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Canon Cinema EOS Camera Systems
For all Canon Cinema EOS models: C700 / C300 Mk. II / C200 / C100 Mk II and EF / PL lenses.


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Old August 27th, 2015, 11:28 AM   #1
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Sub $200 lens for C100

I am about to become an owner of a C100, after selling off some of my old gear that I wasn't really using anymore on Ebay.

The problem I am facing is that my auctions didn't go quite as well as I had hoped, leaving me with only a $200 budget for my starter lens. I am hoping someone here could point me towards something that won't be too terrible in this price range.

My immediate use will be shooting short web videos that are mainly handheld and involve a lot of moving around. I do not need any kind of telephoto capabilities for this. A wide to normal zoom range would be ideal. I'd also like to have a reasonably fast lens, as almost all the shooting I will be doing is indoors. Image stabilization is nice, of course, but I would be happy to sacrifice it for now to get something sharper and faster.

Once my funds allow I will be upgrading to a better lens, but I can't postpone working until that time. Any guidance is appreciated.
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Old August 27th, 2015, 12:38 PM   #2
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Re: Sub $200 lens for C100

I'd go for a used copy of the EF 35/2. It will give you a medium focal length, it's reasonably sharp, and it's about as fast a lens as you'll find at that price point. The 50/1.8 is cheaper, but would limit you to portrait-type shots. A 24mm or 28mm view would be even better, but the price goes up as you get wider.

Yeah, you could get a cheap EF-S zoom, but it would be much softer. Also, I find that a zoom can make a shooter lazy. Primes force you to frame with your feet, which can make much more interesting compositions.

My only complaint with the 35/2 is that it's mechanically pretty poor. The focus ring has a really loose feel. But that's what you get for $200. Older Nikon lenses have a better feel (even though their focus throw is backwards), but then you need to buy an adapter and your budget is already thin.

It really depends on whether you prefer speed and picture quality (35/2) or convenience (18-55/3.5-5.6). The 35 has a five blade aperture and the zoom a six blade aperture. You won't get great out of focus bokeh with either. Oh well.

Canon EF 35mm f/2 Lens Review
Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II Lens Review

I'd choose the 35 as you're more likely to keep it as you build your kit. The zoom would have a shorter life.
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Old August 27th, 2015, 01:13 PM   #3
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Re: Sub $200 lens for C100

I've seen a Tamron 18 - 200 selling new at B&H for $249.

I have a couple of Tamrons and they've been OK - not a Canon L but usable. Haven't tried the 18 - 35 though.

I've seen some outfit on Ebay selling the canon 18 - 135 new for $289.I have no personal experience with this lens though.
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Old August 27th, 2015, 01:29 PM   #4
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Re: Sub $200 lens for C100

Probably the main thing to consider between a zoom and prime is lighting. If you're shooting indoors and have no additional budget for lights, the prime could be your ticket. Same thing for city streets at night. If you will shoot in daylight or have access to lights, a zoom could be the way to go.

Keep in mind that while IS helps reduce the need for lights with still photos, it does so by allowing longer shutter times. Assuming that you shoot 24 fps and 1/48 for video, IS has no impact on shutter times. IS for video is more about improving stability of handheld shots and removing micro-vibrations from tripod shots.
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Old August 27th, 2015, 10:25 PM   #5
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Re: Sub $200 lens for C100

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Fairhurst View Post
I'd go for a used copy of the EF 35/2. It will give you a medium focal length, it's reasonably sharp, and it's about as fast a lens as you'll find at that price point. The 50/1.8 is cheaper, but would limit you to portrait-type shots. A 24mm or 28mm view would be even better, but the price goes up as you get wider.

Yeah, you could get a cheap EF-S zoom, but it would be much softer. Also, I find that a zoom can make a shooter lazy. Primes force you to frame with your feet, which can make much more interesting compositions.

My only complaint with the 35/2 is that it's mechanically pretty poor. The focus ring has a really loose feel. But that's what you get for $200. Older Nikon lenses have a better feel (even though their focus throw is backwards), but then you need to buy an adapter and your budget is already thin.

It really depends on whether you prefer speed and picture quality (35/2) or convenience (18-55/3.5-5.6). The 35 has a five blade aperture and the zoom a six blade aperture. You won't get great out of focus bokeh with either. Oh well.

Canon EF 35mm f/2 Lens Review
Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II Lens Review

I'd choose the 35 as you're more likely to keep it as you build your kit. The zoom would have a shorter life.
I feel like I have a responsibility to my clients and my viewers to deliver the best possible quality.

Using a prime isn't that much of an issue for me. Previously I was shooting these videos with my JVC HM700. Even though it had a zoom lens, I tended to shoot wide and zoom with my feet. However, assuming the field of view is similar to an APS-C sized sensor, I think 35mm might be a little tight for me. I would be needing at least a 24mm lens, and, as you observed, they are expensive.

I did come across this lens though-
Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM Lens 9522B002 B&H Photo Video

I'm wondering what the downside to this lens would be?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Andrada View Post
I've seen a Tamron 18 - 200 selling new at B&H for $249.

I have a couple of Tamrons and they've been OK - not a Canon L but usable. Haven't tried the 18 - 35 though.

I've seen some outfit on Ebay selling the canon 18 - 135 new for $289.I have no personal experience with this lens though.
I used to have a Tamron for my Pentax DSLR and was not all impressed. Maybe their more expensive lenses are okay, but the one I had was definitely on the cheaper side and had horrible IQ. I would prefer to stay away from that.

It has been my experience with my Pentax DSLR that the wider range of focal lengths a zoom covers, the less sharp it is at any given focal length. Assuming that this is also true for Canon lenses, I would rather get a 18-35mm or 18-55mm and have a sharper image than have something with a huge zoom range that isn't really sharp at any focal length.

With that said, how good (or bad) are the basic EF-S 18-55mm Canon lenses when it comes to sharpness? Again, referencing Pentax, the basic 18-55mm kit lens wasn't that bad when it came to sharpness and I would be happy with that.

When it comes to lighting, I have the gear. I've been doing video for a long time and have a pretty decent selection of lights. Mostly Arri fesnels, but also some cheaper open faced lights. However, for these web videos I often have to shoot upwards of 30 in a day. The more lights, the more time things take. I'd love to be able to shoot with just a couple 350 watt lights and have that be enough.
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Old August 28th, 2015, 12:31 PM   #6
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Re: Sub $200 lens for C100

Great response, Adam!

So often, people ask for "the best" gear recommendations but don't provide any context. Your post clearly shares your goals.

The 24/2.8 STM looks like a great choice. According to reviews, the picture quality is excellent for the price. The vignetting is a bit strong wide open. The build-quality is solid.

The only concern might be the focus ring. It is said to have little wobble, and it's 112 degree throw is more than enough at 24mm, but it's small and right at the edge of the lens. It's also a focus-by-wire lens. That might not be an issue for such a small piece. I know that it's sluggish on the huge 85/1.2L. Then again, does the STM lens give you autofocus on the C100? If so, that could be a big win.

I haven't used the 24/2.8 STM, but based on your requirements, it looks like a good choice. I personally find that I use a 35mm lens about 75% of the time on a full frame camera, so 24mm on Super-35 would be perfect.

You might look to get a 50/1.8 to go with it. You should be able to pick up a used one for next to nothing. Use that for interviews and you're set.

It sounds like primes would be the way to go. You sound comfortable changing lenses and zooming with your feet, you value higher image quality, and though you have lights, you know the value of avoiding setup time. Also, the primes will give you more depth of field options, which might be attractive to your clients. With the zooms, you can't quite get that blurred background effect that many like. I find that shallow DOF helps reduce setup time as you don't need to spend time dressing backgrounds - just blur them out.
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Old August 28th, 2015, 02:19 PM   #7
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Re: Sub $200 lens for C100

Adam -- in my opinion, you can't go wrong with the recently announced Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM.

Full details here: Canon USA Introduces New EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens at DV Info Net

Unlike previous versions of this lens, it has a metal mount (instead of plastic). And it's STM so it's made for video.

Available from B&H: Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens 0570C002 B&H Photo Video
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Old August 31st, 2015, 12:29 AM   #8
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Re: Sub $200 lens for C100

Perfect! I had forgotten about that announcement. Same glass. Better mechanics. STM focusing. This and the 24 would be the perfect pair.
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Old September 2nd, 2015, 01:52 PM   #9
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Re: Sub $200 lens for C100

So I ended up getting a used Sigma 18-50mm F2.8 DC EX lens in excellent condition.

In a few months, when I upgrade, I suspect I will be getting rid of it. However, with how much I paid for it, I think I should be able to get most of my money back.

I really like using primes. Right now, only having a small amount to spend on a lens, I wanted something that was going to be a bit more flexible for me.
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Old September 2nd, 2015, 07:38 PM   #10
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Re: Sub $200 lens for C100

Nice choice. Let us know how you like it.:)
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