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Old April 18th, 2012, 02:46 AM   #1
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Legacy zoom lens for doc work

I've been shooting a doc with Canon FD prime lenses. Most of the shooting so far has been in a controlled environment, where I have time to switch lenses. But there are shoots coming up where I'll be following someone and I need to have some more framing flexibility with one lens.
I bought a Canon FD 35-70 and am looking at the Canon FD 24-35.

I am a little worried that the 24 is not wide enough (sitting in the back of a small car shooting the driver and passenger, for instance) so I am also considering using my Canon 550D with the Tamron 17-50 VC. It will be quite a different look but I may be able to use it as a style element.

Any other ideas for a nice legacy zoom lens that would work well with the Canon FD-series? Or other thoughts on how to tackle real doc work with a legacy lens?
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Old April 18th, 2012, 05:59 AM   #2
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Re: Legacy zoom lens for doc work

Not sure I would even be going DSLR and definitely not with primes and small zooms if you're working quick. I hate changing lenses on the run.
No, 24mm is nowhere near wide enough for in car footage, especially if you're trying to shoot from the front seat.
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Old April 18th, 2012, 06:45 AM   #3
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Re: Legacy zoom lens for doc work

I could shoot it with my EX1 but I have to be able to cut the footage with my prime lens footage. I do have a Tokina 17mm for the car scene and then change to the 24-35 for the next scene, a meeting with 5 other people. But then I would need the 35-70 as well. 2 bodies ;-( ?

I could also buy an EOS to M43 adapter for the Tamron 17-50 and use it on the GH2 but then I would have to shoot everything wide open...
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Old April 18th, 2012, 07:50 AM   #4
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Re: Legacy zoom lens for doc work

Nikon 12-24mm

I have no idea of the size of a 4/3 sensor.
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Old April 18th, 2012, 10:40 AM   #5
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Re: Legacy zoom lens for doc work

My advice. Use the EX1 unless you are willing to accept a significant amount of focusing issues.
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Old April 18th, 2012, 12:52 PM   #6
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Re: Legacy zoom lens for doc work

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Originally Posted by Bob Hart View Post
Nikon 12-24mm

I have no idea of the size of a 4/3 sensor.
1K for this lens is out of my league...
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Old April 18th, 2012, 12:56 PM   #7
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Re: Legacy zoom lens for doc work

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Originally Posted by William Hohauser View Post
My advice. Use the EX1 unless you are willing to accept a significant amount of focusing issues.
I don't think focusing is the problem but I need zoom without changing lenses...
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Old April 18th, 2012, 04:11 PM   #8
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Re: Legacy zoom lens for doc work

The 14-140 kit lens works well enough for this application.

If it's faster glass you're after, the Tamron can be made to work with the right adapter. Another great option is the Tokina 11-16 (Nikon) - it's fast enough, wide enough, and not ridiculously expensive.

My legacy "variable prime" solution is a Vivitar Series 1 28-90/2.8-3.5 Macro, paired with a 16x9 EXII 0.6x wide-angle converter. It isn't a perfect solution (front heavy, very varifocal), but it's OK.

I eventually wound up springing for the Leica D 14-50/2.8-3.5 as my fast short zoom.
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Old April 18th, 2012, 04:32 PM   #9
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Re: Legacy zoom lens for doc work

The Sigma 18-50 F/2.8 Olympus mount (w/Panasonic adapter) works with the GH2 as if it were made for the camera, and is very nice for outdoor use. In decent lighting conditions the auto focus is reasonably fast. Don't know if it's wide enough for you or not.
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Old April 18th, 2012, 04:59 PM   #10
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Re: Legacy zoom lens for doc work

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I don't think focusing is the problem but I need zoom without changing lenses...
Could almost recommend the new Panasonic Lumix G X Vario PZ 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH Power OIS. It might do what you need, especially as it stays in focus thru the zoom range unlike the other lenses mentioned here, but the lack of manual controls for the zoom and focus makes it ultimately a frustrating experience.
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Old April 18th, 2012, 10:53 PM   #11
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Re: Legacy zoom lens for doc work

Jeroen:

You're going to need wider than 24mm or even 18mm inside that car. Take the "kit" 14-42mm that came with the GH2 and shoot some footage simulating what you're going to do with a couple of friends. You may be pleasantly surprised.

You are going to need that 14mm (really even wider but expense becomes a problem), the least expensive way to do that is the 14mm end of that "kit" zoom.
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Old April 19th, 2012, 03:58 PM   #12
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Re: Legacy zoom lens for doc work

Thanks for all your suggestions. I almost forgot I have the Panasonic 14mm!! (but haven't used it that much because I like the 20mm better) I guess I'll use that in the car and then switch to the 20 and/or 35-70 for the meeting. Not ideal but as long as the audio keeps running I'll manage...

Jeff, what does the Sigma offer over the Tamron 17-50? That lens is about 200,- How much would the adapter be you're talking about? The Tamron (EOS-mount) is big for the GH2 and I have no experience with iris-control adapters. Heard a lot of bad things about them...

I heard good things about the 14-140 kit lens but I would assume it's too slow for inside work...

Still looking for the ideal doc lens for the GH2- the 14-42 would be a nice range but it's not a really exciting lens, from what I've heard/seen.

Leica D 14-50 would be nice but expensive and cheap build....

Arghhh...I'm going to sleep... (think it over some more tomorrow, with a fresh mind...)
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Old April 19th, 2012, 04:11 PM   #13
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Re: Legacy zoom lens for doc work

Jeroen, the Sigma 18-50 F/2.8 Olympus mount operates like it was made for the camera. The Tamron does not. With the Sigma you have full electronic control with the camera. You have auto focus. You can also switch to manual anytime by flicking a switch on the barrel to go manual. The reason this works is because it is an Olympus lens that is on the list of compatible lenses on the compatibility chart for the GH2. The Panasonic adapter is an electronic adapter, not plain piece of metal like the other adapters out there.

I am not a fan of the cheaper Tamron zoom lenses. I had one I hated and was SO glad to have sold it. It rendered colors very strangely in some circumstances. Outdoors they are fine, but indoors the one I had was real hinky depending on the lighting. I couldn't match it with any one of three other cameras one time, and it nearly ruined a wedding video for me.

The Sigma would be larger too, but it's a very nice lens for the money. I have one and was trying to sell it but I'm editing videos I shot with it and it looks so good I may keep it. It's the fastest zoom that will work with the camera electronically that you can buy, after the $2K Olympus zooms.

Finding one in new condition can be very difficult if not near impossible, but beat up ones are out there, but even they can be tricky to find.
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Old April 20th, 2012, 10:22 AM   #14
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Re: Legacy zoom lens for doc work

If the Sigma is of interest to you, here's what it looks like, can be found sometimes on Ebay or craigslist. There is an older version of the lens, avoid it.

Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 EX DC Macro Lens for Olympus 581107 B&H

Panasonic DMW-MA1 Mount Adapter to Mount Four Thirds DMW-MA1 B&H
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Old April 20th, 2012, 12:44 PM   #15
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Re: Legacy zoom lens for doc work

Thanks, Jeff. Do you have any video samples of that lens+GH2 on the web somewhere? I was thinking, if it's really different from the Canon FD series I might as well use my Canon T2i + Tamron 17-50 2.8, or even my EX1 R for that matter...
The Panasonic micro 4/3 zoom lenses are really not drastically more interesting than the Tamron so there's really no use looking into these either...
Maybe what I was hoping for was a 17-50 2.8 Canon FD...
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