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Is a f/3.5- 5.6 lens fast enough for Video on 60D?

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Isaac Brillant
Is a f/3.5- 5.6 lens fast enough for Video on 60D?
on Apr 6, 2011 at 10:23:50 pm

Hi,

I just got a 60D body but am undecided as to the lens. I read some earlier posts and many people recommended lenses with f stops like 2.8, 1.8, 1.4

Since the kit lens, and several others I'm considering, only go to f/3.5 at their widest, is that fast enough for shooting video indoors?

Specifically, I'm thinking of indoor documentary interviews, and indoor B-roll The interviews would be lit, but not with a huge lighting package, and possibly only lighting the subject. The B-Roll probably would not be lit beyond it's ambient / house lights.

For an interview, I assume I'd be at more like 28mm or longer, and not at 18mm. So would an f-stop of f/4 or f4.5, or even f/5.6 be fast enough, without having to crank up the ISO or exposure compensation too much?

And, speaking of ISO and Exposure Compensation, what is an "acceptable" amount for video, and what's the difference between the two? Aren't they both gain? Or is one more like gamma?

(I have an HPX-170, so any metaphors to the HPX would probably help me understand. Or not)

thanks!


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Steve Crow
Re: Is a f/3.5- 5.6 lens fast enough for Video on 60D?
on Apr 7, 2011 at 1:24:51 am

Short answer is no....you want a lens that is around 2.8 or lower so that you can film in lower light and/or get a more shallow depth of field.


Also you want a lens with a FIXED aperture, not a range of apertures like the lens you quoted. Without a fixed aperture, as you zoom in on something the image will get darker and that's no good.

You could make this lens work if you really need too by perhaps bringing in additional lights to illuminate your interview subject but this is not, by any definition, a fast or "fast enough" lens.

Hope that helps!


Steve
(the preceding information is simply my opinion and not necessarily that of CreativeCow.net, its agents or suppliers)


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Isaac Brillant
Re: Is a f/3.5- 5.6 lens fast enough for Video on 60D?
on Apr 7, 2011 at 1:45:27 am

thanks for the reply...

Is there any way to compare the f stop values on a HPX170 and a DSLR? Are they the same, or not equivalent? (because often when shooting interviews with my HPX, I'm on f4 or 5.6, according to the read-out, but does that not translate to a lens on a DSLR?

Also, the variable zoom issue - would that be any different than the change of f-stop when I zoom on my HPX?

thanks!


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Brent Dunn
Re: Is a f/3.5- 5.6 lens fast enough for Video on 60D?
on Apr 7, 2011 at 2:41:37 pm

You can use any lens you'd like, but you haven't stated what kind of shooting environment you are filming. If you are outdoors in sunlight, any lens will work. Where you run into problems, just like video cameras, is in low light.

1.4 - 2.8 will give you the best results. This will also give you a shallow depth of field for that "film look" that everyone is seeking.

You get what you pay for in most instances. The Canon L-Series lenses are the best glass with incredible colors. They also sell a cheap 50mm lens 1.4 for around $350 that looks very good for the price.

Invest in good glass and fast lenses (1.4 - 2.8) and you'll never regret it. I recommend canon's 24-70 2.8 L-Series lens for a start, if you're on a tight budget. With your camera cropping facter, it'll be like shooting with a 90 mm lens on the long end.

Prime lenses are fixed and not zoom lenses, like a 50mm or 80 mm. These lenses will allow for lower f-stop and better low light performance.

Here's what I recommend for lenses to cover various shooting environments. (all canon L-Series)

24 - 70
70-200

Prime Lenses
50mm Macro 1.4
24mm 1.4
80mm 1.4
100mm 1.4

Brent Dunn
Owner / Director / Editor
DunnRight Films
DunnRight Video.com
Video Marketing Toolbox.net

Sony EX-1,
Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 7D
Mac Pro Tower, Quad Core,
with Final Cut Studio

HP i7 Quad laptop
Adobe CS-5 Production Suite





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Isaac Brillant
Re: Is a f/3.5- 5.6 lens fast enough for Video on 60D?
on Apr 7, 2011 at 4:34:28 pm

Hi,

Thanks for your advice.

To answer your question about shooting environment, I would be shooting indoors, mostly interviews, that I would light with a 750 watt lowell tota light with an umbrella, a 500 watt omni light with an umbrella, and if I need to, a 32" x 32" 1K Rifa light.

I'm usually in rooms like offices or classrooms, with those long overhead fluorescents that I usually turn off for interviews. Or offices and classrooms with windows that I try to use for ambient light, and then gel the lights mentioned above.

But on occasion I need to shoot indoor B Roll where I don't have control of the lights and do need to have those overhead fluorescent lights on. So those are the types of environments where I was wondering whether f/3.5 or f/4 would be fast enough.

Is there a difference between the measurement of an f-stop on a DSLR, and the same f-stop on an HOX170? Are they equivalent, or does one allow higher exposure because of some other factor like sensor size? (The reason I ask is because I shoot with my HPX indoors often, and I'm rarely at a f stop more open than f3 or 4, but is it different on an SLR?)

I dont think I can invest in an L lens at this point :( But I'm thinking of buying a fotodiox adapter and using some of my old manual F lenses as primes. (good idea?) I also may get the Canon EF 50mm f1.8 prime.

But my main decision to make now is what kind of zoom lens to get, that would allow for indoor shooting in rooms with "average" ambient light.

thanks for your feedback
Yitz


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John Young
Re: Is a f/3.5- 5.6 lens fast enough for Video on 60D?
on Apr 7, 2011 at 7:00:31 pm

F-stop is a mathematical calculation of the size of aperture, i.e. the amount of light hitting the sensor.
So, there is not a difference in measurement of f-stop between a HOX170 and a DSLR on the lens itself. There may be difference in the camera interpretation of the light levels. Because DSLRs have a large sensor they are able to do low light situation very cleanly (with little to now noise). Where some camcorders will use a increase the gain on the image in low light situations. This increases noise and decrease image quality.

Another low cost options for lens, is old Nikon primes. I just got a 50mm f1.4 that is in pretty good shape for $100 (70 for lens, 30 for adapter).

http://www.johnathanyoung.com


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Phil Balsdon
Re: Is a f/3.5- 5.6 lens fast enough for Video on 60D?
on Apr 7, 2011 at 10:23:50 pm

In theory the same f stop will give the same exposure from camera to camera provided the camera ISO or GAIN is matched on the cameras.

However the depth of field on the cameras you are comparing will be vastly different due to the sensor size, the DSLR will have vastly softer backgrounds, especially if you use a low ISO and or ND filters.

There are 2 reasons to use a DSLR camera in preference to regular video cameras. Firstly they are small, making discreet unobtrusive shooting or shooting in confined spaces easier. The second, and main reason is low depth of field quality. If you don't buy fast lenses (at least f2.8) you will be restricting your ability to use this feature. Then one would then have to ask if you wouldn't be better off in that situation using a regular video camera for a workflow that benefits from recording interviews with takes longer than 12 minutes with good quality synchronised audio.

Cinematographer, Steadicam Operator, Final Cut Pro Post Production.
http://philming.com.au
http://www.steadi-onfilms.com.au/


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Isaac Brillant
Re: Is a f/3.5- 5.6 lens fast enough for Video on 60D?
on Apr 8, 2011 at 3:32:15 pm

Phil and Jonothan - thanks for your additional feedback. I think I've got a better understanding of it now, so I'll look into some of these lenses... (though I'm sure I cant afford the L series now)
thanks!


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Phil Balsdon
Re: Is a f/3.5- 5.6 lens fast enough for Video on 60D?
on Apr 8, 2011 at 9:34:37 pm

You could look into reputable alternative brand lenses. I have a couple of Sigma lenses in my kit and they perform very well and for video shooting resolution is less of an issue due the line shedding the camera process has to do to create a 1920 x 1080 image from the massive number of pixels on the camera sensor.
Tamron and Tokina would be other brands to consider, but in the end you always get what you pay for and your lenses will always outlast your camera body technology.

I also bought a couple of lens adaptors so I can now fit lenses from my Mamiya 645 medium format camera and my old film SLR Pentax cameras (some of these lenses are 30 years old and hold up very well). This gives you the option of looking for good second hand lenses and purchasing a relatively inexpensive adaptor. (I use Fotodiox adaptors).

Re purchasing online, I'd suggest you ask around about the reputation of the seller. Its better to purchase from within your own country, because if you purchase from a foreign country its likely for a warranty claim you'll have to return the item to the seller in that country for repair.

Cinematographer, Steadicam Operator, Final Cut Pro Post Production.
http://philming.com.au
http://www.steadi-onfilms.com.au/


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Isaac Brillant
Re: Is a f/3.5- 5.6 lens fast enough for Video on 60D?
on Apr 8, 2011 at 4:19:00 pm

Also, could any of you recommend a reputable online seller, or ebay seller, for used lenses? thanks


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Isaac Brillant
Re: Is a f/3.5- 5.6 lens fast enough for Video on 60D?
on Apr 11, 2011 at 3:22:32 am

Thanks for all your advice. After reading up on this and other forums, I may return the 60D and get the GH2. Either way, I'll look into some good lenses from Nikon, Canon or Sigma,and that Fotodiox adapter, if it's needed.


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