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canon 17-85mm or 15-85, what lens to buy?

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Jeff Lent
canon 17-85mm or 15-85, what lens to buy?
on Dec 29, 2012 at 2:28:23 am

Hi Folks,

I bought myself a canon 600d a while back with the standard 18-55mm along with a 50mm lens. Ive done a few videos and saved up a few euro for lenses. What i have definitely is not good enough for the work id like to do.

I was looking at the canon 15-85mm f3.5-5.6 lens for kind of general purpose use. im also looking at the canon 28mm f1.8. From reading through this forum and other websites its debatable wether 15-85 is better than the 17-85 f4-5.6 or even the 18-55. Can anyone with experience offer their thoughts on these lenses? Can you get a decent shallow depth of field with the 15-85?

Im due to start shooting a hip hop documentary in February; plenty of talking heads and some outdoor shots like housing estates, skate parks and nightclub exteriors. This would all be covered by the 15-85 and then for nightclubs/performances I plan to use the 28mm mainly with some use of the 50mm. I also make music videos.

What im really looking to do is build up a kit starting with one "all purpose" lens and one for low light handheld. I can build from their. Any advise will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
Lent


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Sareesh Sudhakaran
Re: canon 17-85mm or 15-85, what lens to buy?
on Dec 29, 2012 at 10:51:21 am

Try to get a lens with f/2.8 through the entire zoom range. A really good option is the Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 non-VC.

http://www.wolfcrow.com - Workflow information and support for filmmakers, photographers, audiographers and videographers.


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Jeff Lent
Re: canon 17-85mm or 15-85, what lens to buy?
on Dec 29, 2012 at 10:04:29 pm

thanks for the recommendation. iv read a few reviews and have seen some footage from this and i think this lens may be what im looking for. im going to think it over a while before i decide.

if i do go for this then i may be able to buy another lens around the same price, do you have any other suggestions?


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Sareesh Sudhakaran
Re: canon 17-85mm or 15-85, what lens to buy?
on Dec 30, 2012 at 2:19:24 am

Try the Samyang 35mm f/1.4. To see a detailed list of lens recommendations, read this: http://wolfcrow.com/blog/comprehensive-guide-to-rigging-any-camera-3-lenses...

http://www.wolfcrow.com - Workflow information and support for filmmakers, photographers, audiographers and videographers.


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John Young
Re: canon 17-85mm or 15-85, what lens to buy?
on Jan 3, 2013 at 2:45:51 pm

[Jeff Lent] "saved up a few euro for lenses"

I don't know what your budget is for this, but I would recommend going high quality glass- Canon L series, Nikon Nikkor. If you do this right, your lens will last a lot longer than your camera will. Keep that in mind when deciding.

If money is tight, try looking for used lenses. Fully manual lenses that are 10-20 years old, but in great condition, work great for DSLR video.

John

John Young
Surrounding Media



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Jeff Lent
Re: canon 17-85mm or 15-85, what lens to buy?
on Jan 7, 2013 at 9:24:03 am

Hi John,

I had a budget of just under 1k, unfortunately ive had some unforeseen car issues which has eaten into this slightly so im at 780.

I will take on board what you say about investing in quality glass in future but for right now im thinking either sigma 17-50 f2.8 or the tamron with maybe the sigma 30mm f1.4 for low light.

Second hand is definitely something i will look into if i go for the sigma 17-50. I plan on buying this week and will update this thread with my choice.

Thanks for the advice

Lent


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Bill Davis
Re: canon 17-85mm or 15-85, what lens to buy?
on Jan 13, 2013 at 11:16:52 pm

Totally different thinking here.

Maybe think of lenses a bit like spices in cooking.

The point is that if you want to be a great cook you have to become familiar with all sorts of spices.

Many cameras ship with medium range zoom lenses (a good example is the 5dIIs's 28-105 f4 kit lens) it's like salt. It enhances most dishes. If it's the only spice you have, you can still make a lot of great food.

It's kinda a great mid point. not totally wide, but usually wide enough. Not a huge zoom, but good enough sot you don't have to always work right on top of things.

Now if you're ONLY going to do one type of work, say features, then you're almost never going to have a problem setting your camera position where you want it - so having more zoom range isn't particularly important. So dumping the kit lens for a wider/faster lens like the a 17/70 makes sense - but NOT if you aren't exclusively doing that type of work.

Cuz that strategy of owning JUST "movie lenses" will bite you if you find yourself in a situation (say you're shooing a classroom lecture, maybe) where you can't physically get close to the action.

So the "first lens" question is really a different question than most people ask.

The real question in my book is "what types of shots am i MOST likely to need to do in the period of my career i will be in for the next few years."

It focuses on judging your initial gear purchases to make MORE money, faster, so you can most quickly buy MORE lenses and start spending your time learning the strengths and weaknesses of each.

So don't invest in what your friends think, or what websites promote, or what you read on line. Start with an honest analysis of what you REALLY need to do day to day. If you want to do features someday, but you've doing got clients that want you to do lectures or field sports or talking head work right now - you need to equip yourself for what has the best chance of paying RIGHT NOW.

Rent everything else as needed.

My 2 cents anyway.

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.


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