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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 July 10th, 2009, 06:45 AM   #1
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Lens purchase for 5D, recommendations

Hi,

Im thinking I should get three lenses to start with the 5D. So far based on my usage with my EX1 and Letus Extreme combos Canon FD lenses I've narrowed it down to three primes.

24mm 1.4 L
55mm 1.4
85mm 1.8

this keeps my budget for the lenses just slightly above 2000 euros so I can manage that. But Im still hesitating whether I should get a 24-70mm F/2.8 L USM Reflex zoom instead of 24mm 1.4.

I mostly shoot music videos, artsy shorts. I have one SWIT light thats served me well with my EX1 and Im hoping to use that with the 5D as well. I don't do much commercial work to speak of - just for myself.

Any advice on where would I likely end up needing the extra stop or so of light? At the wide or tele end?

There's no way I can use my Canon FD lenses right?

Sami
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Old July 10th, 2009, 07:41 AM   #2
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I would definitely consider the 70-200L. It's a great lens and gives you some reach. I hadn't shot with a full frame sensor before the 5d and therefore didn't realize how wide it shot since it didn't have a crop factor. Other than that, I use the 28mm F2.8 and the 50mm F1.4. I'm not sure about the FD lenses.
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Old July 10th, 2009, 11:59 AM   #3
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I'd agree with Jonathan for exactly the same reasons

Avey
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Old July 10th, 2009, 12:11 PM   #4
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70-200mm is my primary lens. It pretty much covers everything. I am thinking of getting 24-70, I just wished there was IS version.
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Old July 10th, 2009, 12:37 PM   #5
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Personally, for music videos and artsy shorts. the long stuff is the last thing I'd choose.

The 85/1.8 is a fantastic people lens. It's well regarded and as long as you need for music video, unless you have a teen idol singer that you want to show in pretty closeups.

Regarding the 50/1.4, it has barrel distortion and CA. This thread discusses the 50mm range in detail: http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/canon-eos...0mm-1-2-a.html

Frankly, for music video, I might skip the normal lens. It's a boring look.

I've got the 28/1.8. This matches well with the 85/1.8. I'd get this, the 24/1.4L, or 35/1.4L as the compliment to the 85/1.8.

For the third lens, I might get a superwide (maybe even a fisheye) or a macro. These let you get creative. If you get a macro, stick with the 24/1.4L as your wide. If you get a superwide, maybe get the 35/1.4 as your normal wide.

There's a great thread on superwides here: http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/canon-eos...wide-lens.html

For music videos and art, I'd skip the zoom. the only time that I wish I had a zoom is when taking photos on trips with my wife. I don't mind changing lenses and zooming with my feet, but I don't like asking her to be patient and to put up with me!
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Old July 10th, 2009, 01:07 PM   #6
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Okay, lets talk cheap, now.

1. My first thought on the lense issue is just how good and fast of a lense to you need for video-- and I assume that is what we are talking about here. Except in low light situations, you likely will shoot at fstops around f2.8 to f5.6. Thus to me the sharpest and fastest lenses are not an absolute necessity. In fact, I think shooting at f 1.4 is probably overkill for most video "depth of field" uses. Remember, that if you are trying to simulate 35mm film depth of field, the "imager" of a 5D is larger than that of a 35mm film cam, and thus the depth of field will be shallower at 5 f1.4.

2. Nikon to Canon adapters and Nikon and other brand lenses coupled with firmware 1.10 open your world up to a wide variety of lenses, available at an inexpensive price. I have about 5 classic Nikon lenses i bought on ebay, for around $70 apiece at various auctions. These lens are well known and have been work horses for years, and the use for our purposes should not be discounted.

3. I have a Takumar F3.5 28-85mm lens I find myself using as my standard lens, for many situations. I bought it for $ 50.00 on ebay, and got a throw away 28mm wide angle lens to boot.

4. I also have a 80-200 Nikon that I purloined from Chris Swanberg. I keep meaning to get it back to him... but it fits well in my lens case, so I guess I will make him ask me for it. :) The long teleshots in this video were from that lense:

Lake Tahoe on Vimeo

5. My favorite lens for shooting faces is a lowly Nikon Series E 100mm F2.8. It actually has a great reputation as a quality lense, though it was designed for consumer use. This film was shot as a test of that lense:

Canon 5D Mark Ii 100mm Test on Vimeo

My point is, unless image stabilization is a must, you should not rule out the adapter direction to build an lens arsenal.
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Old July 10th, 2009, 01:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Barcellos View Post
My point is, unless image stabilization is a must, you should not rule out the adapter direction to build an lens arsenal.
The other reason to consider Canon lenses is if you plan to do photos as well as video.

For normal and long lenses taking photos, I want all the photo features. Autofocus is especially important for tracking people, animals and other moving objects. For macros and wides, I find that I have time to setup the shot, take some test shots to get the exposure and focus just right.

If you go with Nikon lenses, make sure to avoid the G-lenses that lack the aperture ring. Otherwise, you're into a $200 adapter with aperture lever.

Personally, having the ability to shoot in low light is really important to me. I shot some stuff in a fairly dark music store and found that 1.8 was as slow as I wanted to go. The 2.8 lenses in my bag just didn't measure up.

If you shoot in daylight, slower lenses are fine. Once you go indoors or try to shoot in the city at night, you're going to want speed. And keep in mind that DOF isn't just related to aperture. It's also related to the width of the lens and the focal distance. 1.8 might be too shallow in one circumstance, but just fine in another. But if you have slower lenses, you don't get that option.

The bottom line is that there's no one answer. It all depends on what you want to shoot.
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Old July 10th, 2009, 04:23 PM   #8
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I've purchased a bushel of lenses and I think you are on the right track with your choices and these recommendations. An f2.8 zoom is a nice general lens but even that is too slow in low light scenarios. F1.4 is too shallow for some shots but a prime lens can always be stopped down to increase DOF while the kit lens 24-105 is always stuck at F4. Don't get me wrong, the kit lens is very nice but it is too slow for some things.

I use my 35mm f1.4 Nikon quite a bit. I find my Nikon 105mm f2.5 a bit slow so I am wanting an 85mm f1.x to better match the light gathering ability of the 35mm. I have the plastic fantastic 50mm f1.8 Canon which is fine for some things but, as mentioned before, a bit boring.

On the other end of things, I have just ordered a Tamron 28-300mm with image stabilization to hopefully make the 5D act a bit like a video camera for event videos. There are lots of weddings in Hawaii and I need a bit more reach than 105mm. I wish there was a fast 35-200mm with VC/IS but such a thing doesn't exist. It isn't such a problem to use a slower lens outdoors so the Tamron will hopefully give me the range for that kind of shooting where I can't take the time to change lenses.

I'll report back later once UPS comes with the Tamron. I read lots of reviews and it is claimed to be good except soft at full 300mm zoom. I only need about 200mm so, fingers crossed, it might do the job as a general video lens.
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Old July 10th, 2009, 10:05 PM   #9
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I think I'm giving a tentative thumbs up to the Tamron 28-300 VC I just got. I tested shots at full 300mm and they are reasonably sharp. Perhaps it is the small aperture causing gain to crank up that people perceive as the lens not being sharp in full telephoto. I don't intend to use this lens indoors much so I'm not going to worry about noise. I actually need an ND filter to shoot video without stopping down the lens or going to a fast shutter speed. It's time for the Fader ND.

Here are my lens choices if budget is a serious consideration and you need to shoot in varying conditions.

Tamron 28-300 VC (vibration control) with a variable ND for outdoors use in varying conditions.

35mm f1.4 as the basic lens to use indoors in low light without much perspective distortion. It is also nice for panoramic shots in low light.

85mm f2 or faster to get a bit of telephoto when you don't want to get close indoors. I'll probably use a tripod with a lens like this.

50mm Canon f1.8 "plastic fantastic" just to have that focal length in an auto-focus lens without spending much.

I'll be using the Tamron 28-300 outdoors and prime lenses indoors. A wide lens that gives that forced perspective would be nice but it is hard to find an affordable and fast prime shorter than 28mm.

**********

I have found that the VC image stabilization on the Tamron 28-300mm is not really designed for video but still useful. It is not smooth in function like IS on a video camera. It takes it a moment to wait for the camera to stop moving excessively then suddenly "grabs on" and holds the steady image as long as there is not too much movement. If the camera moves too much, the VC "unsticks" and then tries to grab on again and can cause a jittery effect. This, of course, is a bad thing but what saves the VC feature is the fact that it is amazingly stable within its movement range. It is a bit weird to see the 300mm image become rock-solid when used on just a monopod. I think it will be just fine for shooting people from midway in the aisle of a church using a monopod and the occasional handheld at slight zoom.

Last edited by Marcus Marchesseault; July 10th, 2009 at 11:54 PM. Reason: Added information regarding VC image stabilization
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Old July 11th, 2009, 03:40 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sami Sanpakkila View Post
Hi,

Im thinking I should get three lenses to start with the 5D. So far based on my usage with my EX1 and Letus Extreme combos Canon FD lenses I've narrowed it down to three primes.

24mm 1.4 L
55mm 1.4
85mm 1.8

There's no way I can use my Canon FD lenses right?

Sami

Can't adapt FD to EOS. If you buy a 24mm 1.4L make sure you get the new version, which is much better than the original.
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Old July 11th, 2009, 06:20 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Jeremy Nicholl View Post
Can't adapt FD to EOS.
You can but you may not be happy with the result. Unlike the Nikon>EOS adaptors that just change the mount an FD>EOS adaptor requires a lens to alter where the image get focused. The only FD>EOS adaptors that you can get are pretty cheap & the quality of that adaptor lens is probably not up to much. I have a beautiful FD 35-105 zoom that cost me just 60 Euros & is literally in 'as new' condition. I have used it on my 5DII but the image is a bit soft which is a shame as the craftsmanship of the zoom lens is beautiful & probably has the smoothest zoom & focus rings of any lens that I own. It's still useable but not as good as a Nikon or some other type of mount that doesn't have optics. You can also get an FD>EOS adaptor without optics but this cannot focus to infinity & is thus only suitable as a macro lens.

If you have plenty of FD lenses then try an adaptor & make up your own mind. They are cheap enough at $40-50
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Old July 11th, 2009, 06:34 AM   #12
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I don't personally have a 5D, but Canon has some cracking wide aperture zooms out, which work for most stills situations. For video I can't see why you would want to limit your self to fixed focal lengths now zooms are so good...
In the old days, (Nikon FM2 & F3P days, I'd have a bag of four or five prime lenses...24,35,85,180 & 300) These days my basic kit on two EOS 1D's is 70-210 f2.8 & 16-35 f2.8. This cover 99% of all my shooting situations...

I appreciate in video 200mm will be a bit short, but 16mm Wow!!!

Perhaps a 1.4 converter will be a good option... or how about the 35-350mm zoom... a beast of a lens to use, for stills I hate the things, but they have very useful focal length range..

If the Canon's are too dear, Tamron and Sigma do some good versions too.

Regards
Gareth
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Old July 11th, 2009, 10:03 AM   #13
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As a note... The 5DMK2 turns on more sensitive focus sensors when the camera detects
"Canon" fast lenses...

I mention this because most of us will be using the faster lenses in darker situations and
if your using auto focus the more sensitive focus sensors do help in low light.
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Old July 11th, 2009, 10:48 AM   #14
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Just as a caveat, I have been using a Tokina 12-24 DX F4 in Nikon mount on my 5D MKII along with Nikon AI lenses in 50mm 1.4 and 85mm 1.8. Just beware that the Kawa adapters, while they work fine, they do totally throw off your focus scale. You have to religiously use the 5X and 10X zoom to check focus, which works fine, but for tracking moving subjects, this makes it very difficult to follow focus, even if you measure distances.

So Nikon lens users, your lenses are very useful but those adapters do some weird things with the flange to focal plane distance.

If I keep shooting the 5D MKII, I will be buying some more Canon lenses. I just ordered the 17-40 F4 L and will probably get the 50mm 1.4 and the 70-200 F4.

Dan
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Old July 11th, 2009, 11:53 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Gareth Watkins View Post
I don't personally have a 5D, but Canon has some cracking wide aperture zooms out, which work for most stills situations. For video I can't see why you would want to limit your self to fixed focal lengths now zooms are so good...
But consider if you were shooting photos indoors, didn't have a flash, couldn't adjust your shutter any slower than 1/60 (1/50 in PAL countries), and wanted to keep your ISO at 1250 or less. All of a sudden f/2.8 doesn't seem that fast any more.

That's what we face with indoor video.
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