Lens for DSLR video

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by ndpuckhead, Feb 5, 2012.

  1. ndpuckhead macrumors member

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    Feb 5, 2012
    #1
    I'm just getting into the DSLR video world after purchasing a T3i. My current lens is an EF-S 17-85 f/4. I don't want to buy another expensive lens, but would it be worth it to get the 50mm f/1.8 ($100) to shoot video with or am I better off sticking with the lens I have now?

    Most of my video is outdoors, mainly shooting short (5min or less) fishing how-to videos.
    Thanks
     
  2. WRP, Feb 5, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2012

    WRP macrumors 6502a

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    #2
    Well outside you don't need the speed of the 1.8. Also, while I like primes, a 50mm on a crop body is a little long as your single go-to lens.

    Remember though, your lens isn't f/4, it is f/4-f/5.6. So be wary of setting up exposure correctly and then zooming because you could lose/gain a stop of light. It's a pretty decent lens and I would just go with it. If you don't like the results then I would buy something else. But be wary, I know you don't WANT to buy more lenses but I am sure you will change your mind sooner rather than later :D
     
  3. hnr2web macrumors newbie

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    Sep 3, 2011
    #3
    It's Definitely worth it to get that 50mm lens. It's one of Canon best lens despite its cheap price (you can even get it cheaper for 2nd hand 50mm).

    You can start making outdoor video that will have cinema quality look to it with shallow depth of field (bokeh) on your video, thanks to its f1.8 aperture while you cant do this on your f4 lens. And overall image quality is pretty sharp for both video and pictures.

    You can also go to youtube and search for people that have been using this lens to make some videos with their DSLR.

    You wont regret investing in this lens, since in the future if you upgrade to full frame camera you can still even use this lens with your future gear while your ef-s lenses wont.
     
  4. WRP macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    But just so you know, to shoot outside at 1.8 you will need to buy some ND filters.
     
  5. arogge macrumors 65816

    arogge

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    #5
    You would be better off not buying a 50 f/1.8 lens. The upgrade should be like a 70-200 f/4 IS.
     
  6. WRP macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    While I completely agree (great focal lengths, great value, awesome IQ) he said he didn't want to spend money. Although that lens is probably the best bang-for-your-buck L lens out there.
     
  7. Policar macrumors 6502a

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    #7

    What are you not getting out of your current lens?

    The 17-85mm focal lengths are the most useful for dramatic video (18mm, 25mm, 35mm, 50mm, 85mm being the common kit of primes), and outdoors you won't need more stop than f5.6 except rarely--but you could possibly use more reach. Do you have ND filters? The 50mm f1.8 is nice, in theory, for talking heads, but even then you'd need a lot of ND to get the "advantages" of shallow focus and even then its bokeh is divisive.
     
  8. ndpuckhead thread starter macrumors member

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    #8
    I'm actually happy with the lens I have, I thought a lens with a f/1.8 would come in handy, especially for under $100. I just got the camera and its my first time using a DSLR for video. To tell you the truth, I think I'm doing too much looking online and just need to start shooting video. Its like the kid in the candy store syndrome. I got a cool new piece of gear and am too worried about all the bells and whistles I can get for it (that I probably don't need for what I'm using it for and my skill level,lol).
     
  9. WRP macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    Start worrying when you are looking at $2000 primes.
     
  10. Policar macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    The 50mm f1.8 is a nice enough lens for the money, but the flimsy focus ring makes it kind of a pain for video. It's cheap enough that you can just buy one and see if you like it, but for outdoor video where you're stopping down anyway I don't see the advantage. If it gets dark out or you want to do interviews indoors or in shade, it could be great.

    My advice is shoot with what you have and see what you need: more stop, more reach, a wider fov, better macro, IS, nicer bokeh, etc. Your style might develop in any number of directions, which could dictate purchasing different gear or nothing else at all.

    Until then, get some ND filters so you can keep your stop around f5.6-f11 (past that you'll get diffraction) and a tripod. Most importantly, a tripod.
     
  11. ndpuckhead thread starter macrumors member

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    #11
    I do have a Canon ultrasonic 35-350 f/3.5-5.6 lens, but its pretty heavy. How would that be for video?
     
  12. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

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    #12
    Or more. Have you seen the price of the Cine Primes which are designed for video on the new EOS C300?

    http://www.dpreview.com/news/2011/11/4/cinemaeoslenses

    "The Canon CN-E24mm T1.5 L F (EF mount) lens will have an estimated list price of $6,800"
     
  13. WRP macrumors 6502a

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    #13
  14. LostSoul80 macrumors 68020

    LostSoul80

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    #14
    This. A f/1.8 prime doesn't make sense in outdoor videos to me.
    I'd suggest to use your lens more, as you haven't probably experienced its full potential.
     
  15. whoathere macrumors 6502

    whoathere

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    #15
    If you plan to use the canon for photos at all, then the 50 1.8 is the best bang for the buck you will find. I can imaging you will find some uses for video as well. Pick up an ND filter, as mentioned before, and you will be all set.
     
  16. WRP macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    Best bang for the buck but it isn't a very versatile lens on a crop body. It's the equivalent of an 80mm. It's more of a portrait lens. I use my roki 85 1.4 (136 effective) all the time but again it isn't a versatile lens. A great tool but limited.

    When I first got out of film and into crop DSLRs everyone said I HAD to get the nifty-fifty. I bought it and brought it (and only it) to NYC. It was such a disappointment. Now I know the limitations but people who are new, like the OP, need to understand it isn't a walk around lens on a crop.
     
  17. d4rkc4sm macrumors 6502

    d4rkc4sm

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    #17
    if you're shooting outdoor in daytime, your current lens is fine. just get a ND 0.9 filter (3 stop). but you'll want to get a faster lens once the sun goes down, i'd go for a samyang 35mm f1.4 plus some sort of monopod or shoulder brace because of lack of IS.

    speaking of IS, lenses with it are practically essential with handheld dslr video.
     
  18. ndpuckhead thread starter macrumors member

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  19. WRP macrumors 6502a

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    #19
  20. d4rkc4sm macrumors 6502

    d4rkc4sm

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    #20
  21. ndpuckhead thread starter macrumors member

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    #21
    What is the advantage of using a bigger diameter filter than the lens? Looking at the B&H site, there are a ton of different filters, my head is spinning, lol. What would be a good choice under $100?
     
  22. WRP macrumors 6502a

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    #22
    The reason is it is a pretty standard size for good glass. If you are getting into big zooms that are bigger than 77mm you will probably have enough money to buy specialized filters for each lens :D

    The majority of my glass is 77mm. The only lens I ever had that was over 77mm was my sigma 100-300 which was 82mm.
     

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