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Sony NEX-EA50 (all variants)
Including NEX-EA50UH / EA50EH / EA50H / EA50UK / EA50EK / EA50K


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Old September 4th, 2014, 10:11 AM   #16
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Re: Sony Lens

When I first thought of losing my servo zoom I thought "no way!" but after really evauluating it I dont use it as much as I thought BUT I do need it for at least a hand full of key shots. So what I do is suck it up with the stock lens when I need zoom then switch to my lens of choice for the situation. My next purchase will definately be the 18-105 Sony@ F4 although it would be nice if SOMEONE would make a NEX 17-50 @ 2.8 and a 80-200 @2.8 that would be a total fix all for me:)
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Old November 20th, 2014, 10:19 AM   #17
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Re: Sony Lens

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Originally Posted by Chris Harding View Post
I really don't see the big deal with servo zoom! The correct use for a zoom lens is to reframe the shot and really nothing else. The human eye cannot zoom so doing a zoom whilst recording is un-natural to the viewer but in a few cases it does look cool and does play a part but I still don't think it's that important!

Does anyone have special shots that can only be achieved with a powered zoom and impossible to do with a manual zoom? I can understand the need for a nice autofocus lens especially with stuff like sports but I cannot really see why anyone would HAVE to have a servo zoom?

Enlighten me please Randy

Chris
Many times during interviews the client wants a "slow creep", a very slow zoom into the subject. Typically when the subject is speaking about something dramatic or personal. Also when shooting sports smooth zooming is required, zooming that cannot be obtained manually. For instance, slowly zooming into the QB as he is barking out the play or zooming into a player as he stands up after being tackled. Very slow zooms are often used as well when shooting b-roll in order to give the shot a bit of "movement" beyond just pans and tilts. For instance, a shot of a residence or skyline where you slowly, almost imperceptibly, zoom in.

I don't know of a professional broadcast tv shooter who does not need or at least very much want a servo zoom. It is damn near invaluable and there are many clients who would not consider you a professional shooter if you did not have equipment that provided you with the ability to do servo zooms.

The servo zoom separates pro's from the "5d kids".
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Old November 20th, 2014, 10:23 AM   #18
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Re: Sony Lens

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Originally Posted by Randy Johnson View Post
When I first thought of losing my servo zoom I thought "no way!" but after really evauluating it I dont use it as much as I thought BUT I do need it for at least a hand full of key shots. So what I do is suck it up with the stock lens when I need zoom then switch to my lens of choice for the situation. My next purchase will definately be the 18-105 Sony@ F4 although it would be nice if SOMEONE would make a NEX 17-50 @ 2.8 and a 80-200 @2.8 that would be a total fix all for me:)
Randy- how about a 16-35mm f/1.8?

You can obtain one by using the Sony Alpha 16-35mm f/2.8 and the metabones Ultra adapter.

The set up will yield a 20-46mm comparable 35mm equivalent.
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Old November 21st, 2014, 02:13 AM   #19
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Re: Sony Lens

Funny thing is that at one point I was getting pissy about us not having a F2.8 E Mount zoom lens available for our cameras. And from what I read we aren't getting one.

So we're force to buy adapters and shoot in MF to be able to use a zoom F2.8 lens.

But doesn't shooting in MF all the time make us better videographers? Isn't that better on the long run?

I even prefer using my NEX over my 70D canon which has great video auto focus. (although it tends to do a lot of miss focus with moving objects like when people are dancing)
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Old November 21st, 2014, 02:27 AM   #20
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Re: Sony Lens

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But doesn't shooting in MF all the time make us better videographers? Isn't that better on the long run?
As long as it isn't a fly by wire focussing lens it should make you a better videographer but nailing focus in a run and gun situation manually is very difficult with large sensor camera's + it gets even more problematic when you shoot 4K, you need a hig rez screen to judge your focus as I found that focus aids like peaking is not always 100% accurate. I like the combination of a autofocus system so you can quickly set your focus and then if needed use manual focus in combination of magnifying the screen to judge your focus when your subject moves.
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Old November 22nd, 2014, 06:32 AM   #21
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Re: Sony Lens

I've given up on the stock lens as it's simply too slow. Filming weddings I'm constantly moving from indoor to outdoor and back again - if it's a dim venue I was spending too much time changing lenses so I now have my Canon 24-105 (goes to f2.8 with the speedbooster) on the EA50 constantly and just use MF - the downside is when things are getting hectic I can miss shots as I can't focus quickly enough, as I'm also getting my exposure/framing right - so I also have my CX730 around my neck that I can use in a flash for fast moving events such as arrival of bride etc as it AF is fast plus the stabilisation is amazing.

The upside is the EF lens gives me a nicer image - slightly sharper with better colour than the kit lens - unfortunately I had spent a lot on 67mm Xume filter adapters and a variable ND filter that are now redundant.
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Old November 22nd, 2014, 06:44 AM   #22
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Re: Sony Lens

Hi Pete

I agree! I sold both stock lenses! I have a 17-50 on one camera and 18-35 F1.8 on the other now!!

Why do you expose manually ... I just use the iris control on my adapter to adjust to a reasonable shutter and let the camera work out the exposure ...works perfectly in full auto with a manual lens and is more accurate than I am too!!! However in a dark reception with dark walls (On Saturday the venue had black walls so it fools exposure a bit!!!

Chris
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Old November 22nd, 2014, 09:06 AM   #23
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Re: Sony Lens

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Originally Posted by Francisco Estrada View Post

But doesn't shooting in MF all the time make us better videographers? Isn't that better on the long run?
The snob in me says yes, it does. I have always worked with high-end broadcast tv lenses and film lenses that are manual focus only. In the world of pro film and tv shooters only amateurs used "auto" anything. "Real men focus manually" was the tongue-in-cheek arrogant credo. But that was on 2/3" cameras for the most part and, more importantly, it was on cameras with excellent CRT-based EVF's that featured peaking. $6000 EVF's. I still haven't become used to the way that LCD's look through a loupe, used to the pixelization.

Noa makes a good point about larger sensors making focus more difficult. But I don't like the idea of my shot suffering focus hunting from the electronic auto focus. Such hunting is often more dramatic than the focus hunting that occurs when focusing manually since electronic focus often racks far more dramatically when doing it's hunting. Sometimes to infinity and then back.

Factors that makes manual focus difficult are the lack of focus end stop and "fly by wire" electronic focus. The pro lenses I grew up on were all purely mechanical and featured focus end stop. That becomes your reference for muscle memory when focusing manually. Another factor making manual focus a nightmare is glass that isn't par focal. The rule in pro shooting was always, given time, to zoom into the subject and set focus before composing any framing. Even if your shot was only a wide shot. Particularly in live sports since the Director might instruct you to zoom in "on air" after you offered him up a wide shot.

Using monocular EVF's with excellent peaking greatly facilitates manual focusing. Trying to maintain focus using the lcd screen on a DSLR that lacks peaking is another thing altogether. Particularly when you are not using a loupe, in daylight, etc.

If find yourself struggling with focusing manually and / or your gear inhibits manual focusing then, of course, use auto focus. Better to use Auto and have a happy client than to give the client soft shots. Even if Auto focus tends to hunt for focus and use of Auto focus makes the operator less "one" with the camera. Spot-checking focus, as suggested by Noa, is an excellent middle ground between full Auto focus and going fully manual. You can use this spot-check method with exposure as well, just not in backlit or spotlit situations. Best to perform the exposure spot-check when not rolling, best done zoomed into your subject as much as possible so as to help the auto-iris know what your subject is.
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Old November 23rd, 2014, 06:38 AM   #24
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Re: Sony Lens

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Originally Posted by Chris Harding View Post
Hi Pete

I agree! I sold both stock lenses! I have a 17-50 on one camera and 18-35 F1.8 on the other now!!

Why do you expose manually ... I just use the iris control on my adapter to adjust to a reasonable shutter and let the camera work out the exposure ...works perfectly in full auto with a manual lens and is more accurate than I am too!!! However in a dark reception with dark walls (On Saturday the venue had black walls so it fools exposure a bit!!!

Chris
Well Chris when I say manually I use let the camera work out the exposure and have a button assigned for AE adjust and I just ride the adjustment wheel - up to 2 stops either way

Pete
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Old November 23rd, 2014, 07:45 AM   #25
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Re: Sony Lens

Hi Pete

OK I'm confused but maybe I might learn something new now?? I leave the camera in full auto with totally manual lenses and I adjust aperture on the adapter. Are you talking about the iris wheel on the camera that you use to adjust the exposure?? I also have an EV on the button usually set to +1.00 when I encounter a backlight situation.

Here's my only real situation at receptions. I might have the subject lit at a lectern BUT behind it might be a dark grey or black curtain so the camera "sees" a lot of dark so if you let it auto expose, the background causes the subject to be overlit and of course, over exposed. I only have this at a few receptions where the background behind the speech area is very dark and fools the camera. I do lock the gain to 21db but the well lit speaker tends to get over exposed.

How do you deal with an exposure situation like that? Do you go full manual or can you use the wheel to adjust while in auto? I was actually thinking about setting a negative EV assigned to the button just for speeches but I will have to remember to reset the EV back to my usual +1.00 EV (Pity you can't adjust the EV without going into the menu ... or can you?)

Thanks

Chris
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Old November 24th, 2014, 09:21 AM   #26
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Re: Sony Lens

I am literally leaving the house for a week's holiday Chris but I'll try and explain what I do when I get back - basically yes I set my desired aperture with the camera Iris wheel and let the shutter speed and gain adjust themselves but then engage the AE shift, which I've preset to one of the 'Assign' buttons. I can then let the camera decide the correct shutter speed/gain for that particular iris setting and then ride the little sel/push exec wheel to compensate in a fast moving situation

Pete
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Old November 24th, 2014, 06:03 PM   #27
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Re: Sony Lens

Thanks Pete

Hopefully it's to a nice warm location?? When you get back we are also off on a week's break to the Cocos Keeling Islands in the middle of nowhere! Just crystal clear water, coconut palms and two waterproof action cams to do some underwater footage. Not even cell/mobile connections are available so I will get a total break from the madhouse we had in November!

Chris
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Old November 26th, 2014, 12:26 PM   #28
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Re: Sony Lens

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Originally Posted by Chris Harding View Post
I really don't see the big deal with servo zoom! The correct use for a zoom lens is to reframe the shot and really nothing else. The human eye cannot zoom so doing a zoom whilst recording is un-natural to the viewer but in a few cases it does look cool and does play a part but I still don't think it's that important!

Does anyone have special shots that can only be achieved with a powered zoom and impossible to do with a manual zoom? I can understand the need for a nice autofocus lens especially with stuff like sports but I cannot really see why anyone would HAVE to have a servo zoom?

Enlighten me please Randy

Chris
+1 for J. David above.

Hi Chris,

I disagree with this. I have a nice set of Canon's most expensive lenses I use on my EA50. Even at that I would never consider selling my two kit lenses. They are kit lenses and we have already discussed their shortcomings but they have a time and a place for being the best choice to use. The human brain has been highly programmed to accept zoom shots. Saying the eye does not zoom is not valid. These days creating motion in your shots is a rage. Sliders, stabilizers, and jibs are almost mandatory. A zoom is the original and simplest form of motion. It is also the most common. I own the EA50 but I work with broadcast quality cameras just often. They always have a par-focal zoom lens. We do muti-cam live shoots and zooms are called for often even while the camera is live on the i-mag screens.

The kit lens is designed to work perfectly with the camera. By selling it you are loosing a certain amount of features and functionality of the camera. For me, it is a valuable option in my quiver of tools.

Also, you shoot primarily weddings and have put together a system that works well for you. You have said many times your preferred set up is almost always wide angle lenses for DOF and you shoot in shutter priority auto most of the time. I think it is fair for me to say that is not a conventional style for most shooters. Especially those of us that must be prepared and capable of covering a multitude of different events. Being able to record a clean controlled zoom shot is a basic capability every videographer should be capable of. Shooting weddings only, gives you guys total control over what and how you shoot. On a lot of my jobs the client tells ME what they want to see. I think telling a new guy that is just starting out with a new business that he will never need a zoom is not good advice. Working with nothing but manual lenses is not for everyone. I am not picking on you, you know me. I am just disagreeing with you.

Kind Regards,

Steve
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Old November 26th, 2014, 06:17 PM   #29
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Re: Sony Lens

Hey Steve

Quite an acceptable reason! I'm not saying for one moment that you shouldn't zoom .. ALL my lenses are zoom lenses ..I don't own any prime lenses at all and yes I do zoom when the need arises but either manually or if it's just a tiny zoom I just use the digital lever as my cams are set up to do this. Surely you mean I'm working in Aperture Priority not Shutter Priority?? Is that unusual?? I set my camera iris to the aperture that gives me the best DOF range I need and I let the camera set the shutter. The only time I might try and keep shutter lower is in very bright conditions so it doesn't matter whether I use F8 or F11 and both give me huge DOF ranges and the smaller iris will give me a slower shutter.

Chris
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Old November 26th, 2014, 07:15 PM   #30
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Re: Sony Lens

I'd say working in aperture OR shutter priority is
unusual for motion shooters, that seems to me to
be a 'DSLR shooter' thing. Most long time motion
shooters like to be able to control all aspects separately
for the greatest options. DSLR shooters who are not used
to having to worry about correct motion blur are more apt to
use that technique than motion shooters.
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