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17mm and beyond - DSLR lens

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Matt Surf
17mm and beyond - DSLR lens
on Jun 18, 2011 at 3:36:47 pm

Hi there,

I know this is a very common question but I really am stuck and could do with some advice. I've recently made the transition over to DSLR for film work (gulp) and have started off the confusing process of buying lenses for my 7d and 550d bodies.

I have bought the Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 for wide stuff (and have a couple of average kit lenses) but am now stuck (too much choice) on what to get for a general all purpose lens.

I have around £1,000 to play with (I don't need to spend all that mind) so can afford to get decent quality, if necessary, but am getting stuck between L series, f/2.8 Vs f/4, and a whole host of other differentials.

Can any DSLR users out there help me out of a quandry with some suggestions or recommendations based on what you already use and are getting workable, great results from?

I guess I'm looking for something (or two) between the 16mm - 70mm range??

Thanks in advance


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Steve Crow
Re: 17mm and beyond - DSLR lens
on Jun 18, 2011 at 9:30:52 pm

I am always recommending the Canon 50mm 1.4 prime lens or even the 1.8 although focusing on the 1.8 is harder. Because of the 1.6x crop factor you will find the 50mm's acting more like a 80mm on your camera bodies so for that reason maybe take a look at what you can find in the 35mm range which would get you back to a true 50mm...of course something nice and "fast" is what you would ideally want, prime lenses are my first choice but maybe you can find a zoom in that 25mm-45mm range - have a look - I think your budget will support 2 lenses.


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Phil Balsdon
Re: 17mm and beyond - DSLR lens
on Jun 18, 2011 at 10:47:40 pm

The prime reasons for buying an HDSLR are depth of field factor and low light performance (and possibly compact size).

You need a good fast lens for low light and Steve's suggestion of the 50mm f1.4 is perfect, especially for shooting people / interviews in low light. As well as being a little slower and much cheaper the Canon 50 f1.8 is a less robust in the build quality.

Figure out what focal length range you mostly need and gradually grow your kit from there. I'd suggest the minimum you need to add to the Tokina for a basic versatile kit is a 24-70 and 70-200.

That all said keep in mind that your camera will likely be out of date before too long but lens technology changes more slowly. Buy really good lenses and take care of them and you'll still be using them 10 or 20 years from now.

Like your Tokina reputable other brand lenses (I have a couple of Sigma lenses) can also save on cost. If you are mainly shooting video on a Canon the pixel shedding factor in creating the 1920 x 1080 image will lose some of the resolution of a really good sharp lens.

If your budget is really tight and you can't wait consider buying quality used lenses, even of another lens mount, and use an adaptor to convert it EOS. Nikon are good and they have a manual iris on the lens barrel.

I'm occasionally using some lenses from my old Mamiya 645 kit that is 30 years old with a Fotodiox adaptor, they hold up really well.

That said since investing in my 7D ( I already had a Canon 20D) I've only bought Canon L series lenses.

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


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Matt Surf
Re: 17mm and beyond - DSLR lens
on Jun 19, 2011 at 5:06:11 pm

Thanks for the tips guys. Phil, do you have the 24-70mm and 70-200mm L Series? If so, do you find not having the 16-24mm range (when combined with the Tokina 11-16mm)covered is a problem or do you really not notice?


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Phil Balsdon
Re: 17mm and beyond - DSLR lens
on Jun 19, 2011 at 8:30:55 pm

I have a Canon 16-35 L, and 24-70 L and Sigma 70-200 f2.8. I had the Sigma prior to going to HDSLR video. Testing against a Canon L showed in VIDEO there was no noticeable difference on a resolution chart. I doubt this would be true in stills mode though. However Philip Bloom claims his Canon 70-200 L series 2 is too sharp for video and has given him moire problems.

I also have a Sigma 10-20 (moire difficulties on city scapes) a Canon 50 f1.4. Mamiya645, 55 f2.8, 80mm f2.8, 500mm f5.6 and whole range of Pentax lenses, but only occasionally use the 40mm f2.8 pancake lens which is very compact (not much bigger than the camera body cap).

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


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