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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 May 27th, 2010, 08:39 PM   #1
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I can't afford L series lenses :(

But I want the image quality!! Well, at least as close as possible.. :)

I've been using my Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 for most of my shots. Never dissapoint me. Love the tone and contrast. But I'm considering another lens that can give me superb image quality without breaking the bank.

Bought the nifty-fifty 50mm f1.8 recently.. not too happy.. so I might switch to 50mm f1.4.

But I just wanna know from the community. What other lens that have given you great image quality close to the L series lens. Probably a macro lens for detailed shots OR anything really.. just want to see what options are out there.
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Old May 27th, 2010, 08:49 PM   #2
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For video go with old manual nikons, etc. I think you'll get equivalent results (at least for video) to L lenses in most cases for far less money - and they often have better focus action than newer lenses.
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Old May 27th, 2010, 10:13 PM   #3
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IMHO, ditch the nifty 50. Buy the1.4 50mm (a world of difference). Then, when you're ready for your big project, rent! I've seen Zeiss lenses for as low as $30/3-days! Then as you accumulate work you'll get cash flow. But, in the process you will have tried several nice quality lenses so you'll know exactly what you want to buy.
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Old May 27th, 2010, 11:47 PM   #4
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Evan is completely right, I have L series lenses and the old Nikkors are just as good - slightly more hassle to use but wonderful colour rendtion and sharpness. The greatest bargain is the 50mm 1.8, even sharper than the 1.4 and super cheap.

I have the Tamron 17-50 myself, and while it's a good budget lens, the Nikkors are much much nicer. I'm selling my Tamron. If you're primarily shooting video, I'd recommend you do the same and buy some old Nikkors.

28mm 2.8 AIS, 50mm 1.8 AIS and 105mm 2.5AIS would be a good (and very affordable) starting point.
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Old May 28th, 2010, 12:10 AM   #5
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my first concern was 2.8 or faster for my glass. I have a tamron 17-50 2.8 and 70-200 2.8 as my primary glass. the 70-200 is an awesome piece of glass. I've owned FD and EOS glass in the past, and this thing is pretty close. let me put it another way, for 1/2 to 1/3 the price of the L 70-200 canon, its a no brainer. it might be slightly softer then the canon when shooting stills, but thats not a bad thing at all - its going to reduce moire and artifacting :) !

I will tell you that the stock cheap canon 28-50 3.5-5.6 is actually a bit MORE contrasty / sharper then the tamron 17-50 but I don't care. I'm not shooting stills where the difference matters.

I also have some olympus glass - 50 1.4 thats really nice, a FD 50 1.8... and who knows what I might pick up along the way.

L glass is not required to make very nice pix... then consider you way well be putting a 1/4 or 1/2 black pro mist on the front.. well then it doesn't matter does it :)
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Old May 28th, 2010, 12:13 AM   #6
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The reason I'm selling my Tamron is the colour rendition. Maybe I just have a bad copy, but I have to CC everything from the Tamron - my Nikkors are nice and neutral.
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Old May 28th, 2010, 12:20 AM   #7
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well I guess it depends on what you are matching it to...

I just did a shoot with my 550D + 17-50 2.8 and JVC HD100 with pretty tweaked settings. it took a fairly minor correction to make it all match ( the JVC to 550d).

otherwise I CC everything that passes thru for the most part, so its kind of a non-issue to me. what are you seeing that bothers you ?
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Old May 28th, 2010, 02:11 AM   #8
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The Tamron has a yellow colour cast that I personally don't like - the Nikkors are neutral in comparison. I should add I have the newer version with IS - it may actually be inferior to the earlier version which reviews well.

Besides that, the Nikkors are much nicer to manual focus, very smooth. I tend to CC all footage from my Sony Z5, but one of the things I like about shooting with the 7D is that it's often unnecessary to CC - you get rich, punchy footage out of the box. More contrasty than I would like personally, but it's a consumer friendly look.

I bought the Tamron for the convenience of the zoom range + the stabization for hand-held. However I'm just not that impressed with the images I'm getting from it. With both lenses at 50mm 2.8 the $100 Nikkor AIS is a clear winner. On top of that it has an extra stop and a half to play with.

After getting my hands on the 2.8 70-200L IS II (lovely!), I want to get hold of the 24-70L. Previously had the 24-105L but found it was just too slow for indoor use.

Coming back to Johannes' original question, as far as wanting "image quality" and affordability, I really think Nikkors are the way to go, especially in video.

One other thing - you mention a macro, the Nikkor 55mm 2.8 (or 3.5) is wonderful. Cheap, sharp, lovely.
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Old May 28th, 2010, 06:21 AM   #9
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Anyone using Canon FD lenses? If so, how do they rate?
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Old May 28th, 2010, 08:16 AM   #10
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FD lenses require an adaptor with optics in it for infinity focus to work. The addition of that little glass in there takes a stop of light away so I stay away from them.

I don't have the funds for the great glass either so I have gone the route of retro manual focus lenses like those old Nikons that have been mentioned. My favorite is an old Russian Helios 58mm 2.0 that is gorgeous. Total cost with shipping was about $50. I also have a Hanimex 28mm 2.8 that was $20 with shipping and I just got a nice Vivitar 70-210 f3.5 with a Nikon mount on it for $58 after shipping. Add a few adaptors to the lenses and my whole wedding kit of lenses was under $150. Adaptors can be had for many mounts at around $10-20 and some will be more depending on the mount. There's a whole following of retro lenses out there and some of them are great. Some are not so great. There are some pretty cool old primes out there that have a sharp but distinctive look to them. I love the retro route as it's cheaper but also gives a video that looks a little different. About the only other one I would like to add to my kit is a 85mm 2.8. I did see a Tokina a few weeks back that was 70-200 2.8 with a Nikon mount. The buy it now price was $366. That seemed pretty sweet.

There are a few mounts that won't adapt well to the Canons so be careful which you get. Here's a little site that tells you which work best.

Canon EOS lens Adapters - Manual focus lenses on Canon EOS bodies

That should get you started if you are interested in older manual focus lenses.
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Old May 28th, 2010, 09:51 AM   #11
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I am no lens snob, and in fact I have a large collection of alt glass including several nikkor primes, a rokkor 58mm 1.2, a super takumar 50mm 1.4.

I thought these lenses were great until I started using my friends l series glass, Imho nothing compares in sharpness and quality. especially the 35mm 1.4 and the 85 1.2

The argument that you don't need super sharp glass for video just doesn't hold up on screen for me.

That being said, you can get stellar images from older manual primes, especially nikkors.
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Old May 28th, 2010, 11:05 AM   #12
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L series glass is pretty amazing. I just don't have the funds for those kinds of setups. There is a place locally where I can rent it reasonably so when it's super critical stuff I will probably go that route.

For lots of stuff though these manual focus lenses are pretty sweet. I used them last week for a wedding and for the most part was happy with their performance. I am still getting better at nailing focus but have more practice to do. We did a Same Day Edit with lots of 7D shots and I was pretty happy with the results. A sharpen filter on a few shots l cleaned up a few spots where I just missed the focus.

Great glass is on my list for someday. I'm just hoping they will take this sensor technology and put it in a prosumer like camera like the A1. That would be ideal and I think Sony has one on the horizon. Will be interesting to keep an eye on.
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Old May 28th, 2010, 12:23 PM   #13
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Because of a mention of the Pentax Super Takumars in one of the threads I had read recently on this issue, I pulled out a Pentax 50 mm 1.4 I had on my shelf of lens and attached it with an adapter I had gotten for a Super Takumar 28 to 80 mm zoom. In some spur of the moment testing , I was very pleased with the performance of the lens for video and still purposes. I had already been using the Takumar as a zoom in place of Canon automated lens, and this lens really shines-- I think better than in terms of pleasing image, than my Nikon F 1.4, vintage about 1973.

Also, as a portrait or short telephoto, the Nikon E series 100mm F 2.8 is a neat little light lens, that give a pretty pleasing image.

If you are not taking advantage of vintage lenses with adapters, I think you may be missing the boat both value wise and image wise. Some of these lenses can be picked up on ebay for $50 to $100.00

I recently bought the T2i, with a kit 18-55, and admit that it is really nice to have the image stablization features, and quick focus autofocus capability in many situations, but I think you get superior images from these older lenses that are adaptable to the camera.
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Old May 28th, 2010, 01:00 PM   #14
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I use the Tamron 17-50 for an all around lens, but really like to use the old Pentax Takumar 50mm f1.4, and Takumar 28 and 35mm lenses. These older lenses look great and the focus smoothness is superb. Build like a work of art and still fairly inexpensive ($75 - $200 in most cases for EC).
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Old May 28th, 2010, 04:13 PM   #15
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Also Tokina do a great 50-135 2.8, great glass just doesn't have IS, I also have both the 11-16 2.8 (fantastic WA), I also have the Canon 24-105 f4 which is great a great allrounder as it has the IS for video,
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