Long story short:

What I have:

  • Panasonic GH4
  • Endless 3D printing options for making my own adapters
  • Very, very nice japanese retro prime lens from almost 50 years ago (yeah, it really looks absolutely amazing)


Description of what I need:

  • Super Zoom lens. 18-200mm best. (this is 1:10 ratio - no 1:4 ratio or less wanted)
  • I do not care about the mount - I happily use adapters (GH4 can use almost any manual lens on planet)
  • I do not care about sacrificing autofocus. I never use it anyway.
  • It can be with electronics - if it works without them(!)
  • Parfocal or close to parfocal (mandatory)


What I thought about:

  • Adapting the Sigma DC 18-200 mm AF + MF F3.5-6.3
  • Adapting the Tamron AF A14 18-200 mm F3.5-6.3


Why I do not do it: - Both example lenses are electronic lenses. Can the Focus still work without any power? On the Sony Nex 5N there was a lens, which only worked with power. The focus wheel was a rotary encoder of some sort and had no stop/end at all.

Any idea?

I am okay with retros - they at least have no electronics and that would really help a lot for adapting to another camera.

I do not care, if the result is a perfect setup or not.

Thanks a lot for you camera pro's!



I am searching for low budget gear. That is, why I accept retro lenses a lot.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Photography lenses are usually not parfocal. See Mythbusting: Parfocal Photo Zooms \$\endgroup\$
    – xiota
    May 4, 2020 at 15:26
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ There's no need to make your own adapter. Commercial adapters are plentiful and inexpensive. \$\endgroup\$
    – xiota
    May 4, 2020 at 15:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ Film-era ("retro") superzooms are 28mm or 35mm at the wide end. \$\endgroup\$
    – xiota
    May 4, 2020 at 15:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ Look into lenses with Nikon F mount. They can often be controlled manually, with caveats. \$\endgroup\$
    – xiota
    May 4, 2020 at 15:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ You can pick up a native Panasonic 14-140 for $235. keh.com/shop/… \$\endgroup\$
    – Eric S
    May 4, 2020 at 23:01

2 Answers 2


A single Google search finds https://cameradecision.com/SuperZoom-lens-for-Panasonic-Lumix-DMC-GH4

From it, you can obtain the information that Olympus 12-200mm F3.5-6.3 works for you and satisfies the zoom range requirement.

It's a micro four thirds lens. Why look at non-native lenses if there's a native lens available?

  • \$\begingroup\$ because it is out of my budged range by an order of magnitude! I am searching for used lenses below 100 bucks. Why else would I go retro? The lens you named costs 700€ if buying used. New like 800+ My whole setup costs less than that. Would be cool, but I definitely cannot buy this "expensive" lens. There is nothing bad about an adapter - if the distance does not work, I will reconstruct it and reprint it. Like I did with my Konica Hexanon - works awesome. \$\endgroup\$ May 4, 2020 at 13:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ Oh, you should have specified your budget, then! \$\endgroup\$
    – juhist
    May 4, 2020 at 15:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yep, I rewrote the text and seemingly forgot that. Sorry juhist. \$\endgroup\$ May 4, 2020 at 15:22

Adapting the Sigma DC 18-200 mm AF + MF F3.5-6.3 is possible with a mechanical adapter.

However it is not the best lens, to be honest. At wide open aperture the sharpnes is not really at its maximum (more like 5 Mpixel camera). But this often happens with non-high-end Lenses at widest aperture possible. This quickly fixes itself with higher aperture values - as expected.

The only thing I really dislike, is the rather lowammount of light it picks up. Aperture does not seem to be all. It is way way darker than my Konica Hexanon 50mm F1.8. It is like full frame sensor vs MFT if you compare the light you have available with those 2 lenses.

The General answer is: Most lenses have a mechanical connection between focus wheel and focus mechanism. Only some lenses are pure digital lenses.


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