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Old September 16th, 2012, 03:15 PM   #1
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My favorite handheld lens for C300

The Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM has become my go to lens for handheld work. Yes, I love the 17-55 and use that too. However, having the extra wide, plus the extended zoom range is invaluable for documentary shooting. I generally leave it at F5.0 or higher, so I don't have too worry about darkening much when I zoom. Optically, I find them similar, especially with sharpness. It's also lighter and the IS is quieter. There is also something about the tension in the zoom that makes it easier to get smoother zooms. You can actually get useable fast zooms or short creeping zooms with it. With my 17-55 it's always been rather rough.

It's not perfect. Lack of constant aperture, focus is a little more difficult. But, I'd suggest taking a look at this lens to add to your kit. Here is a video shot entirely with this lens (and entirely by myself).

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Old September 16th, 2012, 03:19 PM   #2
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Re: My favorite handheld lens for C300

Hi Brett,

Looks good. What picture profile did you shoot this in?
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Old September 18th, 2012, 03:43 AM   #3
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Re: My favorite handheld lens for C300

Interesting! I had been contemplating buying one of the EF-S 'superzooms' for use on my C300 e.g. Canon EF-S 18-200mm f3.5-5.6 IS or Sigma 18-250mm f3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM or even a Tamron 18-270mm f3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD I could probably live with F/5.6 or F/6.3 most of the time & a 10X or 15X zoom would be very useful. My worry is just that the optics are going to be so crappy compared to my Canon EF 70-200mm f2.8 L IS II that I would just never use it.
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Old September 19th, 2012, 10:45 AM   #4
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Re: My favorite handheld lens for C300

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brett Sherman View Post
The Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM has become my go to lens for handheld work. Yes, I love the 17-55 and use that too. However, having the extra wide, plus the extended zoom range is invaluable for documentary shooting. I generally leave it at F5.0 or higher, so I don't have too worry about darkening much when I zoom. Optically, I find them similar, especially with sharpness. It's also lighter and the IS is quieter. There is also something about the tension in the zoom that makes it easier to get smoother zooms. You can actually get useable fast zooms or short creeping zooms with it. With my 17-55 it's always been rather rough.

It's not perfect. Lack of constant aperture, focus is a little more difficult. But, I'd suggest taking a look at this lens to add to your kit. Here is a video shot entirely with this lens (and entirely by myself).

Pittsburgh Teachers Show Solidarity at Labor Day March - YouTube
The 24-1xx range (in 35mm terms) is also my favorite. Perfect for outdoors. I used a copy of this on my fs100 via Metabones and remember it being par focal. Has this been your experience too?
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Old September 25th, 2012, 12:22 PM   #5
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Re: My favorite handheld lens for C300

It seems at least close to par focal. I've never bothered to completely test it. However, if you are focused on a CU and you widen out you don't lose focus, because of the hyperfocal effect.

The picture profile I'm using is TruVid

http://www.mediafire.com/?z78j5t83bsycqtz

It works pretty well when I don't want to color correct. I find it a bit heavy on the green though. When I get time I want to do some more tweaking.
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Old September 25th, 2012, 12:29 PM   #6
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Re: My favorite handheld lens for C300

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Originally Posted by Nigel Barker View Post
Interesting! I had been contemplating buying one of the EF-S 'superzooms' for use on my C300 e.g. Canon EF-S 18-200mm f3.5-5.6 IS or Sigma 18-250mm f3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM or even a Tamron 18-270mm f3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD I could probably live with F/5.6 or F/6.3 most of the time & a 10X or 15X zoom would be very useful. My worry is just that the optics are going to be so crappy compared to my Canon EF 70-200mm f2.8 L IS II that I would just never use it.
Yeah, I'm considering getting a superzoom too, so I have it when I need it. But I'm also concerned about the optics. There is always a calculation of time/efficiency versus quality. Do I really have time to be switching lenses? Can I carry multiple lenses? Do I need the extra quality the L-lens gives me? I have the 70-200mm f/4 which I use regularly. Of course, I'm not doing client-work, so it truly is my call. When you do client work the calculation is a little different.

On the 15-85mm though, the optics are excellent. In the footage I can't tell what I shot with that lens versus the 17-55. It's not what I would call a "super zoom", but works well in many situations. Generally, with handheld work I don't expect to zoom in that far anyways.
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Old September 27th, 2012, 02:13 PM   #7
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Re: My favorite handheld lens for C300

Brett,
I agree that both of these lenses offer great advantages shooting for handheld and run and gun situations. I love what the 17-55mm offers when shooting at f4 or 2.8 for a shallow depth of field. But the 15-85mm is really nice for a little wider shot and more reach when you don't have time to change lenses.

The IF feature works very well. I just wish there was an easier way to change exposure settings quickly.
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Old October 1st, 2012, 11:24 AM   #8
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Re: My favorite handheld lens for C300

Just got 4x4 Formatt HD Filter for my Zeiss CP2. Hope they work well in times to come

- HD Soft 1/2/3
- HD Clear
- HD ND Grad 0.6
- HD Skin Tone Enhancer

Any views/suggestions ...
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Old October 1st, 2012, 12:00 PM   #9
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Re: My favorite handheld lens for C300

I always thought that while the 15-85mm is not the top resolving Canon zoom it does share some of the same magic quality that other lesser resolving lenses like the Leica R have. Remember John Brawley shot the early BMCC tests on this lens and they were highly acclaimed.
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Old October 7th, 2012, 11:18 AM   #10
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Re: My favorite handheld lens for C300

Anyone using the 17-55 buy the cover for the lens? If so does it help with the dust problem?

I am pushing toward this lens over the 15-85 for my C300.
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Old October 7th, 2012, 11:29 AM   #11
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Re: My favorite handheld lens for C300

Paul,

Not used the cover. Had the Canon 17-55mm F2.8 IS since it first came out (used with my 7D and soon will be with my C100). Never had any dust issues with it at all (but have read some do). If I'm in a dusty (read industrial/factory) environment then I ....deliberately, if I remember....don't zoom with it to reframe (just walk about more) so maybe that's why mine has never had this issue (i.e. no sucking in air action - as it telescopes in/out pulling stuff into the lens body through the unsealed ring gap near the front of the lens).

I do often wish it had longer reach as 55mm even on a 1.6X crop Canon (and the s35 sensor's 1.53x) can/will sometimes feel not quite enough range for me - but that's really down to your own shooting style/preferences. I have the stunning Canon 100mm F2.8 Macro HIS L and lovely, sharp and still very light Canon 70-200mm F4 IS L for longer shots (the later has much noiser IS though).

The Canon 17-55mm is a terrifically sharp lens for stills and video, excellent/very effective and very quiet IS (gets rid of those unwatchable micro-jitters with video) but the build quaility is very plasticky and the zoom ring/focus travel are short. As many have said, Canon need to build an L version....but in many ways they already have.

Why not get the Canon 24-105mm F4 IS??? At least that's L quality build and weather sealing and the C300 (and I hope C100) will have no problem shooting in low light at F4, at all!
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Old October 7th, 2012, 11:35 AM   #12
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Re: My favorite handheld lens for C300

Thanks for the input Andy always appreciated.

I am going to go for the 17-55 and the 24-105. Since I use the C300 and 5D MKIII the 24-105 will work on both.

I need wide often for my video and 17-55 will fit well for that hand held portion. I also use the 14mm EF prime which I have learned to love in only 10 days.

Will give the cover a try and hopefully it helps.

Very interested in the C100 performance since it could be a B-Cam for me.
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Old October 7th, 2012, 02:39 PM   #13
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Re: My favorite handheld lens for C300

I'm thinking of getting the 24-105 for interviews, as the 17-55 doesn't have enough reach for a close up. Or for handheld if I know I don't need a wide angle shot. It always seems there is another lens to buy.
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