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Recommended Lenses for the Micro Four Thirds Mount Black Magic Cinema Camera

by Chris Gampat on 09/09/2012

Black Magic just announced a Micro Four Thirds version of their already popular Cinema camera. In my honest opinion, it should have been Micro Four Thirds mount to begin with. The mount, though, is passive, which means that electronics will not work. So for the most part, say goodbye to most of your Micro Four Thirds lenses.

But there are some that will natively work with no problems at all. Being the hackers that Micro Four Thirds users are, though, everyone tries to find old and alternative glass to hack onto their camera bodies. Because of this, nearly any lens you can think of has been adapted to the format.

Here’s a list of some glass that you may want to check out:

Zeiss 58mm f2 Biotar (Exacta Mount)- With the Black Magic’s 2.3x crop factor, expect this lens to be around 134mm in terms of the field of view. I’ve been using this lens for quite a while now and tested it on a portrait session with the Panasonic GH2. They can be tough to get your hands on, but once you do you’ll want to hold onto it for life. This is real Zeiss glass; made in Germany, and with full human construction. It is all metal with some extremely smooth focusing.

To boot, it has 17 aperture blades. That means that your bokeh will be incredibly creamy. This is my go-to portrait lens for Micro Four Thirds right now and users of the Black Magic Cinema Camera may consider using this lens for beauty shots; even though it isn’t the most cinematic focal length.

Voigtlander 17.5mm F0.95- This is the one lens that I absolutely swear by. On Micro Four Thirds, this lens renders a 35mm field of view exactly. On the Black Magic Cinema camera, think of it more at 40mm.

This will be one of the essential lenses for cinematographers for many reasons. First off, it is a native Micro Four Thirds mount with no electronic contacts. The aperture is controlled via the lens. Now here’s the better part, but flipping one of the rings on the lens, it can be modified to be a clickless aperture lens: which is nearly perfect for video. Plus, there are groove for gears, follow focusing, etc.

To be very honest with you, there isn’t a single reason why you shouldn’t go for this lens. It is also super sharp.

SLR Magic Noktor 12mm f1.6- On the Black Magic Cinema Camera, the SLR Magic 12mm f1.6 will render around a 28mm field of view. Like other SLR Magic lenses, it has a clickless aperture.

Here’s something special about the lens: it is actually a T-Stop lens in that it is rated at T1.6. However, the company went with the F-stop designation to not confuse anyone. So in actuality, it is really an f1.4 lens.

For those of you craving fast, wide angle primes; here’s one for you. The 2.3x crop factor should also get rid of any vignetting that this lens has.

SLR Magic 26mm f1.4- The SLR Magic 26mm will render around a 60mm field of view on the BMCC. This lens is super sharp and has some interesting swirly bokeh. I don’t even recommend stopping this lens down because of how beautiful it is. The problem though is that mounting gears around it may be a bit tough to do.

Also, the company brands this one as a Toy Lens; and because of that it can be a bit quirky. After some time, the aperture blades may jam, in which case you’ll need to open and close them a couple of times to loosen them up.

But this lens has never failed me and it is the super affordable alternative to anything else out there.

Rokinon 7.5mm f3.5- This lens is a super wide fisheye, and will give you around an 18mm field of view. The center is super sharp, but expect some distortion from the lens as well.

The lens can be seen as a manual pancake in a way due to its compact construction. I personally wish the lens had a faster aperture. But for the super wide angle shots, this will be your go to lens.

The following information is pulled from our article on CCTV Prime Lenses for Micro Four Thirds.

Pentax C22525KP 25mm F1.4- This is a lens that I’m personally looking at. For the price it seems pretty damned good. But don’t take my word for it: listen to a user on DPReview’s forums. This lens will be a perfect 50mm F1.4 on a Micro Four Thirds body as well as provide compactness, smooth manual focusing and an aperture ring. This means that on top of that old rangefinder feel and look will be usability as well as great image quality. F1.4 will allow users to keep their ISO settings lower down for less image noise and grain.

It will be around 57mm on the BMCC.

Pentax C22516 25mm F1.8- Though it is very close in price to the previously named Pentax lens, the reason why it is on this list is because of the fact that Pentax lenses are legendary for their quality; especially in their primes. If you have no need for F1.4, then this is a great alternative. Keep in mind that shooting wide open at F1.4 can be hard to do, but the narrower depth of field of a Four Thirds sensor should help with this. Combined, with Olympus’s image stabilization, this lens will do very well for college students.

Fujinon CF50HA-1 50mm F1.4- Fujinon lenses are wonderful as I’ve seen previously in medium format cameras. This lens will be a 100mm F1.4 on a Micro Four Thirds camera. This is a very useful focal length as portraits, street photography, events and many other needs can be photographed with this lens.

Fujinon CF16HA-1 16mm F1.4- 32mm seems a bit of an odd focal length, but it is close enough to 35mm to still provide for great shooting if you prefer to get up close to your subjects with street photography. This will also be great for events, weddings and landscapes.

Yes, I said weddings. Keep in mind that all these lenses are manual focus, so you’re essentially shooting Leica-style.

GH2 Rainbow 8-48mm f1.0 1/2 C-Mount H6X8 lens Tutorial Review from apefos on Vimeo.

Rainbow 8-48mm f1 CCTV- This is a zoom lens that on standard Micro Four Thirds cameras, you’ll need to shoot video in the teleconverter mode to not get any vignetting. However, the BMCC has a 2.3x crop factor and shoots at 2.5K, so you’ve got plenty of room to crop.

Consider these lenses while you wait on companies to create Anamorphic lenses, like SLR Magic.

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