This Is What Happens When You Put a 55x F/1.7 Zoom Lens on a Panasonic GH4
Broadcast camera lenses are a whole different breed
Broadcast video lenses are truly incredible pieces of gear. They regularly cost more than $50,000 and sport massive zoom ranges with huge maximum apertures. One clever shooter took his Fujinon XA55 lens and adapted it to work with a consumer-grade Panasonic GH4. The original lens has a 55x zoom lens with a maximum aperture of F/1.7. That’s a serious lens.
The process of adapting such a lens is actually, well, quite a process. The adapter needed to be modified and he even had to build an electronic iris control box to provide power and adjust the aperture.
In order to get the image circle to cover the entire sensor, he needed to use a 2x teleconverter, which made the reach of the lens even longer. According to the video, the final field of view is the equivalent of what you’d get out of a 44-2415mm zoom lens.
The sample footage is pretty amazing. The zoom is so smooth and fast, like you’d expect from a camera that could be used on the sidelines of a major sporting event.
This particular Fujinon lens retails for about $60k, so hacking a rig like this together is still pretty impractical. But, it sure is a lot different than the experience of shooting with a super zoom.