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Canon EOS Crop Sensor for HD
APS-C sensor cameras including the 80D, 70D, 7D Mk. II, 7D, EOS M and Rebel models for HD video recording.


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Old December 8th, 2009, 05:52 AM   #1
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Recommendations for lenses

I am about to purchase the 7d but am looking for recommendatiosn for lenses. I will be predominantly shooting in low light conditions (in nightclubs and at gigs). Do not really need a huge telephoto lenses but will generally be a mimimum of 10-15 feet away. Would prefer to buy one excellent lens that can be used in a variety of situations rather than a number of fixed length lens (unless anyone feels otherwise)
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Old December 8th, 2009, 06:13 AM   #2
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sounds like for that kind of gig you would benefit nicely from wide angle too, perhaps consider the tokina 11-16mm f2.8
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Old December 8th, 2009, 06:33 AM   #3
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Hi Tim.

It's a lot of fun when you use a fast 50mm F.1.4-lens on such cameras. If you want to shoot at dark locations, this lens is a recommendation.
Ray Roman uses the 7d and get the best results with this DSLR. See on this link:
--http://www.vimeo.com/7210294--, what lenses he use.
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Old December 8th, 2009, 08:55 AM   #4
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Thanks guys. A couple of questions:

1. I thought Tokina lenses weren't that good quality wise as say the Canon lenses or the difference pretty negligible?

2. Wouldn't both those lenses mean I would have to be pretty close to the subject without any ability to zoom?
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Old December 8th, 2009, 09:03 AM   #5
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Tim,

Yes... you can see a 50mm as the view you have by yourself.
15mm: fisheye,
23mm: wide angle,
50mm: normal view, (or how can I say that)
150mm, 200mm: tele

Perhaps you did now that already.

Canon has high quality glass and is known for his lenses. In spite of that, Zeiss is even better they say. If you go for prime lenses, Nikon is also good glass.

How more tele you go, how more light you need. Shooting tele on dark locations is very difficult and you need very good lenses for such things.

Grz from Belgium
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Old December 8th, 2009, 09:29 AM   #6
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One thing to keep in mind is that when you get below f2.8 DOF gets VERY/Razor thin. f2.8 is already pretty shallow at any distance from the lens. If you are shooting in clubs and gigs you really should keep this in mind as you will be chasing focus all over the place. I have the Tamron 17-50 f2.8 and find it fantastic. I also have the Tamron f2.8 70-200 and it really is nice as well. Lots will say that the Tamron's auto focus is sub-par to pretty much everyone (they are correct), but their glass hangs in there with all but say Canon's L series. I don't use auto focus much at all so they work great for me. My last two full blown HD Video cameras didn't have auto focus and I'm just use to working without it (that and I don't trust it either)

Oh and the Tamron lenses (higher end) are Parfocal also so you can do some zooming with them if you have a steady hand.
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Old December 8th, 2009, 10:02 AM   #7
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Stupid question but when you say 'below 2.8' you mean f1.4 for example?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Porter View Post
One thing to keep in mind is that when you get below f2.8 DOF gets VERY/Razor thin. f2.8 is already pretty shallow at any distance from the lens. If you are shooting in clubs and gigs you really should keep this in mind as you will be chasing focus all over the place. I have the Tamron 17-50 f2.8 and find it fantastic. I also have the Tamron f2.8 70-200 and it really is nice as well. Lots will say that the Tamron's auto focus is sub-par to pretty much everyone (they are correct), but their glass hangs in there with all but say Canon's L series. I don't use auto focus much at all so they work great for me. My last two full blown HD Video cameras didn't have auto focus and I'm just use to working without it (that and I don't trust it either)

That's really useful advice Jerry, thank you. You are spot on regarding the issue of having to chase focus and something which I hadn't really considered becoming rather obsessed with trying to get the lowest f number possible! Do you have any videos up online using this lens that I could view?
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Old December 8th, 2009, 10:17 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Davison View Post
Thanks guys. A couple of questions:

1. I thought Tokina lenses weren't that good quality wise as say the Canon lenses or the difference pretty negligible?

2. Wouldn't both those lenses mean I would have to be pretty close to the subject without any ability to zoom?
Welcome to the world of shopping for lenses, well to my world anyway...

Everyone has an opinion about THEIR favorite lenses and sorting out which lenses are the right ones for you, well only you can decide that. Here's what I did, I hope this helps.

You stated under what conditions you would like to shoot but not what you would like to shoot, video, stills or both. If its both what percentage of one vs the other?

Keep in mind that depending on your requirements you may not want to use the same lenses for video that you do for stills, however, if you do, keep in mind that video is more forgiving than stills regarding resolution but the faster the better.

It also doesn't hurt to ask whether the people giving advice are photographers or videographers, videographers might give you different advice than photographers. I'm a videographer, I couldn't have told you what tack sharp meant until I purchase the 7D, doesn't mean I don't care about sharp focus but I would generally express that a little differently, I'm more concerned about a clean image, I don't need a lens that can resolve a hair on a gnats ass at 50 feet, faster for me is better. Since you shouldn't shoot video in auto focus so you don't need that feature. What this means is that you can rule out some pretty expensive lenses, unless your trying to shoot Gone With The Wind, on a 7D, if so you need a different kind of advice...

I found it more helpful to rule out the lenses I didn't need or want based on price, performance etc., narrow the field and then ask a lot of questions about the finalists. It seems to be easier to get a consensus on what people don't like than it is on what they do.

For example, I narrowed my search down to wanting a reasonably fast wide angle, a fast medium zoom and a fast telephoto. [I'm guessing everyone wants that]. What I ended up on my list was, and here's where I really get slammed:

Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8
Rokinon 85mm f/1.4

I don't know if those are the best lenses for what I want to do and this kind of demonstrate the different advice you might get from a videographer, I never had to choose a lens, it was the one that came with the camera or that other one that costs $35K which we just rented.

Before I get roasted, this is meant to be a little tongue-in-cheek. But I think if your like me coming to this decision because I purchased a 7D for video, its a little overwhelming. I don't want to purchase a $3K camera support for a $1.6K camera and likewise I don't want to put a $2k lens on it either. If I did, I'd buy a Red or a Vericam.

I'm guessing here but it seems that most of the people asking for advice about purchasing lenses are videographers and I don't hear to many photographers asking for advice about video kinds of things. Could it be that Photographers are smarter than videographers?
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Old December 8th, 2009, 12:01 PM   #9
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Tim,

You could go to Calumet or camerent or hireacamera or any number of rental places, rent a few lenses and buy the ones you like and can afford.

But from what I've read here your best bet is the Canon EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 along with the Tokina 11-16 f/2.8.

Have a look on Flikr, lots of good examples of both lenses.
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Old December 9th, 2009, 02:29 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Davison View Post
I am about to purchase the 7d but am looking for recommendatiosn for lenses. I will be predominantly shooting in low light conditions (in nightclubs and at gigs). Do not really need a huge telephoto lenses but will generally be a mimimum of 10-15 feet away. Would prefer to buy one excellent lens that can be used in a variety of situations rather than a number of fixed length lens (unless anyone feels otherwise)
Hi Tim,

My first knee-jerk reaction was to recommend the Canon f1.4 50mm and either the Tamron f2.8 17-50 or Canon f2.8 EF-S 17-55 lens. But as was mentioned, the shallow DOF could be a real problem if you've zoomed in tight. Perhaps you can get close to your subject (proximity effect law is inverse square of distance) and might want consider the Tokina f2.8 11-16mm lens, obviating all the focus problems. Then again, for your gig I wouldn't think losing focus now and then would be a big problem since you should be able to get B-Roll cutaways to insert in post.

In short, you've got several variables to consider besides a our well-meaning lens generalized lens recommendations (I'm sure I've missed a handful of other considerations, too).

Good luck, Michael
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Old December 9th, 2009, 08:46 AM   #11
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That Tokina 11-16 gets great reviews, and it's f2.8 all the way. You could also get the el cheapo but sharp Canon f1.8 50mm for closeups. If you're going to shoot under low light bar conditions, you're going to have to shoot wide open with a fast lens and at a higher ISO than you might like. The faster the lens, the better for that kind of thing. Shallow depth of field is something you have to live with. There's also the Canon 17-55 that's f2.8 all the way, as well as the Tokina 17-50 that also gets good reviews and is cheaper than the Canon. Tokina has one version with stabilization, one without. If you shoot any hand held video you might want that. That range, from around 17mm to 50 or 55, can cover most of what you probably would do for the bar/band shooting, although a little wider might be nice. If I could only have one lens, I think it would be in that range.
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Old December 10th, 2009, 02:21 AM   #12
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If the DOF is too shallow, move away from the subject, stop down, and add lights if needed.

Just think of all those huge format box cameras that have shot amazing panoramic views with everything in focus. Those film stocks dwarf our little 35mm sensors. :)
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Old December 10th, 2009, 06:31 AM   #13
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Just how much difference does having a lens at f1.4 or f2.8 really make? Is it really that much better in low light or is it just marginally better? Are there any good videos on line showing the difference between different f-stops?
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Old December 10th, 2009, 06:51 AM   #14
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Yes it's a BIG difference. Think about it this way if you are at f2.8 and ISO of 1,600 to achieve the same exposure at f1.4 you would be at an ISO of about 300. (something like that, it's too early for the math so these are estimates) But keep in mind that your DOF at 1.4 is about 4 inches give or take.
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Old December 10th, 2009, 07:31 AM   #15
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Thanks you. Are there any good videos which show the differences as I am a little unclear (visually in mind at least) of the differences using the ISO levels you mentioned.
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