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Old May 26th, 2005, 12:26 PM   #1
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Lens Selection

Ok, so perfecting various 35mm methods aside, what would you guys recommend as a good arsenal of lenses?

I currently have a 50mm 1.4 lens, but I know different shots and moods require different levels of dof via lenses. If you were shooting a short film, and could only use three different lenses, what would you pick?
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Old May 26th, 2005, 12:30 PM   #2
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35, 50, 85
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Old May 26th, 2005, 12:55 PM   #3
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It's good to span at least 28-200 mm range.

Primes only: 28, 50, and 105; these could be very fast, or get

28-105 mm F2.8 Tamron and 80-200 mm F2.8 zoom, plus your 50 mm prime; instead 80-200 can get fast 200 mm prime. Zooms are easier work with; framing is lot easier. Studio film productions use them, but they're slower.
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Old May 26th, 2005, 01:16 PM   #4
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Awesome, thanks for the suggestions... one question though, and please excuse my ignorance (I'm just beginning my education on traditional photography optics), but when you say a lens is fast or slow, I know it is in reference to the aperture (i.e. an f 1.2 is fast), but other than in reference to the fstop, does fast or slow have any significant meaning? Or is this just a reference to the shutter speed (fast or slow) a traditional camera would normally need to use with more/less light?

Thanks
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Old May 26th, 2005, 05:50 PM   #5
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It only refers to the the aperture. F1.2 is very fast.

Radek
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Old May 28th, 2005, 06:04 AM   #6
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Of course the effect of a fast or slow lens is that you may need more light
(slow lens) or can get buy with less (fast lens) to light your subject.
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Old May 28th, 2005, 12:23 PM   #7
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Well, I've been looking around on eBay for the lenses above and below the 50mm lens I already have. None seem to have a f/stop lower than f/2.8

Is this normal? Also, some lenses say 28mm to 250mm macro lens. I would have thought this would be a telephoto lens, since it can zoom to 250mm... why is it called macro then?

Lastly, would a 28mm f/2.8 work for me? Or do I need to find something faster? I think I can deal with a 150mm or greater telephoto with a low fstop, as I'll most likely only be using telephoto outdoors... please correct me if I'm wrong... thanks
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Old May 28th, 2005, 01:10 PM   #8
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The lenses Dan recommended are available in F1.4. That is why he recommended them. The 28-250 would be zoom with macro (closeup) probably only at 250 mm telephoto. Never heard of 20-250 mm lens.

It seems this is way over your head. I recommend taking photography class, reading some book. How are you gouing shoot anything with manual setup if you totally clueless about photography?

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Old May 28th, 2005, 01:14 PM   #9
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50mm is the "optimal" size for 35mm, so those will always be the fastest lenses (you can get them as fast as f0.95). Anything longer or wider will tend to be a bit slower.

But if you're using this with a GG adapter and video camera, you shouldn't need to worry about the speed of the lens as much, right?
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Old May 28th, 2005, 01:37 PM   #10
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Unless using Dan's adapter he's looing couple F stops. He needs to worry about it lot for indoor shots. The screen supposedly loses 2 stops.

I don't know how much light actually being lost in adapter/screen. Let's asume:

1 stop for screen/adapter
1 stop because you need use telephoto setting on the camera
3 stops for F2.8 lens (F1.0 would have no loss)

That is 5 stops. 5 stops means 32x more light will needed, or instead 1,000 watt lighting tou'll need 32,000 watt lighting. Sounds like amount of light whole town would use.

F1.4 lenses would 8,000 Watts, but focal range is limited to like 18 to 100 mm and are extremely expensive.

Radek
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Old May 28th, 2005, 06:08 PM   #11
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Okay, I didn't know we were losing 2 stops (3 stops with zoom adjustment) -- that's significant. However, fast lenses are only expensive if you buy them new... You can get used 50mm f1.4 lenses for pretty cheap, and 50mm f1.8 lenses for practically free.
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Old May 28th, 2005, 08:25 PM   #12
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Wow... thanks for the great info. I do need to eventually take a class on traditional photography some day. It will be awhile before I can though since I'm currently in school at UC Berkeley. Once I graduate (in about 2 years), I'll probably enroll in a b/w photography course at a local Jr. College.

Also, sorry about the lens I stated earlier (the 20-250) I mis-quoted it from one of the lenses I'd been pouring over on eBay.

My current DOF box uses the spinning CD meathod for the GG. I'm actually currently using a 50mm f/1.9 lens with it, and haven't built a box for my Canon f/1.4 lens yet. You can see my current results here. Just as said Radek, indoor shots are very dark, even with decent lighting.

So, are indoor shots with anything other than my 50mm 1.4 lens seems pretty much impossible? From what you've said, it sounds like it... 32,000 watts? I'd like to use wide angle lenses indoors, but if it's not possible with my current setup, I guess it's not possible... thanks for the info anyways.

Last edited by Matthew Kent; May 28th, 2005 at 11:20 PM.
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Old May 29th, 2005, 05:29 AM   #13
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To get some creative photography you need least 28-200 mm range, just like in still photography. If all you shoot conversations, then 35-85 is OK. Ask Dan how he managed get 2 extra stops from his adapter. He's using some special screen. Also some cameras, like Sony PD170 excellent low light performance. Is rated 1 lux, or 3 f-stops better than 8 lux camera, although lux rating is often misused by manufacturers.

The 32,000 Watts no exaguration. If you need 1,000 Watts to light up scene sufficiently without adapter, with F2.8 lens you'll need 32,000. Watts. If one house uses 200 Watts average for lighting and 3 people live in house, 32,000 Watts would light houses in small town of over 500 people. To get that power you need rent generator, which is super expensive.

Radek
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