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Shallow Depth of Field/Fast Prime Lens for Canon DSLR Video?

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Benjamin Gadberry
Shallow Depth of Field/Fast Prime Lens for Canon DSLR Video?
on Jul 9, 2013 at 8:48:03 pm

Hey folks,

I'm new to having an account here but have lurked on this site off and on for years––I figured now would be the time to register.


I've been told that one of the keys to getting better DSLR video that is sharper is a prime lens/neutral density filter combo.


As a still photographer, I've used Canon zoom lenses and polarizing filters, which give decent results with video, but I'm obviously looking to use a ND filter to get that perfect 50 shutter speed/fast aperature/low ISO combo that creates the most "cinematic" look.


Can anyone here recommend some prime lenses, as well as neutral density filters, on a student film budget? Should I consider a variable neutral density filter, or is a ND filter set to .3-.9 better? Thoughts?

Thanks!

-Benjamin Gadberry Productions

http://bengadberryproductions.tumblr.com/


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Sareesh Sudhakaran
Re: Shallow Depth of Field/Fast Prime Lens for Canon DSLR Video?
on Jul 10, 2013 at 8:40:26 am

It depends on what focal lengths you prefer. ND filters don't improve picture quality, if resolution is the criterion.

For starters, look at the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 and the Canon 50mm f/1.4. Here are a couple of links from my site to help you get started:

What lens to get?
Chapter on Filters in the Comprehensive Guide for Rigging Any Camera.

Get the Free Comprehensive Guide to Rigging ANY Camera - one guide to rig them all - DSLRs to Reds to the Arri Alexa.


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Benjamin Gadberry
Re: Shallow Depth of Field/Fast Prime Lens for Canon DSLR Video?
on Jul 10, 2013 at 4:05:11 pm

Greetings Sareesh,

Thanks for your response––I've been considering a ND filter for Video just so that I can shoot at shallow depths of field without overexposing my video.

-Benjamin Gadberry Productions

http://bengadberryproductions.tumblr.com/


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Ryan Holmes
Re: Shallow Depth of Field/Fast Prime Lens for Canon DSLR Video?
on Jul 10, 2013 at 6:20:52 pm

[Benjamin Gadberry] "I've been considering a ND filter for Video just so that I can shoot at shallow depths of field without overexposing my video"

You're exactly right. If you plan on shooting in bright light (i.e. outdoors) you'll definitely ned ND filters. Shutter speed is not how you should control exposure when shooting video (or still necessarily either). You might look at a variable ND filter so you only need to carry around 1 filter instead of several at different intensities. There are drawbacks to a variable ND filter so do your homework for your partiular needs. For what I do, they've been indispensable.

I think the nifty-50 from Canon is a good place to start. You may also look at Samyang. I just purchased a Samyang 85mm T1.5 lens and have been surprised by it's quality. Sharp, fast, and good build quality. They make cine lenses, so you won't be taking stills with these lenses (no autofocus option). T-stop is controlled on the lens itself via a ring as opposed to electronically controlled f-stop like on Canon lenses. Prices range from about $300-$750 per lens depending on the focal length. The bokeh looks nice, but with 8 blades it can appear bit too octagonal for my taste. Most Canon L series glass has 9 or more blades so the bokeh tends to look more circular. Overall though a good lens for not much $$$.

Ryan Holmes
http://www.ryanholmes.me
@CutColorPost


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Jonas Byron Obada
Re: Shallow Depth of Field/Fast Prime Lens for Canon DSLR Video?
on Jul 13, 2013 at 2:53:00 am

If you really need the shallowest depth of field try those 50mm primes depending on your budget. 50mm 1.8 is the most affordable but if your budget allows you, then go for the 50mm f1.2 it would give you shallow dept of field and good capture on low light situations.


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Benjamin Gadberry
Re: Shallow Depth of Field/Fast Prime Lens for Canon DSLR Video?
on Jul 14, 2013 at 1:44:09 am

Hi Jonas, thank you for your response! Those are a couple lenses I am looking at.

I'm curious, what type of neutral density filter would you recommend for using with the 1.8? If I'm looking for good results on a budget, should I purchase a variable ND filter, or filters with a set grade, such as .3, .6, or .9?


Thanks!

-Benjamin Gadberry Productions

http://bengadberryproductions.tumblr.com/


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