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Old June 24th, 2011, 08:27 AM   #16
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Re: Good wide angle lens for reception?

Michael, first, I actually wrote "typically" so I'm not making a an absolute statement for your specific lens, but it was a general rule for all lenses.

However, second, in your example the "typical" optimum performance in terms of all parameters will be that the f1.4 lens will optimise between f2.8 and f4, and the f2.8 between f5.6 or f8 - the difference between f1.4 and f.18 is only 2/3 of a stop. Have a look at the sequence I gave in my earlier post.

I recall an old hand pointing out to me that the huge difference in price for an f1.4 Rokkor and an f1.2 Rokkor - a difference of just half a stop - simply wasn't justified unless I was shooting in dimly lit jazz clubs.

The thing to remember is that photographers rarely use their lenses wide open because they know that the performance at that extreme will not be the best. It's a trend amongst video people turning to DSLRs which seems to have introduced this use of lenses wide open. I'd also observe that most photographers would balk at using equivalent speed in excess of 1200ASA. The fastest general use film was 400ASA and many film photographers preferred slower film with better resolution. Finally, I'd add that one of the sharpest lenses I ever had was a T-star f2.8 Tessar in a "snappy" Agfa camera. Super sharp even at the edges.
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Old June 24th, 2011, 10:49 AM   #17
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Re: Good wide angle lens for reception?

Wait a minute folks, hold on here. We are talking video, not photography, yes? Yes lenses generally are sharper stopped down, this is true, and most of us know that.

So while what Phillip says about lense being sharper stopped down are correct, this is not as important of a reason for video, IMO. The main reason for using fast lenses for video, for most of us, is to be able to use them full open in a dimly lit envioronment, so that shutter speed doesn't have to be lowered, or that ISO doesn't have to be raised.

On the other hand there are some advantages to a F/2.8 zoom that makes it a necessity in my kit.

Outdoors the F/2.8 is advantageous for run and gun, as you need to stop down less for a nice image, and can get by a tad better without needing a ND filter (as much). I sold most of my ND filters and replaced them with circular rotating polarizers. For run and gun who needs to stark stacking filters or choosing between an ND or Polarizer? Not me. So my F/2.8 comes out for outdoor shoots, and I have a wide zoom that fits most situations. I put on a circular polarizer if needed and I need to stop down even less.

I like having the Sigma 18-50mm F/2.8 in my kit for that reason. It's great outdoors, it's a zoom, and works well on the GH2 even at a reception. It is more flexible. It is NOT as sharp a lens, not nearly as good in several ways as a prime, for sure. But it gives me the ability to run without a conventional video camera and works pretty darn well.

My F/2.8 zoom lenses are easy to focus and have greater depth of field, which I I like as well.

All in all, Michael, you can't go wrong listening to anyone's advice so far, but keep in mind even an F/2.8 Sigma will beat your HV40 anyway.
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Old June 24th, 2011, 12:50 PM   #18
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Re: Good wide angle lens for reception?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Harper View Post
At F/2.8, the GH2 performs well, I don't know about the other cameras. Jim, you used to like the 14-140 F/3.5-5.0 (or whatever it was) for wedding work and wondered why I was buying fast lenses. You have clearly had a change of heart. I'm surprised to hear you now say F/2.8 is too slow. The GH2 is good up to at least what, 1600 ISO? Many, including you, say even higher. My F/2.8 can't hold a candle to a F/1.4 lens, but with a modest amount of light F/2.8 is quite good. At least it gives me a zoom. Without it I'd be stuck with all primes, which is no fun during a first dance.
Now that I have used my GH2 on a number of weddings, I have a better handle on lighting conditions versus lens choices. I like the 14-140 kit lens for daytime outdoor and bright indoor lighting conditions. But some of the wedding receptions that I shoot are VERY dark. I am even thinking of buying the Voigtlander .95 lens for occasional use in the darkest situations. Shallow depth of field is more of a challenge when you are wide open but it also helps to be able to see the subject; so it's a tradeoff. I use a very small LCD light primarily to fill faces, not to provide overall lighting. I don't like the flat look that on-camera lighting gives but if it is used more to fill faces a bit, it works great. With the portability of a GH2 on a monopod, I generally don't miss zoom very much; I just move as needed. When you are close to a subject, you can push in and pull out with a monopod which gives a nice look to some shots.
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Old June 24th, 2011, 12:57 PM   #19
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Re: Good wide angle lens for reception?

Well, you also have your EX1, so you've got a zoom already. Have you seen /heard about the Olympus 20 or 25mm F/1.4 that is coming out? I might have the numbers wrong, but it's something like that. At $599 or $699 (forget the price), I believe it would be a great value and F/1.4 is pretty darn fast, fast enough most the time, and it will be (I believe) fully functional with the GH2.
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Old June 24th, 2011, 01:18 PM   #20
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Re: Good wide angle lens for reception?

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Originally Posted by Jeff Harper View Post
Well, you also have your EX1, so you've got a zoom already. Have you seen /heard about the Olympus 20 or 25mm F/1.4 that is coming out? I might have the numbers wrong, but it's something like that. At $599 or $699 (forget the price), I believe it would be a great value and F/1.4 is pretty darn fast, fast enough most the time, and it will be (I believe) fully functional with the GH2.
I find the EX1 along with the GH2 gives me an effective range of capability that covers most situations. What is you opinion of the Olympus 20 or 25mm F/1.4 if I already use the 20mm f1.7 lens? Even though it's small, it is a good lens.
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Old June 24th, 2011, 01:45 PM   #21
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Re: Good wide angle lens for reception?

My opinion is if you have the money to spare, buy it! F/1.4 is nice, I have two F/1.4 lenses and it is very nice to have that ability at a reception. But the F/1.7 is really fast enough, at least for me. The more I use the F/1.7 the better I like it. It is the best lens value bar none, I think. I mean think about it. A GH1 for $400 new, and a $400 F/1.7, for $800 you have a phenomenal setup. The F/1.7 also matches other cameras quite nicely.

I can't see the Olympus for me, it's just not in my budget, but I would love to have it. I would consider buying it, and if I like it maybe selling the F/1.7, but I don't think it's even coming out for months anyway. As you and I both know with these Panasonic items, it will sell out almost overnight and be backordered for months. You could probably buy a dozen of them and resell them on Ebay for a $400 profit for each one. I hate when that happens, but it always seems to.
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Old June 24th, 2011, 04:56 PM   #22
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Re: Good wide angle lens for reception?

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Originally Posted by Jeff Harper View Post
Wait a minute folks, hold on here. We are talking video, not photography, yes? Yes lenses generally are sharper stopped down, this is true, and most of us know that.

So while what Phillip says about lense being sharper stopped down are correct, this is not as important of a reason for video, IMO. snipped.
I find this a puzzling statement and attitude. Are you saying that image quality is less important in video? For years non-broadcast video people strove to improve and maintain image quality; I was unaware of a change.

I would have thought that because video uses the whole of the image area, the quality of the lens was more important not less.
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Old June 24th, 2011, 06:36 PM   #23
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Re: Good wide angle lens for reception?

If you are puzzled I can't help you, I explained myself as best I could. Sorry.
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Old June 24th, 2011, 07:37 PM   #24
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Re: Good wide angle lens for reception?

I think that by meaning that good lenses have a certain resolving power needed for hi res photography, like 5188x3456 (18M), HD video is only 1920x1080 so to pay for extra sharpness will maybe not be noticable.
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Old June 24th, 2011, 08:14 PM   #25
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Re: Good wide angle lens for reception?

Thank you Asvaldur. This point seemed obvious enough it didn't need explained, and I couldn't verbalize it, was growing too tired of the whole thing. Thanks for jumping in.
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Old June 24th, 2011, 09:14 PM   #26
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Re: Good wide angle lens for reception?

Look carefully at the CORNERS of your videos. When shooting wide open, the difference will be obvious between a good lens and a cheap one.
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Old June 25th, 2011, 08:10 AM   #27
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Re: Good wide angle lens for reception?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip Howells View Post
I find this a puzzling statement and attitude. Are you saying that image quality is less important in video? For years non-broadcast video people strove to improve and maintain image quality; I was unaware of a change.

I would have thought that because video uses the whole of the image area, the quality of the lens was more important not less.
We want a quality lens to have minimal glare and chromatic abberations. We should feel free
to run it at f1.4 if we want to though since video "pixels" are much larger than still "pixels". Depth
of field is inversely proportional to pixel size so if the pixels are three times as big, the depth of
field is three times wider.

To some extent, the same applies to coma and the other abberations. If a still photographer does
not notice the abberation at f/2.0, a videographer might be able to get away with f/1.4 because
our pixels are just so much coarser.

It is not that image quality is less important, it is that as video people with fat pixels, we can get
away with a lot more. So yes, a still photographer will run the lens stopped down when he wants everything to be absolutely crisp but we don't need that kind of crispness.In fact we don't even
want that kind of crispness. Most DSLR's that have massive aliasing problems so we want a bit
of extra abberation blur to cut the aliasing in the infocus part of the image.

So guys feel free to run your expensive fast primes full open if they achieve the effect you want.
There is no reason to stop down just because the still photographer said so.
Just make sure you test beforehand so that you know how shallow your field really is and how
much abberation you have creeping in at the edges.
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Old June 25th, 2011, 10:38 PM   #28
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Re: Good wide angle lens for reception?

If you are using fast primes so that you can get the exposure you want
at at reception you should be thinking about the kinds of artifacts
a non-multicoated lens will make.

One problem is flare. Imagine you have a bunch of the white mini-christmas
tree lights all over the place lighting the reception. You will probably get a
bunch of undesirable ghosts with an older but fast lens. I have a Nikon
nikkor F 35mm f/2.0 that is not really usable for night videography
because the coatings aren't all that good. A slightly later nikon f24mm f/2.0 is
just fine for video of street scenes at night.

At any rate, if you are going to buy a fast prime for video in receptions be aware that older
single-coated lenses may flare more and you may be walking into situations
that are basically flare test patterns.

I second the notion of having one really fast prime, modern multi-coated prime that
is faster than f/2.0. I don't do weddings but I do record outdoors at night a lot and
most of the time it is all about aperture.
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Old June 28th, 2011, 03:27 AM   #29
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Re: Good wide angle lens for reception?

One irritating feature of the Tamron lenses is that the zoom & focus rings operate the wrong way on a Canon as they rotate the Nikon way. I recently bought a Canon 600D(T3I) with a Tamron 17-50mm F/2.8 IS but returned it & paid double the price for the Canon 17-55mm F/2.8 IS which is an all round better lens compared to the Tamron even aside from the back to front focusing issue. The Tamron IS is very noisy & AF slow plus to smoothly focus it manually you need to slide the switch on the lens from AF to MF or you are fighting the focus motor.

BTW some of the lenses quoted are not constant aperture e.g. the 18-55mm Canon kit lens is F/3.5 at the wide end but F/5.6 at the long end. Likewise the Sigma 17-70mm varies from F/2.8 to F/4.5. This makes an enormous difference when comparing lenses. These variable aperture lenses are really to be avoided if at all possible as it's a pain to be coping with.
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