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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 October 7th, 2010, 03:24 AM   #1
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Prime or zoom

Canon 1DM4
70-200mm 4L Canon
100mm 2.8L Canon
24mm 1.8 Sigma
50mm 1.8 Canon (Cheap)

I came from Nikon cameras (D700). The reason I have these lenses are to cover my bases with wedding photography when I get asked to do it. This covers me. However, seeing as how I'm getting more and more into video, I can't decide where to put my money next. 24-70 2.8L Canon or 35mm 1.4 Canon. The zoom would allow for so much flexibility when shooting on the move BUT since photography isn't my main job I wondered if the 35mm would do well...
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Old October 7th, 2010, 01:31 PM   #2
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Most people prefer a zoom for weddings because of the fast pace and flexibility. Personally, I'd rather go with primes for the increased control over DOF.
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Old October 7th, 2010, 02:50 PM   #3
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I don't shoot weddings, but I do shoot fast. There's no easy answer, but often I shoot with two cameras, one with a wide zoom, one with a medium or telephoto prime, sometimes I do it the other way round - wide prime and telephoto zoom.
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Old October 7th, 2010, 04:25 PM   #4
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Prior to buying the 24-70 and a 70-200 2.8 I was using a bunch of primes for video - after buying the zooms I rarely touch the primes. Like you, my work requires quick setups and it's important not to miss a shot - for what you're doing I'd go with the 24-70.

This is strictly for Video. For photography I don't touch the 24-70; I'm not overly impressed with its IQ. Unlike the 70-200 IS II, the 24-70 is no match for even the non-L primes. When shooting stills, I'm prone to pixel peeping... I don't think the IQ difference is evident in video.
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Old October 8th, 2010, 10:59 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Dahlberg View Post
For photography I don't touch the 24-70; I'm not overly impressed with its IQ.
24-70 is one of the top Canon lenses and used by majority of professional, especially wedding, photographers. Sure it might not be as good as prime (depending on a prime) but it is definitely one of the top Canon zooms ever built. I consider its IQ to be very good. And I shoot mostly stills (95%) with it.
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Old October 8th, 2010, 12:09 PM   #6
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24 on that crop body is not very wide. Maybe look into the 16-35 or 17-40, or tokina 11-16. We use primes a lot more during the controlled makeup and preparation shoots. Zooms during the ceremony and reception. Doesn't hurt to have that 85 1.8 too.
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Old October 10th, 2010, 04:25 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Ilya Mamonov View Post
24-70 is one of the top Canon lenses and used by majority of professional, especially wedding, photographers. Sure it might not be as good as prime (depending on a prime) but it is definitely one of the top Canon zooms ever built. I consider its IQ to be very good. And I shoot mostly stills (95%) with it.
I guess we differ on this. If you require (as I do) a zoom in this range on a full frame body there are few alternatives, but I'm not the only one awaiting a 24-70 L II to overcome its well documented shortcomings. Compare this with the new 70-200 L IS II - here's a lens that really holds up well against any prime at equivalent apertures - I'm hoping Canon will do something similar with an eventual 24-70 replacement.
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Old October 10th, 2010, 10:45 PM   #8
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If I was shooting narrative work where I had full control and could plan each shot, I'd prefer primes for better IQ and great range of apertures.

If I was shooting a live event where I had no control over the lighting, I'd prefer primes so that I could shoot in very low light and get an acceptable image.

In the latter case, shooting on primes also forces you to think in terms of cinema rather than playing catch-up with fast-moving events. Chances are, what you are trying to say with your camera doesn't have much to do with running around recording every single thing that happens. Pick and choose the images you need to tell your story.

And IMO even slight differences in image quality DO impact video - I'd say more so than stills where you have a lot of leeway in post. We have better glass than 90% of the photographers we work with, because we need it.

Use primes ;)
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Old October 10th, 2010, 11:52 PM   #9
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Hi Erik,

I'm curious about your comment that even slight IQ differences affect video. Given the comparatively low res of 5D/7D video (not much more than SD in terms of real detail, perhaps 600 lines at best) and the pronounced artifacting, I'd have thought the lens isn't really a limiting factor; ie, at eqivalent apertures/focal lengths a good lens will equip itself very well against a great lens.

Whereas in stills, where the lens can make full use of 20+ megapixels laid down RAW, this really pushes a lens to the limit.

This is just my intuition, I'd be happy to hear otherwise. Personally I've only tested lenses against each other in the still domain and the differences are clear (I tested the said 24-70 @50mm against four 50mm primes last month, all at f4; even the lesser primes beat it handilly as regards sharpness across the frame, CA and distortion) - but this was lookiing at very large RAW files at 100%, a different proposition to video.

So as I say, I'd like to be better informed on why the lens should matter as much (if not more) in video, apart from the obvious benefits primes bring in aperture speed and ergonomics/handling.

Cheers,

Josh
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Old October 11th, 2010, 12:20 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Josh Dahlberg View Post
I'm curious about your comment that even slight IQ differences affect video. Given the comparatively low res of 5D/7D video (not much more than SD in terms of real detail, perhaps 600 lines at best) and the pronounced artifacting, I'd have thought the lens isn't really a limiting factor; ie, at eqivalent apertures/focal lengths a good lens will equip itself very well against a great lens.
I'd like to chime in here too. In my experience, the slight IQ differences are indeed visible in 5D2 video, as Erik says. But I differ from his opinion in that I think the increased IQ is a bad thing. Here's why.

Slight IQ differences are visible precisely because of the pronounced artifacting you mentioned. In raw stills mode, the camera samples at 66 lp/mm (using 2 pixels/lp). As you know, that is very fine details where slight differences in IQ are visible.

If the camera then took those 66 lp/mm raw stills and downsampled it properly to 1080p, then the effective sampling would be very low: 22.5 lp/mm, and none of the 66 lp/mm detail would contaminate the 22 lp/mm. Unfortunately, it doesn't read out the whole sensor or downsample properly, so that detail does show up in the form of aliasing artifacts. The small differences that should only be visible at 66 lp/mm can be seen. I very much dislike the aliasing artifacts, so I would prefer a soft, fuzzy image over one that is sharp and artifacted.

In the future when the artifacts are taken care of, then I will go back to preferring sharp lenses.
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Old October 12th, 2010, 11:24 PM   #11
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I'm not going to argue with Daniel, he and I disagree but we are both right ;)

My point is just that because the 1080 line image is sampled/converted so poorly from the full image you are really dependent on the way the lens renders the image. With stills you have much more leeway in post to fix flaws caused by an inferior lens. Not so with video.

Take a 21 megapixel still from the Canon 16-35 @ 24mm and f/2.8 and you'll see at full resolution that it doesn't look very good. It has an odd oversharpened look. Not pretty at all. Take a still from the 24 1.4 at f/2.8 and it looks amazing at full resolution. Crisp, sharp and natural.

Properly resize either still to 3 megapixels and it will look amazing. Play with image adjustments and you're in heaven.

But when the Canon processor reduces the full image to a frame of video it retains the ugliness/perfection of the full size image. This is not a 21 megapixel image being taken into photoshop and resized.

A still from video shot on a 24 1.4 looks awesome: razor sharp. 16-35 looks dull and blurry. For me, primes totally outclass stills for use in HDSLR video.
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Old October 13th, 2010, 10:50 AM   #12
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The original poster said he came from Nikon. If that's the case, why not use the old Nikon lenses with adapters? I'm using my ancient pre-AI 24, 35, 105 and 55 micro. I also have a 200 but like the Canon f4 70-200 better than that one. All the others are great and have a very nice look. The backwards focus is a pain, but I live with it.

I think that Canon 24-70 is a very good zoom lens, but I had a quality control issue. When I bought one the copy I received had a loose and floppy focus ring with lots of play in it. I returned it, got another and it was the same thing, just not quite as bad. It rattled forward and backward as well as left and right. I gave up and returned the lens. The 70-200 has no problems like that and I really like it. Point is, be sure to buy from B&H or some other reputable dealer so you can return it if you get a bad copy (which is what everybody should do for everything--always buy from a good place, not the cheapest).

As far as the f1.4 35mm, I really like that lens. A friend has one and it is excellent. However, on the cropped sensor camera like the 1DMKIV, that would come out fairly close to 45mm, wouldn't it? You might be happier with a 28mm.

Most of the work I do is commercial, corporate, along with some documentary things for fun and passion. I have no problems using primes for most things. I use the zoom for shooting interviews because I like to change focal length between questions, and sometimes get in really tight for emphasis. You need a zoom for that, and the 70-200 is perfect (for the 5DII). Switching lenses quickly isn't that big of a hassle for me, except when using the follow focus, then it takes a little longer.
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