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Old June 16th, 2011, 06:26 PM   #1
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Buying a New 5d for myself need advice...Please Help

I am buying a new 5d tomorrow from a local store, and I am really confused on what lenses to buy with the camera. I am using this for my own website and I know its going to be a massive learning curve. Really only using the camera for shooting videos for site.

1. What two lenses should I get. I need one that's a wide angle lens so I can focus on everything in a 15 foot range (without the blurry background). This will be used to shoot a training video, and I have read these can be hard to focus so need to get it right the first time. I was thinking of the Zeiss lens(Zeiss Distagon 35mm T* f/2 ZE ) Its really expensive, so wanted to know if anyone knows a lens that can get me about the same or close type image but for less.
2. Need to have a subject in focus for interviews and testimonials, with a really nice blurred background. Was thinking again about the zeiss 50mm for this as well.

3. Can I buy the less expensive 7d camera, and buy a lens that will give me the same image (size) for the video. Most important is the two options for me to shoot. The training videos which will have about a 15 foot focal range that needs to be in focus and the interviews with a nice shallow depth of field.

4. Will be shooting outside alot, so any recomendations on a filter that would match the glass on lens.

Please excuse these newbie questions, but I want to make sure I get off on the right foot, and I hope someone can help me out. I really don't want to spend a ton of money in the first stage of this, because I don't even know what I want. I cant thank you enough for your advice in advance.
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Old June 16th, 2011, 07:55 PM   #2
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Re: Buying a New 5d for myself need advice...Please Help

What did you mean by site? For a website? If this is your first foray into lenses, you might want to look at vintage glass (via adapters). You get good glass on a budget, and then you can learn what you need as you gain experience. The lens that you have selected are top of the line. Others might give better advice, but I would stick with the ones listed under "Zeiss Cinema Lens Set - Nikon Mount". They are the ones that are most suitable for video (minor things, like focus throw, etc). I believe that the nikon mount is recommended because of the manual aperture control, but do some research. Otherwise you can find the zeiss vintage equivalents on ebay for half the price. They tend to have inferior optical flare coatings so shooting into light might be more problematic.

Bloom recommended "Heliopan Variable ND filter", might be worth investing in. Get the 77mm and then the various step down rings for whatever lens you end up buying. Supposedly the glass is zeiss.

On the 5d, look into replacing the focusing screen to Canon Eg-S, so you can focus better. Down the road you can look into monitors or evf's to improve your focusing ability with focus assist features.

I personally love the 5d. You can get the t2i with magic lanterns and get nearly the same features as the 7d. Alex is close to hacking the hdmi out, so you can get full rez on the monitor (what people end up really getting the 7d for). The crop also gives you more dof, so that is another factor to consider. Its one of those things that you will probably move around once you get some experience. At least a lot of this stuff is like renting, cause you can sell it for just as much as you bought it, so I wouldn't stress too much.
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Old June 16th, 2011, 10:54 PM   #3
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Re: Buying a New 5d for myself need advice...Please Help

I would not recommend anything in the DSLR lineup for a newb to video. There are a ton of great products out there in the standard videocamera market - focus on any of them. IMHO, too much to deal with for someone with your questions.
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Old June 16th, 2011, 11:34 PM   #4
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Re: Buying a New 5d for myself need advice...Please Help

Mike, thank you so much for the advice. I do have a nice camcorder we will be using as well, so I dont mess things up too bad. So this would be somewhat of a B-Roll camera until I get really good at it. I really want to learn so I have to start somewhere, and I figure I might as well learn with this camera. As my business grows we will be shooting interviews and testimonials on the fly, so the will fill that need as well. Again thank you so much, and if you have some time will you let me know your thoughts on the lenses.

thanks again

jason
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Old June 17th, 2011, 12:15 AM   #5
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Re: Buying a New 5d for myself need advice...Please Help

Your situation sounds almost identical to what I do on the side at work for corporate videos. I have the ZE 35/2 and the ZE 85/1.4. And I use them for almost exactly what you describe. The 35/2 is for overall coverage, and the 85/1.4 is for interviews.

I love the 35/2 as my standard lens. It's wider than the normal view of a 50mm, so it has a bit more attitude. It has a very close minimum focus distance, so I can use it almost like a macro. (almost...) I use it on a handheld rig, tripod, and jib. It's probably on the camera 80% of the time. It's focus ring could have a longer throw, but at least it's super-smooth. I have a Redrock follow focus, which really helps.

The 85/1.4 is almost exclusively for interviews in the corporate setting. I recently shot talking heads with it at eight feet. I framed it from the top of the head to the middle of the torso, leaving enough room to the side to add fly-in video. It's just a bit tighter than what you see on The Daily Show or Colbert at eight feet.

15 feet will be a bit far. You might be tempted to go for a 135mm view. Don't. Not if you only have two lenses. The jump from 35mm to 135mm is too big to cut well together.

The next most important lens is a macro. I use the older (non-IS) Canon 100/2.8. It can be important if your training video needs to show small details and hand work. The 85/1.4 doesn't focus very close. You might consider the 100/2 Makro as a one lens alternative. That lens is amazing, but costly. But you would avoid the need for an additional macro lens.

At work, we also have the ZE 21/2.8. It is rarely needed - but every once in a while, we need to "get it all in" in a tight space. And it's awesome when we want a really aggressive attitude. I plan to shoot an EMT vehicle to emphasize a point, and I will use the 21/2.8 to give that shot maximum effect. For training videos, you should never need anything that wide.

So... I recommend a 35/2, 85/1.4, and a Canon 100 macro, or jump straight to the 35/2 and 100/2 Makro. The second choice will get you closer to that 15 ft point without being too dissimilar from the 35/2, and will cover any tight shots where you need to show fine details.

Would I like a 28/2 and a 50/1.4 as well? Sure! But with the lenses I have, I've always been able to get effective shots that I'm proud to show.

Regarding filters, you'll want a 0.9 ND and a circular polarizer. The 0.9 lets you get moderate DOF. If you want it shallower, add the polarizer for another couple stops or so. Also consider some diffusion. I have a GlimmerGlass #1 at work and a #1 and #3 at home. I wish a #2 were available in a round format, as it would be "just right". A bit of diffusion reduces aliasing somewhat. It can also make products and people look a bit more glamorous. These filters reduce contrast, so you generally want to add some contrast and sharpness in post. Avoid them if you want things crisp and sparkly. Add them if you want a more filmic, organic, glowing look. If you're training videos are about high tech, use a #1 or nothing. If you're making jewelry, go for the #3.

For grip gear, you probably want to go with a shoulder rig for the 35mm and a tripod for the 85mm/100mm interviews. Add a slider for macro shots. I use a Redrock Event as a "chest" rig. It lets me pull the camera from my body and move it around freely. The Vinten Blue is "the" tripod for lightweight DSLRs these days. There are a number of sliders out there. We use the Pocket Dolly from Kessler.

And then there are lights... And sound. And memory. And batteries. And cases. And cleaning supplies. Add those and you'll have a full production tool kit.
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Old June 17th, 2011, 12:49 AM   #6
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Re: Buying a New 5d for myself need advice...Please Help

Jon, thank you soooooo much for this post. I now know what I need to get for the camera. I do have just one more question tho. The training videos I will be making will be with dogs, I am a dog trainer, and wanted to make some videos. I will never really be more than 15 max 20 feet from camera. Is there a lens that would allow focus for that space. that way I dont have to add a follow focus rig to it. Not sure if this is even possible on these cameras, but wanted to check. So i will be walking around, but not doing too much. I have just heard the focus on these are a bit tricky. Again thank you so much for your input, this has really helped my learning curve.


thanks
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Old June 17th, 2011, 02:19 AM   #7
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Re: Buying a New 5d for myself need advice...Please Help

My recommendation for two lenses:

Canon 24-70 f/2.8 and Canon 70-200 f/2.8.

Add to those the single most cost effective and useful accessory:

LCDVF
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Old June 17th, 2011, 03:22 AM   #8
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Re: Buying a New 5d for myself need advice...Please Help

First, Jon offers good advice on equipment.

Second, Jason, I don't mean to rain on your parade, but when I read your posts I just don't think you're at a level to plunge into a 5D and a bunch of Zeiss glass.

What about a 7D and a 17-55 for the wides, and a 70-200 for the tights?

Canon sells a nice 17-55 EF-S for around $1100 (Tamron has one that's $450), Canon sells a variety of 70-200s from $1500-$2500 (again Tamron/Sigma are in the $800 range).

If you got the 7D plus the two off-brand lenses, you'd be out the door for under $3k - and your lenses open to f/2.8 all the way through (with a sizeable gap between 50mm and 70mm, but still...).

If I misinterpreted your skill level, forgive me.
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Old June 17th, 2011, 03:31 AM   #9
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Re: Buying a New 5d for myself need advice...Please Help

Mike, you are right on the money with my skill level...lol Thank you again for the advice as well, and you have given me something to think about. I really have alot of time on my hands, and it really helps that I am a bit OCD so I am exciting about working with this equipment. I will keep the progress posted hear on this thread to see how things go. Again thank you so much.
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Old June 17th, 2011, 04:57 AM   #10
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Re: Buying a New 5d for myself need advice...Please Help

Just another suggestion following on from Mike's advice. Take a look at the new Canon T3i(600D). It shoots video identical to the 7D but is half the price plus with it's 3X crop mode you won't really need a 70-200mm. If you are new to DSLR video the T3i (600D) plus the Canon 17-55mm F/2.8 lens is a great low cost entry package.
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Old June 17th, 2011, 08:14 PM   #11
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Re: Buying a New 5d for myself need advice...Please Help

Good points about the T3i and zoom lenses. The noise is a bit higher, but that's not a problem if your space is well lit. The DOF won't be as shallow, but that makes it easier to shoot and get a good result. Image stabilization is nice to have - on the 17-55 it helps with handheld shots. On the 70-200 (which is quite long on the T3i), it helps damp out micro-vibrations from when you touch the tripod.

Filming dogs can be tricky. Like children, they're not always still. That makes focusing a challenge. Definitely get a follow focus and a loupe for handheld use.

There are two pieces of good news: rolling shutter and aliasing won't be too bad. When tracking something (like a dog), the eyes of the audience track the object of interest. As long as there aren't too many hard, vertical lines in the background, rolling shutter won't be that distracting. And dogs are "organic" rather than hard edged. That makes aliasing much less noticeable.

You probably don't need a macro. Get close with a somewhat wide lens and you can highlight a dogs face, paws, etc. Unless you're really getting into the details of dental or foot health, you won't need an extreme macro - and the dog would have to be asleep to use it!

Regarding DOF, it's not so much a matter of distance as it is a matter of magnification and aperture. Let's say you want to show a person's face with their chin at the bottom of the screen and their forehead at the top. Whether you use a wide lens super close or a long lens far back, this level of magnification will make for shallow DOF at a given aperture. Back up a little with the wide lens or a lot with the long lens until the face is 1/10th the screen height, and the focus will be quite deep at the same aperture as before.

So, if you roll the camera and start training a dog 15 to 20 feet away, as long as the view is wide and you have enough light to stop down the aperture a bit, you can get the shot. Frankly though, a standard video camera can do this as well.

To make the shot more interesting, either you want to be far from the background (to make it blurry) and/or to have something like a bail of hay in the foreground (again, so it will be blurry). While you and the dog are within a good focus range, having those other elements will help frame your depth.

Also, a static camera is boring. Having an operator track you with a tripod is much better. Tracking on the end of a jib is better still. A tripod always has the same perspective. A jib move changes the view of near objects differently than it does the objects in the background - the bail of hay will move quickly as you stay centered in the screen and the background moves slowly.

If you walk perpendicular to the camera, the focus won't need to change at all. Getting an assistant to track you from a tripod will really help your production value. If you're really good, you could train a dog to do it. :)

Best of luck with making your vision come to life!
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Old June 17th, 2011, 11:02 PM   #12
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Re: Buying a New 5d for myself need advice...Please Help

As others have said, for a 5dmkII, I think the two must have lenses are the 24-70 f/2.8 and the 70-200 f/2.8. These two lenses from Canon are infamous and I know many wedding photographers who shoot with these lenses 99% of the time. Sigma also makes great versions of these at about half the cost.

Forget about Ziess primes - they are overkill for your job as well as not giving you the versatility you need.

Forget about a follow focus - I get the feeling you are planning to just put the camera on a tripod and let it roll, in which case a follow focus will be useless. Even if you are planning to get a co-worker to help you and track/pan the camera for you a follow focus will just confuse them anyway. Unless you are planning to bring a DoP with a full crew (focus puller, Assistant Cameraman, etc), don't waste money of a follow focus.

If you want to keep as much as possible in focus then you'll need plenty of light - this will let you stop the aperture down do a point where almost everything on screen is in focus.
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Old June 18th, 2011, 12:59 PM   #13
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Re: Buying a New 5d for myself need advice...Please Help

Thank you guys for all the info!!! I have learned a ton from this thread. Jon, that last post about setting the scene up was amazing. Thats what I was thinking of doing. I bought the 5d and a Ziess 50mm, the 5d came with a Canon 28-105mm f/4 L lens. I already got the camera and lens before the last three posts or I would have maybe got a different lens. I will work with what I have, and if its not enough then I will go buy more lenses. It was a great deal because I didnt have to pay taxes on the whole package which saved me about 400 bucks. Will keep everyone posted on the videos. GREAT ADVICE from everyone.

thanks
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Old June 19th, 2011, 11:39 PM   #14
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Re: Buying a New 5d for myself need advice...Please Help

The 24-105 will serve you well. And when you want a shallow DOF or low light shot, the Zeiss will be nice to have. And lenses hold their value. Anytime you want to make a change, you can sell your old lens and get something new.

Best of luck with your shooting!
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Old June 20th, 2011, 03:35 PM   #15
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Re: Buying a New 5d for myself need advice...Please Help

I used to have a 24-70 f2.8 which lasted me a good 12 years from my venerable Canon n1 to a more recent D450, but have since acquired a 24-105 f4 IS for my 5D, which I now think is a much more versatile lens. I keep a 50mm f1.4 as a budget solution for low light situations.
Best of luck
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