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Old September 13th, 2016, 03:10 AM   #1
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best lenses for C300 mk 2

My C300 mk2 EF should arrive this week and Iím trying to decide on the best lenses to use. I already have the Canon 16-35, 24-70 and 70-200, all L 2.8 mk1, but for mainly doc use I think Iíll need more stabilisation. Only my 70-200 is stabilised and itís maybe not up to modern stabilised quality but would be ok on a tripod - I donít think I could hand hold at that sort of length.

So far, I think the EF24-105mm f/4 L IS mk2 looks a safe bet, coupled with my 70-200, leaving me short at the wide angle end.

Do you guys have any recommendations? Thanks in advance.
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Old September 13th, 2016, 06:57 AM   #2
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Re: best lenses for C300 mk 2

I would wait until reviews start coming out for the 24-105 L II. The Canon press on this is very lackluster, mostly touting less vignetting for full frame sensors. If it's not substantially improved over the Mark 1, the Mark 1 will be super cheap.

I have the 70-200 f/4 L which has OIS and is a terrific lens. With the low-light sensitivity of the C300 Mark II, I appreciate how much less heft it has over the L II f/2.8, so if you upgrade, that might be an option to consider.

Otherwise, I highly recommend the 17-55 f/2.8. It does not vignette if you don't use the hood (it will slightly at 17mm), it has OIS, and great image quality. It's not as sealed as the 24-70 L (I had to have it cleaned out last month as some dust had collected on the front element), but otherwise it's a champ.

Also, the 18-35 Sigma is not stabilized, but a great lens in its own right (more neutral colors than the warmer Canon lenses, f/1.8). It's terrific for interviews. In that vein, the Sigma 50-100 is also good if you want more of a reach, also not stabilized, and with far more noticeable breathing, but, like the 18-35, is probably a great lens for interviews.
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Old September 13th, 2016, 09:55 AM   #3
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Re: best lenses for C300 mk 2

Gary and I are on the same page, 17-55 2.8 IS makes much more sense for your needs than the 24-105. The FOV of 24mm on a S35 sensor is not wide at all and for doc use, I can't imagine that you won't need wide. 17-55 only leaves between 56mm to 69mm not covered, you are then covered from 70mm upwards with your 70-200. The original 24-105 is a terrible lens, I have shot with it many times. It's not sharp, the IS is generations behind the current and it has a lot of barrel distortion at the "wide" end. I have not tested the new 24-105, I am sure it is better than the original, but that's not saying much. I like my 18-135 STM IS much better but it's slow (3.5-5.6), variable F stop, and the the focus by wire is sucky, build quality is not very good either but the focal range is perfect and the STM and IS are superior over the 24-105 V1.

I am also buying a 17-55 2.8 IS though because I need the speed for my work and I am also buying the 70-200 2.8 IS II. The 17-55 2.8, paired with the 70-200 2.8 IS II, is a doc shooters dream team, you are essentially covered from 17mm to 200mm at a constant 2.8 and with IS. Together, they are the perfect two lens kit. If Canon made an 18-135 STM IS 2.8 with better build quality at $2k, that would be my perfect lens but until they do, this two lens kit will work for me. I shoot BTS and EPK on TV shows, it's doc style shooting, often at night, in low light back stage and the current 18-135 cover it for exteriors but at night and back stage, more speed is needed.
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Old September 13th, 2016, 10:13 AM   #4
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Re: best lenses for C300 mk 2

The EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS will never sport a red ring or carry an "L" designation... but it's on the same level as L series lenses as far as optical quality goes. It's a perfect match for the C300 Mk. II.

About the previous version of the EF 24-105mm f/4L IS: in my experience when shooting video with this lens, the stabilizer transmits some audible chatter -- like a ratchet -- through the camera body and onto the soundtrack (single system sound, obviously). I'm hoping that the new Mk. II version of this lens has a much quieter IS, but we won't know that until it hits the streets.

So, like Gary suggests, I would wait for reviews before purchasing. You can't go wrong with the EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS though.

As a side note, I find it curious that so far there is no such thing as an L-series Canon lens with STM.
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Old September 13th, 2016, 10:43 AM   #5
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Re: best lenses for C300 mk 2

Great response, thanks guys. I'm just off to a job but will read your ideas carefully and reply tomorrow. Thanks again.
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Old September 14th, 2016, 02:35 AM   #6
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Re: best lenses for C300 mk 2

Gary, Dan, Chris, your comments helped me to decide - thanks.

The mk 1 25-205 seems to be a bit of a dog, so thatís a no no. Even if the mk 2 is a lot better it still doesnít give me the best spread of focal lengths.

Everyone agrees that the 17-55 2.8 is the way to go, so thatís the way Iíll go. The only slight concern I have is Garyís mention of the vignetting at 17mm. Iíll be using a matt box so that might restrict the wide shots a bit. Itís a combination of suck it and see and fingers crossed.

Iíll try my mk 1 70-200 IS to see how it copes, stability wise. The lens is pin sharp with a good bokeh so Iím crossing my fingers. If its not up to the job then Iíll get the mk 2, 2.8 as that extra stop of light might just be useful, even allowing for the C300ís capabilities.

Again, thanks guys. DV Info is a brilliant forum.
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Old September 14th, 2016, 12:36 PM   #7
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Re: best lenses for C300 mk 2

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Originally Posted by Stewart Hemley View Post
My C300 mk2 EF should arrive this week and I’m trying to decide on the best lenses to use. I already have the Canon 16-35, 24-70 and 70-200, all L 2.8 mk1, but for mainly doc use I think I’ll need more stabilisation. Only my 70-200 is stabilised and it’s maybe not up to modern stabilised quality but would be ok on a tripod - I don’t think I could hand hold at that sort of length.

So far, I think the EF24-105mm f/4 L IS mk2 looks a safe bet, coupled with my 70-200, leaving me short at the wide angle end.

Do you guys have any recommendations? Thanks in advance.
I'd also throw in the new 18-80mm Compact Servo coming in December....it is basically a 24-105 (in S35 numbers), has stabilizing & auto focus, makes the C300 MK II much more a shoulder mount type feeling, is coming from the Cinema Lens division. Amazingly only $5700 (w/grip), not $20-30K...and it is the first in a series of affordable Compact Servos...

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Old September 15th, 2016, 02:48 AM   #8
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Re: best lenses for C300 mk 2

Interesting thought, Jim, but at the moment just not good business sense for the work I'm doing. That might change, hopefully will, and then it will certainly be one to consider.
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Old September 15th, 2016, 08:57 PM   #9
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Re: best lenses for C300 mk 2

That new lens looks really great Jim, I will definitely be renting it for a few shoots and if I fall in love, I may buy it. I wish it was a bit faster, but I know, it would be bigger, heavier and double the cost. The fact that it supports DPAF is really cool. All of the great new lenses from IBC look amazing but I keep telling myself, they are for narrative shooters, not doc shooters who rarely have an AC to pull focus so I land back on my existing EF lenses and this new one as the best tool for what I shoot. I miss shooting servo lenses, I had them for years on my Betacam, Varicam and even on the HVX200 and HPX170 they were really useful at times.
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Old September 29th, 2016, 05:39 AM   #10
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Re: best lenses for C300 mk 2

Just a quick follow up to the help given re my lens choice. I bought the 17-55 and couldn't be happier with it. Optically it more than holds its own with my Canon 16-35 2.8, which is no slouch. Stabilisation is good - not perfect but good enough to make handheld acceptable. I thoroughly recommend it as a good match for the C300mk2.

Re my 70-200 2.8 L, the stabilisation is better than I expected so if I don't reach out too near to 200mm I can just about get away with brief handheld. And on the tripod, it's a great performer.

Thanks again, guys, for the advice.

Edit: forgot to say that I don't get any vignetting at 17mm, which was the only concern. That might change when I stick a matte box on, but fingers crossed I will be ok. Don't get any with the 16-35 either. Luck of the draw, maybe.
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Old September 29th, 2016, 12:15 PM   #11
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Re: best lenses for C300 mk 2

Stewart,
I would suggest you to try the 70-200 f2.8 L IS II lens. It is much better than the Version 1. The version II is better in terms of optics as well as image stabilisation.

The 24-105 helps in a lot of crunch situations. However, as Chris has said, the 24-105 at times can be noisy. However, this is a very useful focal length for doc and run and gun situations. I have heard the new version is better. We will know when it hits the market. As Jim Martin has said, the new CN-E 18-80 would be a very nice focal length as well and it would have the quality and ergonomics and image stabilisation. I am told within the next three years, Canon will give us a series of such useful lenses.

Using the DPAF, I am able to do slow zoom in/zoom out with the still lenses. But can't get the smoothness of the servo. So eagerly waiting for the CN-E 18-80.
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Old September 29th, 2016, 04:08 PM   #12
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Re: best lenses for C300 mk 2

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Originally Posted by Chris Hurd View Post
The EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS will never sport a red ring ... As a side note, I find it curious that so far there is no such thing as an L-series Canon lens with STM.
I found a thin red rubberband works a treat if needed. :-)

Is the stabilizer on the 17-55mm quiet? How quiet is the AF it since it isn't STM?
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Old September 30th, 2016, 03:02 AM   #13
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Re: best lenses for C300 mk 2

Hi Sabyasachi,
Thanks for the input re the 70-200 mk2. It's something I've considered but I want to test my mk1 more thoroughly before I make a decision. I'm also considering the 70-200 f4. It's a stop "darker" but that might not be a major problem for me.I have the Canon 1.4 converter and I also want to see how this performs on the mk1. You never know, I might actually be able to do some work after all this testing!

Les,
Yes, the stabiliser seem silent on my 17-55, or at least I've not been aware of it even in a quiet room so I doubt if it's a problem. With the AF, I sometimes set the camera to focus assist, where it does the last bit, and there's the faintest of whirring as it does the final focus but I'd be surprised it that gets picked up by the camera.But just in case, it's best to suck it and see - YMMV.

Like the red band idea too!
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Old September 30th, 2016, 04:14 AM   #14
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Re: best lenses for C300 mk 2

Stewart,
I have used/owned the 70-200 f2.8, 70-200 f2.8 IS before moving on to the 70-200 f2.8 IS II.

During my still photography days, I had written an article about the 70-200 f2.8 IS. Canon EF 70-200 f2.8 L IS USM I was fine with its performance with the 1.4x. However with the 2x TC it was not great at f5.6. This lens is a good and cheaper alternative.

However, I love the version II and use it with both the 1.4x as well as 2x TCs. This is a very high quality lens and it helps a lot in my filming as well as in photography. http://www.indiawilds.com/diary/cano...ii-usm-review/

Buying equipment is always (should be) a business decision. May be you can also borrow or hire the version II and compare it side by side.
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Old September 30th, 2016, 04:45 PM   #15
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Re: best lenses for C300 mk 2

Some time ago, I went from the 70-300/4.5-5.6 IS to the 200/2.8L prime for stills and the improvement was amazing. I then went to the 70-200/2.8L II IS and expected some drop off compared to the prime, but no! It rivaled the prime while adding zoom and IS capabilities. (This is based on experience, rather than scientific measurements.) The only drawback was size, weight, and the lack of stealth. But yeah, the lens is that good.

For video, the stabilization is great at removing micro vibrations. I once used this lens with a digital zoom (not with the C300) that effectively made it a 1000mm lens. I had to hold my breath when panning during the live event, but the video held up. (And people loved the tight closeups shot from the back of the room.)

I haven't compared it to the series I lens through, so I can't comment on the gap between the I and II. I'm just saying that the II is crazy great. :)
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