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CANON EF-S 55-250mm or Tamron 70-300mm

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Suley Suleman
CANON EF-S 55-250mm or Tamron 70-300mm
on Jun 18, 2011 at 9:36:44 pm

Hi guys, i have got my 50mm for my canon 550d and now am looking for anouther lens but this time i need something with a but of zoom, my use is video only i just want a lens that can be closer to the subject that would be good for interviews etc. I have seen both these lens Canon EF-S 55-250mm F4-5.6 IS and Tamron 70-300mm f4/5.6 DI LD. Both i have seen for around £150 mark, unless u can recomend something better that has zoom and is good for video. Im planning on using it more then the 50mm for out door shots since the 50mm does not have any zoom.

Thanks
Suley


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Danny Grizzle
Re: CANON EF-S 55-250mm or Tamron 70-300mm
on Jun 19, 2011 at 4:43:40 pm

Where are you going to be shooting interviews? Under controlled studio conditions, or in the wild?

The reason I ask is because the 50mm is already a short telephoto on a crop sensor camera like the 550/T2i. Will you have an interviewer present? Is this a grab shot interview, with the interviewer holding a mic, or will you wire people up with lavaliers and perhaps wireless?

The reason I wonder is because your kit seems to be run and gun, which would imply shooting with less control over your surroundings. In that case, I think you are going to need a wider lens, not longer. Because in many situations, if you allow too much distance between camera and subject, the commotion of the surrounding event will have people walking into your shot. Already, with the 50mm, you are pushing yourself back considerably to frame anything other than a tight two shot of an interviewer and subject standing side by side.

I'm a fan of primes, but unless you have control of a set, a short zoom would be a wonderful thing.


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Danny Grizzle
Re: CANON EF-S 55-250mm or Tamron 70-300mm
on Jun 19, 2011 at 5:43:01 pm

One other thing. I've not been following every post, but what about audio? Lenses are important, but I would prioritize audio, especially for your stated purpose of doing interviews. Do you work with an audio guy? Can you recruit a boom operator?

Specifically: Are you planning to use the camera for audio? If so, something like the Rode Videomic Pro with an extension cable and the Rode Micro Boom Pole is more important than an extra lens. All three items can be had for $375 @ Amazon.com.

It is always best to have a dedicated audio person monitoring with headphones. A directional mic like the Videomic Pro needs an experienced boom operator if it is being used for more than one person.

If you are working in noisy surroundings, and do not have an experienced audio person, things become especially difficult. Assuming you have an interviewer present in the shot, that person may need to work a handheld mic in the shot. Shure makes special mics for this exact purpose, with an extra long mic body to give the interviewer a little extra reach:

Shure SM63L and SM63LB ($151 and $136 U.S., black being less expensive on Amazon.com.)

Shure VP64AL ($82.59 U.S. @ B&H Photo.)

Be sure to order the "L" version -- this is the long body variant useful for interviews.

These are pro mics with XLR connectors, and will require an interface to adapt them to the 550/T2i audio input. Several people make these, like Juiced Link and Beachtek. I'm not a fan of DSLR audio, and prefer to work double system. Somebody else will have to guide you on this if this is the route you choose.

The key to good audio is getting a microphone close to the subject, period.

There is no such thing as a telephoto microphone. The more extreme types of microphones you see -- called shotguns -- are not exempt from the close mic'ing rule. All they do is reject off-axis sound better so whatever they are pointed at is better isolated from extraneous surrounding sound. The best you can hope for with a shotgun is to buy yourself a few extra inches so you can use a boom pole to lift the microphone out of the shot.

The downside of a highly directional microphone, even the Rode Videomic Pro, is that it will also attenuate other persons present. In other words, a highly directional microphone is a great strategy, but only if you have a good sound operator who can anticipate and keep it pointed exactly on whoever is speaking. To do this effectively requires a boom and isolating earphones.

If you cannot count on having an audio guy, the best fallback is to use either an in shot handheld mic or lavalier microphones. Even in situations with some level of background noise, getting a mic inches away from the person speaking will be a major improvement.

Lavaliers get into a whole range of issues. You need one for each person. Anything over 1 mic is going to require a mixer. 90% of lavaliers are used with wireless systems, etc.

For interviews, you are really going to need an audio person, because audio is equally important to the camera work.

Good luck!


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Suley Suleman
Re: CANON EF-S 55-250mm or Tamron 70-300mm
on Jun 19, 2011 at 6:40:55 pm

It will be a mixture to be honest; some will be in a studio where as most will be so to put it in the wild, it may be on the sets of someone's video shoot or out in a cafe or something quiet. The interviewer in some interviews will and some wont be in the shot, the wide 50mm is great for when he is, but with my playing it seems more suited for studios which is fine or shots where we have the space to compensate for zoom where as when we don’t then the 50mm is not useful as it needs to be further away which we wont be able to do with the 50mm, i was looking today at some 18-50mm which is kit lens which i did not opt for and so am thinking is it best to get that or not, the other option i see is get some 28-something or 35-something lens. Im not sure what which would be cheaper ideally looking less then £200. Another thing i was thinking is if i do get lets say a 35 to something would i still need the 50mm or should i get rid of. As for sound at the min im looking into that, im considering attaching a pole mic (rode videomic or something), i have just taken a look at the mics from Shure and they look really good. What would you say is the better option, some times we do have an audio person but they are high level interviews where as others we won’t.

Ill show you some of our past interviews,



(Note sure why it was shot in Mac D's, the artist wanted it),



(Shot in a studio),



(shot in an awards thing, for some reason no tripod was used.

That’s a sample of our usual shots. As you can see 2 we could get awat with on 50mm however some we would need to be zoomed in possibly when the interviewer is behind the cam

Thanks for your advice in advance


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Danny Grizzle
Re: CANON EF-S 55-250mm or Tamron 70-300mm
on Jun 19, 2011 at 7:59:08 pm

An external mic would have helped all three of the video segments you linked, but particularly the studio and awards pieces, each for entirely different reasons. The studio segment was hurt by using an on camera mic, which picked up far too much room ambience and natural reverberation. The awards segment suffered because the mic was too far from the subject, thus failed to isolate them from the background noise. The first segment, in McDonald's, was just luck because the restaurant was not busy, and the close camera position worked a little better for the camera mic.

You are going to be challenged to pull focus on the DSLR with the type handheld footage you are shooting. It is definitely a more demanding camera to operate.

The 50mm you have would be considered a normal focal length on a full frame camera like the 5D Mk II, but on your 550/T2i it is more of a short telephoto, something that would be used for nice portrait type work, tight shots on a single person typically. For the tight shots on crowds like your awards segment piece, I definitely think you need something wider. The wide will help three ways: 1) easier to frame groups up close, 2) more depth of field because multiple subjects distance from camera vary, 3) wide angles are easier to hand hold.

I'm going to post a separate thread on a very inexpensive microphone in a minute. Watch for it -- interesting for DSLR filmmakers working with camera audio and indy budgets.

There are no one size fits all tools for either lenses or audio. All these various devices are specialized and have application.


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Suley Suleman
Re: CANON EF-S 55-250mm or Tamron 70-300mm
on Jun 19, 2011 at 8:27:08 pm

Ok, so i take it keep the 50mm or swap it for the 18-55mm standard kit lens, what what you recomend as a second lens a zoom lens or what? The 50mm looks like it would be fine for some of the locations. The audio is something im going to also but hopefully after the display is looking fine


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Danny Grizzle
Re: CANON EF-S 55-250mm or Tamron 70-300mm
on Jun 19, 2011 at 8:54:51 pm

The thing about the 50mm is it is fast for low light -- f/1.8.

BTW - I have a soft spot for this lens. My first good camera was a Canon TL-QL 35mm in about 1972. Your 50mm f/1.8 is essentially the same lens that was standard on that camera.

Don't let yourself think, "Oh, an old lens design. It can't be good."

Optically, that little 50mm f/1.8 will likely outperform any budget zoom you are likely to put on your camera. And it would not surprise me if it outperforms a lot of Canon L-series lenses, also.

The lens itself is fine. Canon has rehoused it now in an inexpensive plastic mechanism. Although auto focus has been added, the mechanicals of the new lens are less than my old FL-series original.


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Suley Suleman
Re: CANON EF-S 55-250mm or Tamron 70-300mm
on Jun 19, 2011 at 9:03:45 pm

Thanks i really do like the 50mm, the only reason i was thinking should i get the other was it was upto 50mm or do you recon i should get as an extra? what other lens would you recomend for me to get? Im thinking just for the closer up senarios i will need something?


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Danny Grizzle
Re: CANON EF-S 55-250mm or Tamron 70-300mm
on Jun 19, 2011 at 9:10:09 pm

I really can't pick lenses for anybody else. I'm hooked on lenses, and I want them all.


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Suley Suleman
Re: CANON EF-S 55-250mm or Tamron 70-300mm
on Jun 19, 2011 at 9:15:09 pm

I understand its hard to decide lol, what do you think is better for me a shorter lens range ie a zoom lens or fixed? Also zoom starting at 18mm or 35mm would you suggest?

Thanks


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Danny Grizzle
Re: CANON EF-S 55-250mm or Tamron 70-300mm
on Jun 19, 2011 at 9:40:00 pm

Judging from the three segments you posted links to, I'd say a short wide angle zoom is what you need, not one of those telephoto monsters reaching out to 200mm.

Remember, 35mm is more or less a "normal" focal length on a crop sensor camera. I've got a Canon 16-35mm f/2.8, and I can tell you it is set to 16mm 80% of the time.

If you anticipate working in close, like the awards ceremony footage, you need way wide. If you are working with the camera mic or a mic mounted on the camera, you need to work in close. For something like the studio segment, the 50mm will work great. The McDonald's segment could go either way. Sometimes, a zoom adds flexibility because of tight quarters and no room to back up.


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Buddy Couch
Re: CANON EF-S 55-250mm or Tamron 70-300mm
on Jun 26, 2011 at 3:20:59 pm

Sulley,
I use Sigma 2.8 70-200 but that can easily blow out a lens budget haha. I went with it because the bokeh at full zoom is phenominal imo. Plus I wanted 2.8 across the entire zoom. I had read probably 50 reviews comparing the sigma to the canon version. Everyone basically summed it up this way. If you want the white version to "look" cool, then get the Canon. If you want same performance for half the price get the Sigma. I have been very happy with it outside of its immense size and weight.

My 2cents
Buddy C


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