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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 27th, 2009, 10:02 PM   #1
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Lens selection for MkII

I need a little mercy here guys. I'm considering a MkII for stills and creative videos (controlled environments - short films and such). This would be my first video camera with removable lenses. I currently use an XHA1 and don't want to go the adapter route. I'd much rather buy a 2nd camera with native lenses that give me great DOF control. I see several posts recommending Nikkor lenses with manual aperture adapted to the Canon EOS mount, but I'm not exactly sure what Nikkor lenses are compatible with the MkII/adapter. Is there a specific series/designation of Nikkor lenses I should concentrate on and features to avoid (AF/IS?)?

Would 24mm, 50mm, & 105mm be a good starting place or is buying the MkII with the Canon 24-105mm zoom a good entry point?

Are the following lenses in the right category and the price range you would expect?:

NIKON F F2 CAMERA ERA FAST 50MM F1.4 NIKKOR NON-AI LENS - eBay (item 390025737835 end time Jan-27-09 20:45:16 PST)

Nikkor 24mm f/2.8 Manual Focus lens (used) nikon - eBay (item 250361952969 end time Jan-27-09 22:59:00 PST)

http://cgi.ebay.com/Nikon-Ai-105-2-5...lenotsupported
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Old January 27th, 2009, 11:45 PM   #2
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The lenses you list are excellent. They'd make a nice set for video, and are similar to what I've bought and plan to upgrade to.

In my case, I bought the 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS as my photo lens. I got it used in like-new condition for about $400. The reasons I chose this lens are:
* Long lenses with a significantly larger aperture cost a bomb
* You don't need a larger aperture for shallow DOF at long focal lengths
* Not so for short lenses. Just try to find a zoom that matches the prime lenses you list! So get primes for the wide lenses, and a zoom for the long focal lengths.

And...
* My wife tends to shoot closeups. (She warns you that she is taking your picture by shoving her cell phone in your face. :) )
* I wanted an auto setup for her, so she can simply click and get great photos. (AF and IS do the trick)

The only drawback of the lens is its 2m minimum focal distance. You can't just sit at a table and take a picture of the person across from you. You have to work the space.

Anyway, short primes and a long zoom are a nice combination.
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Old January 28th, 2009, 03:15 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Roger Shealy View Post
Would 24mm, 50mm, & 105mm be a good starting place or is buying the MkII with the Canon 24-105mm zoom a good entry point?
I have the Nikkors you list and as Jon says they're all great, as are all the old AI/AIS primes.

Any full frame F mount Nikkor will work with the 5D MkII - just be sure to avoid some of the newer AF lenses designed for cropped sensors, and those lacking aperture rings.

In video, the control the Nikkors provide (I have a cheap adaptor for each lens) means my Canon primes see little use. The one lens I do miss (having prematurely sold it) is the 24-105 you mention, simply for the image stabilization. I too had an XHA1 and although I prefer using the MkII in most respects, the one thing I really miss is its wonderful IS for handheld/monopod work. Even with a wide prime you have to be very careful to ensure smooth movement with the MkII or nasty rolling shutter creeps in. As you want to use the MkII as a still camera also, it would be nice to have a sharp, snappy lens like the 24-105 as your carry about lens.

Also consider Pentax lenses. Pentax primes of the '70s & '80s (SMC Pentax & SMC Takumar primes) are some of the finest around, and a real bargain. They work equally well with the MkII and cheap adaptors. My 50mm 1.4 SMC Takumar is superior to my Nikkor 1.4 AIS in terms of sharpness and bokeh...
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Old January 28th, 2009, 06:13 AM   #4
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Josh,

You may have just made my day. I had a Pentax MX (early 80's?) and my wife a Pentax K-1000 (late 70's). I still have the SMC-M 50mm f2.0 and the SMC-M 135mm f3.5 as well as a bellows-macro unit with a geared rack. I tend to do a lot of scientific/nature things, so the bellows might be interesting. I note that these lenses aren't as fast as the Nikkor's.

Are these lenses the type you felt are very desirable? Any experience with a bellows on the MkII?
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Old January 28th, 2009, 08:09 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Josh Dahlberg View Post

Also consider Pentax lenses. Pentax primes of the '70s & '80s (SMC Pentax & SMC Takumar primes) are some of the finest around, and a real bargain. They work equally well with the MkII and cheap adaptors. My 50mm 1.4 SMC Takumar is superior to my Nikkor 1.4 AIS in terms of sharpness and bokeh...
Is there a Canon-to-Pentax adapter or will a Canon-to-Nikon adapter work?
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Old January 28th, 2009, 02:30 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Roger Shealy View Post
Are these lenses the type you felt are very desirable? Any experience with a bellows on the MkII?
I have the SMC Takumar 135 f3.5 and it's fantastic with the MkII. I also have the Nikon 135 f2.8. At f4 they're about equal, and both wonderful. I actually prefer the Takumar for manual focusing because the barrel turns a lot further (ie: it's easier to fine tune). It's very easy to use for snapshots too.

The bellows will work just fine - I use a set of cheap extension tubes between the MkII and my Nikkors for fantastic macro video!

The f2 50mm is not super fast, but it should be very sharp and you can always upgrade later. In the case of Nikkors, the 50mm f1.8 beats the f1.4 at every aperture from 1.8 up (I only keep the 1.4 for low light). Seeing as you've got a start with Pentax lenses I would tend to continue that way as there's less demand for them in the digital age and you should be able to pick up bargains. Here in New Zealand old Pentax primes go for about half the price of their equivalent Nikkors, even though in many cases (such as the 50 1.4) the Pentax is arguably superior. But you can always mix and match.

Remember the Takumar labelled lenses have M42 screw mounts whereas the SMC Pentax have K bayonet mounts, so you'll need separate adaptors for each. Ideally you'll want an adaptor fixed to lens - then you never have to think about them again (I picked up a bunch of K mount, M42 mount and F mount adaptors for around $15 each and they all function perfectly).

Anyway, seeing as you already have Pentax lenses you're in a fortunate position - start with one cheap adaptor and you can have a play and determine where to go from there.
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Old January 28th, 2009, 02:52 PM   #7
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Is there a Canon-to-Pentax adapter or will a Canon-to-Nikon adapter work?
For older Super Takumar, Super Multi Coated Takumar and SMC Takumar lenses (used by Pentax until the mid-70s), you'll need an M42 screw mount adaptor.

For Pentax SMC primes (late 70s on) you'll need a Pentax K mount (bayonet). Like the Nikon F mount adaptors, they can be picked up very cheap, around $15.
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Old January 28th, 2009, 06:52 PM   #8
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Pentax 645 and 6x7

can these be used with 5d? 6x7 down to 645 or 35mm. How would they magnify?
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Old January 28th, 2009, 07:01 PM   #9
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"can these be used with 5d? 6x7 down to 645 or 35mm. How would they magnify?"


they would be the focal length that they are... only with a larger image circle and most likely a smaller wide open aperture... i.e. a f2.8 for MF rather than 80mm f1.8 35mmFF

I personally think that the canon ef lenses work fine the way they are.... I really don't care what the "numbers" say on the lens as long as I can "lock" it down for the shot.... I'm sticking with good, new, sharp, smart canon ef "L" primes and zooms.

Here's a few music vids I've shot in very short amounts of time. Used canon 50 1.2, 85 1.2, 35 1.4, 24-105 4......

Amherst - Here and Now By chris witzke On ExposureRoom

Misty... 1st draft By chris witzke On ExposureRoom
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Old January 28th, 2009, 07:14 PM   #10
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I'm sticking with good, new, sharp, smart canon ef "L" primes and zooms.
Bear in mind, even used, such lenses cost a lot more than good, old, sharp, elegant Nikon and Pentax glass that will also provide full aperture control. For the price of one L series lens one can pick up a nice range of Nikkor primes - for me, budget was a big consideration in choosing 70s glass. The old lenses also have lovely focussing rings and are nice to work with.

I like your videos! Gorgeous colour.
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Old January 28th, 2009, 07:16 PM   #11
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Well great! Now all I need is $3,700 for the MkII camera & 24 - 105 lens. Anybody want to buy a lightly used Pentax MX film camera body for $3,699? Free shipping. I'll throw in a JCPenny 2X adapter.... Free.
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Old January 28th, 2009, 07:18 PM   #12
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I can understand if it's a matter of budget.
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Old January 28th, 2009, 08:04 PM   #13
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Chris,

Love the morgue video, the best 5dmkII music vid I've seen so far.

I think for the way you are working EF lenses seem to be doing just fine. I think the advantages of full aperture control using manual lenses are more apparent when you don't have full control of the lighting environment and are striving to get repeatability in look from take to take. For my kind of work running around a lot I find EF lenses a real pain, especially in bright light where I would happily live with higher shutter speed in order to gain shallow depth in some situations. Variable ND filters help a lot but having aperture control is still essential to me.

I do have some of what I consider to be the best Canon lenses, the 24 f1.4L , 35 f1.4L and 28-70 f2.8L but don't use them. I also second Josh's point about the focus rings, the older manual lenses do manual focus much smoother than new Canon ones and have end stops which is nice.

Newer Nikon lenses have some advantages too, despite having to use a G-lens adapter there is nothing to beat a Nikon 14-24 f2.8 in its focal length range, period. The Nikon 16mm fisheye focuses much more smoothly than the Canon 15mm. The 28mm f1.4 if you can find one is a gem, so sharp and for me the perfect focal length, I prefer it to having to carry a 35 and a 24. I also prefer the longer Nikon's like the 300 and 400mm f2.8's, but that's a matter of taste.

Money no object and I think the new Zeiss ZF lenses are very nice too, many prefer the look of these over both Canon and Nikon glass.

I have a soft spot for this lens though Voigtlander Nokton 58mm f/1.4 SL II - Test Report / Review It may not be the sharpest but I love the look, very Zeiss like but without the price tag.

Dan
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Old January 28th, 2009, 08:26 PM   #14
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Yes, I know.... but he hassles of an adapted lens?

SDOF in broad daylight will require ND's no matter what lens one uses.... so I don't see the point.

The Ef lenses work fine with my follow focus.

I owned a few Contax RTS cams back in the 80's and yes... loved the zeiss lenses... and recently got rid of a few that I'd adapted for my 1ds3.... but they really are not any sharper then good canon L primes.

There are other advantages of Ef lenses... such as Lens Peripheral Illumination Correction and other lens data that improves image quality.

I guess all I'm saying is that one can use the ef lenses and get to that desired look.... I feel like some folks feel that ef lenses will just keep everything at f11 and not allow them to get that SDOF or even get back to the settings of a scene after a break. Being that you can't control the iso or shutter I just don't see the point.

As they say here in Kentucky "This ain't my 1st rodeo"... http://www.witzke-studio.com and I own probably over 100 cameras, from an 11X14 view camera, 8X10's, 4X5's, 120's.... down. And many a time been on the hunt for that elusive lens for a certain look. ( I have a red dot dagor that makes a helluva portrait.... ) .... I just feel that the 5d2 and the lenses it was built for work well together.
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Old January 28th, 2009, 09:03 PM   #15
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Chris,

I personally don't find adapters a pain, I just fit one to each lens I use and forget it.

For shallow DOF with a manual lens you have a choice in bright light. You can of course use ND but you can also choose to let the shutter speed go up instead. Often times the look is undesirable but it can be used to effect and its just another option you don't have with an EF lens.

You do get much closer to full control of aperture and shutter speed with a manual lens, the trick is to use vari ND. First choose the aperture you want manually, then point the camera to a light source that gives you the shutter/ISO combination you want (I know that the camera might not actually display the exact speeds but it is still close) , lock the exposure and then recompose. Finally dial in the ND to get back to the brightness you wanted. Doing this with fixed ND filters is not easy.

Point taken about Lens Peripheral Illumination Correction, it can be of benefit but for most of the quality lenses we are talking about here it is less important. That and I quite like a little vignetting anyway (but again thats personal taste)

Nobody doubts how sharp some of the Canon lenses are compared to Nikon or Zeiss ones, however there is a definite look to each of them of which sharpness is only one factor.

Dan
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