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Prime or Zoom lens?

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Sohrab Sandhu
Prime or Zoom lens?
on Aug 25, 2010 at 7:08:19 pm

To begin with let me say that i am not a lens guy at all. I recently bought a T2i and just learning to play with lenses.

I did some googling and turns out the Prime lens like 50mm F1.8 don't zoom at all! So you ( as a videographer) got be moving around if you are using a prime lens. This is very difficult for a person like me specially because i am doing event videography.

My question is 'Is there a zoom lens which is also a fast lens' ? If not then in what conditions is a zoom lens suitable for video purpose or is it just made for stills?


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Ryan Orr
Re: Prime or Zoom lens?
on Aug 25, 2010 at 8:16:32 pm

Hey there Sohrab,

I was in your shoes about two or so years ago, when I was buying my first Canon EOS, and then more recently when the 5D and 7D came out. Knowing your stuff about lenses became more critical when these DSLRs started to do video.

Just a few notes about lenses for these HDSLRs.

1) Get one with a constant F-Stop. Some, if not most lenses will change the F-Stop when you are zooming/focusing, and will make your shot useless when the shot suddenly gets darker/lighter.

2) If you're getting a longer lens, try to shell out a few bucks more some IS (image stabilization). Those shots won't be shaky anymore, trust me.

3) Try to get a lens with a barrel that does not rotate/extend when focusing or zooming (especially when you want a matte box). This is one of the many reasons why Primes are so...prime.

4) With a few of these new HDSLRs, quick lenses are not as critical. The ISOs can help a lot with darker scenes...but yeah, go with lenses that are as quick as your budget lets you.

5) Canon L-Series, Sigma, and Tamron are good lenses.

For a T2i, I would suggest these lenses:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/689620-REG/Sigma_583101_17_50mm_F2_8_...
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/533558-REG/Sigma_691_101_50_150mm_f_2...

I would NOT suggest a lens like this (variable f-stop):
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/622383-USA/Sigma_686101_50_200mm_f_4_...

Hope this helps!
Ryan


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Michael Sacci
Re: Prime or Zoom lens?
on Aug 25, 2010 at 10:38:17 pm

[Ryan Orr] "4) With a few of these new HDSLRs, quick lenses are not as critical. The ISOs can help a lot with darker scenes...but yeah, go with lenses that are as quick as your budget lets you."
I would disagree with this, since shallow DoF is what a lot of people are after, the faster the lens the better it is for this.

Sohrab, as you can see that there is no zoom lens that is faster than 2.8, and you pay major buck for them. Take heed to getting lenses with IS, which combined with fast means really big bucks.

Now the real question is do you really want to be using a DSLR, if you are looking for run and gun event stuff, video cameras still rule.


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Sohrab Sandhu
Re: Prime or Zoom lens?
on Aug 26, 2010 at 1:50:31 am

[Michael Sacci] "Now the real question is do you really want to be using a DSLR, if you are looking for run and gun event stuff, video cameras still rule."

Michael check out these guys.

http://www.cloudninecreative.com/index.cfm?pagepath=Screening_Room/Jeanette...

They are using all DSLR cameras & very soon they will start targeting my market as well. Now the big question is, ' If they can do it why can't I ?

After all ADAPTING is the name of the game! Atleast in this business.

2.66 GHz 8-core, ATI Radeon HD 4870,
FCS 3, AJA Kona Lhi



"The creative person wants to be a know-it-all. He wants to know about all kinds of things: ancient history, nineteenth-century mathematics, current manufacturing techniques, flower arranging, and hog futures. Because he never knows when these ideas might come together to form a new idea. It may happen six minutes later or six months, or six years down the road. But he has faith that it will happen." -- Carl Ally


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Michael Sacci
Re: Prime or Zoom lens?
on Aug 26, 2010 at 6:00:51 am

Well you can but you need to stop thinking like you are shooting a video camera. Other then a couple of quick shoots at the beginning there is no (or very little zooming. They are using prime lenses and you better have fast lenses to shoot inside weddings where you have no control over the lighting. Also most of the camera movement is a steadicam.

The thing is you cannot shoot like video, you have to shoot like film, camera moves and zooms are used to reframe for the most part. You can do a little zoom but not like a video camera, for one thing you don't have the zoom range, video have 10-20x zooms, DSLR quality zooms are normally no more than 3x.

[Sohrab Sandhu] "If they can do it why can't I ? "
No reason at all, but get ready to spend some bucks on gearing up a DSLR to make it work. The cheapest thing is the camera, but to make it work you have to spend the $$. NOt trying to say you cannot do it but to make sure you are looking in the right places. Like I said, there are no zooms faster than f2.8 and each will set you back at least a grand or two.

There are several companies that are doing this level of weddings, they are awesome, and they are getting a good fee, there weddings start at $6000.


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John Young
Re: Prime or Zoom lens?
on Aug 26, 2010 at 4:35:40 am

I have been researching for a while and have landed on a 7D with this lens.
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=WishList.jsp&A=details&Q=...

I was thinking pretty fast but also have IS. Is the Sigma and Tamron stabilization systems just as good?

http://www.johnathanyoung.com


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Curt Schulz
Re: Prime or Zoom lens?
on Aug 26, 2010 at 5:19:49 pm

This is the lens I ended up getting with my 7D. I love it, the image stabilization works well and the price is very good for what you get. I really like how wide it goes, a lot of zooms don't go to 17mm.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/652136-USA/Tamron_AFB005C700_SP_AF_17...

Curt Schulz
MBP 2.53 4GB Ram/Mac OS 10.6.4/FCP7.02/Matrox Mini w Max 2.0.0.0150


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John Young
Re: Prime or Zoom lens?
on Aug 27, 2010 at 1:00:09 pm

Just read a Philip Bloom article on lenses. He said this: "It is the glass that is your investment, NOT the camera.". Which does two things 1) makes a lot of sense and 2) changes my thinking in what I need to be purchasing.

Simple question: Does full frame L series lenses work for cropped sensor cameras (7D, T2)?
Thanks.

http://philipbloom.net/2010/08/20/which-lenses-to-buy/

http://www.johnathanyoung.com


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