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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 February 25th, 2010, 09:14 AM   #1
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Zoom Lenses for the T2

For many of us, this camera will be their first DSLR. The choices of good lenses can be pretty tricky for beginners and if the Canon L lenses is probably a sure bet, they are very expensive and pretty heavy to carry around.
What about the Sigma or Tamron lenses?
What lenses would be great for travel and journalism work?
Considering zoom lenses that are best bang for the buck from a video/photo perspective.
Any advices?
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Old February 25th, 2010, 10:54 AM   #2
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I have not yet bought a DSLR and am still stuck between 7D/T2i.

One definite decision is the Tokina 11-16 f/2.8 . They are back-ordered at the moment and I have not heard any ETA.
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Old February 25th, 2010, 04:13 PM   #3
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or ANY lenses for that matter... if anything, because of the telephoto factor, I would want the WIDEST possible lens just to get a decent semi-wide angle for a nice, up close, composition... not being familiar with what options are out there, I wonder if anyone has come up with the best bang-for-the-buck... for HD video, we don't need the fanciest lens, so what are the good lenses for a good price? Wide, zoom, telephoto, etc...
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Old February 25th, 2010, 06:14 PM   #4
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David, I disagree that we don't need the fanciest lenses for HD. I've read this several times here on DVinfo, and I have a different viewpoint.

I guess the argument is that since we are only dealing with 1080 lines and not the full res 18 megapixel image, many flaws of cheaper lenses will be hidden by the downsampling of the image. However, chromatic aberration, vignetting, flaring, diffraction etc. do not go away when only 1080 lines are being used. Especially since the downsampling is done via line-skipping.

If anything, a DSLR video shooter needs even better lenses than a stills shooter due to the line-skipping, which degrades the images as it shrinks it.

Also, cheaper lenses tend to be are slower, thus canceling one of the big advantages these cameras have: low light sensitivity.

So yes, great lenses are expensive, but they quickly pay for themselves. And they also inspire you to do great work, rather than bury you with optical limitations. Every time I've bought a non-L lens I've regretted it, and eventually replaced it with the real deal.
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Old February 25th, 2010, 06:30 PM   #5
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Eric, this is certainly true, but the L lenses are very heavy and if you carrying your euipment on your back for long trip it matter a lot.
So, between the cheap lenses (noboby wants that, unless money restriction let you no choices) and the L lenses, is there any lenses even if they come from other manufacturers?
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Old February 25th, 2010, 09:49 PM   #6
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Well, of course you get what you pay for, technically speaking. A nice set of prime lenses is going to give a nicer image than a zoom lens, etc. I'm not unaware of what the better lenses give you- but there is a law of diminishing returns. Everything you say is true- but when it comes down to it, how many people will notice all these details? We've reached a point where the image quality with an $800 camera is amazing. You could shoot well-exposed shots, cut a film and project them in a theater with NO color correction and still make a great film. I'm not advocating for this, I'm just saying it's possible. Hell, great dramatic films have been made with lousy consumer DV cameras, so it's really not about the equipment, but the person using it. That's why, for me, the biggest drawback to these cameras is an inability to get sharp focus on the run- that DOES limit my creative possibilities. All the other debates about pros and cons, to me, are academic or more for the real techy-types, which is fine, I enjoy those conversations too, but they're side issues to me.

Here's my reason for coming to the Canon DSLR world- I want to make a film stripping out as much of the overhead that comes with movie-making as possible- cost, crew, gear- and still make a quality film. A small, light camera that works great in low-light allows me to do that. 800 bucks plus the cost of media, batteries, accessories and a lens is still not pennies, but it's pennies compared to what it used to be. Point being, yesterday's scratch on the negative is today's chromatic aberration. It's going to happen, it's part of the medium you're working with, and in the end, it's okay. Everyone has a line between the acceptable and unacceptable, so until I win the lottery and buy myself a complete set of Zeiss primes, I'm interested in the cheapest lens that isn't going to look cheap. It doesn't have to be a cheap Vivitar or a $3k lens; there's got to be some decent, inexpensive lenses out there, I just haven't looked into this part of the world in a while, and things change fast.

Don't mean to sabotage the thread. I'm definitely open to all suggestions!
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Old February 25th, 2010, 10:06 PM   #7
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I guess I could characterize myself as having gotten into wedding videography to fund my work as an independent filmmaker. I understood from the get-go that there was nothing cheap in this industry. Then a $800 camera that shoots stunning 1080p24 comes out and we still want to cut corners? Hmm.

It's all about the lens. Someone somewhere wrote that the camera of the future is just a sensor with a lens in front of it. Optics are optics, and can't be skipped or virtualized. Top shelf glass will always be "expensive." Expensive in quotes because, even for the no-budget independent filmmaker, the competition is shooting with lenses costing tens of thousands of dollars. Lenses that make L-series lenses look like loupes.

Your analogy with scratches and CA is great, except that today's audience is expecting something that looks exactly like or better than what they see with their eyes. Because that's what they see in their favorite films.

You're right that it's the creative individual(s), not the gear, that makes the movie. But the latter are much easier to obtain - despite the expense - than the former. And you need both. Don't hamstring yourself by saying, "Oh, no one's going to notice all the technical flaws." To even reach an audience, you'll have to convince a LOT of people to take your film seriously. People that notice everything.
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Old February 25th, 2010, 10:27 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ned Soltz View Post
One definite decision is the Tokina 11-16 f/2.8 . They are back-ordered at the moment and I have not heard any ETA.
Try Adorama.com I think they have it.
ATX1116PRODXC Tokina 11mm - 16mm F/2.8 ATX Pro DX Autofocus Zoom Lens for Canon EOS Digital SLR Cameras.
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Old February 25th, 2010, 11:21 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Erik Andersen View Post
I guess I could characterize myself as having gotten into wedding videography to fund my work as an independent filmmaker. I understood from the get-go that there was nothing cheap in this industry. Then a $800 camera that shoots stunning 1080p24 comes out and we still want to cut corners? Hmm.

It's all about the lens. Someone somewhere wrote that the camera of the future is just a sensor with a lens in front of it. Optics are optics, and can't be skipped or virtualized. Top shelf glass will always be "expensive." Expensive in quotes because, even for the no-budget independent filmmaker, the competition is shooting with lenses costing tens of thousands of dollars. Lenses that make L-series lenses look like loupes.

Your analogy with scratches and CA is great, except that today's audience is expecting something that looks exactly like or better than what they see with their eyes. Because that's what they see in their favorite films.

You're right that it's the creative individual(s), not the gear, that makes the movie. But the latter are much easier to obtain - despite the expense - than the former. And you need both. Don't hamstring yourself by saying, "Oh, no one's going to notice all the technical flaws." To even reach an audience, you'll have to convince a LOT of people to take your film seriously. People that notice everything.

Agreed, don't cut corners unless you absolutely have to. Lenses are expensive and they are an investment and should be looked at in that way. Stillmotion's videos are great and they are highly talented in their creation skills, however they have a list of lenses that they use on their education blog and they are primarily fast canon L primes. In my opinion this adds a quality to their films that is measurable and a result of the quality of the glass they use.
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Old February 25th, 2010, 11:33 PM   #10
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I think it depends on how wide or long you normally shoot. My preference on a crop body like the T2i is the Canon 17-55mm f/2.8 IS, but a 24-105mm f/4.0L IS is another great choice. Most of my DSLR video work is either handheld or on a monopod, so I need the IS.

I'm really glad I held-off on getting a 7D. The T2i/17-55 combo cost me less than what a 7D body alone is going for.
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Old February 25th, 2010, 11:53 PM   #11
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What about the Canon EF-S 10-22mm? Compared to that Tokina? It seems like a better lens, no?

Also- dumb question but does the stabilization in the IS lenses work (and work well) in video mode? I'm a pretty steady shot, but this is a light camera. Does the IS feature really make a difference in hand-held filming?
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Old February 26th, 2010, 12:49 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Erik Andersen View Post
If anything, a DSLR video shooter needs even better lenses than a stills shooter due to the line-skipping, which degrades the images as it shrinks it.
This is purely conjecture. You don't have any evidence to support it. On the contrary, Barry Green did a test a few months ago in which he demonstrated that a cheap, old manual lens manages to produce results as good as a top-class lens like a new Zeiss ZE (which is even better than a Canon L) while actually reducing the appearance of aliasing. I'll link to it in the next day or two.

Quote:
Also, cheaper lenses tend to be are slower, thus canceling one of the big advantages these cameras have: low light sensitivity.
Not true at all. Zoom lenses max-out at f/2.8, whether they're Canon-brand or third party. Off-brand prime lenses can get pretty close to Canon's maximum apertures. And let's not forget that there are Canon L lenses that only do up to f/4.0: the 17-40mm, 24-105mm, and 70-200mm.

Quote:
And they also inspire you to do great work, rather than bury you with optical limitations.
What aspect does the inspiring? The price tag? The brand? The build quality? Or the actual optics? Tamron, Sigma, and Tokina offer optics that are close enough to Canon's such that they cannot be considered "limited." With Canon, and the higher price tag, you get better build quality, better mechanics, better features, better resale value, and slightly better optics. If optics is the primary consideration, then Canon doesn't offer a better value proposition than third parties.
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Old February 26th, 2010, 12:55 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by David St. Juskow View Post
What about the Canon EF-S 10-22mm? Compared to that Tokina? It seems like a better lens, no?

Also- dumb question but does the stabilization in the IS lenses work (and work well) in video mode? I'm a pretty steady shot, but this is a light camera. Does the IS feature really make a difference in hand-held filming?
Optically, its not better. The Tokina 11-16mm is the best SLR lens in the world in that focal length range.
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Old February 26th, 2010, 01:01 AM   #14
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Not conjecture at all. Aliasing is everywhere in all Canon DSLR footage, unless it's an out of focus area. You notice it most where there are straight lines. But you can see it everywhere - as if the screen is "sizzling" as the camera moves. Shallow focus alleviates this.

I didn't mention this before, but as opposed to stills, we have a video codec to contend with. Compression artifacts further degrade the image.

I can't believe I forgot to mention lens sharpness. I've read the argument that you don't need a really sharp lens (read: pricey fast prime lens) because only a subsamples image is being used. I think the logic stems from resizing images in Photoshop. A slightly blurred image looks awesome reduced to 25% size and sharpened.

But the image is resized using a very bad method in Canon DSLRs. There's a lot of info on this here on DVinfo.

Due to the above, only with the fastest, sharpest lenses can you get the most out of cameras like the T2i. It doesn't hurt to have only static shots or perfectly smooth moving shots.

Of course, a cheap, old manual lens can still be an amazing piece of glass, and worth looking into. Probably wasn't cheap when it was manufactured, though ;)

Sorry for hijacking the thread, I'll be quiet now!
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Old February 26th, 2010, 01:32 AM   #15
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The canon 10-22 is a fantastic lens, it would be considered L if it wasn't for the fact that it's an EFS-S lens and has a plastic body. The elements inside are right up there.

However the lens that stays on my canon by default (not the 550D) is the sigma 30mm f1.4 which is a great, fast workhorse of a lens with a 'normal' field of view on a crop camera.

If you're going to be shooting video mostly then i really don't think you have to be that picky about lens sharpness. The real world resolution of this batch of cameras is really very poor as numerous tests have shown. In fact the less sharp then lens the better it's going to be. Having a sharper lens is just going to make the artefacts worse. So in some ways it's a great way to experiment - get a load of cheap EFS adaptors and scour ebay for the cheapest lenses and go for character rather than sharpness. The anamorphic nikon lenses have produced some stunningly characterful results.

I find the character of the canon footage to be more like grainless 16mm film (in terms of DOF and resolution) and there's nothing wrong about that. I've been through loads of average 16mm film lenses and they're all pretty poor performers but they all have warmth and character.

Of course if you want to invest in something long term the new Zeiss compact primes with interchangable mounts sound ideal.

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