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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 July 12th, 2010, 02:19 AM   #1
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optimal lens for run and gun?

Im looking to rent a piece of glass for a project I have coming up. It will be me "a day in the life..." video, so I will be on the run with the camera a lot, trying to catch things from all sorts of angles and distances.

If you had to use one lens for this style, what would it be? The only glass I own atm is the nifty 50. The lens is awesome, but obviously its hard to get nicely framed shots when stuck at 50mm. Any versatile lenses that can match the nifty 50's visual quality?
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Old July 12th, 2010, 02:58 AM   #2
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Canon 17-55 f2.8 IS
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Old July 12th, 2010, 11:18 AM   #3
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I agree!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leonard Levy View Post
Canon 17-55 f2.8 IS
This is my "always on" lens.
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Old July 13th, 2010, 05:02 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leonard Levy View Post
Canon 17-55 f2.8 IS
Agree. You can do everything with this lens. (except long lens stuff!)
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Old July 13th, 2010, 10:23 AM   #5
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> "You can do everything with this lens. (except long lens stuff!)"

And ultrawide, and fisheye, and macro, and low light, and anamorphic. But other than that... :)

On a more serious note, IMHO, if you can only have one lens on a crop body for narrative work, this is the one to have. It's too bad the 5D2 doesn't have the equivalent (24-70 with IS or 24-105 with f/2.8.)
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Old July 13th, 2010, 10:45 AM   #6
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If you're on a budget, the Tamron 17-50 2.8 VC is a very respectable alternative.
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Old July 13th, 2010, 12:08 PM   #7
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I second the Tamron 17-50 VC as well.
It's not a heavy lens, has decent zoom range (especially on a cropped sensor camera), and the VC (Vibration Control) works great for smoothing out your video.

Just a note on the Tamron, if you are taking stills with the Tamron 17-50 VC, make sure that you turn off the VC (Vibration Control), as it will yield sharper pictures for you.
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Old July 16th, 2010, 07:55 PM   #8
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Can you get something respectable, better than the kit lens, for less money than the mentioned Tamron?

Thanks.
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Old July 16th, 2010, 08:40 PM   #9
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Canon EF-S 17-55mm f2.8 IS USM

This is the perfect lens for run and gun. It covers the most used focal lengths and with IS, you don't need a shoulder support or rig of any sort. Stable shots throughout the zoom range. And with a fast constant aperture, you can zoom in and out without exposure change or flicker. On my copy, zooming also does not change the focus so I guess it makes it a parfocal lens.
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Old July 16th, 2010, 08:42 PM   #10
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Ivan the Tamron is one of the best deals going in its class.
If you didn't go the Tamron route you would be going in the more expensive Canon route for a similar lens.

The big thing with the Tamron and likewise lenses is that it has image stabilization and a fixed aperture.
These two things will always add onto the price of the lens. And of course the faster the lens the more expensive as well.

There are other EF lenses that are cheaper and stabilized, but you are not going to get the low light ability of the Tamron 2.8. Especially because they normally are 3.5-5.6 variable apertures. this means that as you zoom in your aperture will step down. While lenses like the Tamron can stay at 2.8 all of the way through the entire zoom of the lens.

If you are happy with a variable aperture lens then you could try the
Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8-4.5 DC OS HSM Zoom For Canon EOS


Another route is going with fast prime lenses, which will be sharper than zoom lenses, but you won't have any zoom ability.
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Old July 17th, 2010, 01:52 AM   #11
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Thank you Michael for your kind explanation!

I guess after all, even on a budget, some money should be spent...
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Old July 18th, 2010, 08:57 AM   #12
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I wanted to edit my last reply to avoid a bump post, but it seems I can't...

I was wondering, I looked around BHPhoto, there isn't a similar glass in this price range with the same characteristics but full frame sensor compatible?

That would be, for run'n'gun, I guess:

-IS
-Fast, fixed aperture.
-Zoom...

I'm reading this forum a lot and everybody seems to be saying glass first, camera second, but, if we buy EF-S we probably won't be able to use it with a new body in a couple of years, right?

On the other hand... the IS on the Tamron doesn't seem to be getting as good reviews as the Canon one, and one thing that worries me is that many people say it's noisy. I'm planning on using an on-camera mike and it would be nice to avoid getting *wrrrrr wrrraaaa* into it. Anybody knows something about this?

Thanks!
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Old July 18th, 2010, 01:00 PM   #13
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If I may pick up on your desires... You're asking for the impossible. Remember the Golden Triangle:

Good <--> Cheap <--> Timely/Reliable - choose two.

You want a zoom lens that has IS, you want it for a cheap price, and you want good quality?

You can have a cheap lens that has basic features, but won't be a stellar performer (f5.6 or something - what's the point? A Canon HV20 will outperform it)

You can have a cheap lens that is a stellar performer, but won't be a zoom (nifty fifity)

You can have a pricey lens that is a stellar performer and does everything.

The Tamron DOES round off that triangle nicely, but the IS will be for stills not video.

But now you want to incorporate Full Frame? Full Frame optics use more glass, and can't give the wide end you want on a 1.6. Do you really want to plan for that FF future if you're NOT a professional photographer? 1.6x emulates the motion picture version of 35mm, and has a wealth of lenses for it. Think of this: Panasonic are doing a 4/3 camera that will take Canon 1.6 lenses. Do you want full frame? Do you REALLY want the pain of full frame for video? Do you want a follow-focus unit and somebody to pull focus on your talking head interviews because of the 'wafer thin' DoF that means you lost focus as the interviewee turns their head?

One thing I learned pretty quick: INVEST in glass. I'm using my old Nikkors (even my G series lens) on my Canon, and I'll probably drop the body for a Panasonic body if not a 7D. I think the 1.6x crop lenses are safe because that's a good balance between the 'wafer thin but unmanageable' Full Frame, and the 'broadcast video' 2/3 format.

Doing Telephoto is pretty easy. Doing 'wide' is hard. My Tokina 11-17 on a 550D wipes the floor with a DSR570 and £12k Fujinon wide angle lens. If I'd bought Full Frame optics, only a Full Frame camera will do justice at the wide end.

BTW, if - by 'walk around' - you mean 'hand held', get the Canon with its IS. My non-IS Nikkor required an expensive (Zacuto) rails system to tame it for handheld work, and even then my kit lens's IS dances all over it if I wanted a static shot - which I don't BTW.

And now my render is done. Returning you to your original programming.
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Old July 19th, 2010, 06:53 AM   #14
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Well, I was actually wanting to ask, in the same price range, do you know any lenses that comes with a Philip Bloom action figure?

No, really, thank you Matt. Point taken. What you said is total known fact, but I'm so cheap that it's nice you reminded me... sometimes I forget that to get quality you have to pay. Not in vane I have an EX1 as well!

I'm going to get this on the NY BH superstore in about 15 days, so I'll ask if I can try both lenses and I'll let you know my personal thoughts about image stabilization.
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Old July 19th, 2010, 09:46 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian Holb View Post
Canon EF-S 17-55mm f2.8 IS USM

This is the perfect lens for run and gun. It covers the most used focal lengths and with IS, you don't need a shoulder support or rig of any sort. Stable shots throughout the zoom range.
I would like to see stable, handheld shots at 55mm. A tripod or monopod is essential for any decent results.
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