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Messages - Policar

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Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Red Dragon Sensor
« on: January 01, 2013, 05:57:33 PM »
But skin tones and foliage will still look like plastic.

Still kind of amazing, though. It's odd that red's weaknesses (high ISO and color rendering) are every other manufacturer's strengths... I guess you can't have it all.

EOS Bodies / Re: A New Cinema EOS DSLR Body in 2013? [CR1]
« on: December 30, 2012, 12:21:54 AM »
I pushed and pulled at Alexa footage, but I couldn't get macroblocking or posterization or over-saturation -- or anything. I'm sure there's a difference compared with RAW, especially with regard to resolution -- after all Avengers and Skyfall were shot on arriraw but for 4k exhibition -- but it's trivial for tv, and prores is very fast and easy to work with and the baked in colors look beautiful. Alexa footage looks just like carefully developed 5219 film, down to the halation filter and "glow," except the grain structure is a bit different and it's much cleaner. Red has less latitude, despite being RAW, unless you enable one of the HDR modes.

It seems Canon's got a stop more highlights in c log on the c300 than in jpegs from their dSLRs, so that's a step in the right direction, but it's not nearly enough, not even close to the Alexa from what I've seen. I'm on board with what RAW promises (more highlight detail and a better image) but I'm just too lazy to make my computer do all the work when the camera can do it and get 99% as good a result. Out of camera JPEGs are a delivery format. Log on the Alexa and F3 are intermediate formats, meant for flexibility. Unfortunately only the Alexa (and maybe the F3 with s log and an external recorder) offer this combination of ease of use and IQ. Otherwise you have to pick your poison, and Canon's poison is reduced latitude, but still better than its dSLRS it seems. I personally dislike how red footage looks, but it's technically excellent and can look good with enough work in post. Prometheus looked amazing--the c300 won't do that! But it's for a different market, and the Scarlet and BMCC are already price-competitive.

Also remember that even redcode is compressed and a very detailed scene can induce artifacting with it.

Fwiw, I shoot stills in RAW, but I'm a bad photographer for the most part! It's just an indulgence since I like playing in photoshop and there's a lot more highlight detail there. For short form content I can see the Scarlet, for instance, being a lot of fun. For a feature, I'd dread the workflow.

EOS Bodies / Re: A New Cinema EOS DSLR Body in 2013? [CR1]
« on: December 29, 2012, 07:46:39 PM »
^I think you're conflating sensor quality with codec quality. To make a long story short, if everything you said about raw is true then photographers wouldn't bother with raw either.

And as far as the advantages of downscaling go, look at the footage coming off the BMC that's been properly graded. It's easily as good as the c300 (8MP vs. 2.5MP).  And the downscaling helps reduce some  artifacts, but it doesn't make it sharper necessarily.

Yes. It does. The nyquist sampling theorem states that if a system samples at a given frequency then it can record half that frequency accurately without aliasing. So a 4k sensor array can resolve a perfect 2k image without aliasing. But most people don't care about a little aliasing, which is why, as you point out, the BMCC can resolve 1080p nearly as well as the C300. A bayer chip can resolve 70% or more of its stated resolution if you don't mind aliasing. The BMCC is reported to exhibit pretty bad aliasing. (Even the Alexa, a 2.5k array, has a bit of aliasing, but it's really minor.)

When you work in photoshop, you're not working in RAW. Your end product, even if it's a TIFF that's going to print, isn't RAW. The advantage of a RAW workflow is flexibility at the cost of speed. Not so much image quality. The data will be processed and turned into RGB (or whatever your colorspace) pixels eventually. But in theory, RAW will always be the most flexible format. I think we can agree on that. Flexible does not mean best. If I sacrifice a tiny bit of flexibility with the Alexa by shooting prores instead of arriraw, I get insignificantly less resolution, a codec that actually edits in real time, and the same latitude as I had before. A competent shooter handing footage to a competent post house will produce the exact same image on that camera whether using prores or RAW (totally impossible to differentiate) assuming the exhibition medium is tv. For theatrical 4k projection, RAW will offer a very small amount more resolution (but not a lot, Arri has just added 2k prores video so theatrical shooters don't have to bother with what a pain in the ass arriraw is). Only the most inept shooter, totally bungling white balance and exposure, will notice any significant difference. Or the most brilliant shooter--Deakins claimed he noticed a slight, nearly imperceptible resolution edge when screening Skyfall tests shot on arriraw and upscaled for IMAX, though no difference in DR as compared with prores. Fwiw, it all looked much better than Red's 5k, used on some additional photography. The bigger difference is that prores files will be vastly faster to process. High end video doesn't look like a compressed JPEG (which is designed for delivery, not as an intermediate format); it's very flat and much less compressed. Some day when computers are way faster there may be an advantage to RAW video that outweighs the disadvantage in speed that comes from working with it, but how much Alexa footage is shot in arriraw vs prores? Very, very little. Game of Thrones looks fine to me. In Time looked fine and that was recorded in uncompressed HD video, not arriraw. Red forces you to use RAW but most producers wish it didn't.

Furthermore, it's not JUST sensor quality. The Alexa has a fine sensor, but it's the video processing (colors that emulate 5219 stock extremely accurately, high and low gain path merging, how the prores codec is implemented) that matter. And a poor RAW developer (just look at how many permutations redcine has been through to arrive at its current implementation, which produces rather boring colors) can be problematic; not everything is as good as Adobe's plug in, which is slow. Arri's in-camera software is better than any results you can get out of red's RAW developer. You need a Pablo or Da Vinci system to get a decent look out of that camera, and even then it's not ideal.

Have you used any of these cameras or are you just reading specs online? Granted the one camera you mention that I haven't used (the BMCC) does seem to have the best IQ for the money by far. So if that's your only concern, go ahead and buy one. Canon isn't catering to the testbed-in-a-box Frankenstein's camera market (not necessarily a bad thing, just a pain in the ass for both shooters and in post). Black Magic and Red have that covered.

EOS Bodies / Re: A New Cinema EOS DSLR Body in 2013? [CR1]
« on: December 29, 2012, 04:02:21 PM »

From the perspective of post, both RAW and 4k are a pain in the ass. The Alexa (which has an image sharper than 35mm when shot at 2.5k RAW and very close at 1080p). is so popular because of this. It's what's used on most new TV productions and its image is generally more pleasing than the Red's. It's easier to work with, too. Why do you need better than that? Are your videos going theatrical? Are your clients screening at 4k? We don't even have affordable 4k monitors to post on. There will be a significant market for 4k video some day soon, but until then "true" 1080p is extremely sharp, and a $6000 C100 is cheap enough that replacing it in five years (without replacing any lenses) won't break the bank.

I think your perception of the advantages of Raw are all wrong. In a way, it's easier for big budget productions to get away with not shooting in raw because they can light everything very well on set. For the indie guy, Raw affords the artist a lot of latitude to nail the proper exposure and WB in post. Just like film, there is more detail to recover in the shadows and highlights using RAW.

In short, Raw offers the same advantages for cinema as it does for photography, and these advantages are far from trivial.

Now, i agree that it can be a pain in the ass in post, but if you get the right workstation it's easily managed.  And within a couple of years the firepower needed to handle the Raw workflow (at least in 1080) will become standard issue.

What leads you to believe any of that? The Alexa has far better latitude than the Epic and is MUCH easier to light for; DPs I've worked with who've worked with both always say as much, and I've been on set with the two as A/B cams and the difference in highlight rendering is very dramatic in the Alexa's favor, despite it recording Prores 444 (at 10 bit) and not 14 bit RAW. This is because the Alexa has two gain paths and it merges a tremendous amount of information into one high quality, very gradeable flat image. I've posted extensively on both Alexa and Red (for TV, in 1080p) and the Alexa footage is much more flexible with better latitude. The only situation in which RAW offered me an advantage was when white balance was totally off, but that's a sign of an incompetent DP.

What experience has led you to believe what you've written? Because it contradicts what everyone else who has used those two cameras has found. The footage coming out of the Alexa looks nothing like your dSLR jpegs. It's flat and in a true log colorspace and has more latitude by far than any other video or still system.

Furthermore, 1080p raw would be a terrible format to work in; the "real" resolution would be 2/3s that at best. And 4k raw downscaled to 1080p takes all the horsepower of debayering and then the horsepower of downscaling for a deliverable that will ultimately not be much sharper than "true" 1080p (like out of the c100 and c300) in the first place. Those are "4k" bayer cameras; they just do an immediate conversion to "true" 1080p; unfortunately they have fake log curves and poor dynamic range. Fwiw, I've rendered hours of red footage (both in 4k and quad hd) on super high end mac pro work stations maxed out with ram and it takes days and days without red's $5,000 proprietary card. With CUDA you could surely get real time 1080p raw, but that's got the equivalent sharpness of 720p at best. You're talking out your ass about this stuff, frankly. Some day something similar will be here, but it's not as close as we think and in that time you can recoup the low cost of a camera system purchase (spend more money on the lenses than the camera).

Rent an Alexa. Rent an Epic. Shoot difficult footage side by side. Post side by side. Then get back to me on how much inherently better RAW is than Prores.

EOS Bodies / Re: A New Cinema EOS DSLR Body in 2013? [CR1]
« on: December 28, 2012, 06:48:19 PM »
1080p is IMO sufficient for 99% of all applications and if 1080p beamers in GOOD quality are roughly 1000 EUR/$ we will wait another 10 years.

I agree. 1080p looks surprisingly very good, even on a big screen. A whole generation of movies (the vast majority of DIs from the past decade) were done at 2k or a least with VFX done at 2k (2048X1080 at 1.85:1), so if 4k media requires 4k resolution then we are in trouble. The difference between a 2k and 4k scan is pretty trivial and has more to do with avoiding aliasing (oversampling) than producing signifiant additional sharpness. First generation 35mm prints have significantly more resolution than 1080p video, but the sharpness (area under the mtf curve) is not that different. Toy Story was originally rendered just above 720p. Most theatrical prints have around the same resolution as 720p video after they've played for a little while and on imperfectly calibrated projectors. I don't think 4k content distributors will ignore any movie posted in 2k so we will get 4k releases of movies posted in 2k the same way we have blu rays of 28 Days Later. Remember Avatar was shot at 1080p. But 4k is important for marketing because 3D HDTVs failed to catch on. It is also important from the perspective of camera marketing. Red has banked their whole business on it.

And, fwiw, the C300 and C100 shoot at 8MP resolution (4k), then downsampling to 1080p. And lenses show their full MTF. So the perceptual sharpness is much higher than a 1080p crop from a still image.

From the perspective of post, both RAW and 4k are a pain in the ass. The Alexa (which has an image sharper than 35mm when shot at 2.5k RAW and very close at 1080p). is so popular because of this. It's what's used on most new TV productions and its image is generally more pleasing than the Red's. It's easier to work with, too. Why do you need better than that? Are your videos going theatrical? Are your clients screening at 4k? We don't even have affordable 4k monitors to post on. There will be a significant market for 4k video some day soon, but until then "true" 1080p is extremely sharp, and a $6000 C100 is cheap enough that replacing it in five years (without replacing any lenses) won't break the bank.

RAW does have some value. Even Canon's "C" line has poor dynamic range. But the Alexa has the same latitude in arriraw as it does in prores and its prores444 can handle crazy grading, despite only being 10 bit. The video out of Canon's dSLRs is relatively poor compared with true high end video. Even very good 1080p is a huge step up. Don't think 1080p and associate that with the mediocre (but impressive for the money) video from the 5D Mark III.

Personally, RAW and 4k I'd rather not have. Too much work in post for insignificant advantages if you shoot half competently in the first place. I do wish Canon could manage better dynamic range and 10-bit HDMI out. I'm considering buying a C100 but a 7DC or somesuch could prove even more compelling just by virtue of likely being half the price and maybe having a more robust codec.

Those who need 4k and RAW can easily buy a Scarlet at a very good price.

Lenses / Re: New lenses for 46mp camera?
« on: December 24, 2012, 11:25:18 AM »
Not all lenses perform very well with the new camera.

But the "workhorse" lenses like the EF 24-70 f/2.8 II L do the job very good.

Interesting... Here's the hoping the 45mm TS-E II comes out soon and delivers good performance... My new most-wanted lens. (Well, maybe the 200mm f2 IS, but who's counting.)

I've long read how most of the current lenses are more than capable of out resolving anything on the MP horizon, and I thought it very likely to be true, but when i look at DXO's "mpix" rating of lenses, i start to wonder.
BTW-I'm ISF certified, yet i have no idea what a quad-HD television is, but i don't disagree with Bob's point.

Their megapixel ratings don't make sense to me... are they meant to be wide open (I can't find any reference to them except briefly in a dpreview article). Anyhow, it just seems like MTF stuff. Like it will always be lower unless it's 100% all the way to extinction at the camera's highest resolution, and nothing really achieves that.

Canon General / Re: Canon sent me an opinion survey
« on: December 23, 2012, 07:04:00 PM »
I got one, too! Canon seems to love to send me these.

I shoot on a 5D Mark III, but I put down a cheap EF-S 35mm f1.8 for my APS-C buddies.

EOS Bodies - For Video / Re: New to video...advice needed
« on: December 20, 2012, 04:48:59 PM »
Buy this book:


Just trust me! It's simple to read but the information is super advanced. Ignore the stuff on film camera mechanics, but pay attention to the stuff on stops, fov, etc. The composition chapter is amazing. Even gets into basic lighting. You can find some of the same info online, but this book is sooooo much better.

A normal kit for cinema production is 18mm, 25mm, 35mm, 50mm, and 85mm (sometimes 14mm for on location or 135mm for some stuff), but that's for Super35. The focal lengths you'll need to cover for a "normal" kit are about 28-135mm.

So you're there. A 70-200mm zoom or 135mm f2 would complete things if you like that look, but you can shoot with the 35mm and 50mm alone or the zoom alone or whatever.

You WILL however need ND filters (.3., .6, .9, 1.2, etc.) and a polarizer. You want to keep your shutter speed as 1/50 and your f-stop no deeper than maybe f8 or f11 outside (usually) so for bright day exteriors those NDs are crucial. Most frequently ignored part of a complete kit, maybe. And get a nice fluid tripod, too.

Lenses / Re: Lens choice advice please??
« on: December 16, 2012, 09:14:40 PM »
Re: Policar
Yes, would be great to have a 17mm TS-E or even the Zeiss 21mm I keep reading about.  For those
prices though it had better grow arms and legs, walk out and pose every dang tree and bush for my
landscape photo, walk back, mount itself on my camera body and reach back and hit the shutter release.
Of course that's fantasy and it's nice to hear about those sorts of lens but they are totally impractical
for lego_boy's or my budget.  Currently I'm about at about his budget going towards a EF 20mm 2.8 early next

I would have to greatly disagree that his or my own budgets make getting a lens impossible.  Challenging
perhaps but not impossible at all.  I've been doing quite a bit of research and I'm still looking at adapting
an M42 mount, for $50US and $10 for an el cheepo adapter it's right in the price range my wallet likes.

As for other options; the 2 lenses I've also been looking are the old-ish Tamron 17-35mm f/2.8-4 and the
Canon EF 20-35mm f/3.5-4.5.  Both seem like decent lens from what I have read.  When they are available
the Tamron is less than $200US (about 130GB) and the Canon less than $275US (about 180GBP).

Don't be intimidated by having to adapt and old style lens.  Canon's EF mount being as verstile as it is and
in our budget range it's actually a very real option.

The 17mm TSE isn't very expensive for what it does. Compared with a Master Technika and a 65mm LF lens ($12,000) and $6 per frame to shoot and $200 to scan for LF or a tech camera and MFDB (which could run $60,000+ for a decent set up) a 17mm TSE and 5D II is an incredible deal.

Granted I'm not a very good photographer and don't want to give the impression that my gear snobbishness correlates with an ability to get much out of it, but I still can't see how an UWA with T/S can be replaced with a cheap, not terribly wide zoom without any lens movements. (Unless you're shooting FF, in which case 17mm is legitimately UWA, but still lacks lens movements and sharpness.) If you're taking pictures of buildings then that's fine… if you're serious about architectural photography I just don't know how you can make this work. Maybe a panoramic head, stitching and perspective correction in post, but I couldn't pull it off. More power to you if you can.

That said, if you're not worried about having the sharpest print and are willing to recompose a bit in post, any very wide lens could work for architecture. Just stop way down to give infinite focus and fix perspective in post and it's as good as T/S.Or if you're in an area where you can back up really far from the subject, even a not-so-wide lens could work. I just wouldn't want to rely on it professionally.

Fwiw, the 14mm Samyang, while dreadfully full of distortion, is a great deal and could pull this off with a lot of post work. The 10mm f2.8 Samyang (when it's released) might be a very viable option so long as you're okay with fixing perspective in post.

I'd take the 28mm f1.8 or 30mm f1.4 but not for architecture. Of the lenses you've listed in your price range none are even close to as good for it as the kit lens (but you'll still need to fix perspective in post). For architecture, I'd get a tripod.

Lenses / Re: Best landscape lenses
« on: December 16, 2012, 02:42:09 AM »
That sounds a lot easier than with a view camera. And picking the right aperture is just a matter of stopping down until the rest is in focus? And since it's displaying single pixels anyway, determining the circle of confusion is trivial if you just assume it's at the pixel level? And I can shoot in raw with an ultra-high contrast picture style to preview the changes I'll make and not worry about spot metering everything in frame? And not worry about exposure compensation? This sounds so ridiculously easy!

Do you use MLU and a cable release? I'd like to have the option to do long exposures, so I guess ND filters would help.

Looks nice, btw, and technically immaculate. Not my style (lens is wider than I like) but nice.

What software do you use to develop? That's sharp enough for a 12X15 print that will give me no problems and sharper than I'm used to with JPEG.

I think diffraction is way overrated, especially since you can sharpen in post. The perception of sharpness from deep focus and the lens's inherent micro contrast seems to matter a lot more. But past f16 things get hairy fast, so I do want tilt.

Lenses / Re: Best landscape lenses
« on: December 16, 2012, 01:03:02 AM »
That's great, then. I'm not super technical at all, I just want three things: enough tilt that I can photograph most reasonable landscapes with deep focus before incurring tons of resolution loss from diffraction, enough rise to correct perspective, and a reasonably sharp lens.

Are there any guides for focusing tilt/shift lenses for ideal sharpness or should I just apply the same principles as I would with a view camera?

Lenses / Re: Lens choice advice please??
« on: December 15, 2012, 11:53:50 PM »
Gees does no one ever actually read and understand the original poster's post?  I see that SO much
that it finally got to me that I had to register and stop lurking; to which I will be going back to momentarily.

Currently 150pounds is about $235 US.  In that range there is no new canon EF or EF-S lens he could
purchase.  That is about the current cost of his 18-55mm.

I think this is the sort of thing you were asking about: (or something like it I would guess)
Do not buy these sort of auxiliary lenses at all.

The one most of the other useless replies are mentioning is this:
Too expensive for your budget though a very nice lens.

What you will have to try for you budget is winning something like this:
Zeiss are always good and getting an adapter shouldn't be more than another
10 to 20pounds.  Though nearly any M42 screw lenses will fit a Canon EF camer lens mount.
If you want to be more sure look through this list:
and then choose a lens and check ebay for price and availabilty.

Hope that helps lego_boy.  Happy shooting!

The issue is he's asking for something impossible. The 18-55mm IS is a reasonably fantastic lens and the best cheap wide angle available for anything, really. At f8 it's quite strong across the frame. Wide open it's decent, too.

What he's looking for is a 17mm TSE and FF body for $200. Something wider, sharper, and appropriate for architecture (lens movements). That's $4000 minimum. Either you can ignore his price concerns or what he wants to use the lens for...

I'd recommend a tripod, honestly. If you're getting image shake that can help, and then you can stop down all you want to improve image quality. Or saving up for the 11-16mm or 10-122mm (for architecture) and fixing distortion in post. Or getting the 30mm f1.4 Sigma (or 28mm f1.8 Canon) as a general purpose lens, though it is not great for architecture.

The $12 fotodiox macro tube is nice for macro, though. That's one thing that's cheap and useful.

Lenses / Re: Best landscape lenses
« on: December 15, 2012, 11:47:01 PM »
For about $150 you can get a back for your 4x5 camera that will let you put the 5D3 body on.  I would suggest starting there; that way, you can use your LF lenses to create a baseline for comparison.  You might find that the optics have quite a bit to do with it.   And you get to use all the movements with your digital 'back'.  I realize that it doesn't cover the full field of view, but then again, with live view, you get skip the part where you trade the ground glass for the film pack.

It would be a cheap way to experiment until you find the settings that get you what you want.

I've been playing around with some old Ektar lenses on my 5D3 (with a real kludge of an attachment), and I find the images very interesting, so I just bought myself a LF camera (a Graphic View w/203mm lens), and plan on getting one of those back as soon as the camera arrives.  I'll even be doing some film, because there is still something about it that strikes my fancy.

If you are a serious LF user, the TS lenses might not be enough for you movement wise.

The trouble with them is the small format cameras mirror box, it is so deep you often get shadowing.

As for the smaller lenses having less movements, well they need less! Tilt degrees are directly related to the focal length, Policar's 4x5 lenses have a 135 format 3x crop factor, that means any lens he used to get the same fov would need one third the tilt. If he used 30º of tilt with his 300mm on the 4x5, he could use 10º tilt with a 90mm on a 135 format for the same identical image.

Yeah I don't think the 4x5 back is the answer. I'd have to stitch like 15 frames to get the same FOV and the shadowing might mean it wouldn't work at all.

I'm not a serious LF shooter. I never really got into it. So I don't think the transition would be too painful for me, but I don't know yet.

Is that true about needing less tilt? If it is, great. Isn't Scheimpflug the same for any focal length, though?

Lenses / Re: Lens choice advice please??
« on: December 15, 2012, 09:02:49 PM »
35mm f/2 is great on a crop sensor. I used that lens on my 7D more than any other lens. It isn't wide, but not too tight. It also focuses close and gives nice shallow DOF, anything wider gets more expensive.

Difference in field of view between 35 and 50 is minimal, and certainly not worth the price difference. If you can afford a 35 f/2, you might as well save a little more and get a 28 1.8.

As I see it the 50 1.8 is really the only logical option given the OP's parameters.

I strongly disagree. The difference in FOV between 35mm and 50mm is very significant--although I find both to be not so great on APS-C. On FF, for instance, I love the 50mm focal length and can't stand 85mm for most purposes (I like 135mm). You ask an experienced DP like Roger Deakins and he claims he wishes he had a prime lens for every 3mm difference toward the wide end (21, 24, 28, 32, 40, 50, etc.). I can't tell the difference at those extremes, but it illustrates a point. It boils down to personal preference and you might like 35mm and 50mm equally well (I love them both on FF quite a lot), but on APS-C I find 50mm to be a tricky focal length to love and 35mm a lot better but still just a bit long.

The 50mm f1.8 is a nice lens, but I'd rather get the 28mm f1.8 or 30mm f1.4 Sigma (neither of which I've used, but a useful focal length trumps sharpness by a lot) on crop.

For architecture, of course, none of these lenses are particularly appropriate. For that it's UWA and perspective correction in post or T/S. That's really the only way to do it well. And a tripod, of course.

Lenses / Re: Lens choice advice please??
« on: December 15, 2012, 08:37:55 PM »
I love the 18-55mm IS, but it does have its weaknesses (corners). In my experience the 50mm f1.8 is a mixed bag because build quality is poor and there's a lot of sample variation. I have a terrible sample that's very bad on APS-C but brilliant on FF, even wide open. My favorite lens on my Mark III because it's small and light and fast and I love the FOV. It's not the sharpest and bokeh sucks stopped down, but it is quite good! On APS-C, it's an awkward focal length and the softness becomes an issue.

I love the 17-55mm f2.8 IS but it's not that much better on the wide end than the kit lens. The rest of the mid-priced Ls are kind of mediocre on FF, worse than either of those two except in terms of build quality. If you can afford a 24-70mm II I'm sure that's amazing, but if you can afford that why are you shooting APS-C?

For architecture you really need to go T/S, but the 17mm is $2000, I think. The easiest way to fake it is getting an UWA (11-16mm Tokina is awesome or the 10-22mm Canon is maybe better, never used it) and correcting for keystoning in photoshop or shooting with the horizon level and cropping. Architectural photography all-but requires perspective correction. You lose a lot of resolution this way, but perspective correction is crucial for architectural photography.

Others have found otherwise, but I think the 18-55mm IS is nearly world class if you get a decent sample and shoot at normal stops. Get a tripod, maybe. I don't know what to say; if the IQ isn't up to snuff it's a lot of money to do significantly better, but significantly better stuff does exist. It's also much more special-purpose; the kit lens is a very multi-purpose lens. If you want shallower focus that's easy, though. Get the fast fifty or 30mm f1.4 Sigma or even the pancake.

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