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Old August 25th, 2015, 09:23 PM   #1
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Inexpensive glass on a nice camera?

A few years ago, a friend told me that he would rather have a very nice lens on a cheap camera body than an inexpensive lens on a high end camera. However, since switching to interchangeable lens cameras, I've found that this is usually not the case. Of course it depends on what lenses and what cameras are being used, but I've seen footage from my C100 with my Canon 50mm f/1.8 that looks significantly better than footage from my Canon 70D with my friend's Canon 24mm f/1.4L. I've thought about investing in some L primes, but I seem to get great results with my Canon non-L primes that are 1/3 of the cost so I'm wondering if there is really that big of a difference in image quality between a lens like a Canon 50mm f/1.4 and the Canon 50mm f/1.2L. And if there is a noticeable difference, do you think brides would be able to tell?? Has anyone done any side-by-side tests or had lots of experience using lenses at different price points?
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Old August 26th, 2015, 01:32 AM   #2
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Re: Inexpensive glass on a nice camera?

Bare in mind you're shooting video and that the quality of a good Canon lens will only really show noticeably superior results in photos for their DSLRs, and not always for video. A great lens could be determined by amongst other things, how sharp and clear it is, but I find Canons video look in their DSLRs to be soft and not quite full HD resolution. Recent models are better than the 60d I use to have, but working with 5d Mark iii footage, I find close ups work better than wide shots, precisely as there's less detail to work with. The C100 would benefit from better glass as the video footage is of a higher quality than the DSLRs Canon produce in my opinion. So really I don't think you need to buy the best lenses that Canon produce for a DSLR unless you were taking photos.
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Old August 26th, 2015, 03:09 AM   #3
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Re: Inexpensive glass on a nice camera?

You don't really need to do the testing. Let's be honest, the main reason primes are better is for their lower f stop. On some cameras that matters a whole lot, whilst on full frame cameras it matters less. As stated above, it depends on your codec/camera/settings etc. but don't forget the 4K will eventually be added to your workflow, and better lenses will display better quality UHD. As stated above, photos are a whole different story, but in video, a great prime like an 85mm 1.8 will produce stunning results to say an 85mm 2.8, particularly due to the out of focus areas and creaminess.

Ultimately, each lens has a purpose, and if you don't have the need for such a lens, then there's little reason to buy one.

I recently bought the 12-40mm f/2.8 from Olympus due to its weather sealing and ability to jump through 24-80mm on a FF sensor. It poured it down at my last wedding, so it ended up being an astute buy. However, the 25mm f/1.4 that I used in the morning gained much more light in the preps, much better bokeh, despite being at 25mm vs 40mm etc. People could talk about lenses for an entire book lol.
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Old August 26th, 2015, 08:52 AM   #4
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Re: Inexpensive glass on a nice camera?

I want to chime in and say that better glass almost always has produced a better result for me. Although I agree, cheap glass on a C100 will ALWAYS look better than even 5D footage, regardless of glass, and I say this because the C100 is a video camera and the 5D/6D/7D/etc are stills cameras that shoot video and as a result don't do so well.

I have used a T3i, 6D and 5D MkIII and would say that a T3i with something like a 35 f/1.4 against a 5D with a 50 f/1.8, the T3i wins (I use the 35 on the T3i to make up for the Aps-c sensor). That being said, the 5D will still perform better in low light with the 50 f/1.8 over the 35 f/1.4 on a T3i because it is full frame and will receive considerably more light regardless of the f/0.4 difference in the lenses.

All I'm saying is that the C100 vs any DSLR, to me, isn't really fair as it is a proper video camera and a DSLR is not. This has been my experience anyhow.

PS. I do have experience with a C100, 5D mkIII, 6D, and T3i. I only don't use the C100 because I can't afford it, but I rent one every chance I get ;)
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Old August 26th, 2015, 10:00 AM   #5
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Re: Inexpensive glass on a nice camera?

The better glass will give better results, except that its also a diminishing return. Each of us has to decide how far to take it before the expense isn't worth the result.

For my wife and I, personally, as primarily wedding shooters with 12-14 jobs a year, L-glass wouldn't make sense.

My most obvious personal example is the cheap STM lenses. We use them on our Canon 70Ds for the smooth focus tracking during ceremonies and prep. That's a big benefit during the unplanned madness of a wedding day.

However, even the 85mm f/1.8 is noticeably better (on my 5d Mark ii) as a 3rd cam view during that same ceremony. I can't imagine how much nicer an L-series would look, but would never spend the money at my level of professionalism.
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Old August 26th, 2015, 03:10 PM   #6
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Re: Inexpensive glass on a nice camera?

Your unlikely to see the difference when shooting video.

The main thing to go for are lenses which match. We use various canon L lenses (just because there is no non L 70-200 with IS) and for us the canon 35mm L didn't match upto the newer L lenses in terms of sharpness. It was very noticeable. So we got the Sigma 35mm ART and its sharpness is a good match for the other lenses.

The Sigma ART series are a cracking set of lenses and half the cost of the canons. Plus they have a 3 year warranty.
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Old August 27th, 2015, 03:18 AM   #7
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Re: Inexpensive glass on a nice camera?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Danny O'Neill View Post
Your unlikely to see the difference when shooting video.

The main thing to go for are lenses which match. We use various canon L lenses (just because there is no non L 70-200 with IS) and for us the canon 35mm L didn't match upto the newer L lenses in terms of sharpness. It was very noticeable. So we got the Sigma 35mm ART and its sharpness is a good match for the other lenses.

The Sigma ART series are a cracking set of lenses and half the cost of the canons. Plus they have a 3 year warranty.
They also seem to be able to pack the same features in a smaller package. I can imagine the lenses you have are fantastic! If I shot full frame, I'd be buying the Sigma ART series of lenses too.

I honestly find shooting with full frame cameras tiring though, particularly after a full wedding day. I'm really glad that my own kit is made up of M4/3, even though when I shoot with 5Ds, it's great to see the shallow depth of field that's achievable with them.
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