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Old January 23rd, 2009, 10:21 PM   #1
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Best Image-stabilized "around the house" lens?

I understand that the 5D Mark II will not be the best "kiddie birthday camcorder." But let's say that you had no choice but to use it as such (WORK WITH ME HERE!). What would be a good, lightweight, image-stabilized zoom lens that would work for just capturing those goofy moments around the house? I know that someone is going to tell me to buy a $300 dollar camcorder with a good autofocus... But let's just say hypothetically...

Thanks,

dave
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Old January 23rd, 2009, 10:38 PM   #2
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Considering ANY image stabilized lens is going to cost you at the least around 1k then the camcorder is a much better option.

The best bet would have been the kit lens that comes with it

24-105mm F/4 IS

Everything else is much bigger / longer / heavier
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Old January 23rd, 2009, 11:54 PM   #3
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Considering ANY image stabilized lens is going to cost you at the least around 1k then the camcorder is a much better option.
I got a used Canon 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS lens in "LN" condition from KEH for $400.

It's not perfect for a kiddie party, since it's so narrow, but it did the trick for me at Christmas as a photo lens. My wife prefers intimate closeups and facial expressions; hence, the long lens.

The biggest problem with it is the 2m minimum focus distance. You can't always convince the kiddies to stay that far away. "Daddy, what's a meter?"

Yeah, the 24-105mm or some other wide zoom would be the ticket.
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Old January 24th, 2009, 01:05 AM   #4
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I agree with the other responses that the 24-105mm is a great way to go. The IS really makes a difference--the main problem is that the mic pics up the noise of the IS and it's actually very loud. I just ordered the Sen. MKE-400 and we'll see if that helps...
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Old January 24th, 2009, 05:44 AM   #5
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Thanks for the helpful replies...

The 24-105mm definitely looks interesting, but it is out of my price range...

The 70-300mm looks tempting!

Has anyone used the Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS as a general "kiddie camcorder" lens? The zoom range seems good for this use. I'm wonder how well the IS works for video use?
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Old January 24th, 2009, 10:24 AM   #6
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David, while IS does help if you are anything but on a tripod with those lengths (above 100~) It's going to be hard to not to have noticeable shake with it.
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Old January 24th, 2009, 04:43 PM   #7
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chasing the kids around

I'm using a 24-70, which is a great lens but the camera is very front heavy with it. Is the IS actually working when you're in video mode? If so, can you turn it off? Do you get that weird stabilizer image shift when you're long on a tripod, like you get on the HVX200?

I'm still trying to follow focus quickly when chasing the kids around. It's tough with the 35mm DOF and a viewfinder with out any peaking features.

t
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Old January 24th, 2009, 04:44 PM   #8
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the IS on the 70-200 2.8 is AWESOME. I can nail a solid, shake free shot, handheld at 200mm no problem.

Get a good monopod. Keeping the camera still is key with the 5D
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Old January 24th, 2009, 06:20 PM   #9
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My 5D Mark II is actually not "in my hands" yet. It is on the way and should be here next week. VERY EXCITING! I was just hoping (unrealistic I know) that I could sell my Sony A1U camcorder which I currently use as my "kiddie camcorder" to help pay off the 5D Mark II. But as I think about it, I'm realizing that the lack of auto-focus, difficult ergonomics, lack of IS lens (I only have the 50 mm 1.4L and the 24-70 2.8L non IS lenses), and shallow DOF will make it difficult as a "kiddie camcorder".

WHO WOULD EVER THINK THAT A SHALLOW DOF WAS A BAD THING!!! STRANGE TIMES!!!

Aside from the "kiddie camcorder" thing, I'm really looking forward to using this camera for some artistic and "cinematic" projects where I REALLY HAD TO WORK in the past at getting a shallow DOF. This will be fun!
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Old January 24th, 2009, 09:03 PM   #10
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Aside from the "kiddie camcorder" thing, I'm really looking forward to using this camera for some artistic and "cinematic" projects where I REALLY HAD TO WORK in the past at getting a shallow DOF. This will be fun!
It's a fun little camera. Really easy way for shallow DOF, but its a pain when you have to fight the auto exposure, and its tough to pull focus on non-cine lenses.

That said, you can get some really excellent results very quickly. Shot/Cut this mock trailer for "Gran Torino" in a 24 hour period.

Mercury Sable: International Trailer By Jordan Oplinger On ExposureRoom
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Old January 25th, 2009, 10:40 AM   #11
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the IS on the 70-200 2.8 is AWESOME. I can nail a solid, shake free shot, handheld at 200mm no problem.

Get a good monopod. Keeping the camera still is key with the 5D
While I don't doubt what you are claiming; a focal length of 70-200mm is not suitable for allround work. It is for special purpose, only.
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Old January 25th, 2009, 12:50 PM   #12
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While I don't doubt what you are claiming; a focal length of 70-200mm is not suitable for allround work. It is for special purpose, only.
It depends on your style. If you shoot portraits and closeups, this is a fine lens. If you are in a big enough space to get distance from your subject, you can get a fairly wide view. One advantage over a wide lens is the lack of distortion - it won't produce the big nose/little ears effect.

I bought the 70-300mm as my photo lens, and I'm happy with the decision. We've got wider primes (with much bigger apertures than you can get in zooms) as additional video lenses. But in the longer focal lengths the price and aperture differences between primes and zooms isn't that big. Might as well go for a zoom. And might as well get IS, since it matter more in a telephoto.

Anyway, I don't see the 70-200 as a special purpose lens. To me, a fisheye, macro, or a tilt shift are special purpose.

But if the goal is to capture all the kids at the party in a smallish house, or if you like wide shots in general, a 70+ zoom isn't the right tool.
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Old January 25th, 2009, 01:14 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Jordan Oplinger View Post
It's a fun little camera. Really easy way for shallow DOF, but its a pain when you have to fight the auto exposure, and its tough to pull focus on non-cine lenses.

That said, you can get some really excellent results very quickly. Shot/Cut this mock trailer for "Gran Torino" in a 24 hour period.

Mercury Sable: International Trailer By Jordan Oplinger On ExposureRoom
love the mock trailer!

do you notice if the IS is working on the lens when you're in video mode? i don't have a way of turning the IS off on my lens so i can't test.
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Old January 25th, 2009, 01:48 PM   #14
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i don't have a way of turning the IS off on my lens so i can't test.
Unscrew the lens by 2-3mm and IS will turn off. Just be careful to screw it back on or remove it immediately after the test, so you don't risk dropping it.
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Old January 25th, 2009, 09:07 PM   #15
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do you notice if the IS is working on the lens when you're in video mode? i don't have a way of turning the IS off on my lens so i can't test.
IS is always active in movie mode. Makings getting steady shots at 200mm easy.
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