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Shooting simple auditions with Canon T3i. What's the best lens?

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Angus Mac
Shooting simple auditions with Canon T3i. What's the best lens?
on Oct 9, 2015 at 2:24:49 am

Hi,
I set up a studio in my house for auditions. I have a neutral backdrop, softlights, AT899 xlr lav, xlr preamp. I know I'm never going to get amazing video from the camera, but would like to explore what lens would be best. I'm using the stock 18-55mm lens and it looks pretty good. How about the Canon 50mm 1.8 STM? The auditions are almost always head and shoulder framing. Thanks in advance for the advice.


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Jonathan Ziegler
Re: Shooting simple auditions with Canon T3i. What's the best lens?
on Oct 9, 2015 at 4:07:19 pm

I have the same camera, but I've killed the lens. I now use a Tamron 24-75mm f2.8 zoom. I love it cuz I don't have the stopping up and down you get with zooming the kit lens. In the past, I've rented the canon 24-70mm f2.8 zoom from borrow lenses and it also worked great and their weekend rates are really great - they don't charge for weekends so you can get it Thursday, return Monday and only pay for 3 days (5 days for the price of 3). I like to pack as much as I can in the rental time frame. Sorry for the borrow lenses pitch. ;)

For auditions, make sure you have lots of even light so don't wind up squinting at the computer screen later. A camera with good lowlight is no match for lots of light - don't rely on gainy low-light - no ISO higher than 400 with that camera or 320 if you have magic lantern installed. Also, make sure sound is close - it doesn't matter if you can see the mic since you are doing auditions. I like to shoot wide shots when they first enter frame, then I tighten up to shoulders and head on either the right or left Side of the frame so they look their best.

Save early. Save often.

Jonathan Ziegler

http://www.electrictiger.com
520-360-8293


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Steve Crow
Re: Shooting simple auditions with Canon T3i. What's the best lens?
on Oct 9, 2015 at 8:13:03 pm

Just watch your depth of field if filming at the 1.8 aperture on your 50mm. At that Fstop, if you are 10 feet away from the subject, your depth of field is only .81 feet:

Subject distance 10 ft

Depth of field
Near limit 9.61 ft
Far limit 10.4 ft
Total 0.81 ft

In front of subject 0.39 ft (48%)
Behind subject 0.42 ft (52%)

Actor like to move and be expressive, of course - therefore I'd probably go for something like an aperture of 4.0

Steve Crow


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Angus Mac
Re: Shooting simple auditions with Canon T3i. What's the best lens?
on Oct 9, 2015 at 11:42:31 pm

Thanks for the information. It's a weird balance with auditions. You want it to remain a little bit informal. They don't expect a production., just an "audition". I think they are moving toward screen test territory. Studios get a chance to visualize the actor on screen without investing in an official screen test. Technology is making it possible for actors to show this in an audition without spending a fortune.


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Dave B Real
Re: Shooting simple auditions with Canon T3i. What's the best lens?
on Oct 22, 2015 at 3:08:00 am

I picked up a like-new Tamron 17-50mm 2.8 for a bit under $200 I think, so far pretty happy with versatility, creative options, and image quality.

I do also have the 50mm STM and it's tough to beat for the price.

You didn't mention which 18-55 kit you had. I believe consensus is the very old 18-55mm non-is was not very sharp. 18-55mm IS is not bad, and I hear the new 18-55mm STM is much improved.


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