Best lens for DSLR video??

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Artofilm, Mar 3, 2010.

  1. Artofilm macrumors 6502a

    Artofilm

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    #1
    So I've got a Canon T2i on order and have plans to change the kit lens with a far better lens but I'm not sure what I should get...

    I'll be using the camera primarily for video (i will use the kit lens for stills), I don't plan to do too much zooming, but I will be using the camera in low-light and fast sports.

    Any suggestions, maybe a fixed lens?
     
  2. Edge100 macrumors 68000

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    You'll be disappointed with anything less than this. :)

    What focal lengths do you need? How much do you want to spend?
     
  3. jampat macrumors 6502a

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    Buy the camera, play with it for a few months, then decide what lens you'd like. If you are shooting basketball for example, a 200/f2 would work nicely, but would be almost useless for candid shots inside a house for example. For shots at a party, something like a 30/1.4 would work much better.

    Start by learning what you want to shoot and can't and then buy glass to fix the problem (when you can afford it, fast glass is $$$). Primes are cheaper than zooms, but until you have favorite focal lengths, a zoom can be better to help you determine what you like.
     
  4. mz3chris macrumors newbie

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    I like the 50mm 1.4 for indoor use.

    It works great for both video and stills, however for sports it will not be too good, unless you are talking about a sport you can get up close and personal to shoot.

    It's just seems a tad slow in focusing sometimes, but for video, that's mostly up to you anyway.
     
  5. Artofilm thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Artofilm

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    #5
    good ideas so far, I definitely will be playing with the kit lens for a while first. I guess I should mention that I will be doing paintball as the sports videos. It's mostly me tracking people and running around getting the best moments. I definitely won't be on the sidelines getting longshots.
     
  6. cube macrumors G5

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  7. Artofilm thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Artofilm

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    #7
    I also should add that I'm not looking to spend a fortune (the lens should not cost more than the camera).

    I don't need a magnified lens tho, no telephotos or anything.
     
  8. Edge100 macrumors 68000

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  9. Edge100 macrumors 68000

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    So you're saying you need something at 50mm effective focal length or less (i.e. not telephoto)? In that case, consider the Canon 35 f/2 or the Sigma 30 f/1.8.
     
  10. Artofilm thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Artofilm

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    #10
    Yah those 2 look not bad, I'm assuming you would recommend the canon lens over the sigma?
     
  11. Edge100 macrumors 68000

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    Actually, if you're doing video, you will be doing a lot of manual focusing. In that case, you've bypassed the single biggest issue with the Sigma: consistent autofocus performance (some people have no issues, others have huge problems).

    Optically, the Sigma is better than the Canon (and it is 1/3 of a stop faster).
     
  12. toxic macrumors 68000

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    the vast majority of Sigma autofocus problems are fixed by calibration.

    the Sigma is a 30mm f/1.4. f/2 to f/1.4 is 1 stop. there is also a Canon 28/1.8. f/1.8 to f/1.4 is 2/3 stop.

    the Sigma is a lot better than either Canon lenses optically. it competes with the Canon 35/1.4 on APS-C cameras.
     
  13. Edge100 macrumors 68000

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    For some reason I thought the Sigma was f/1.8.

    Again, I've heard differently about Sigma focus problems; calibration works sometimes, sometimes not.
     
  14. Artofilm thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Artofilm

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    #14
    So it looks like the Sigma is the best bet then. I have no need for auto focus, especially since I'll be using this lens only on videos (where auto focus does not work anyways)
     
  15. thomahawk macrumors 6502a

    thomahawk

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    personally, i would not buy third party lenses. I'd buy the respective lenses for the camera body's brand. Canon may be expensive but the quality of the lenses in my opinion is the best.

    Not that i don't like other brands like sigma and tamron, i've owned a few. just feel that canon lenses for a canon camera is the best way to go.

    in any point. i'd go for a 50mm f1.4, with the wide aperture you could do a lot of creative things in recording video.
     
  16. gkarris macrumors 604

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    uh, NONE of them... :eek:
     
  17. FrankieTDouglas macrumors 65816

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    Are you wanting to shoot these events close up or in broad shots?

    Keep in mind that video records 24/30 images a second, so your shutter speed can hover as low as 1/30 and still have smooth motion. 1/60 to be safe. When you get into high shutter speeds, you can get the saving private ryan effect. So while your lens may be wide open, you may not need that much light. f/4 may be enough. In which case, the Canon 70-200 f/4 non-IS may work out perfectly for you. Less than $700.

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/183198-USA/Canon_2578A002_EF_70_200mm_f_4L_USM.html
     
  18. Edge100 macrumors 68000

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    Nothing wrong with 3rd party lenses; in many cases, the IQ is as good or better than the comparable Canon lens (the Sigma 50 f/1.4 is a great example; it's better than the Canon lens, and compares very favourably to the Canon 50 f/1.2L).

    The issue with these lenses is build quality (which really only applies if you're comparing them to an L lens) and AF issues, which are common. Opinions vary as to whether these AF issues are a problem; many people have perfect copies, and many people have copies that have to be sent back to Sigma to be recalibrated (with most coming back fine). The invention of microadjustment-capable bodies (like the 50D, 7D, 1DIII, 1DIV, and 5DmkII) has made this less of an issue, but for those of us who have bodies without microadjustment, you have to be sure to get a good copy, or you will have to send it back to get it fixed by Sigma.

    Nothing wrong in principle with 3rd party glass; it just takes a little more work to be sure you get a good copy (and let's not forget that there are bad copies of Canon lenses floating around as well).
     
  19. cube macrumors G5

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    I know the Sigma is much less expensive. That was the point.
    The Sigma is a zoom with f/2.8 at 500mm or the same f/5.6 at 1000mm, with autofocus.

    I don't think I would be disappointed just because the Canon is a 20% longer fixed focal.
     
  20. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    What are you basing that opinion on, some fuzzy feeling?
    There are quite a few cases when third-party lenses are actually superior in terms of optical and mechanical quality (Tokina's UW zooms and macro lenses come to mind). I've owned original manufacturer lenses as well as Tokina and Sigma lenses. I've been very happy with all of them in every respect.

    I've recently bought a used 30 mm f/1.4 Sigma prime and I love it. It's on my camera almost exclusively these days.
     
  21. rebby macrumors 6502

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    I have the Canon 50mm f/1.4 USM for my 7D and have been very happy with it. It's a great lens. It's one of those lenses that allows you to manually focus even when the selector is in auto focus. This allows me to start out my videos in auto focus and still make minor adjustments as I go. It's fairly inexpensive too (roughly $340). Even with the multitude of zoom lenses that I have, I find that this prime spends a lot of time on my camera.

    If you want a decent comparable for less than 1/3 of the price (roughly $100) look at the Canon 50mm f/1.8. It has a plastic mount, is slightly slower than the 1.4 and does not have USM (thus no manual focus w/the selector in auto unless you want to break something). Despite these "shortages", this lens gets great reviews and if you're thinking of spending all of your time in manual focus mode anyway, it may be the perfect choice. At the price, it's not that much of a gamble either. If it doesn't work as a video lens, it's still a very capable prime.
     
  22. Artofilm thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Artofilm

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    #22
    Great ideas here, I'm making a list of all the lenses you all have mentioned so I can go take a look at them in person.

    btw, here's the kind of videos I currently do, as you can see I'm currently just setting up the shot and then hitting record (I also plan on doing in-game videos):

    http://www.modernintel.ca/reviews/tiberius-t9-review/577/
     
  23. Edge100 macrumors 68000

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    Funny you mention that. My copy is broken in exactly this way, so I now have full-time MF (though I almost never use it anymore).
     
  24. Mike P. macrumors newbie

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    Based on that video you will still want a wide lens. Based on everything else you said you might need a little bit of zoom but nothing to extreme. I recommend the Canon 17-55 f2.8 IS. I upgraded from the 18-55 IS and couldn't be happier. Big difference in quality and versatility. It will break the bank tho at around 1K. Tamron has it own version for half the price. They make a VC version as well for around $150 more. I would recommend any of those for what you are shooting.
     
  25. bjmsg06 macrumors newbie

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