Why I like the micro 4/3ds format on the Lumix GH-2

Minolta XD-11 SLR camera
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A nice feature of the Lumix GH-2 from Panasonic, as well as other micro four thirds cameras, is their ability to use a wide variety of lenses.

I had two old Minolta film cameras and had several old lenses that work great with the GH-2, using a Minolta to m43 adapter ring.

Here’s a photo of my collection (picture taken with a Canon SX-1):

The lenses are from left to right:

  • On the GH-2, the Panasonic Lumix 45-200mm zoom
  • Vivitar 135mm prime, f/2.8, Minolta mount, purchased for $20. Works as a 270mm f/2.8 on the GH-2. I really like this lens.
  • Sigma 28mm to 70mm zoom, f/2.8, Minolta mount, bought it back in the 1980s.Works as a 56 to 140mm f/2.8 equivalent zoom on the GH-2. In many ways, this is one of my favorite lenses.  It is fairly fast and is almost a normal lens (56mm equiv.) at the wide angle end, plus very sharp under pixel peeping conditions.
  • Sigma 24mm wide angle prime, Minolta mount, bought in the 1980s. This is my fake 50mm standard lens – really, a 48mm equivalent.
  • Minolta 50mm prime, f/1.4, came with my original Minolta SRT-101 film camera. Works like a 100mm f/1.4 lens – super for indoor and night shots.
  • Minolta 50mm prime, f/1.7, came with an original Minolta X700 film camera.
  • Tamron 4mm-12mm zoom, f/1.4, C-mount CCTV lens, purchased for $144. Used only in 1920×1080/24p video mode. Works equivalent to a 21mm lens on a 35mm film camera when used in the 1080/24p video mode. Also works as a super macro lens.
  • Not shown: Lumix 14-42mm f/3.5 zoom that came with the GH-2.

This was the first time I’d pulled everything out and this collection seemed impressive.  Okay, okay, may be I am easily impressed. I know, its not Canon L-series glass. But it doesn’t cost as much as a new car either!

In fact, except for the Lumix lens, there’s not much money in this at all. I had all the Minolta lenses stored for decades.

The micro 4/3ds format enables use of all those old and often very good lenses. Either ones you already have, or ones that you can buy cheaply on Craigslist, EBay, or some camera stores and pawn shops.

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