Kit Lens or 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Telephoto Lens: SELP18200 at DVinfo.net

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Sony NXCAM NEX-FS700 CineAlta
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Old April 14th, 2013, 07:00 PM   #1
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Kit Lens or 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Telephoto Lens: SELP18200

I am going to purchase the FS700 this week. I will only be using one lens initially. My needs are for good IS, excellent AF or manual focus, and decent low light wedding use (although I can use light). Which lens would serve me better? Has anyone compared the two? My other cameras are EX1r's. Thanks.
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Old April 14th, 2013, 07:24 PM   #2
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Re: Kit Lens or 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Telephoto Lens: SELP18200

You're in EXACTLY the same place as I was up til a month ago - I had an EX1R, loved the ease of use of the lens, iris, the low light performance, zoom, it's length...now I have FS700 with the SELP18200mm zoom lens, updated firmware so it'll work with zoom rocker...far as I know only diff between kit lens and SELP18200 is ONLY that it's auto and manual zoom, whereas kit lens is manual...everything else is the same as far as usage (as far as I know).

SO, to be honest, the SELP 18200mm is a decent lens for local business videos or similar, but really not great for cinematic story telling or music videos or anything where sharp focus/SOF in low light performance is needed, especially at the long end of the lens (6.3 I find is of little value compared to say 2.8 Canon, or even the SONY EX1R at long end at 2.8). And the SELP 18-200mm actually has a small bump start, bump finish when used with the zoom rocker (anyone else find this the case?).

It's OK for very general work, but not great in low light (at long end of lens) - unless you boost the gain to 6, 9 or 12 but then you start having small grainy noise to deal with...I'm talking when I shoot at 24p maybe 48 speed for shutter.

really best to rent/buy a canon 2.8 zoom (with adapter), that kind of low light lens makes the FS700 shine, or visa versa - hope to rent 3 Canon's next month for some artsy shots...
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Old April 15th, 2013, 12:34 AM   #3
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Re: Kit Lens or 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Telephoto Lens: SELP18200

Wow is the FS700 that much worse than the FS100 in low light? I can use 18db of gain
and can hardly see any grain at all.....still very nice and clean on the FS100 at 18db.
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Old April 15th, 2013, 08:59 AM   #4
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Re: Kit Lens or 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Telephoto Lens: SELP18200

As stated it's only at gain 12 and above that there starts to be very small amounts of noise at the long end lens, ie, at 6.3 telephoto on FS700 I find
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Old April 15th, 2013, 02:42 PM   #5
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Re: Kit Lens or 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Telephoto Lens: SELP18200

I'm preparing to be shot down in flames, all this IMHO, but...

I'd go for the kit lens. Even though I boggle at that decision.

The servo zoom may lull you into the idea that this is a $15k zoom lens, which it isn't. It's a fly-by-wire zoom that isn't parfocal, but can sort of keep up with you if you need to do a creep zoom with face detection.

That sounds scary, huh? Hey, it's great with an EA50 behind it, with the 2x digital zoom.

So you take on the kit lens, knowing that this is the lens you use when the client says 'Get in that car, they will take you to a location, and you must document what happens'. No, you may not take your bag of glass, the sun is setting, or rising - who knows - and you need coverage.

The SEL18200 is a 'coverage' lens.

The servo version is the same lens but more expensive and doesn't quite deliver on what you'd have with a Z7, let alone a Z1, or DSR570 with a big expensive ENG lens on it for that matter.
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Old April 15th, 2013, 11:45 PM   #6
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Re: Kit Lens or 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Telephoto Lens: SELP18200

Gosh are you saying that the image with the stock lens is not as good as the (old) Z1 image! Also, is the stock lens not an AF lens as well as manual?
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Old April 17th, 2013, 03:30 AM   #7
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Re: Kit Lens or 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Telephoto Lens: SELP18200

I'm thinking of the zoom and focus action - the big ENG lenses are of course still in a class of their own. The built-in lenses on cameras like the Z1 may have been 'fly by wire' but the focus action was good and the zoom's servo was well controlled by the camera. EX1s had a semi-manual action for focus which was great, but the zoom servo could stick and judder at very low speeds (unlike the Z1).

However...

The kit lens for the FS100/700 - not talking the SELP version, but the ordinary silver SEL version - has a more scary focus system which I didn't get on with in manual mode. However, letting the camera drive focus by using the 'tap to focus' spot system or even the face finder, is a very happy thing.

Quality of the kit lens image is fine.

This video may be of use - though you may need to register on the site to see it:

NEX-FS100 In depth, Part 2: The Kit Lens : Sony Professional

Oh yes, and this silly little vid demonstrating 'tap to focus'...

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Old April 30th, 2013, 07:34 PM   #8
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Re: Kit Lens or 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Telephoto Lens: SELP18200

I recently sold my original silver 18-200mm kit lens from my FS700 and upgraded to the new servo SELP 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 lens. I just finished my first shoot with it. I had a mix of controlled interviews and run-and-gun actuality that I had to record on the fly ENG style.

The good:
* The Servo lens allowed me the fast flexibility to swap from it to my prime lenses & Canon glass while in the middle of the three-hour shoot. If I had not received the new SELP servo lens just before this shoot, I probably would have went with my EX3. I've never had confidence in my ability to focus the silver kit lens during one-chance-only ENG-style shoots. The new servo lens gave me that confidence and ability. Plus, I was able to swap it out quickly and whap on the primes for interviews. This is a huge plus for getting the new servo lens. Up until now I had been using my FS700 for studio/cine-style shooting only. Now it's a true hybrid camera. I've decided to invest in a shoulder rig and viewfinder to improve on the ENG capabilities.

* The image quality is good. For straight up video, I like the shooting range and image quality from the lens.

* Auto focus and manual focus worked fine for me. Certainly not the best I've ever used, but good, especially for the price.

* Price. The $1000+ price tag was achievable for me, especially after unloading the kit lens on ebay.

* Appearance. fwiw, it looks more like a proper ENG lens. The FS700 is a goofy looking camera and the new servo lens helps improve its profile a little.

The bad:
* S-L-O-W. And I don't just mean the slow f/3.5 glass (which is no improvement over the kit lens). I mean it is a slow rocker zoom. No snap zooms here. If fact, I found it so slow I felt like I was missing potential shots during the ENG portion of my shoot. I don't think news shooters will be running out to buy the lens.

* The lens protrudes and retracts as you rock in and out. I know this keeps the costs down, but it's still annoying.

The verdict:
Mixed feelings. I do feel the SELP servo lens is worth the cash and the upgrade. The ability to use the FS 700 as an ENG option is a huge plus. I am really happy with the video I managed to capture in only three hours shooting by myself. That's what it is all about. I see myself using my EX3 less and less, especially when I add a viewfinder and shoulder rig to the FS700.

That said, I would pay a more for a proper ENG lens (fast glass / fast rocker etc) for the FS700.

Last edited by Peter Walsh; April 30th, 2013 at 08:28 PM.
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Old May 6th, 2013, 07:02 AM   #9
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Re: Kit Lens or 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Telephoto Lens: SELP18200

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Walsh View Post
I've never had confidence in my ability to focus the silver kit lens during one-chance-only ENG-style shoots. The new servo lens gave me that confidence and ability.
Hi Peter, not sure I understand this completely. How do the two lenses focus differently? Do you mean that with the SEL18200, since your left hand is sometimes preoccupied with zooming in and out, you can't always attend to focusing?

For my FS100 I've bought, sold, rebought, and resold the SEL18200 too many times, thankfully not losing money in the process through right timing. When I don't have it, I miss its range, light weight, and ridiculously good stabilization. When I do have it (as I do now), I compare it to my other lenses (E-mount primes, Speedboosted Contax Zeiss primes, and Speedboosted Canon 24-105, which is familiar from 5Dii and useful) and become disappointed. Somehow the images I get from it is always missing some 'pop'... It's not just a matter of resolution either.

I haven't used the SELP, but I do appreciate the light weight of the SEL (530g) and wouldn't welcome the extra 100g of the SELP.
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Old May 6th, 2013, 08:34 AM   #10
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Re: Kit Lens or 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Telephoto Lens: SELP18200

Hello Al

You are correct: I like the zoom rocker on the SELP because I am more used to using zooming/composing with my right hand and focusing with my left. It's just personal preference I guess. Optically, I didn't see much difference in the quality of the SEL vs the SELP (not that I expected any), and I agree with you about the pictures from prime/canon etc lens DO look better than pictures from the kit lens.
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