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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 September 22nd, 2012, 06:44 AM   #16
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Re: Canon Glass Questions

Kris I think the 14mm will be worth every penny for my work. Will see Monday when the gear arrives and start shooting. Quick learning cure since the first shoot with the camera is Wed evening. Excited to try the 14mm and MKIII low light together.

Thanks Charles, After everything I have heard the 17-40 is off my list. Will consider the 16-35.
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Old September 24th, 2012, 05:54 PM   #17
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Re: Canon Glass Questions

I've got the ZE 21/2.8 here at work for video. Ironically, I find it great for photos and not so useful for video. At home, I have the 16-35L II, which I find much more useful as a "problem solver" lens. Back the camera up in a small space, and you can zoom to frame as desired. Problem solved.

I find that at 18mm and wider, one is clearly into "effects" territory. Lenses in that range make a nice, consistent statement.

At 24mm, things are wide and slightly distorted, but with care, 24mm is a nice standard wide. 28mm is even easier to use as a standard wide, given less edge distortion. 35mm is my go-to normal view - it's like a 50 but with more "attitude".

Between 18mm and 24mm, however, things get dangerous. It's a fine view for a reality show or on a small "sports" set, but for narrative cinematography, this range requires a skilled hand. If you push the lens into the scene at an off angle, the perspective effects are excellent (as the "effects" view). If you use it statically for an establishing shot, it can work well too (as a "normal" view). The problem is when trying to use the lens normally, say on a head-high tripod. At one moment, the view might look "normal", but as soon as you pan or people walk into the scene from the side, the distortion is apparent. This inconsistent statement, along with other technical challenges, make this a "hero or goat" lens for narrative.

Starting with the 14L, I'd probably choose the 24L next. You can still push it close at an angle for perspective shots, but you can use it normally too. I'd skip the 21 as the 14 provides the effects thing. Again, the advantage of the zoom is that you can frame to taste in tight quarters. But I get the feeling that you are shooting wide by choice, not because you shoot in elevators, phone booths, and subcompact cars.

In addition to the 24mm, a 35mm would be my choice, but that's me. I recently shot about 4 hours of material with nothing but the ZE 35/2. I have the 35L at home, which I prefer for shooting a combination of photos and video. I also prefer it for its extra stop as I often shoot in natural light. Oh, and the 35L supports peripheral illumination correction, which really rocks. Regarding the ZE 35/2, I prefer it's feel, compact size, and hard stops. I like the images I get from both. Getting the right shot matters much more to me than that last 2 percent of technical quality. I don't like bad lenses but with a very good lens in hand, I could care less if another is slightly better. I'm more critical about my framing, positioning, focus, light, exposure, performance, etc than about the pixels.
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Old September 24th, 2012, 06:05 PM   #18
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Re: Canon Glass Questions

Thanks Jon,

Great info and a post I have read a few times to get all the detail. I like the jump to 24mm makes perfect sense and then 35 and 50.

I do shoot wide by choice. Choice being I have to shoot boat interiors as part of my gigs and they are tight spaces, and coverage is important. But also quality is important at full frame.

Video is not my gig with the 5D MKIII but that could change since I just ordered a Canon C300 today. And the MKIII will be my backup till the C100 comes out.

Off to go do some testing with the MKIII and 14mm.
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Old September 25th, 2012, 12:03 PM   #19
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Re: Canon Glass Questions

With only one day of shooting stills for my learning curve I am very impressed with the EF14mm and the MKIII. stunning stills. Better get back to is since I will be shooting stills with it tomorrow on a job. The shots make me smile and that is always a good thing.

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Old September 25th, 2012, 02:03 PM   #20
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Re: Canon Glass Questions

One thing I've learned about ultrawides, is that, unless pushed close to an object of interest, it's really important to stop down. Even with the 21mm on full frame, I risk having the ground at the feet of the camera too soft when the aperture is open. It's really unattractive. With the object of interest and the background in focus, when the ground is out of focus, it looks like a technical fault or a smear on the lens. From that standpoint, an f/4 zoom makes sense. The exception is when you push a wide lens close to an object for forced perspective. That allows a crisp object and soft background, which is a more attractive use of shallow DOF.

On one trip, I angled the lens up at some buildings early in the morning and got one of my favorite shots. Later, I used the 21/2.8 for a large group shot, but it was a bit of a fail since the people on the edges of the frame became very fat. I should have backed up and cropped to a 24 or 28mm view to keep everybody looking their best. So even with stills, this can be a hero or goat lens. Yeah, 21mm is not for the faint of heart!

Your 14mm lens, on the other hand, should have enough perspective distortion (as compared to barrel or pincushion distortion) across the frame that it's less likely to send mixed messages - especially for stills. That said, stopping it down enough to keep floors and ceilings sharp will be even more important than with the 21.

One thing for sure, ultra-wides are fun!
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Old September 25th, 2012, 02:19 PM   #21
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Re: Canon Glass Questions

Great input Jon,

I will work on stopping down and keeping an eye on the whole frame and try and not get fooled.
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