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What Lens should I buy?

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Remington Markham
What Lens should I buy?
on Jul 1, 2010 at 4:33:39 am

So I've decided to buy a DSLR camera for video.

However I'm new to the whole idea of swapping lens. I want to buy the T2i which comes with an 18-55mm lens.

I want to be able to take EXCU, CU, MS, and LS shots.

What lens do I need to buy?

I'm going to buy the Canon EF 50mm lens that is quite popular. I've played with 50mm lens and loved them, but I couldn't get too close to my subject or I'd lose ability to focus on them.

Also where can I go to learn about lens more?


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Richard van den Boogaard
Re: What Lens should I buy?
on Jul 1, 2010 at 7:40:43 am

I would advice against the stock lenses - buy sth proper instead, provided you can afford it.

There's no one lens for all purposes. The 50mm is a great start nonetheless, although you physically have to move to make a correct frame (being a prime instead of a zoom). Sometimes you need wider angles (24mm and below), sometimes longer reach.

My advice: get a 24-70mm from Canon, a 50mm and if you can a 70-200mm (should be available second-hand now that the new version has come out recently) to get started. Land some jobs and pretty soon you'll be buying more glass (and perhaps a 7D or 5D mark ii body).

Two other things you absolutely need:
- Tripod with video head
- Viewfinder over LCD-screen (I like Zacuto's Z-Finder)

Richard van den Boogaard
cameraman / editor / video marketing consultant

Branded Channels
W: http://www.brandedchannels.com


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Darrell Beck
Re: What Lens should I buy?
on Jul 3, 2010 at 1:34:18 am

> Land some jobs and pretty soon you'll be buying more glass (and perhaps a 7D or 5D mark ii body).

What is the advantage of the 7D vs. the T2i for video work? From what I understand, the video specs are the same (same chip, codec, etc). I understand the shutter is more robust, but for video work, that is not important. I have never even held the 7D, so I may be clueless...


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Jonathan Ziegler
Re: What Lens should I buy?
on Jul 3, 2010 at 11:11:58 pm

I've worked with both the 7D and T2i (I have the T2i tho). I find the 7D doesn't overheat as quickly and the lowlight is a touch better. On the other hand, I seldom shoot in lowlight and I don't overheat that often either so it's a wash for me. If you're new to DSLR video, you really can't go wrong with the T2i. I almost cried when I got mine in the mail and ran it through it's paces the first couple days. It was like getting my first test footage back from my first 16mm camera only I didn't have to wait a week. Now I have to get an HD monitor.

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


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Micah McDowell
Re: What Lens should I buy?
on Jul 1, 2010 at 5:10:27 pm

I've got a T2i that I use almost exclusively for video.

The 18-55mm kit lens is usable, but rather lousy. It has a slow variable aperture, so it is comparatively mediocre in low light and you can't zoom during a shot without the exposure shifting. Also can't get as much of the super-narrow depth of field if you want that style.

I mostly use an Olympus 50mm f/1.8 prime. The Canon EF 50mm will give similar (likely better) results and you definitely should buy it. Right now I use the 50mm for most work and only use the kit lens for wide angles. As mentioned, the Canon 24-70L would be a great choice for a multi-purpose zoom that's much better than the kit lens, and I'm saving up for one now. Ideally, my kit of lenses for the T2i would be Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 (or 1.8 if money's tight), Canon 24-70 f/2.8L, Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 AT-X wide-angle, and perhaps a longer zoom and some more primes if money is no object.

Also, you've got to have some form of audio recording since a mic direct into the T2i sounds awful with no control of levels. The Zoom H4n recorders are popular, or you could try one of the Juicedlink DT454 XLR adapters. I use a Alesis ProTrack recorder for all of my audio and sync it in post.


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Scott Thomas
Re: What Lens should I buy?
on Jul 4, 2010 at 7:41:41 pm

hi Micah.

I noticed that you would choose the Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 AT-X wide-angle lens. I have that (for a Nikon) and it is a beautiful lens, but would it fill the sensor on a Canon 5D. On the Nikon it is a DX lens and it doesn't fill the full frame.

If it does work on a 5D it would be perfect for me. Anyone tried the Tokina/5D combo?


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Jonathan Ziegler
Re: What Lens should I buy?
on Jul 5, 2010 at 3:08:59 pm

The 5D should work fine with an adapter, BUT the adapter may impact the len's ability to focus to infinity (it may focus past infinity) and any auto-features will likely be disabled. That's fairly common when adapting a lens to a different body than it was designed for.

I use the 7D or the T2i which have an APS-C (smaller) frame and I adapt Nikon to Canon a lot AND most adapters are designed for full frame anyway (like the 5D Mk II).

Anytime you are switching from one system to another, you will have trade-offs and interesting little issues like infinity focus. I say buy for the camera you want not the lens as the lens will adapt to just about any other system. I picked the 7D and T2i partially on the lenses (I already have a ton of Canon lenses I've accumulated), but mostly on the camera bodies and their video capabilities. Worse case, I can sell the lenses and buy some used ones.

Who knows, maybe someone will come up with a 2K+ video DSLR and I'll have to buy everything all over again.

Want more info? I like this site: http://nofilmschool.com/dslr

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


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Richard van den Boogaard
Re: What Lens should I buy?
on Jul 6, 2010 at 8:24:31 am

Tokina 11-16mm only makes it possible to use it on the 16mm end on a 5D mark II and still you will get a little bit of vignetting from the lens barrel.

However, if you keep that in mind while shooting at 1080p and you subsequently edit at 720p, this can be a great lens. I sometimes use it for timelapses with my 5D (as you crop out a lot of material from the 5K images captured).

However, forget about using FaderND or VariND filters in front of it - you will get a crossmark. Then again, on an ultrawide lens you are more like to shoot at F5.6 or stopped down even further...

Richard van den Boogaard
cameraman / editor / video marketing consultant

Branded Channels
W: http://www.brandedchannels.com


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Jonathan Ziegler
Re: What Lens should I buy?
on Jul 1, 2010 at 8:52:12 pm

I'm using the t2i too. The 18-55 default lens is so-so. The big thing is you can't do a zoom while shooting - the aperture clamps down mid zoom. We've opted instead for prime lenses (Nikon mostly) which you can buy fairly cheap online. We picked up a 35, 50, and 85mm. I recommend a 24 or 18mm prime, too. Check here for loads of helpful DSLR info:

http://nofilmschool.com/dslr/

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


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Darrell Beck
Re: What Lens should I buy?
on Jul 3, 2010 at 1:31:10 am

I got the Canon 17-55, 2.8. It is expensive at about a grand, but wonderful. It will remain at 2.8 as you zoom.

Get ready for the faster glass to be heavy. It has a sturdy feel vs. the stock lens.



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