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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 January 7th, 2009, 12:45 PM   #1
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Comments about the Kit lens, please!

Hello! I don't want to dig too deep in the lens issue. My point is that the kit lens EF 24-105 IS seems a good choice for many situations. But I'm worried about the 1 stop of light loss due to the f/4.0 aperture compared to other zomm lenses without image stabilization that reach f/2.8. So my question here for all kit lens owners:

Is the IS worth loosing one stop? Does it work fine when shooting handheld?
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Old January 7th, 2009, 01:27 PM   #2
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I bought the 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS, but specifically for photos, not video. My son picked up a Nikon 200mm f/4 manual lens, and I plan to get a 105mm f/2.5 as well. (We already have 50mm and 24mm primes.)

IS is really nice for handheld still photos. It generally buys more than a stop - especially if you are willing to snap a series of photos. At 1/20 some might be blurred, but many will be good.

However, for video, if you want to control aperture, you're better off with Nikon glass. If you do the lens twist method with Canon lenses, IS will be turned off anyway. The only ways to use IS are to a) let the camera choose your aperture, or b) set the aperture, press and hold the DOF preview button, remove the lens, insert tape over the correct pins, and replace the lens. Yuk.

If they fix the firmware, it might be a different story...
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Old January 7th, 2009, 01:29 PM   #3
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I'm pretty amazed by the IS - it definitely gives you several additional stops in terms of shutter speed when shooting handheld. Combined with the low-light sensitivity of the camera it makes low-light handheld work pretty easy, BUT... it depends on what you want to shoot. If your primary subject is people I'd say go for the faster lens instead - shooting people in low light I find myself using shutter priority @ 1/60 because any slower makes it likely to get blurry subjects if they move at all - so in that situation the IS doesn't help much, and f.4 means you may be shooting higher ISO than you'd like. I'm getting better low-light people shots with my nikon f2 85mm but I really miss the autofocus - need a better ground glass for manual focusing with this camera, so I'll probably pick up the canon 50 f1.4 for that type of stuff.

EDIT: after seeing Jon's post above I wanted to clarify that I'm talking about shooting stills here. I think for video it depends on what's more important to you - aperture control or the ability to shoot handheld. The IS seems to really smooth out the handheld jitteryness that makes the rolling shutter visible, but as Jon mentioned it's not easy to get aperture control. Handheld with the nikon is right at the edge of acceptability and I'm looking at getting a monopod so I can do pseudo-handheld without the shakiness.
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Old January 8th, 2009, 12:11 AM   #4
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Yes, you can access up to four apertures on an AE lens. This can be difficult to control, since the camera is balancing three parameters (aperture, shutter and ISO), rather than just two (shutter and ISO.) Be careful not to change the zoom though. When the zoom changes on an AE lens, the shutter speed will change!

The second method seems not to work, and requires a non-AE lens and adapter.
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Old January 8th, 2009, 07:56 AM   #5
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This kit lens is actually a pretty good lens... and deserves it's over a grand price point. I know quite a few pro photographers that prefer it's extra zoom reach and IS over theit 27-70 2.8's, and don't mind the 1 stop loss. It also works pretty good as a macro lens.. not as good as the 100 2.8 macro, but pretty good.

This particular zoom range is mostly used for grip and grin type work and casual shooting where one does not have the time to switch out lenses.

If your going for very shallow depth of field then this is not the lens to use... you will want fast prime lenses line the 50 1.4/1.2 and 85 1.8/1.2 . But, that said, it still has shallower DOF then a 1/3 chip video camera.

I took my 5d2 / 24-105 to a science museum with my kids and was really amazed at how well the IS did in vid mode, and the video looks pretty stunning in the low light. Also shot christmas morning when the kids opened presents and again.... very clean footage for such low light.
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Old January 8th, 2009, 10:29 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christopher Witz View Post
I took my 5d2 / 24-105 to a science museum with my kids and was really amazed at how well the IS did in vid mode, and the video looks pretty stunning in the low light. Also shot christmas morning when the kids opened presents and again.... very clean footage for such low light.
Thank you Christoph (and everybody else). I noticed a lot of shake in clips shot with the 24-70 f/2.8 lens. I would always want to shoot on a tripode with the 5D but experience tells me that in many situations you simply end up handheld. So I'm really curious if the 24-105 IS lens does that job better. And too shallow DOF handheld also isn't what you really want, so f/4.0 should be OK. But this is all grey theory for me, so I'm looking for 1rst hand reports.

Please have in mind that I'm conscious about the manual limitations of the canon lenses in video mode. But I want to shoot photos, too - so my first lens has to be a compromise.
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Old January 8th, 2009, 02:46 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Joe Wentrup View Post
Please have in mind that I'm conscious about the manual limitations of the canon lenses in video mode. But I want to shoot photos, too - so my first lens has to be a compromise.
I was pretty amazed reading about less stellar than expected performance of the EF 24-105 IS in this article on the Luminous Landscape recently: Canon 50D Milestone

Granted, the 50D has a much smaller pixel pitch than the 5DMkII, but I would have expected one of the most recent Canon EF-designs to deliver better performance. Really gave me something to think about. I'll seriously consider Zeiss ZE lenses when shopping for glass next time around. Of course, there's no IS (yet?) with the Zeiss lenses... If pixel densities continue to increase the way they have been, Canon will have to develop a complete new line of lenses before long (EF L HD anyone?)

Cheers,

Ron
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Last edited by Ron Pfister; January 8th, 2009 at 04:29 PM.
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Old January 8th, 2009, 04:32 PM   #8
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I have used the 24-105mm f/4 L IS extensively and always been extremely happy with the performance on many different bodies. I also own the 24-70mm f/2.8L lens and performance is similar - both are Canon 'L' series lenses featuring the finest UD glass and aspheric elements.

Stabilisation gives equivalent to 3 stops extra speed for the lens in terms of handholding, so it is a far better bet than the 24-70. Personally, I would not attempt use a non-stabilised lens unless the camera was on sticks - I made the mistake of shooting some casual material and held with a 5D Mark II on a non-stabilised lens and the results are quite horrible.

Ref Luminous Landscape - Please bear in mind that Reichmann is a pixel peeper in-extremis - the detail he is looking at is only visible with 15 or 20Mp cameras on the highest end monitors. It will never be seen on HD video.

If one wants to be pedantic, it is possible to find similar chromatic aberration on many lenses if you look closely enough in Photoshop, including one of my $5,000 dollar Schneider camera lenses. However, the reality is that it will never be seen in print.

Nick.
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Old January 8th, 2009, 05:12 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Nick Wilcox-Brown View Post
Personally, I would not attempt use a non-stabilised lens unless the camera was on sticks - I made the mistake of shooting some casual material and held with a 5D Mark II on a non-stabilised lens and the results are quite horrible.
Nick, do you refer to video, here?
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Old January 8th, 2009, 05:32 PM   #10
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I have to admit that I was reluctant to getting the 24-105... I use it on a 1sd3 as well as the 5d2... and I'm used to my L primes. But.... either my copy is a jewel and some people have bad versions, or it's just that some people obsess over 100% pixel viewing.

Regarding the new ziess ze lenses; the few I've tested were no better then good canon L primes.... in fact, I find my 50 1.2, 85 1.2 and 35 1.4 lenses to be sharper ( especially wide open ) and... those ziess ze's don't have manual aperture control on the lens, they function just as canon ef's but without AF. The older german contax c/y mount ziess lenses are very good though and have full aperture control.

of course this is just my opinion.
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Old January 8th, 2009, 06:08 PM   #11
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Christopher, would you mind to post some low light clips you did with the 24-105? (even better if handheld)
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Old January 9th, 2009, 12:33 AM   #12
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Perfect, no but the 24-105 f4/L IS is a must-have zoom. I have one Alaska artfolio shot entirely with that lens, and people are agape. It's sharp, especially at the wider end, f5.6-6.3, and remains nicely detailed at the long end f8.0-f11. It's not the best for portraits, but it can do them if you can. The image stabilization is very effective, it's real.

Maybe the best thing about the 24-105 that doesn't get mentioned is color rendition, rich, saturated, natural. It's a versatile do everything well, walk around lens.
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Old January 9th, 2009, 12:57 AM   #13
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Another IS lens to consider is the 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS. I chose this for a few reasons:
* When my wife takes pictures of people with her cellphone, she puts the camera up to their noses. I figure that she likes closeups, and this lens will keep me from looking like a German Shepherd.
* You can get wide and normal prime lenses with a much larger aperture than the kit lens offers, but long lenses with bigger apertures than f/4 are WAY out of my budget.
* I got mine used from KEH in LN condition for $400.

This photo is roughly a 2/3rds crop of the original. I "Dirked" the colors - the whites and blacks are relatively neutral and very desaturated. The mid tones are desaturated and only warm colors are permitted. It was shot from at least 30 feet, handheld. I shot this with auto focus, and chose the default "cloudy" white balance. 1/320 (IS not really needed), 500 ISO, 300mm, f/5.6.

http://dirksnowglobe.com/images/clue...TheSnow_lg.jpg

Here is a pixel-by-pixel crop without color processing, aside from the Standard RAW to JPEG conversion.
http://dirksnowglobe.com/images/Snow...close_900w.JPG

Not bad for a $400 lens.

BTW, at CES I got a close look at the 85mm f/1.2 L glass. Drool...
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Old January 9th, 2009, 03:36 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Joe Wentrup View Post
Nick, do you refer to video, here?
Absolutely - for stills the lens is an excellent GP lens.


In terms of other comments / questions - 'Is it worth losing 1 stop?"

The short answer is 'Yes,' stabilistation is essential for handheld with the 5D Mark II. Movement is very obvious and does not look good.

When thinking of maximum lens arpertures, you have to remember the low-light performance of this camera; it can theoretically do something like +30 Gain in video terms. I have tested the stills side of it carefully, but not the video side, but it is still going to be far and away better than most video cams. The chips is full 35mm.

Most stills guys do not think of f4 as terribly slow. With bigger chips come bigger lenses and therefore slower lenses. As some of you are aware, there is a substantial price premium on fast photo lenses as they are designed to cover 35mm and the demands on ultra-high mega pixel sensors.

The Canon EF85mm f/1.2L was mentioned - it is a stunning lens, with arguably the best bokeh around. It requires careful use for portrait work as DoF is tiny at f1.2 . More economically, the 85mm f/1.8 is 90% of the lens for 30% of the price. Boheh is also good and the lens is very sharp. Both will need sticks or a steadicam.

For wide shooting the EF24mm f/1.4 is well regarded, as is the EF35mm f/1.4. The 24 has a particularly nice bokeh.

Nick.
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Old January 9th, 2009, 10:36 AM   #15
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Thank you Nick, i get ever more inclined towards the 24-105 IS lens. Seems one doesn't do anything wrong buying it. And there's always the backdoor of fast primes should I run in low light troubles.
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