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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 January 25th, 2010, 01:26 AM   #1
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Lens recommendation for tight budget videographer

Hi all,

What lens would you recommend a beginner videographer with a very tight budget? I've seen few around the forums such as the Canon 24mm f1.4 or 70-200mm f2.8 for the zoom and Tokina 11-16mm f2.8. But prices on those are quite expensive.

Main purpose are for making short pre-wedding clip (so may need one with shallow DoF) then also for future may start on documenting wedding.

I need to keep it in budget as I need to save money to invest on other things as well such as steadies etc. (including my own wedding in the future :))

How much money do you reckon I should spare to get into videography in 7D?

Cheers,


John
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Old January 25th, 2010, 01:49 AM   #2
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Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II....can be had for $70 off ebay.

Canon | Normal EF 50mm f/1.8 II Autofocus Lens | 2514A002 | B&H


Really shallow DoF, and a classic wide shot, though on the crop sensor it shoots a bit longer than that...

But as a budget starting point? Can't be beat.
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Old January 25th, 2010, 08:14 AM   #3
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I have this lens and it is quite nice but I will say that it is very limiting. Obviously, most shots are somewhat tight and the shallow depth of field is insane coming from the video world. While I do love it, I miss the flexibility of mutilple focal lengths. I cannot afford additional lenses just yet so I am currently stuck with it. I debate wether I should have gotten the kit lens just to kick around with and use for outdoor shots since it is so much slower.

Edit: I have only had the camera for 4 days now so it's all still new to me.
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Old January 25th, 2010, 09:16 AM   #4
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I love my nifty fifty, but like others have said, it's quite tight on a 7D, and you can't use any audio because the focus ring makes a ton of noise. Plus, there are now distance markings for your focus and it can't be used with a follow focus (at least not easily). For stuff like dancing I use it on my 5D and it is awesome, but for pre-wedding stuff when you will want to make use of some audio, it's not the best bet.

I think the best budget bet is the Sigma 24-70 f/2.8 which can be had for a reasonable price at B&H, is fast, and goes from a nice wide shot to a flattering telephoto. It's not long enough for a ceremony where you can't be close to the couple, but for any other part of the day it does the trick.
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Old January 25th, 2010, 10:23 AM   #5
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Shallow DOF = fast lens.
Event videography = Zoom and IS preferred.

You have some options:
Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens. A lens in its own class. Silent, quick, but big and heavy. About $1k.

Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8. This comes with and without VC (Image Stabilization), which you may or may not want. It's noisy for one. $450-650 depending on with or without VC.

This gets you up to about 80mm in the 35mm equivalent. Telephoto for sure, but not what you'd call real narrow. For that you have some other options but they're slower. Check out the Canon IS USM 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6. It's $720 and you have good range, quick autofocus and quiet, effective IS.

For the budget videographer these are my recommendations.
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Old January 25th, 2010, 01:34 PM   #6
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On a budget, I'll agree that the Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 is about the cheapest low-light zoom lens you can get that offers some variability. Obviously, it doesn't provide a solution for all shooting situations, but its still pretty versatile.
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Old January 25th, 2010, 02:00 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Jack Derman View Post
But as a budget starting point? Can't be beat.
For photography, no it can't be beat - but it's a terrible lens for video, primarily due to the tiny focus ring. It's too small to get a good grip on, too close to the front of the lens (easy to get fingers in the shot), has a ton of play and a short throw so it's difficult to be precise for it.

Best budget option for video is to get an old manual lens, 50mm pentax 1.4 or a nikon 1.8. With an adapter it shouldn't cost you more than about $100 and it'll be far more useable for video.
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Old January 25th, 2010, 07:45 PM   #8
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I have the Tokina 16-50 f2.8, which has a nice fat focus ring on the front where it belongs. It's heavy and solid. Uses 77mm filters. But if money's tight, go for the cheapo 50 f1.8, which feels like a toy but is sharp and good. Then maybe look for a used 28mm, which would be more like a "normal" lens on the 7D.
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Old January 26th, 2010, 07:12 PM   #9
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Wow thanks guys! Seems like a lot of recommendation here. Summarizing I've got:

50mm pentax 1.4 - about A$400
Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM - about A$1000
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 - about A$400
Sigma 24-70 f/2.8 - about A$700
Canon IS USM 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 - about A$900

All brand new prices from AU eBay.

For my pocket, I think I might go down the path of Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 as two members in the thread have given the thumbs up.

Now, Ben and Ryan did mention it won't cover all shooting situation. Can someone please elaborate more into it and perhaps suggestion for a second lens that can cover this?

Thanks, really appreciate it! :)

Cheers,


John
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Old January 26th, 2010, 09:01 PM   #10
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I don't own it, but that Tamron 17-50mm is one of the most recommended lens on this and other forums.

Just make sure you get it with "VC" their version of image stabilization.
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Old January 27th, 2010, 06:01 AM   #11
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Here's what I have:

Canon 17-55 f2.8
Canon 70-200 f2.8
Canon 50mm f 1.4
Tokina 11-6 f2.8

I also bought some Nikon to Canon adapters so that I can use some of the primes i already use with my letus.
One zoom that gives some range overlap (compared with teh 17-55) is the Tokina 28-70 ATX 2.6-2.8.

The two Nikon primes that i'll probably use with the 7d are the 35mm f2.0 and my favorite , the beautifull 105 f 1.8 (love this lens). My other Nikon primes are f 2.8, so I'll stick with my Canon zooms.
I laso do event photo gigs, which is the main reason I bought the 17-55 and the 70-200, after selling my main Nikon gear in order to make the switch to the 7d.
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Old January 27th, 2010, 10:02 AM   #12
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Don't forget to look at older version of the fast Canon zooms secondhand. The original Canon 20-35mm f2.8L, 17-35mm f2.8L, 80-200mm f2.8L and 70-200 f4L can all be found for good prices if you shop around. Whilst these lenses are bettered by the newer ones their performance for video is still excellent.

The Tokina 24-70 f2.8 is also a good bet if you can find one at the right price.

Used Contax/Zeiss lenses like the 50mm f1.7, 28mm f2.8 and 135mm f2.8 are also good bets as they can each be had for $100-200 if you are lucky and are simply adapted with a $20 eos adapter to the 7D.

Dan
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Old January 27th, 2010, 10:53 AM   #13
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Just got my Tamron 17-50 2.8 VC lens about 1/2 hour ago and I have 3 initial impressions.

1. The VC works like a dream. Handheld shots are stable and look good so far. This makes me feel a lot better about the 7d for handheld video.

2. The lens hood is small. The pinky of my left hand sometimes pops past the side and makes a guest appearance in the image when I am at the wide end. I am used to full lens hoods....not these wide angle doo-hickeys. :)

3. The lens seems heavy. Granted I have had the Canon 50mm 1.8 light little lens on there but now my should started to feel sore after just a few minutes. Ow!

More to come.
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Old January 27th, 2010, 11:56 AM   #14
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Dan,
I ended buying that used Tokina 28-70 that I asked you about several months ago, and have been very happy with it. I used it a lot on the Letus and am about to try it on the 7d. Loved your ice-sled cam:))

Marty,
Have you figured out any H1 presets to match better with the 7d? I just had your old truysty H1 serviced and it still shooting great images:))
Sorry about de railing the thread.
Bruce Yarock
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Old January 27th, 2010, 12:02 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johannes Soetandi View Post
For my pocket, I think I might go down the path of Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 as two members in the thread have given the thumbs up.

Now, Ben and Ryan did mention it won't cover all shooting situation. Can someone please elaborate more into it and perhaps suggestion for a second lens that can cover this?

Thanks, really appreciate it! :)

Cheers,


John
John, its definitely a great choice for a lens, but as others have suggested, if you are doing handheld work, get the VC version of the lens. It really makes a world of difference. As with any lens ever made, it's not made to do it all. It's not a fisheye. It's not a super telephoto. But I'm sure that a creative person working within the confines of a 17-50mm (27-80mm coverted with 1.6x crop) can find it has a lot of uses.

As for a second lens, no one lens will solve 100% of your shooting needs either. But since 17mm is relatively wide, I would recommend going further on the telephoto side. The cheaper route would be to get a 135mm or 200mm fast prime lens. Of course, this all depends on what you want to shoot.

For example:

Canon | Telephoto EF 135mm f/2.8 Autofocus Lens Soft | 2516A003

or

Canon | Telephoto EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM Autofocus | 2529A004AA

or if you want the most bang for your buck, go with another zoom lens like a 70-200mm 2.8. Here's an example:

Sigma | 70-200mm f/2.8 II EX DG APO Macro HSM AF Lens | 579-101

That should provide you with a good deal of coverage to start out with.
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