Vietnam 2014 – GH4 + SLR Magic 10mm T2.1
Third in a series of videos from a recent trip to S.E. Asia, all shot hand-held on a Panasonic GH4 in U 4K using the SLR Magic HyperPrime CINE 10mm T2.1 lens and the SLR ND filter. At the very last minute I made the choice to take the 10mm as the main lens for the trip, a pure act of faith as I knew I had no way of monitoring any of the s while away except on-camera. It ended up staying on the camera the entire time (part one, Sri Lanka, https://vimeo.com/114941890, part two, Maldives, https://vimeo.com/113032816).
Both the camera and the lens/ND filter functioned impeccably, surviving tropical heat and humidity without ever breaking a sweat even when I was drenched, and were always ready to record at a moment’s notice what would become 220+ GB of footage. The ND filter is perfect as far as I can tell with no optical degradation even when fully deployed, and is a must have accessory for this and other lenses. The attached lever makes adjustment a breeze.
I love to travel with just a camera and lens and this combination, although slightly negating the idea of micro 43 as far as its weight advantage over a DSLR setup is concerned (the lens is relatively heavy), nonetheless fulfills much of what I’ve always wanted for a travel option. The lens is optically excellent and to my eyes without any of the edge softness mentioned by some other users. Perhaps the 4K cropping of the GH4 sensor utilizes the optimal part of the glass.
We were always on the move during the trip with many hours spent on the back of the small motorcycles that are so ubiquitous in Vietnam, and I never found manual focusing or aperture adjustment an issue. Focus assist and the excellent mechanical rings never posed a problem and the only few failures were entirely user errors. At times I wondered if the Panasonic LX100 would have been a better option (it wasn’t available when I left) providing zooming and stabilization.
But in retrospect I am more than satisfied with the organic and superb image quality that this manual lens offers with stabilization easily taken care of in post. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this combination to everyone as a travel option, especially those that require auto focus and zooms. But if you’re excited by using full manual operation while capturing wonderful images, then this combination is perfect. And the absolute joy I experienced reviewing the images meant I didn’t regret for a single moment my choice and I look forward to using this combination on my next outing (April to St Martin).
Edited in FCP X with some stabilization and color and exposure balancing, and down converted to 1080p for export.
Music is Weather Storm by Craig Armstrong from the album Buddha Bar 1 – Buddha’s Dinner.