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Old January 10th, 2012, 10:20 AM   #1
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Prime Manual Lens for 5D

I am about to recieve a 5D MKii body in the mail this week and I am going crazy trying to figure out what lenses I should get. To start I would really like two prime lenses around the 30mm and 50mm range. I would love to have something also in the 1.4 to 1.8 range as well.

I have been interested in getting older manual lenses with more precise focus rings and decent quality glass.


I wanted to get some fresh perspective from you guys and hear some recommendations. I know Zeiss has two Planar lenses with Canon mounts (a 50mm and 85mm) that are pretty new and feature good manual focus rings. Thought those looked interesting.

Are there any other new releases that I should consider?

Also, what are some old lenses you guys have enjoyed using?
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Old January 10th, 2012, 02:50 PM   #2
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Re: Prime Manual Lens for 5D

If you are looking for Vintage lens, I find this previous thread very informative

http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/canon-eo...-lenses-2.html

Hope this helps.
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Old January 10th, 2012, 05:06 PM   #3
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Re: Prime Manual Lens for 5D

You may want to do a forum search as there are several threads that list great lens choices for the 5D.

I am currently using the Zeiss ZE Primes - I think there great - 35, 50 and 85mm. However I would love to switch to the CP.2's.
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Old January 10th, 2012, 05:26 PM   #4
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Re: Prime Manual Lens for 5D

Yeah, I read through a ton of forum post from DVinfo and elsewhere. More or less wanted to get some fresh responses and also see if there was anything new on the horizon.

I actually ended up going with the Zeiss 50mm f/1.4 ZE, and the Zeiss 35mm f/2. Read a lot of good things about them. Watched as much video as I could find with these lenses in combination with the 5D mkii and I liked the way they looked.

Doesn't seem like there are a ton of people with these lenses, or at least not a ton of people uploading videos online. Didn't find just a ton of videos with these lenses.
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Old January 10th, 2012, 10:58 PM   #5
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Re: Prime Manual Lens for 5D

The ZE35 is a great choice.

Just the other night I went with my oldest son to a small downtown to do a "found light" photo shoot with him as the model. I used the ZE 21/2.8, ZE 35/2, and EF 70-200/2.8L IS II, all handheld. I got wonderful shots with all three lenses, but the ZE 35/2 was by far my favorite. We started and ended the shoot with the 35, took the most shots with it, and it took the most cinematic shot of the night.

The 21/2.8 was really fun, but got old quickly. It's hard to find wide enough, attractive backgrounds to fill the frame. Sometimes the perspective distortion works great. At other times, it's a fail. The 70-200 is a bigger lens than I'm used to, so it felt a bit unwieldy. It also drew attention. The IS really rocked though, as I needed to shoot long exposures in the dark conditions at f/2.8. At 200mm it's all about the subject. Back up and you can get more of the subject in the shot, but even at 70mm you get a limited background. That makes it harder to tell a story in a single shot. The 35mm was fun in that I could provide good context, get some attitude with the perspective distortion, and push it tight or pull it wide as needed. The f/1.4 would have been even nicer during the downtown night.

My workflow was similar to doing video. I used Live View and pressed "Info" to get the histogram for setting exposure. I'd press "Info" again to clear the frame (...mostly. I wish the mag box could be disabled or flash to provide a clear screen.) After framing, I would position the box over the talent's face and mag to x10. I then focused and "snap!", took the photo, when the expression was right. Even with the 70-200, I found that this method gave more precise focus on the eyes than using the viewfinder and AF.

So, yeah, the ZE 35/2 was a winner in those conditions - even without AF or IS.

BTW, after processing the pics, I took the best photos and shuffled them to tell a visual story. I now have an idea for a short. Not bad, getting a lens test, experience, some nice photos, a location scouting trip, and a story concept in about an hour and a half. :)
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Old January 10th, 2012, 11:46 PM   #6
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Re: Prime Manual Lens for 5D

Thanks for sharing your experience. I enjoy hearing about other peoples success, especially with gear that I myself just bought! :)

I about drove myself crazy trying to decide what lenses to get. I feel like I made a good choice. I will probably pick up the 85mm at some point also. I should get my 5d and 50mm tomorrow. Hopefully my 35mm will ship out tomorrow. I will post some videos when I get a chance. Hopefully, between my Zeiss glass and perhaps the 5Ds new HDR feature I can get some pretty interesting stuff. :)
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Old January 10th, 2012, 11:56 PM   #7
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Re: Prime Manual Lens for 5D

Hi brad,

since we have an old studio back in asia, we have lots of old manual lenses. Among those I use currently on my canon 5d/7d are old nikkors.

Nikkor 50mm f1.4

Nikkor105mm f2.8

even an old mid format Mamiya 90mm f1.9 which I custom adapted.

Theyre good fast cheap.
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Old January 11th, 2012, 07:23 AM   #8
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Re: Prime Manual Lens for 5D

Hey Ted. I was just checking out your link you have listed there and noticed you had a vaf-5d2. I am thinking about ordering one. How do you like yours? I have heard some very good things about them.
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Old January 11th, 2012, 08:39 PM   #9
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Re: Prime Manual Lens for 5D

+1 on Zeiss, my favorite is the 35/1.4. I also have the 21/2.8, 50/1.4 and 85/1.4. Wish I had the 100/2 Makro as well. Great glass that will last forever. Rock solid and built like a Panzer Tank. When I want to travel light for just walk around photo or video work I carry the 35/1.4 and the 85/1.4 and I can cover a lot of ground that way. I highly recommend a Z-finder or similar device if you want the absolute sharpest focus. That with the zoom feature in Live View works best for me.
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Old January 11th, 2012, 08:42 PM   #10
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Re: Prime Manual Lens for 5D

You can look at the Rokinon 35mm f/1.4 as well - I plan on buying on here shortly for my 7D. I hear it is L glass sharp.

At 500 dollars it is a real bargain.
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Old January 11th, 2012, 09:08 PM   #11
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Re: Prime Manual Lens for 5D

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad Ballew View Post
Hey Ted. I was just checking out your link you have listed there and noticed you had a vaf-5d2. I am thinking about ordering one. How do you like yours? I have heard some very good things about them.
I love it. Works great on the 5D and I just leave it inside. Wont allow you to take sharp photos though.

Works with most lenses from normal to tele.

Picky with the wides.

It does work with my 11-16 tokina at f11. (at 16mm this lens works without vignette on the 5D)

It is said to work at all f stops on the canon 24-70mm zoom f2.8

But on the canon 24mm prime it only works at f8-11 and slower.
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Old January 12th, 2012, 01:58 AM   #12
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Re: Prime Manual Lens for 5D

I've got the ZE's from 21mm up to 100mm and have had nothing but great results with them. Unfortunately many of the shoots I've done have forced me to use zooms for flexibility and speed (working, not exposure). Examples here.
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Old January 12th, 2012, 08:13 AM   #13
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Re: Prime Manual Lens for 5D

Checked out your work Charles, you got some awesome stuff. Great work!

I only have one of my Zeiss lenses right now. The 50mm 1.4. I absolutely love it! The build quality is fantastic. All metal and super solid. Plus the image looks fantastic. Really glad I decided to go with the Zeiss. Can't wait to get my 35mm.
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Old January 17th, 2012, 07:25 AM   #14
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Re: Prime Manual Lens for 5D

I use an old Nikkor 50 1.4f
works wonders
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Old January 20th, 2012, 02:27 PM   #15
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Re: Prime Manual Lens for 5D

I use my old Nikkors, a 24, 35 and 105. And a Zeiss ZE f1.4 50. I also have the L 70-200 f4, and I'm considering the 24-105 because I really need a run-n-gun zoom lens for certain things.
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