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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 August 15th, 2010, 11:27 AM   #1
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Sigma 50mm 1.4 vs Canon 50mm 1.4

I did a search, and didn't see anything regarding a comparison of these two lenses for video. I read that the sigma is much sharper at 1.4 than the canon, but does it matter as much for video? Probably 95% of my use of a 50mm 1.4 prime would be for video, not stills.

I think I will rent both and compare myself, but wondered of anyone here has an opinion.
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Old August 15th, 2010, 01:05 PM   #2
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You need the best lenses you can afford for video. I found a pretty big difference between cheap lenses and better ones. There's more to the lens than sharpness, especially when shooting video. Many seem to be designed for auto focus, and manually focusing precisely is difficult.
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Old August 15th, 2010, 02:00 PM   #3
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See if you can rent - or at least test in the store - a Zeiss ZE 50/1.4. It's made to be focused manually with a smooth, solid, long focus travel with hard stops. On the 7D, it should make a great portrait and two-shot lens.
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Old August 15th, 2010, 03:18 PM   #4
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Wow you guys have camera stores. The closest Camera store to me [other than Best Buy : )] is in LA. Not that far but all things 7D/5D are either out of stock or overpriced.

I was in Filmtools a couple of weeks ago and they had ridiculous prices on some things, but at least they had what I was looking for.

Renting is a great idea.
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Old August 15th, 2010, 04:09 PM   #5
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I'd recommend the Zeiss for video work too.

I have the Sigma 50 1.4 for stills and it's really nice, BUT none of these 1.4 lenses are that good wide open. I tried the Sigma side by side with the Nikon 50 1.4G and the Sigma was slightly better at wide stops but slightly worse beyond f4 - this is backed up by tests like at Welcome to Photozone!

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Old August 15th, 2010, 10:05 PM   #6
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Well, I agree the Zeiss would be the best for video, but I do want auto focus for some other uses. I think either the canon or sigma 50mm 1.4 would work well for me, but not sure which one.

Renting them both will tell me what I need to know. Just wondered if anyone here has experience specifically with the sigma 50 1.4 for video, and if the (alleged) increase in sharpness and image quality would matter with video.
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Old August 15th, 2010, 10:24 PM   #7
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Can't speak for the sigma but the first lens I got was the canon 50 1.4 and it's my favorite. I can't imagine a lens being sharper across the range. I have had no issues using my follow focus on it for video and have done quite a bit of still-work with it wide open. I did a shoot last week where I stopped it down to 5.6 and it's simply spectacular. Would I love a $2000 zeiss? Sure! Is it the only way to get crisp video? No! The canon does just fine.
The sigmas probably fine too.
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Old August 16th, 2010, 05:57 AM   #8
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the filter size on the canon is 58mm

whereas the Sigma is 77

Does that make any difference in quality?

1 factor here is that I have the Canon 10-22 3.5 and the Canon 70-200 2.8
both my most expensive lenses and both of which have 77 mm filter sizes.

I have invested a bit in filters for these, so the Sigma seems to fit the rest of my gear more and also is a bit cheaper than the Canon 50 1.4.

Not sure if this helps the TS, but it's making me lean towards the Sigma myself as I am also considering both lenses
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Old August 16th, 2010, 07:38 AM   #9
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The filter size is actually a minus for me, but I have no other lenses that have that same size. But, I'll gladly spend more on a protective filter if the lens is that much better. In my neck of the woods, the sigma is $130 more expensive. Some say the hood makes up for it, but the canon hood is less than $30.

Just bought the 85 1.8 for video, and I LOVE it. Definitely needs a tripod, but if the subject is moving, I can get away with using a monopod.

I'll update everyone in this post when I get the 50mm rentals. Another thing I'm looking for besides image quality is focus ring quality. Last time I used the canon 50 1.4, it felt like the focus ring was a little rough. Might have just been that lens though.
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Old August 16th, 2010, 01:06 PM   #10
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I have the sigma and I love it, great manual focus ring and superb bokeh. I use it mostly with my 5d2 in low light but very nice everywhere. I don't think you'll be sorry.
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Old August 24th, 2010, 08:44 PM   #11
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whats the focus ring like on both the sigma and the canon?

How 'smooth' is it?

I recently got the 30mm sigma, and while i like it, i find the focus ring is quite 'stiff', like its hard to do a focus pull hand held without the camera 'moving' significantly due to turning the ring

I have the canon 50mm 1.8, but I find the focus ring to 'loose', plus the lens is too small, and my fingers sometimes get in the shot when im racking focus.

The focus ring on my canon 17-55mm 2.8, tamron 70-200, and tonika 11-16 seems just right in temrs of how 'loose' or 'stiff' it is.

There doesnt seem to be a store in my country that stocks the sigma, but i'll have a try at the canon in my local jessops

If any owners of either lens let me know their thoughts thatd be great


Cheers

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Old August 24th, 2010, 10:01 PM   #12
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I have 3 of the lenses you mentioned, the Sigma 30mm 1.4, the Tokina 11-16, and the Canon 17-55 2.8, as well as the Sigma 50mm 1.4. The Sigma 50mm is focus is definitely smoother and less harsh than the 30mm. It seems like on the 30mm you are moving gears or something, whereas the 50mm is nice and smooth and less effort is required. It is just a touch more friction than the Canon 17-55, which, you're right, has one of the best actions. The Tokina is much lighter but is probably the smoothest. I think you'll be happy with the Sigma, I did a bit of research, and while I didn't choose the Canon and never tried one, even though it was in the same price range, my research indicated the Sigma was a better lens and I like the image and the action of the lens.
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Old August 24th, 2010, 10:28 PM   #13
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I'll throw in a Super Takumar 50mm f1.4 into consideration. I love the sharpness and colour of it and smooth focus ring too. Cost about $100 which makes it all worth it! You just need to have a M42 adapter (not expensive at all) and you will lose AF in photo, but no worries in video.
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Old August 25th, 2010, 08:36 AM   #14
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I second the m42 takumar lenses. They do however exhibit green/yellow color fringing even towards the center of the lens, although it's less noticable on video due to reduced resolution. But they are small, light, cheap and fast, and for the price offer excellent picture quality. I own a 24mm, 35mm, 50mm, 105mm and 200mm.
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