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Canon EOS Full Frame for HD
All about using the Canon 1D X, 6D, 5D Mk. IV / Mk. III / Mk. II D-SLR for 4K and HD video recording.


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Old December 11th, 2008, 01:51 PM   #1
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Lens collection for under $1k

Regarding lenses, my plan is to get the following lenses. This is for narrative stuff, where we expect to stay medium and tight, rather than wide or super-close.

* Nikon 28mm f/2.8 manual focus - They're cheap! (Around $100, used, from a shop)

* Nikon 50mm f/?.? manual focus - My son already has one for his film camera. Not sure which model.

* Nikon 85mm f/1.4 manual focus - This will be our "go to" lens. According to Ken Rockwell, the f1.4 is one of the best ever made, and is available used for $400 - $800. If I can't find a good one, the 85mm f/1.8 autofocus is available new for just under $400.

* Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM - At just under $500, this would be my walk-around photo lens, and for video when I need longer shots. With autofocus and image stabilization, my wife should be able to put the camera in auto, frame, click and get good shots. For video, we can get reasonable depth of field at the longer focal lengths even at that aperture.

One question: what about breathing when pulling focus on these lenses? Am I likely to be disappointed?

Anyway, this comes in at under $1k. Any change can be used for the Nikon adapter and a filter or two.

While I'd love a 135mm 2.0, shorter stuff, macros and a long behemoth, these quickly fall out of the meat and potatoes range. Rather than spend the next $1k on lenses, I'd rather get better lights and support, and rent lenses at needed.

Comments welcome!
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Old December 11th, 2008, 02:13 PM   #2
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Jon:

Look at the Nikon's Series E 100 mm 2.8. I bought one on recommendation of Steven Dempsy, and it seems to be pretty good to cover that 85 to 100 mm need.
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Old December 11th, 2008, 04:06 PM   #3
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Nice suggestion. The 105mm f/2.5 looks like it might even be a bit better for only a few more bucks (about $135 vs $90.)

Here are Ken Rockwell's reviews:
Nikon 100mm f/2.8 Series E
Nikon 105mm f/2.5 AI-s

Don't confuse this lens (105 f/2.5) with the 100mm f/2.8 Series E. The Series E is a swell lens too, but it's odd to see people pay as much for the Series E as they will for the superior 105mm f/2.5. The 105 has been a benchmark professional lens for decades and is built to the highest mechanical standard Nikon has ever attained, while the 100mm Series E was somewhat less sturdy, but still optically superb and better than most modern AF lenses.
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Old December 11th, 2008, 05:00 PM   #4
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The E series are less expensive and smaller, but still very good for video. KEH.com has tons of used Nikon. No reason to buy better than EX quality. They are the fairest raters I know.

The Canon 70-300 mentioned is a very good lens. But I would frame the shot and focus by zooming on the LCD. I wouldn't count on the IS working as well as in video cams.

This isn't the camera for walking around and filming.

edit: Just about any multicoated prime that can be fit on the camera will be good. Probably very good. This includes Olympus OM, Pentax K and screw mount. M42 screw mount. Metal protruding into the camera from the lens mount may hit the mirror and should be ground down. No reason to buy expensive adapter. The less expensive ones at fotodiox.com are usually fine. They have more expensive "Pro" models that aren't necessary.
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Old December 11th, 2008, 05:58 PM   #5
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Thanks Don,

The 70-300mm will be primarily for photos, and will get double duty for video as needed. My main concern is to make my wife happy. She's not exactly thrilled about spending the money on a pro camera. If she tries to use it and I have to get all geeky to explain manual focusing and aperture, she'll hate the thing. On the other hand, with a nice EF zoom with IS, she should be able to put the camera in auto mode, fill the frame and get a nice photo.

If the lens happens to extend our range and offer shallow DOF for video, so be it. ;)

Also, it's only about half the price of the kit lens. I just hope it doesn't breathe too badly.
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Old December 11th, 2008, 10:57 PM   #6
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The 85mm 1.4 is super nice and crazy fast. You'll use it every chance you get and it's worth the money for a well cared for older one. Great build quality on the old Nikons.

You might also want something a bit more wide-angle than the 28mm, but price starts to become more of an issue below 24mm. The 28mm is a great lens and a even better value. For the 50mm the 1.8 or 1.4 is more than good enough - just make sure to skip the 50mm Series E 1.8. It's crap - soft as hell especially wide open.

As to breathing, well that's just one of those things. It's gonna be there. The effect really doesn't bother me all that much. The effect is diminished a lot when you're doing normal film work which usually doesn't involve massive quick changes in focus. Slowly racking I don't think you'll be disappointed. And when you are making big changes and see it you might find you even like the look.

Also keep in mind that almost no Nikon prime is internal focus - so they will grow and shorten as they are focused. This makes working in your matte-box a little more fun. Zacuto makes a nice adjustable black camera hood to attach from the front of your lens to the back of your matte-box and provide you some travel room.

Finally, the best Nikon lens I've had fun shooting with is the 200mm f4 Micro. Crazy, crazy sharp and able to shoot amazing macro shots of tiny objects. Also I have the 55mm f2.8 micro which is also super. Again razor sharp, even wide open. With the 5D I'm very excited to get DOF without my Redrock M2 and huge light loss - while shooting with an already slow HD camera. YESSSSSS!!!!
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Old December 12th, 2008, 12:24 AM   #7
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I've mentioned this before, but may need repeating in this thread. I've heard that the Nikon 50mm f/1.4 sits too far back on the EOS to Nikon mount adapter. When attached to a full frame camera like the 5D, the camera's mirror will hit the back of the lens. Like I've said in the other threads though, I can't seem to find anyone to confirm or deny this. Perhaps someone here will end up buying the lens and letting us know!
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Old December 12th, 2008, 06:54 PM   #8
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Jon, I've got AIS versions of the 20mm 2.8, 28mm 2.0, 50mm 1.4, 85mm 1.4 and 105mm 2.5

I've used them on both the Mini35 and Letus systems so let me know if I can answer any questions.

Jim
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Old December 12th, 2008, 08:13 PM   #9
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Jim, do you have a 5D MII? Just wondering about the 50mm f/1.4.
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Old December 13th, 2008, 12:20 AM   #10
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Thanks Jim,

My main question is about the difference between the 85mm f/1.4 and the 105mm f/2.5. How do they compare for HD video? Is the 85mm noticeably better and worth the extra cash, or is the performance difference lost in the wash?

Thanks!
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Old December 13th, 2008, 02:38 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Jon Fairhurst View Post
My main question is about the difference between the 85mm f/1.4 and the 105mm f/2.5. How do they compare for HD video? Is the 85mm noticeably better and worth the extra cash, or is the performance difference lost in the wash?
Well I think about any photographer would tell you that there's no better 35mm format portrait lens than the Nikon 85mm 1.4 (the Zeiss Planar being the other possibility). And after all that's what we're talking about here photography or rather cinematography...but we're not talking video anymore in any sense with the 5D.

So direct comparisons are really applicable here. So in a perfect world the 85mm would be the choice. But we're not talking apples to apples. The 85 has perhaps the nicest bokeh of any nikon lens in history...really ideal for close-ups and it has 1 1/2 stop speed advantage.

On the upside for the 105mm, 2.5 is still a fast lens for most circumstances at that focal length, it's a 52mm versus 77mm piece of glass which is obviously lighter and smaller and it can be had for a fraction of the price.

I think that most people shooting a film scene through the 105mm would be blown away versus anything they've done in video. It has the tight manual focus and feel of the best nikon primes and is built to the same standards as the 85mm. It's probably as sharp (certainly from f4 upward) and looks great wide open. It has great bokeh but side by side the 85 would win a shoot out.

You can't go wrong with the 105 2.5 so I'd get it and shoot with it. For all the world pr anyone seeing your work the quality of the image will speak for itself and no one will wish you had shot it with the 85mm and you'll love the way it renders color and contrast. It's sharp and fast and blurs beautifully. The 85mm is a 10 out of 10. I think the 105 is a 9 out of ten.
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Old December 13th, 2008, 04:30 PM   #12
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Maybe the Nikon 85mm f2 AI-s would be a good compromise - Ken Rockwell seems to like it (Nikon 85mm f/2.0 AI-s Nikkor Review 2004 KenRockwell.com). 52mm, a little faster and lighter than the 105mm and a similar price range - is there any reason this wouldn't be a good lens for video?
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Old December 13th, 2008, 05:01 PM   #13
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Maybe the Nikon 85mm f2 AI-s would be a good compromise - Ken Rockwell seems to like it (Nikon 85mm f/2.0 AI-s Nikkor Review 2004 KenRockwell.com). 52mm, a little faster and lighter than the 105mm and a similar price range - is there any reason this wouldn't be a good lens for video?
First and I mean this seriously....it ain't video anymore. Really - a full sensor 35mm chip with true 35mm DOF and FOV at 1080p is mostly equivalent to shooting film and has very little in common with video.

With that said <g> this lens talk (Nikon primes) is really about taste. Nearly any of the AI or AIS lenses will handle and focus and render gorgeous photos and footage...very close if not just as good as a cine prime 100x their cost.

The 85mm f2 is a great lens. The 105 2.5 like the 85 1.4 are genuine classics. The optics and builds on these are second to none and have remained virtually unchanged for decades and therefore have a long history of use and review over the years by top photographers - and what's looked great to them will be the same now rendered to 1080p.

Again the 85 f2 will deliver beautiful images. The 105 2.5 has long been considered one of the best lenses ever made by anyone at any price, so grab one because they're cheap and will be something you should keep as a filmmaker and photographer forever.
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Old December 13th, 2008, 05:11 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Jim Giberti View Post
First and I mean this seriously....it ain't video anymore. Really - a full sensor 35mm chip with true 35mm DOF and FOV at 1080p is mostly equivalent to shooting film and has very little in common with video.
Definitely. Although, really if we're going to get right down to it it has very little to do with shooting film either, considering we're going straight into digital data on a solid state volume. We don't shoot video, we don't shoot film, we shoot... files.

Face it. We're filemakers.
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Old December 13th, 2008, 05:21 PM   #15
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<<Face it. We're filemakers.>>

Yikes...there goes any and all sex appeal that idea had.

But as far as how you use this tool and what it can deliver visually, it really is analogous with 35mm filmmaking much more so than video.
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