Lens for HD shooting on Canon Rebel T2i / 550D

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by racketeer71, Mar 3, 2010.

  1. racketeer71 macrumors regular

    Jan 15, 2010
    So, I decided to "bite the bullet" and go for a Canon Rebel T2i/550D for my video recording needs, although I will most likely be doing mostly still photography.

    Now, next question is what lens to buy.

    I already have a 50mm/1.8 II, and an EF-S 17-85 F/4-5.6 IS USM. I prefer the 50mm in general, because I often shoot it what's apparantly low light conditions. On the other hand, I miss zoom functionality.

    So, to combine "low light functionality" with "zoom" (so I avoid switching lens all the time), I've been looking into:

    Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM
    Price where I live: Approx. 1275 USD

    Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 L USM
    Price where I live: Approx. 1550 USD

    I like the IS of the "cheap" one, and I presume that would be a huge benefit in video recording - but I might be wrong?

    The downside of the "cheap" one, is the fact that there's no upgrade path (cannot be used on a full frame camera).

    Benefit of the L one, is the wider focal range, which I kinda like on my current lens.

    I'm no pro. I will mostly shoot "family/vacation pictures and video", but I need the versatility of not switching lens all the time + I need to be able to shoot nice photos outside a perfectly lit photo studio :) I do not wish to carry around a tripod at all times.

    What would you suggest? Thanks in advance for any recommendations and suggestions!

    Edit: Speling errors.
  2. letrout macrumors newbie

    Jan 13, 2010
    Both are excellent lenses, you probably couldn't go wrong in that choice. I use the EF-S 17-55 2.8 on my 50D, and personally I would recommend that one for you.

    The 24-70L probably has better optical quality. When I look at 100% views of my RAW files, my 70-200 2.8L is noticeably sharper than the 17-55, but "not as good as the 70-200" can still be pretty damn good (and is in this case). Obviously I'm not shooting video with this setup, but in my experience video is far less demanding optically than still. I'd bet anyone would be hard pressed to tell the difference between videos shot with these two lenses. Both should be optically superior to your 50 1.8 and 17-85.

    The IS has also proven useful. At first I was skeptical of its utility on such a wide lens, but on a recent trip to Italy (inside lots of dark churches etc) it was a shotmaker on many pictures. I suspect it would be valuable for video as well.

    But my main reason would be focal length (I should point out the 24-70 doesn't have a wider focal range; technically the 17-55 does but they're close enough for me to think of them both as 3x zooms). On crop bodies like ours the 24 becomes a 38mm equivalent. I take enough shots between 17-24 to know that the 24-70 might be a problem for me on a crop body because it doesn't have the wide end I want. Granted the 24-70 will go longer but for me not wide enough is more of a problem than not long enough. But that's just me, your needs might be different.

    One downside of the 17-55, as you note, is that it can't be used on a full-frame body. I'd like to get a 5D at some point, which means I'd have to get a 24-70 (or something) to replace the 17-55. Well, maybe not "replace" as I'd probably keep the 50D as a 2nd. But even so, by the time I do I'll have taken thousands of shots through the 17-55. It's been a worthwhile investment. And well cared for lenses still have value in the used market. Unless you see a full frame in your near future I wouldn't worry too much about it.
  3. letrout macrumors newbie

    Jan 13, 2010
    This is an excellent web site for a Canon owner btw. I'd recommend you read the linked article and also the reviews of the two lenses you're interested in (and maybe some others).

    You can also look at ISO 12233 charts on this site. Unfortunately the charts for your two lenses are on different bodies, making them somewhat hard to compare directly.
  4. Mike P. macrumors newbie

    Aug 27, 2009
    Tampa Bay Area
    I say go with the 17-55. I hear that the 24-70 is really heavy. I understand what you are saying about no full frame compatibility and what not. But as you said yourself that your no pro, do you really think that full frame is an option. The T2i is an entry level dslr(APS-C sensor). The Canon EOS **D series are semi-pro(APS-C). The 5D MII i think is between semi and pro because of the full frame. The 1D series are pro no doubt about it, but most are not full frame(APS-H)
    One lens you should consider is the 24-105 f4 IS. Its about the same price as the 17-55 but not as fast. But it ways a lot less than the 24-70.
    Hope that helps a little
  5. puckhead193 macrumors G3


    May 25, 2004
  6. arjen92 macrumors 65816


    Sep 9, 2008
    Below sea level
    Why would he buy an extra camera while this camera shoots great video?

    This article proves you can use a camera to film stuff: http://philipbloom.co.uk/2009/12/12/skywalker/

    I bet the camera is far superior than the sony camera, because its sensor is bigger and it has far superior lenses.
  7. racketeer71 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 15, 2010
    I winded up with the 17-55. The price, the IS and the fact it will be many years before I'm going full-frame made the decision - combined with the fact, that almost everywhere on the internet I saw people recommending both of them, without one of them standing out in particular.

    I actually linked to that website myself :)

    I think these videos shows the 550D is quite capable of video:


    All of those videos was filmed by "normal people" with quite standard lenses.
  8. TheOnlyJon macrumors 6502a


    Jul 25, 2009
    Hah, I was going to say if you really wanted a black hole for light, get the 85mm f1.2 :eek: I see you already made your decision though!
  9. gødspeed macrumors regular


    Jun 11, 2009
    I would seriously consider getting a Tamron 17-50mm instead of the Canon 17-55mm... it's less than half the price and compares favorably in picture quality.

    A good set of zoom lenses would be the Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 and Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8, and then the Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 if you need a longer lens.

    I have the Tamron and a few primes, and will be picking up the Tokina as soon as I can afford to. I don't plan on getting the Sigma, but for some people it's very useful.

    edit -- lol @ the 550D not being a credible option for video. The current Canon DSLR lineup (1D Mark IV, 5D Mark II, 7D, 550D) is the arguably best option for videography in the sub-RED market. Assume nothing.
  10. Cheffy Dave macrumors 68030

    Cheffy Dave

    Feb 5, 2007
    Sunny Florida, on the Gulf Coast in Homosassa Fl
    very well thought out response, some great info for me as well,thanks;)

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