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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 16th, 2011, 11:40 PM   #1
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have a couple lenses, glass advice? Where to focus?

hey guys, i have a
Canon 17-55mm 2.8 and a Zeiss 50mm 1.4.... price is not that much of an issue, but i am going to be investing in some new glass, primarily looking at the

Zeiss 35mm 2.0
or the
Tokina 11-16mm

my question is, since i already have two lenses that shoot in similar ranges, should i not look into the Zeiss 35mm and instead more focus on a wide angle like the tokina or even something like the Canon 100mm L series macro?

opinions would be great, i primarily shoot short films and do alot of documentary work...

thanks!
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Old May 17th, 2011, 12:48 AM   #2
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Re: have a couple lenses, glass advice? Where to focus?

I love the ZE 35/2. It my go-to lens on the 5D2. It's pretty close to a 50 though. I'd think that the ZE 28/2 "Hollywood" might make more sense for building a prime collection.

But frankly, if I were in your shoes, I'd look at the macro pretty closely. (Pun intended!) It would give you a longer lens, can do extreme closeups, and includes IS, so it's viable for documentary stuff. Personally, I think a macro is a critical (and often overlooked) tool for narrative work. Sometimes you want to show a clue, or a handwritten note, or a newspaper clipping. You need a macro for that. It can also be important for documentary work when the subject deals in fine detail.

A super wide angle lens really depends on your style. Personally, I love it. It's a real challenge to use well. With a 21mm lens on a full frame camera (13mm on a crop), it can look really stupid if you put it on a tripod at eye height, have people walk in and out of the frame, and you pan around. Put the same lens down low in a corner of a room or up close to the corner of a desk and it can be magic. Super wides also rock for timelapses taken from a high angle.

A super wide isn't really what you want for straight-ahead story telling or for a traditional documentary style, but it can really add spice when you find the spot for an interesting perspective or when you want extreme attitude for an extreme sports documentary.

My feeling is that the macro might have the highest value. You can already cover 35mm with your zoom. You can "get it all in" by shooting at 17mm and backing up. But you can only get so close to an object with your current lens set. The macro truly gives you something new.

It's not that you need a macro everyday. But the day you want to see something up close, you'll be glad it's in your toolkit.

FWIW, here is a one minute narrative piece we did that relied heavily on a macro lens.
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Old May 17th, 2011, 05:04 PM   #3
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Re: have a couple lenses, glass advice? Where to focus?

Unless you really need to go wider, I would go the 100mm macro.
I have the Tokina, it's a stunning lens but to mix it up with what you have I would purchase the 100, any maybe even an extender to go suuuuuuuuuuuuuuper macro
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Old May 17th, 2011, 05:10 PM   #4
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Re: have a couple lenses, glass advice? Where to focus?

Thank you Jon, thank you Johnathan, You guys helped solidify my doubt in buying another lens within the range of what I have. I am going to rent the 100mm Macro and see how i like it. Thanks :D... let me know if any other opinons come up :)
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Old May 17th, 2011, 06:22 PM   #5
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Re: have a couple lenses, glass advice? Where to focus?

The other option is the Zeiss 100/2 macro. It has two advantages: f/2 speed and a 330 degree focus throw(!) That's as long as the throw on the Zeiss CP.2 cine lenses. The disadvantages are the price, it "only" does 1:2 magnification, and it lacks IS.

The Zeiss 100/2 macro is a reference lens for one reviewer. The spatial distortion is as near zero as it gets. Another review site said that its center sharpness broke all records for all lenses they had tested.

For a video lens on bigger shoots, the ZE 100/2 would be killer. It's fast, got a cine focus throw, it's straight, sharp, and solid. That said, if you don't have a crew and shoot handheld, the IS of the Canon - and the extra few hundred dollars in your pocket - would be really nice. I think the Canon wins as a personal lens and the Zeiss wins as a pro lens.

I've got the older 100 macro without IS. Someday, I'll upgrade!
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Old May 18th, 2011, 04:12 PM   #6
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Re: have a couple lenses, glass advice? Where to focus?

i dont know if you're only looking for Zeiss lenses but I love my Canon 24-105 lens. Its not macro but its a wonderful lens.

Canon 24-105mm f/4L IS USM AF Lens 0344B002 B&H Photo Video

The 100mm Canon is great too.
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Old May 18th, 2011, 04:25 PM   #7
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Re: have a couple lenses, glass advice? Where to focus?

We have a 24-105 at work and I used it almost exclusively on one project.

Overall, I find that lens to be a basic workhorse that captures "safe" photos and video. It does the basics really well, but it doesn't provide that extra sizzle.

I shot an event (photos) two years running. The first year I used the 50/1.4. The second year I used the 24-105. Just recently one person said that the loved the photos I had done for the event - "especially the first year. Those photos were dreamy."

So... a photo novice noticed the difference!

Not that the 24-105 is bad. It's not. It's a great choice for a single lens. But I don't find it to be exceptional.
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Old May 18th, 2011, 04:27 PM   #8
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Re: have a couple lenses, glass advice? Where to focus?

i also dont think i would necessarily need another zoom lens. i have heard from many that i should build my prime kits
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Old May 18th, 2011, 05:18 PM   #9
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Re: have a couple lenses, glass advice? Where to focus?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Fairhurst View Post

Not that the 24-105 is bad. It's not. It's a great choice for a single lens. But I don't find it to be exceptional.
Well yeah, its only an F/4, so it wont give you all the detail you want that an F/1.4 would. i also have a Cannon 70-200 F/2.0 but its just so bulky,

If you only use primes you'll have to do a lot more planning ahead of time. It really depends on what you are shooting.
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Old May 29th, 2011, 08:27 PM   #10
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Re: have a couple lenses, glass advice? Where to focus?

The 24-105 is exceptional, based on my experience. I have never shot a 1.4, but I have a 1.8 and it is also incredible. I think every lens has it strong points. For example, I went to the beach today and used my 70-200 2.8 (and my Canon HV30) all afternoon to capture some great shots of my grandson. :-)

Last edited by Andy Popple; May 30th, 2011 at 02:46 PM. Reason: typo
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