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Old June 16th, 2010, 02:54 AM   #1
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DSLR lens choices for Steadicam use

What lenses have people gone for when using their DSLR on a Steadicam.

At the moment were using a 7D with a 15-85mm kit lens. Love the look and the wide angle (yes, even love the slight distortion) but hate that the lens simply does not fit onto the 5D and that it is a f3.5.

We want a new lens but one ideally which will fit both the 7D and the 5D. Problem is of course, whats wide on the 5D is not so on the 7D.
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Old June 16th, 2010, 05:19 AM   #2
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Tokina 11-16 2.8 is a popular lens for this application--certainly no question about it being wide on either camera!

For the longer focal lengths, if one is not using remote lens controls having a fast lens is sort of a moot point, as your only weapon at that point is being able to stop down.

My weapon of choice (since I am using remote focus) is the Zeiss ZE series, with their mechanical stops.
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Old June 16th, 2010, 08:12 AM   #3
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I use the Sigma 10-20mm with my T2i on a Glidecam HD-1000. Makes the rig quite front heavy, and unless you use a battery grip, the front of the lens actually is lower than the bottom of the camera body, so I can only go so far back on the plate, which leaves it leaning forward. I added 1 weight to the backside of the bottom end of the Glidecam, and that seemed to fix it. It's a little more difficult to get balanced, but once it's on, it's good to go.
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Old June 16th, 2010, 10:08 AM   #4
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Wide Angle for Canon 7D on Steadicam

7D and Canon 10-22mm EF-S AF USM F3.5-4.5 works well with Steadicam Merlin for me - a quick trawl through the 7D section will find you a thread with my first test videos on YouTube with this combination (I've improved my technique a lot since then!)

Many also get good results with the Tokina 11-16mm on the 7D but be aware that the Tokina is much more susceptible to flare - which can be a big problem in outdoor use in unpredictable filming situations (and I really dislike flare in my video shots). You have to buy the shade for the Canon - I think the Tokina comes with one. The Tokina is better in low light, by half a stop, than the Canon lens so is better for indoor use (as it's F2.8). The Tokina is a heavier and better built lens than the Canon (even more weight on a Steadicam - which is either good or bad depending on your strength/use of a vest/makes the rig less susceptible to breezes etc.). The Canon has a little less barrel distortion on the wide end but I doubt you'd notice that in moving Steadicam shots. Canon has a better, more useful zoom range and, to my surprise, I've found that changing the zoom range from say 10 to 22mm has VERY little effect on the trim for my Steadicam Merlin - again good for fast moving evolving situations you might be filming such as, in your case, weddings & events. However, note that the Canon is not constant aperture so a quick tweak on exposure is then often required.

Both are razor sharp (and so excellent for stills), by the way, making either of them very flexible/useful lenses to have for all sorts of situations for the 7D but of course the Canon EF-S 10-22mm will not fit on the 5D MkII. I believe the Tokina will fit on the 5D somehow but you get a very limited range before vignetting - someone who knows for sure please chime in. Both have strengths and weaknesses - doesn't everything!

I'd imagine you can't really go wrong with either of these wide angles on a Steadicam with a 7D but if you want a wide angle that will fit both the 7D and 5DMkII what about a Fixed EF 20mm or 24mm lens from Canon? Hope this helps!
Andy K Wilkinson - http://www.shootingimage.co.uk
Cambridge (UK) Corporate Video Production
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Old June 19th, 2010, 08:33 PM   #5
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tokina 11-16 on a 7D - YouTube - Anika Moa - Running Though The Fire HD.mov
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