Pro video blog…Produced by Philip Johnston DoP/Editor


Sadly I have to admit to being a tad blinkered as a Canon owner when it comes to the AF101. If you own Canon glass your options to use it with the Panasonic AF101 are very limiting, there are two choices the Kipon which failed me after 3 months light use and the Birger which is taking ages to appear and will be an expensive option.

I think Erik Widding CEO of Birger Engineering has bitten off more than he can chew with his electronic Canon mount and has been a technical nightmare made worse by the fact that good old Canon don’t allow anyone to see the EOS lens technical drawings that would make life a lot easier for those making adapters like Birger, or so I am told.

This brings me to my recent decision to off-load my Canon gear in favour of Nikon, again, just before I moved over to Canon I had a Nikon D3 and some expensive “Nano” glass which I now regret selling.

You have two choices with Nikon glass DX and non DX, DX glass is made for APS-C sensors which are smaller than full frame 35mm sensors, you can use DX glass on “FX” full frame cameras but the camera auto crops and only outputs a 5MP picture. This is where a micro Four Thirds camera like the AF101 scores, you can use all the Nikon lenses which gives you a massive choice and some sexy glass.

I decided to plum for the 17-55 F2.8 DX zoom lens as my standard lens on the AF101 which gives a crop equivalent to a 34-110 lens and the new Sony FS100, once again the Sony Super 35mm chip is almost the same size of the APS-C sensor so your choice is so much bigger. The Nikon lenses do not need power to enable the iris allowing adapter manufacturers like MTF a free reign to develop Nikon to mFT (AF101), Nikon to Sony E (FS100, VG10) and the Nikon to Sony F3 mount, all readily available off the shelf.

I am handing back my loan lens the Lumix 7-14mm mFT which I thought I would miss till I bought the Tokina 11-16mm f2.8 DX lens which gives you a crop equivalent to a 22-32mm lens and it’s a cracking piece of glass, sharp as a tac, this in my opinion beats the 7-14 Lumix hands down for sharpness and does not have nearly the same distortion at the edges that the Lumix suffers from and the Tokina is f2.8 with a manual iris.

I have been blinkered waiting for the Birger mount, hanging onto my semi redundant Canon glass when there is a whole new world out there if you buy into some Nikon mount glass, you even have a choice of Zeiss FP.2 glass which is the SLR version of their CP2 glass…same glass less money.

I am always being asked if there is a good stock lens to have on the AF101 and I can now add the Nikon 17-55 f2.8 DX lens as a good all rounder.



Having been working in the video business since 1988 I have amassed a great amount of knowledge of both the kit and production values over the last 30 years.

One thought on “Lenses Revisited “Your options are limited being a Canon owner”

  1. Totally agree. But then again, like you, I was a Nikon fanboy before the Video DSLR started.

    A colleague who is totally Canon has stumbled past the DSLR revolution because his lenses used on an EX3 or FS100 would require a Canon body to set the iris. His enviable collection is all Full Frame glass, of no interest to his EX1 unless he was into spying on airports or shooting the moon.

    When the Birger Mount finally ships, my fear is that ‘people like us’ will have sold out on Canon for Nikkor.

    And if anyone is waiting for Canon to release a 4:2:2 50 Mbit Canon 5d Mk3, I really and truly hope you’re right as that would be the right thing to do for Canon. But will they?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *