re to own just one GH5 lens, it should probably be this one.

→ Voigtlander Nokton 17.5mm f/0.95 lens

Voigtlander Nokton 17.5mm f/0.95

Price: £859.00

Mount: Micro Four Thirds

Good for: Portraits and close-ups

ProsCons
✔ Fantastic sharpness✘ No image stabilization
✔ Incredible low-light capability✘ Chromatic aberration present towards the edges of the frame when at f/0.95
✔ Very solid build quality✘ No range in focal length

At this point in the article, you’ve probably picked up on the running theme of light and low aperture. So, it only made sense that we included this little number next.

In contrast with the versatility of the Olympus 12-40, the Voigtlander Nokton is a fixed prime. Although limited in focal length range, the low aperture of f/0.95 is impossible to ignore.

Indeed, some may even argue that’s too low, leading to really, really shallow depth of field with delicious bokeh.

As a result, focus pulling may be tricky on that small GH5 screen – especially if you’re not used to manual focusing!

This combination of factors mean that it is probably something of a creative choice, rather than a must-have go-to.

But if you can master it, it will deliver exceptionally beautiful, cinematic shots.

It’s the equivalent focal length of 35mm that is so many people’s favourites and the build quality is fantastic – right up there with the best GH5 lenses on the market.

→ Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 lens

Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 lens

Price: £1,899.00

Mount: Canon EF

Good for: Crowd shots, close-ups, sports and a different take on landscapes

ProsCons
✔ Exceptional focal length range✘ Very big and heavy (it will dwarf your GH5)
✔ Beautiful, unique shots available to the user✘ Expensive!
✔ Very solid build quality

Finishing off our list is the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8.

This thing is expensive. And it’s big. As in, way bigger than your GH5. It will almost dwarf the body and clearly wasn’t designed for such compact micro four thirds cameras. So, why is it here?

So far, we haven’t really mentioned anything with a long-range focal length.

This thing ticks that box and ticks it well. You won’t find a better quality 70-200mm. Not at the lower end of the budget scale anyway.

Despite it’s huge frame and price tag, we really do think it’s worth getting because of the wealth of different options it gives you.

None of the other lenses listed above can really achieve a long focal length, apart from the Olympus 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO lens with 4K footage punched in, perhaps.

As a result, this Canon 70-200mm allows you to get right in on the action from a distance – whether that’s sports or crowd shots.

I particularly like this lens when filming travel documentaries. For instance, it allows me to capture local people going about their day to day business without infringing on them.

They don’t realise I’m there and therefore they don’t act any different. It’s definitely one to consider!

Ever gone vintage?

Vivitar 70-210mm f/4.5-5.6 MF

Lastly, as a bonus tip, have you considered going vintage?

I hadn’t, until a friend of mine leant me a Vivitar 70-210mm f/4.5-5.6 MF Lens.

A what? Yeah, I had no idea either.

It was a really pleasant surprise. Despite it’s obvious drawbacks such as a lack of image stabilization and no autofocus, it handled a shoot at a football match incredibly well, doing a similar job to the Canon 70-200mm in allowing me to get right into the action from a distance.

My friend had picked it up online for just £20! Something like this may just be worth a punt.

Wrapping up – Best GH5 Lenses

In conclusion, there are plenty of brilliant GH5 lenses out there. These are some of our favourites and there are many more options, so it’s important you do your research beforehand.

Remember, depending on the lens, you may also need to purchase a speedbooster to convert to micro four thirds. At a glance, we like Metabones or Viltrox but that’s an article for another day.

The prices quoted here are brand new from Amazon so it may also be worth having a look at eBay and other second-hand sites where you could pick up a great deal!

Or, consider how much you need/will be using the lens and weigh up the option of renting instead 😉

Cinematography, Film Production, Filmmaking Tips

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