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Old November 16th, 2010, 10:26 AM   #1
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if life gives me a chance, only to buy one lense for my canon 5d that would be...

i have a passion to tell stories to the world, without any background with films i am determinant to tell great stories from the eye of a lenses... as you can see from my signature below , i have experience with DV camera's (which is sort of limited too) and now i am trying to do video with DSLR for the 1st time . as i found that now DSLRs can do wonders with video.

i just bought a MARK 5D with the stock lenses. (canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM Lens) to make my dreams come true.

i am planing to shoot two short films with help of a friend , 15 to 20 minutes stories which are based in basically a house/apartments between two to three characters. not a lot of out doors (maybe some). lots of expressions and movement within the house is mainly what we will be shooting.

me and a friend will be doing all of the production work, we are on a low budget (basically no budget. we are spending every thing out of our pocket).

As i am very new to DSLR video and don't understand lenses to decide if i need any other lenses and why . i am seeking help.

i understand great films are made with great stories .. but i want to make a GOOD LOOKING great film :)

keeping in mind the kind of film i want to shoot, if i can only buy one lenses (maybe two if i can afford) which lenses would that be and why?

thanks in advance
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Old November 16th, 2010, 10:58 AM   #2
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You already have probably the most versatile lens, in terms of range. At the 24mm end it's wide enough for most things, and at the long end it may be lacking a bit but is pretty good, especially if most of your shooting is indoors. If it won't focus close enough for some really tight shots, you can get a set of diopters.

If most of your shooting is in interior spaces, then you'll probably be using the wide angles more than longer focal lengths. The only downside to that lens is that it's fairly slow. However, since you'll be in controlled spaces, you should be able to light things the way you want. Also, because of the excessively shallow depth of field of the 5DII, you'll probably find yourself shooting at f4-5.6 most of the time anyway. I do. The only time I use faster lenses is when I'm in super low light or want a really, really shallow depth of field. If you find you can't light to an f4, the 5D is good enough so you can boost the ISO with no problem. So really, I don't see why you'd need any more lenses.

You say you have limited budget...if I were in your shoes I'd put available money into decent sound and lighting gear and go with the lens you have. I'd also look at a cheap dolly, good tripod, and a follow focus and rails system--when I moved from the 7D to the 5D, the first thing I bought was a follow focus system. It's really necessary if you do any dolly shots at all.

I'd then block out some typical shots and see if that lens is going to be OK for most of what you want to do. If not, then start figuring out what you want. That's the only way to figure it out. And don't get lazy--if you think you need a longer lens, see if you can move the camera in closer. See if 24mm is wide enough for the areas where you're going to shoot. If not you might want something like the 16-35, but again--if money's tight, don't spend any unless you really need to. You say you want a great looking film--you can get that with anything...if you know lighting and composition. I'd put more into lights and sound before buying another lens.
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Old November 16th, 2010, 11:19 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Wajahat Abbasi View Post
if life gives me a chance, only to buy one lense for my canon 5d that would be...
Although I have a love & hate relationship with this lens, I'd still say the Canon 70-200 L IS.

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Old November 16th, 2010, 11:24 AM   #4
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the Canon 70-200 L IS.
There are two versions of this lens... the f/4 and the f/2.8

The f/4 is smaller, lighter, and considerably less expensive. It's also not as good in low light as the f/2.8

The f/2.8 is bigger, heavier, and considerably more expensive. But it's much better in low light than the f/4

Actually if you take into account the fact that you can also get either lens without
image stabilization, then you have four models of the 70-200mm L to choose from:
f/2.8 with IS, f/2.8 without IS, f/4 with IS and f/4 without IS.
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Old November 16th, 2010, 11:45 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Bill Pryor View Post

You say you have limited budget...if I were in your shoes I'd put available money into decent sound and lighting gear and go with the lens you have. I'd also look at a cheap dolly, good tripod, and a follow focus and rails system--when I moved from the 7D to the 5D, the first thing I bought was a follow focus system. It's really necessary if you do any dolly shots at all.
.
thank you ! i have some lights ... rig, tripod... some one some where said you need a prime lense for great face express shots ? is that true?
you are right most of my shots will be wide angle .... in a smaller (room like setting) space
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Old November 16th, 2010, 11:48 AM   #6
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Experiment, plan your shots carefully, and rent all the expensive lenses you need. For a fraction of the price of one lens, you can rent several lenses for a week or more. There is no reason to not use the best lens for a shot.

But if you really need to buy something, my favorite lens for movie making on the 5d is the 35mm L f1.4.
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Old November 16th, 2010, 11:48 AM   #7
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There are two versions of this lens... the f/4 and the f/2.8

The f/4 is smaller, lighter, and considerably less expensive. It's also not as good in low light as the f/2.8

The f/2.8 is bigger, heavier, and considerably more expensive. But it's much better in low light than the f/4

Actually if you take into account the fact that you can also get either lens without
image stabilization, then you have four models of the 70-200mm L to choose from:
f/2.8 with IS, f/2.8 without IS, f/4 with IS and f/4 without IS.
ohh thanks soo much for this explanation ... and i thought i was missing some things when i see differnet princing ....

the 70-200mm is not a wide angle lens ? is that right? if its a zoom lens how would this be beneficiary for me when my subject is sort of close to me and require no zoom..

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Originally Posted by Jean-Philippe Archibald View Post
Experiment, plan your shots carefully, and rent all the expensive lenses you need. For a fraction of the price of one lens, you can rent several lenses for a week or more. There is no reason to not use the best lens for a shot.

But if you really need to buy something, my favorite lens for movie making on the 5d is the 35mm L f1.4.
problem with renting is , i will shoot on weekends only so ... it might be just sataraday and sunday and then the next weekend .. and rental would work for me

is this the lens you are referring to?

Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM Autofocus Lens - eBay (item 150517070130 end time Nov-17-10 12:58:21 PST)
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Old November 16th, 2010, 12:17 PM   #8
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Yes. Moderatly wide (ablout the same field of view that you get on the wide end of the 20X lens of your XL2). Very fast to work in low light. Sharp. Perfect for shot / countershot in a tight space.

You can rent on weekends. You can also rent online! LensRentals.com - Rent a Canon 35mm f/1.4L

You need it on two weekends? rent for 10 days...
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Old November 16th, 2010, 12:27 PM   #9
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the 70-200mm is not a wide angle lens ?
You are correct, it is *not* a wide angle lens. Instead it is a telephoto lens. I doubt that you will find much use for it with what you want to do, but my intention was to clarify the differences between the various Canon EF 70-200mm L lenses since the previous poster before me had mentioned one.

For your purposes, you might want to consider the Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8 L II, as it will give you a wider field of view than your 24-105 will, plus it's a faster lens. It's not as fast as the 35mm prime suggested above, but since it's a zoom lens, it will offer more choices of focal length. It is an excellent wide angle short zoom lens which is very popular:

Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM Autofocus Lens 1910B002 B&H Photo
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Old November 16th, 2010, 12:29 PM   #10
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You are in good shape to start shooting with what you've got now. Once you shoot for a while, you'll know what else you need.

I agree with the first poster that you'd do better to sink a few bucks into sound and lighting.
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Old November 16th, 2010, 12:38 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Jean-Philippe Archibald View Post
Yes. Moderatly wide (ablout the same field of view that you get on the wide end of the 20X lens of your XL2). Very fast to work in low light. Sharp. Perfect for shot / countershot in a tight space.

You can rent on weekends. You can also rent online! LensRentals.com - Rent a Canon 35mm f/1.4L

You need it on two weekends? rent for 10 days...
Thats a great resource thank you !
i was thinking of buying it , and sell it later if i don't need it...
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Old November 16th, 2010, 12:45 PM   #12
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You are correct, it is *not* a wide angle lens. Instead it is a telephoto lens. I doubt that you will find much use for it with what you want to do, but my intention was to clarify the differences between the various Canon EF 70-200mm L lenses since the previous poster before me had mentioned one.

For your purposes, you might want to consider the Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8 L II, as it will give you a wider field of view than your 24-105 will, plus it's a faster lens. It's not as fast as the 35mm prime suggested above, but since it's a zoom lens, it will offer more choices of focal length. It is an excellent wide angle short zoom lens which is very popular:

Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM Autofocus Lens 1910B002 B&H Photo

OK so either
Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM Autofocus Lens or 35mm L f1.4 it not the 70-200mm zoom lense

i have use canon XL2 , with 20 X zoom or a 3X wide angle lenses ..and loved the wide angle i got from 3X lenses... which one of these lens give me the same wide angle? or are they both the same is one better then the other?
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Old November 16th, 2010, 12:51 PM   #13
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The canon 3X lens gives you an equivalent field of view in 35mm of about 24mm-72mm

So now you can compare. With the 16-35 you will be definitly wider.
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Old November 16th, 2010, 01:08 PM   #14
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this is the 35mm L f1.4 correct?

Canon EF 35mm f/1.4 L USM Lens Review
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Old November 16th, 2010, 01:21 PM   #15
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Yes it is!
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