I just uploaded a new video, entitled A.M. Flight, to the Fuji X Weekly YouTube channel! I hope you enjoy it!
The reason why we—and by “we” I mean mostly Amanda—created this short film was to test the Pergear 50mm f/1.8 lens for video. I already published a review of the Pergear lens for still photography, but I thought this lens might be a good inexpensive option for cinema. I needed to put it to the test.
Amanda recorded A.M. Flight on her Fujifilm X-T4 with a Pergear 50mm f/1.8. All of it was handheld, no tripod or gimbal was used. The 50mm focal-length, which is 75mm full-frame equivalent, is telephoto, and camera shake is exaggerated because of this. The X-T4 has in-body-image-stabilization (IBIS)—the X-S10 and X-H1 are the only other two Fujifilm X cameras with IBIS—and even with the stabilization there’s still a fair amount of shakiness to the clips. We recommend the use of a tripod or gimbal to help reduce shake; if your camera doesn’t have IBIS, a tripod or gimbal is a must with this lens.
The Pergear 50mm f/1.8 is all manual, which means you’ll have to manually focus. A.M. Flight has a lot of fast movements in the film, and nailing focus manually proved to be very difficult; this lens might be better suited for projects that don’t have quickly moving objects. The focus ring is smooth, a positive for sure! The aperture ring is click-less, which is great for video because you can change the aperture while recording a clip, either increasing or decreasing the depth-of-field.
The f/1.8 aperture is fast, but the depth-of-field is shallow (making nailing focus even more difficult) and image quality isn’t the best when wide-open. It was nice to have f/1.8 as an option when filming in dark locations, but it’s definitely better to stop down a little (at least f/4 is you can) to maximize image quality whenever you can.
When light hits the lens just right, there’s something special about the results. There’s a particularly nice quality to some of the video clips, thanks to the Pergear lens. There’s a certain character that you just won’t find in most modern lenses; if that’s something you want in your video, this lens is for you.
The Pergear 50mm f/1.8 lens is challenging to use for video because it is all manual and because it doesn’t have any stabilization. Cameras with IBIS, like the Fujifilm X-T4, make it a little easier to use, and it’s possible to get away with not having a tripod or gimbal, but if you don’t have IBIS you’re going to want to do something to stabilize the clips. This lens is not the most ideal option for video, but if you are on a tight budget or want the special character that this lens can give you, it’s a good one to consider.
This review contains affiliate links, and I will be compensated a small amount if you make a purchase using my links.