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Canon - 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 Telephoto Zoom

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James Navarro
Canon - 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 Telephoto Zoom
on Jul 20, 2010 at 5:15:25 pm

I was planning on getting a telephoto lens, I can only purchase from bestbuy, is this lens good for video or nice to have. I have read good reviews about it on bhphotovide.com and other websites, but mainly photographers commented on it. Would it be good for video? Thanks in advance!


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Noah Kadner
Re: Canon - 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 Telephoto Zoom
on Jul 20, 2010 at 7:34:07 pm

it's slow and variable aperture which do not bode well for working in low light/nighttime conditions. Also the zoom range is really long and the price is relatively low so you won't have ultimate image sharpness. Then again it covers a long range. If you just want maximum zoom flexibility and don't care about low light or high image quality it's ok. But not really why most folks get into DSLR for video. This turns your camera into a low sensitivity, fuzzy video camera. Doesn't maximize the potential of Canon DSLR for video.

For zooms in general I recommend a shorter zoom range and a fixed maximum aperture- which generally costs a lot more but the results are worthwhile. For example the 17-55mm f/2.8 IS. Not cheap but fixed aperture, semi fast and a reasonable zoom range. also the 70-200mm f4.0 covers a lot of ground and is not IS but at least is fixed aperture.

If you don't get a lens with a fixed aperture and you're shooting at the edge of the f-stop range the aperture will change as you change the focal length. That's not that big a deal for a still photographer but it looks bad in the middle of a video clip and also means a difference in depth of field which also doesn't work well in the middle of a video clip.

Get prime lenses for the best bang for buck and don't be afraid to switch lenses as you shoot. That's what a pro does...

Noah

Check out my book: RED: The Ultimate Guide to Using the Revolutionary Camera!
Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio with Call Box Training. Featuring the Sony EX1 Guidebook, Panasonic HVX200, Canon EOS 5D Mark II and Canon 7D.
Learn DSLR Cinematography.


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Richard van den Boogaard
Re: Canon - 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 Telephoto Zoom
on Jul 20, 2010 at 8:06:55 pm

@James: Not everyone is aware what "slow" versus "fast" means in terms of lenses. I certainly wasn't when I started out.

Just for clarification purposes: a slow lens is one with a less wider starting aperture, or higher F-Stop number; e.g. meaning starting from F3.5 and up. An ultra-fast lens is F1.2, by contrast. Speed is measured in terms of F-Stop, and for each F-Stop you loose 1/2 of the incoming light in the lens. Look at this Wikipedia article.

I totally agree with Noah that having a variable aperture is not preferred when shooting video. As soon as you zoom, the incoming light changes, leaving your pictures either under or over-exposed. At least get lenses that have a constant aperture, and then preferably those fast ones (F2.8 and below).

There is no lens that goes from wide (18) to tele (200) and is superfast. The only alternative is to have a couple of them and indeed change, which urges you to think ahead about the frame you want to make.

Richard van den Boogaard
cameraman / editor / video marketing consultant

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


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James Navarro
Re: Canon - 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 Telephoto Zoom
on Jul 20, 2010 at 9:41:50 pm

Hey Noah and Richard,
Thanks for your feedback, I really appreciate it. Starting and learning on your own is tough, but I am slowly understanding things threw books, videos and the Cow. I understand what both of you are saying, when I use the stock lens for my T2i and I zoom, I do see a change and always wondered why. I do have another lens, which is the Canon 50mm f/1.8 lens because I heard it was good and cheap. I have not shot with it in low light conditions yet, but hopefully it's good. Thanks again guys for the valuable feedback and your time.


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Steve Crow
Re: Canon - 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 Telephoto Zoom
on Jul 20, 2010 at 10:49:13 pm

I think you've gotten some super-good advice already on this thread so I don't have much to add except consider upgrading your 50mm to the 1.4, for about $350 - maybe even before getting your next zoom (or primes)

Here's why, it's "faster" but even better from my point of view is that the focus ring is much, much wider and easier to grab a hold with. I SUSPECT that it will be much easier to focus.

With the 1.8 (which I have too) a tiny, tiny movement to the right or left can be all that stands between a shot being in or out of focus, the focusing ring is SUPER sensitive so it's not easy to get critical focus.


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Noah Kadner
Re: 50mm 1.4 is The One
on Jul 20, 2010 at 11:26:32 pm

Yeah personally I think the 1.4 50mm is a great learning lens- it's fast, relatively affordable, tack-sharp, is a perfectly versatile and flattering perspective, and it teaches you to move your camera to catch the subject rather than just zoom in. Which gives your projects a lot more visual consistency and makes you get more variety in your angles= better coverage. In short, if I had to live on a desert island with just one lens- it would be a 1.4 50mm.

Noah

Check out my book: RED: The Ultimate Guide to Using the Revolutionary Camera!
Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio with Call Box Training. Featuring the Sony EX1 Guidebook, Panasonic HVX200, Canon EOS 5D Mark II and Canon 7D.
Learn DSLR Cinematography.


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Steve Crow
Re: 50mm 1.4 is The One
on Jul 20, 2010 at 11:58:19 pm

Noah, since it sounds like you've tried both, is the 1.4 easier to focus than the 1.8 as I surmised? In other words do it have more, errr..."throw" meaning you have to twist it further to get the same amount of focus change? Or are you still doing micro-adjustments?


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Noah Kadner
Re: 50mm 1.4 is The One
on Jul 21, 2010 at 3:06:27 am

I'd still get a mechanical follow focus/matte box if I were *really* serious about it. But sure anything that's bigger and better is going to help.

Noah

Check out my book: RED: The Ultimate Guide to Using the Revolutionary Camera!
Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio with Call Box Training. Featuring the Sony EX1 Guidebook, Panasonic HVX200, Canon EOS 5D Mark II and Canon 7D.
Learn DSLR Cinematography.


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Richard van den Boogaard
Re: 50mm 1.4 is The One
on Jul 21, 2010 at 9:10:49 am

Best advice you can get. Go out with your 50mm (I have the F1.2 one) and force yourself into changing positions in order to get correct framing. This does result in better coverage.

The bad thing about zooming is that it compresses your shots. On a recent project I recorded at several intervals along the zoom range, thinking I could cut these together in post. Unfortunately, the buildings in the background were shifting positions as the image became more and more compressed. Had I physically moved instead with a prime lens, the footage would have been perfectly usable.

Recording with a camera should be compared to what you can see with your eyes - they don't zoom either.

Richard van den Boogaard
cameraman / editor / video marketing consultant

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


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Michael Sacci
Re: 50mm 1.4 is The One
on Jul 24, 2010 at 9:29:13 pm

[Richard van den Boogaard] "Recording with a camera should be compared to what you can see with your eyes - they don't zoom either."
Mine do! I had them specially made for me.


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