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Sony NXCAM NEX-FS100 CineAlta
An interchangeable lens AVCHD camcorder using E-Mount lenses.


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Old October 11th, 2011, 08:53 PM   #1
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To kit lens or not to kit lens?

Hey guys,

I'm about to pull the trigger on this camera. Just waiting to see what the Nov 3rd canon announcement is all about first. But if after that time, I'm just as sold on this camera as I am, I'll be ordering.

I wanted to ask about the kit lens. Body only is $600 less. I would love a good all purpose fast zoom, with constant aperture. Would I be better off taking that $600, and putting it with a little more money for a better lens? If I was, what would a recommendation be?

I've been lurking around dvinfo for a long while, and spent last year putting together my editing system. With that out of the way, this will be my first interchangeable lens camera. So that means I don't have a stockpile of old lenses. I spent a great deal of time reading about canon lenses (when I was saving for a 5d mk ii), before the fs100 came out, so I'm pretty up too speed with them. But if I still end up with the fs100, nikon lenses are something I don't know about. As I was saying above, I'd like a good general purpose zoom, to compliment the primes I'll be buying later.

Thanks again for all the great info,
Jeff
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Old October 11th, 2011, 10:59 PM   #2
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Re: To kit lens or not to kit lens?

I use the 18-200mm lens, but it was a carry-over from my VG10. It's not the fastest lens (f3.5-5.6), but it certainly has its uses. I plan on keeping it.
I've since complemented it with a Sony 50mm f1.8 prime on an Alpha adapter. I would like to get a faster zoom lens, like Sony's Alpha 28-75mm f2.8 and the new Sony 16-50mm f2.8. Both are comparable in price to the 18-200mm kit lens.
So, if you decide not to get the kit lens, perhaps these faster zooms would be a good option. Both will need an Alpha adapter, though.

Edit to add - The kit lens has image stabilization. I don't think the Alpha zooms do.
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Old October 12th, 2011, 01:02 AM   #3
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Re: To kit lens or not to kit lens?

I'm in the 'pro' kit lens camp. Granted, it has a couple annoying things.
Non constant aperture. Funky focusing. BUT, it also has really
good auto functions. Even if you don't use auto much, I like to use
the 'push auto' buttons as a 'quick check' and leave the camera in
manual mode. The OIS is really, really good. The range on the zoom is
11x....I mean that's almost as good as a traditional video camera.
And the images are pretty freaking good, definitely nothing to be
ashamed of there. However, that's just me, and I do a lot of stuff
that having the kit lens for helps. Your situation may differ.
If you want to take a look, here's some stuff I shot a couple
weeks ago with the kit lens, just one sunny day running and
gunning around, making the most of the nice sunny weather in Alaska.

Summer 2011 By Gabe Strong On ExposureRoom
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Old October 12th, 2011, 07:11 AM   #4
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Re: To kit lens or not to kit lens?

Great video, Gabe! There are those who say the kit lens is useless. I dunno, maybe they just don't know how to use it.
When you're in the Alaskan woods, do you carry a gun? There's no way I'd be out in the Alaskan wilderness without a very big sidearm or a shotgun loaded with slugs. Grizzlies make me nervous.
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Old October 12th, 2011, 07:58 AM   #5
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Re: To kit lens or not to kit lens?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Glen Vandermolen View Post
I would like to get a faster zoom lens, like Sony's Alpha 28-75mm f2.8 and the new Sony 16-50mm f2.8. Both are comparable in price to the 18-200mm kit lens.
So, if you decide not to get the kit lens, perhaps these faster zooms would be a good option. Both will need an Alpha adapter, though.
Glen, after reading your post, I started looking into the Sony Alpha lenses. I'm reading that the Tameron lenes (28-75 & 16-50) are the same as the Sony versions, only about 1/2 the price.

My interest in the fs100 is for indie film making. I know what I'm looking for in the way of primes. I just wanted a good all around zoom to compliment them. I may go with the 16-50, and then the 70-200, both of which are f2.8. The reviews on both seem to be good. Price is also not too outrageous, and their constant and somewhat fast.
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Old October 12th, 2011, 08:52 AM   #6
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Re: To kit lens or not to kit lens?

One issue to keep in mind is that EF-S compatable lenses (like the Tamron) won't work on full frame cameras like the Mark II.

So if you have any doubt, you might want to think twice. That said, I have the Tamron 15-50mm 2.8 and it's a very nice little lens (which you can get in the Minolta/A mount). Not the sharpest glass, but very decent for the money.
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Old October 12th, 2011, 10:12 AM   #7
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Re: To kit lens or not to kit lens?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Troiano View Post
Would I be better off taking that $600, and putting it with a little more money for a better lens?
Yes.

I don't like the 18-200 stock lens for all reasons that have already been listed here: very slow, not a constant aperture, no servo zoom control, etc. It is a consumer grade lens.

However, with that said, optically it looks fine, so if those shortcomings don't bother you, then go for it. To me those shortcomings are deal breakers -- especially if shallow DoF is one of the reasons you are buying an FS100 in the first place. I'd never even think if using that lens on an SLR, so why would I use it on video camera? I need lenses that are at least f/2.8 and have a constant aperture. It's not just those features themselves that are important, those are also generally signs that a particular lens is built for professional use.

What lens(s) to get instead? There are literally hundreds of options. Take the $600 savings and apply it to the model and brand of lenses that will work best for what YOU shoot.
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Old October 12th, 2011, 10:26 AM   #8
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Re: To kit lens or not to kit lens?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Glen Vandermolen View Post
Great video, Gabe! There are those who say the kit lens is useless. I dunno, maybe they just don't know how to use it.
When you're in the Alaskan woods, do you carry a gun? There's no way I'd be out in the Alaskan wilderness without a very big sidearm or a shotgun loaded with slugs. Grizzlies make me nervous.
Thanks, I always wonder when I hear people talking about how horrible the kit lens is. It's not
like it produces horrible images, that's for sure.

Yes, I grew up in remote Alaska and learned a long time ago, if you are out and about,
you carry a gun period, ESPECIALLY when you are around fish streams like this. I've had
big brown bears 'bluff charge' me. At least I think thats what they were doing, but one shot in
the dirt in front of them and they thought better and turned and ran, every time. My brother
was out hunting and thought he saw a bear den. He started to swing his gun that way,
'just in case' and its good he did. A bear came charging out of the den from 12 feet away.
He had time for one shot so he shot it through the back of the neck and broke it's spine,
smart because they can maul you with a bullet in the brain or heart. It was laying close
enough to him he could have kicked it. When the fish and game department came, they
skinned it out....it was 11 1/2 feet from nose to tail. So although I'd much rather shoot
video of a bear and would not go hunting a bear (you can't even eat the meat, it's full of worms)
if it comes down to him or me, I'm voting him every time.
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Old October 12th, 2011, 11:30 AM   #9
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Re: To kit lens or not to kit lens?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Jensen View Post
. I'd never even think if using that lens on an SLR, so why would I use it on video camera?
Because the resolution requirement of even an HD video camera is less than a still photography camera ??
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Old October 12th, 2011, 01:56 PM   #10
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Re: To kit lens or not to kit lens?

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Originally Posted by Doug Jensen View Post
What lens(s) to get instead? There are literally hundreds of options. Take the $600 savings and apply it to the model and brand of lenses that will work best for what YOU shoot.
Thanks for the reply Doug. You've pretty much reassured what I thought I already knew. I have a while list of primes I want to get. I was just on the fence for a zoom. I was looking for 1 all encompassing zoom, but I'm thinking 2 will have to do the job. I'd love a good cinema zoom, but my budget certainly doesn't allow it. Maybe after I get my set of cp.2 primes (I wish).

I do however plan on getting a few of the zeiss lenses (with the ef mount, I think it is) and I'd love to get the cinema modifications done on them.

Thanks again,
Jeff
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Old October 12th, 2011, 07:16 PM   #11
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Re: To kit lens or not to kit lens?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Barcellos View Post
Because the resolution requirement of even an HD video camera is less than a still photography camera ??
The resolution of the two different types of cameras is irrelevant.
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Old October 13th, 2011, 12:29 AM   #12
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Re: To kit lens or not to kit lens?

So if the fs100 is going to be my "it" camera for my indie aspirations, will buying a lens meant only for ap-c sensors be horrible? I understand if I was to get a "full frame" camera, like a 5D, then I wouldn't be able to use it on that. But fs100 will be it, for the time being. So getting a ap-c zoom, won't be such a bad thing, or am I wrong in that thinking?

When it comes to my primes, I am making the investment in them, and they will be full frame lenses. I'm just trying to decide which zoom(s) to get as a starter on this camera.

Also, if I was to buy a brand like Tamron, and I know my future primes wil be Nikon mounts, would I want to look that same mount for my zoom. Or go with an alpha mount?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated, I am a newbie, as I'm sure these are newbie questions.

Thanks,
Jeff
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Old October 13th, 2011, 08:14 AM   #13
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Re: To kit lens or not to kit lens?

Jeff,

I've learned it is almost impossible to recommend to other people what lenses they should invest in. There are too many lens options out there and too many individual needs and budgets to factor in. All I can tell you is what decisions I have made for myself, but you'll have to decide whether that means anything to you or not.

First of all, if you buy an FS100 now, I doubt that you'll ever invest in a 5D later. And since that is really the only mainstream full-frame camera out there, then I wouldn't shy away from buying lenses that can't cover the full 35mm sensor. It is unlikely you will ever own a full-frame sensor camera for video.

Second, I probably won't ever buy another lens again in my life that is not PL mount. Persnally, I don't care for SLR lenses for shooting video, so I have made the leap to PL lenses on both my F3 and FS100. However, that is an expensive investment and probably beyond the ability of many FS100 owners. So, for the sake of argument, let's ignore PL lenses. In that case, I would only be investing in lenses with Nikon mounts.

Why? Because I feel Alpha mounts and E-mounts won't hold their value over time as well mainstream Nikon or Canon mounts. The Sony mounts seem "proprietary" to me, and I don't want to invest in any dead end lenses that won't serve me for the next 20 years. I don't know any professional photographers who use Alpha or E. Plus, if I invest in Nikon lenses, I can also use those same lenses on all my SLRs for shooting stills.

I prefer Nikon lenses over Canon because I already own a number of nice Nikon lenses, but even if I had to buy them from scratch, I would still choose them over Canon because they all have dedicated iris rings and I don't need a special adapter to control exposure. Changing the iris on a Canon lens is a major hassle.

That's my 2 cents, but like I said, I'm sure you can find other people with completely different recommendations that work better for them. No easy answers.

http://www.vortexmedia.com/DVD_FS100.html

Doug
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Old October 13th, 2011, 08:22 AM   #14
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Re: To kit lens or not to kit lens?

I was able to check out a Tamron 17-50mm zoom on my FS100, and I must say, I was impressed. For the money, it looks to be a very good lens. It also has the same filter diameter as the kit lens. I will probably be picking one up soon.
Jeff, thanks for the advice of looking into Tamron lenses.

Is there a good E-mount to Nikon adapter?
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Old October 13th, 2011, 01:49 PM   #15
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Re: To kit lens or not to kit lens?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Glen Vandermolen View Post
Is there a good E-mount to Nikon adapter?
I will add, since you asked this question.

Doug, who has given some great advice In this thread, has a great training DVD about the FS100. He recommends a good e mount to Nikon adapter in that (I don't remember what it is off hand). I bought his DVD, and am using it to get up to speed on the camera (prior to buying). I recomend to anyone.

Thanks again Doug for the advice and info, also thanks to everyone else who has responded.

Jeff
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