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Mike Hinkel
Lens suggestions
on Feb 22, 2010 at 9:20:30 pm

I am seriously thinking of jumping into the DSLR video game. I have my mind pretty much set on a Canon 7D. What would be the best lens options for outdoor, wildlife work without breaking the bank right off the get go? I would appreciate the suggestions.


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Lance Bachelder
Re: Lens suggestions
on Feb 22, 2010 at 9:34:53 pm

My favorite lens is the 70-200 2.8L IS USM but it's not cheap.

I'd pick up the 7D kit w/lens and then rent a few different lenses from lensrentals.com and play around/test. They are great to work with and reasonable. Then you can make your decision based on your own experience/needs/budget etc.

Lance Bachelder
Southern California



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Mike Hinkel
Re: Lens suggestions
on Feb 22, 2010 at 11:44:06 pm

Thanks Lance, I was looking at the kit with the 18-135 zoom. Would that be a better choice than the 28-135 for the difference in price of $150.

Or should I take the difference along with hopes of finding a second job and put it toward the 70-200 2.8L IS USM? 8^)


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Robbie Carman
Re: Lens suggestions
on Feb 23, 2010 at 12:41:16 am

Lance is right renting lenses to try them out is key. You wouldn't buy a car with out a test drive would you?

I think you should consider first before deciding on a particular lens what you need to cover (focal length) and the lighting conditions you'll be working in. These two issues will mainly determine the glass you choose. In addition you'll need consider things like zoom vs prime (gotta love primes I'm biased!). Personally I like to have four conditions met in my kit. Keep in mind good glass is forever. If you get a nice L lens it really doesn't loose value and will last you a long time.

My criteria:

1. Fast and Wide
2. Portraiture i.e. med telephoto as fast as possible
3. Long i.e. telephoto
4. Speciality (macro, lens baby, fish eye etc)


I know you said you're only going to buy one lens but its difficult to cover all situations with one lens. As you grow your kit here are some nice alternatives (by no means a complete list) that I'd strongly consider that are on the cheaper side

Canon 28mm 1.8
Canon 50mm f1.4 or f1.8 (i.e. the nifty 50)
Canon 85mm f1.4
Canon 100mm f2.8 Macro (doubles as a portrait lens. The 2.8L Macro which I own is one of the best lenses I've ever seen optically but much more expensive)
Canon EF-S 17-55 f2.8 IS (straight up one of the sharpest lenses out there this thing is amazing. Just not full frame, should be an L)
Canon 70-200mm f4 or the even better 70-200mm f4 IS
Canon 70-300mm f4-5.6


Robbie Carman
----------------
Colorist and Author
Check out my new Books:
Video Made on a Mac
Apple Pro Training Series DVDSP
From Still To Motion





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Travis Stevens
Re: Lens suggestions
on Feb 24, 2010 at 8:57:48 pm

I just did a shoot with the 7D and I used the EF-S 17-55 2.8 IS and the 70-200 2.8 IS. They both preformed amazingly. Having a zoom lens helps the speed of set up tremendously. It's much easier to turn the lens ring rather than move you're whole rig forward of back.

Important to understand that while true, the 17-55 is a shortback and thus not for full frames, the 7D isn't full framed either. (APS-C) Now having said that the 17-55mm focal lengths will actually be correct. Unlike the 1.6 multiplication needed to factor the actual focal lengths of standard EF lenses. Simply put 17-55 is ACTUALLY 17-55 and not 27-88.

Travis


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Lance Bachelder
Re: Lens suggestions
on Feb 23, 2010 at 1:07:30 am

You'll probably have more fun shooting with the 18 than the 28 on the wide end due to the 7D's crop factor but I haven't used either of these lenses. Either one should be fine as a starter walk-around lens but eventually you'll wanna step up to the L series lenses which are significantly better and more expensive.

Lance Bachelder
Southern California



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Mike Hinkel
Re: Lens suggestions
on Feb 23, 2010 at 1:21:58 am

Thanks guys, your suggestions are much appreciated. I guess the best thing would be to just get started and take it from there. I like the rental idea to see what will work for me and my needs. Thanks again!


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Ian Clark
Re: Lens suggestions
on Feb 24, 2010 at 2:03:44 am

You can also use older MF primes. I'm using Nikon F/AI and AI'd lenses on my 7D. The major disadvantage however is not having auto-focus when shooting stills, as for video I definitely prefer to control camera/lens settings myself. I'm a fan of those old, heavier lenses- greasy focus ring, snappy aperture- that level of craftsmanship seems rare these days unless you're dropping serious cash.

Bower makes a Nikon F to Canon EOS adapter ring for around $50, Novioflex brand is around $270.

IAN CLARK | http://www.incproductions.org


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Mike Hinkel
Re: Lens suggestions
on Feb 24, 2010 at 3:15:15 am

Thanks Ian, That is good to know. Maybe good on the wallet that way for sure!


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Paul Kim
Re: Lens suggestions
on Feb 27, 2010 at 6:39:34 am

All good suggestions, particularly about renting first, or borrowing.

To me, the most important question for you to ask is, what kind of projects are you working on--i.e., what are your creative needs?

People love various lenses for different reasons. I do primarily documentary work, and my needs are much different from indie films. For instance, in my case, zooms are more important than primes, although I have an awesome medium length prime for low light situations and portraiture. But it's hard to beat a zoom for when I need to be quick to adapt to different situations, and be able to catch cutaways and different focal lengths at a second's notice. Also, since I do a lot of handheld/shoulder run & gun, the Canon IS lenses make a huge difference. Huge. So there's another factor.

Also, manual vs auto is a big consideration, too. Since my wife is quite a photographer herself, I tend to buy Canon AF even though I'd love to go with Zeiss for my primes. If I didn't do any photography, I'd go with strictly manual.



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sean lloyd
Re: Lens suggestions
on Apr 17, 2010 at 12:19:04 am

I have been also been considering a DSLR package and there are several issues in my mind, most of which I have seemingly found answers to, but my main about lens is what are people doing for zoom lens?

I am not a talking about adjusting before you shoot, I am talking about adjusting while you shoot, which in cinematography happens quite a lot not to mention the occasional zoom in while you are shooting a close up or something. So what are people doing in these situations. Can still lens function as real zooms ins the DSLR world or does one have to go out and buy a Cooke or Schneider 35mm motion picture zoom lens in order to do this basic function? Because as we all know these latter lenses are very expensive and kind of defeats the whole DSLR choice. Thanks...Ian


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