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Messages - Policar

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EOS Bodies - For Stills / It's all about volume...
« on: November 09, 2012, 02:33:51 PM »
If you shoot a lot, particularly as a professional who doesn't want to be mired in PP, JPEG is the way to go. The flip side of that is since you'll be supporting yourself off your work, you can probably afford to invest in a fast rig and storage and Lightroom and Aperture, for instance, should have good file management and fast processing. But for whatever reason if you shoot a lot and don't want to spend time processing in post, go JPEG. Especially if you're a good shooter.

If you don't shoot much and want either the best image quality (Canon's JPEG engine is softer than Adobe's and DXO's) or want to recover blown highlights, RAW can be great. Plus some of the tools available in Adobe's developer are super useful.

Lenses / Re: EF 24-70 f/4L IS & EF 35 f/2 IS
« on: November 05, 2012, 04:38:43 PM »
Equivalent to a 56mm f/2.0 prime with 4 stops of image stabalization on a full frame camera. 

Closer to a 56mm f3.2.

I agree that 35mm is a nice focal length for APS-C (and for FF, too). But if this lens is $800-$1200, as expected, will it be worth the one-stop advantage in speed (and likely slightly better IS) over the 17-55mm f2.8 IS, which is the king of the crop for APS-C?

What I'd really love to see is something like Nikon's amazing 35mm f1.8 or sigma's 30mm f1.4 (except better optically and cheaper, even if it means slower speed). The 50mm f1.8 is fine for APS-C, but it is a much harder focal length to use well because it is so subtle and elegant.

Lenses / Re: what s the best ef lenses for making a movie
« on: November 04, 2012, 04:24:29 AM »
The adapter ring is only if you buy a third party lens. So if you buy the Canon 50mm f1.4 you won't need it.

Make sure the ND filters have the same threads as the lens. (58mm I think, not sure.) They might seem superfluous at first, but you want to keep your shutter speed at 1/50 and your f-stop between f1.4 and f8, ideally. And when you're shooting outside they help with that since they block light and let you open up.

The hoya HMC filters are the best for the money. Very neutral and great coating.

Lenses / Re: what s the best ef lenses for making a movie
« on: November 03, 2012, 07:02:03 PM »
get an m42- eos adapter, then start picking up old m42 lenses. You can get a whole range of primes for the price of a good circular polariser and as you want to do video, the lack of autofocus and manual aperture rings are both big pluses

Not a bad idea. I use Nikon lenses (mostly AI and pre-AI), but it's the same idea. I have a 50mm f1.4 Nikon AI lens that might be my favorite lens on my 5D III, but it's too weird on APS-C and I prefer 28mm. Love shooting video with it wide open. Lots of character. That said, he was asking about EF/EF-S lenses, so that's why I recommended the 17-55mm f2.8 IS (which is also just wonderful).

Lenses / Re: what s the best ef lenses for making a movie
« on: November 03, 2012, 06:34:47 PM »
For a one-lens solution, I prefer the 17-55mm f2.8 IS. Sure, it's $900 and the 50mm is $300. But when you compare it with the cost of a 17mm, 24mm, 35mm, and 50mm prime... it's cheap. The Tamron version is decent, too, but bad bokeh and soft corners (not a problem for video). I've heard the Sigma is also very good. Both of these are like $500. Then get a fader ND ($20 on eBay for 77mm). That's the cheapest kit I would consider for a really good, comprehensive set up. Fwiw, I also love the 11-16mm for music video style shoots.

The 50mm is a fine lens (although the 50mm f1.8 is no worse optically, just worse bokeh and a very bad focus ring) and very popular. But it's a bit long. You'll want a wider lens if you shoot in small spaces. I prefer 28mm or 30mm and a lot of major filmmakers (Bay, Woo, Fincher, Kubrick, Spielberg, Jackson, etc.) love shooting wide. 50mm is kind of "boring." But it's a good lens for the money, yes, and you can get nice shallow focus with it, too. Just try out your current lens (the kit zoom, I'm assuming) and see if you can live with it being set to 50mm all the time. If you can, go for it! It's a nice lens.

You'll want an ND filter (58mm I think?) if you want to shoot outside. The ND faders are cheap, but the Hoya HMC NDs are the best thing going for the money (get a couple: ND6, ND1.2).

Lenses / Re: what s the best ef lenses for making a movie
« on: November 03, 2012, 04:23:31 PM »
Most sets I've been on have rented a set of prime lenses between 18mm and 85mm. I once got the chance to shoot with Primos from 14mm to 150mm and did a music video with much wider and longer lenses, but for regular "movie" type stuff, those are the focal lengths that get used the most.

So I would say the 17-55mm IS zoom. Shoot at f2.8 at night, day interiors at f4, and day exteriors between f4 and f8 and use NDs. That's how most movies are shot. The color manipulation is more a matter of lighting, set design, and post. Some directors go wider (Gilliam), some stick to the 20mm range primarily (Spielberg), some like to go a bit longer (Hitchock), and some stick to 50mm as you mentioned was your idea (Ozu). So it's all up to you. Personally my favorite focal length is around 30mm on APS-C/super35.

Lenses / Re: Thinking about a 17-40 f4L USM. Thoughts?
« on: November 02, 2012, 09:13:42 PM »
The 17-40mm L is inexpensive and weather sealed and has great build quality. The center is contrasty and reasonably sharp, even wide open at 17mm. The corners are very soft until f8 or f11. Then they're sharper but with some CA. There's a lot of fall-off. But it's an inexpensive constant aperture ultrawide. For whatever strange reason, I like the bokeh.

On APS-C I would take either the 18-55mm IS or 17-55mm IS over this lens any day. I assume I'd take the 55-85mm, too. On FF, it's good for the price but it has some distortion and it's just okay optically. Not a bad lens, but not awe inspiring.

The 70-200mm f2.8 IS II is wonderful. The 70-200mm f2.8 (non-IS) is also very good if you have a tripod or steady hands and don't mind somewhat soft corners wide open; it's a very nice lens, really.

For landscape I'd go tilt shift rather than UWA zoom (you're using a tripod, so you might as well), but the price is so high! I've got big hopes for the 24mm Rokinon TS lens.

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: New RED One Price
« on: November 02, 2012, 05:20:09 PM »
Its only part of a camera, when you put all the pieces together, the price is a bit more, in fact, a lot more.
All camera manufacturers are hurting for sales.  Prices will keep dropping.

It's still a pretty great deal. But the cost of accessories and the cost of supporting this kludgy science project of a camera (90 second plus boot ups, lots of crashes, etc.) means I'll be keeping my Mark III.

The Scarlet and F5 are also great deals. It's frustrating that the market for semi-pro cameras has fallen as far as it has ($8,000 for C100/FS700) but not further. The prosumer market ($1500-$4000) is vastly larger and less demanding and yet the products there are pretty half-assed (GH3/5D Mark III/BMC) in one major way or another. Maybe in one more generation...

This is a very nice lens; the center isn't as sharp as the L at f1.4 and it doesn't get quite as crisp as the best lenses in the world once stopped down (edges are never perfect due to a tiny bit of CA mostly), but it might be the sharpest thing I own...definitely better than my L zooms. The 50mm f1.8 puts up a lot of competition for sharpest lens I own once it gets to f5.6 (and I know a major photographer who's published many books who swears by this lens for sharp images, and he has a huge kit of the nicest L telephotos you've seen), but the bokeh is poor, which is an issue for some more than it is for others.

The fact that other MF 35mm lenses go for so much more, even the 35mm f1.4 AIS Nikon (which is a very poor performer wide open), is ridiculous. Optically this is as good as the best. Bokeh is good. Build quality is good except the focus ring is sometimes marked wrong and the infinity stop goes beyond infinity. It might be a little longer than 35mm according to some anecdotes...

I can't stand it for stills, though, because it's too hard to focus. My favorite lens for stills is my 50mm f1.8, I think. So if you're shooting APS-C that should be a similar focal length, but focusing will be hard! If you get a split prism screen or didn't mind using live view you'd be fine, but for stills I'd choose a 35mm f2 instead unless you're okay with live view.

Lenses / Re: Bring 120-300 OS or buy 55-250mm ?
« on: October 22, 2012, 01:56:55 AM »
The 55-250mm is totally usable and tiny, with decent IS. But it's a bit soft and there's a lot of falloff. The size is great.

The 70-300mm Canon and 70-300mm Tamron are larger but even better. I'd shoot the Tamron at f8 at 300mm, but otherwise it's usable everywhere. Great stabilization. It's a nice lens (and pretty big, but not that heavy).

They are all weak the longer they get and obviously they're meant for daylight photography only.

Choose entirely based on what focal lengths you plan to use, but I disagree with comments about the 18-55mm IS being bad. It's a great lens, just slow. At the wide end it's just as good as the 17-55mm f2.8 IS (except 1/2 stop slower, but smaller and with arguably better IS) and at the long end it's about as good at f5.6, but unfortunately it's too slow to get shallow focus and it does have some CA. And I consider the 17-55mm f2.8 IS to be one of Canon's best zooms. The 18-55mm IS beats the pants off the 17-40mm f4 L! Trust me, I have owned all these covers boring focal lengths and is too slow to offer shallow focus, but the new kit lens is very, very good and an enormous step up from the original 18-55mm (the one lacking IS).

The 55-250mm IS is ok, too. But switching lenses can be a pain, so I might go with the 18-135mm purely for convenience, but then you get a jack of all trades camera (no better, just bigger, than a point and shoot for most purposes).

The 85mm f1.8 would be nice for portraits. I find the 50mm f1.8 too short, but for $100 it is a great lens.

Lenses / Re: A very dumb view
« on: October 21, 2012, 07:32:07 PM »
Very surprised (and glad) to see the Hoya HMC filter do so well.

I don't use UV filters, but for video I use Hoya HMC NDs and they're just swell.

Lenses / Re: 70-200 f2.8L USM or 70-200 f2.8L IS USM II
« on: October 21, 2012, 07:29:44 PM »
I have the original non-IS 70-200mm f2.8, and despite what people claim it's a perfectly acceptable lens, even wide open. Sure, the corners could be sharper at f2.8, but the bokeh is good and you can stop down to f4 for landscapes....and the focus is very fast and the contrast is good.

That said, the lack of IS is a big deal. Even with this less-than-modern lens, softness from image shake is generally way more significant than softness from a lack of sharpness. The IS II will solve both these problems. Just get it and don't look back. But be prepared for a heavy lens.

That said, the original is no slouch despite its age.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Full Frame Sharper Than Crop?
« on: October 19, 2012, 03:29:04 PM »
Lenses will always perform 1.6x better in the center in FF. Corners might be worse. Since few people outresolve the sensor in everyday shooting at that 1.6x MTF boost is for all frequencies, I'd think FF would look much sharper for most.

EOS Bodies - For Video / Re: Where do you start for videos?
« on: October 15, 2012, 05:25:35 PM »
Quick question regarding Auto-Focus:

If your subject is moving, how do you keep the focus on at all times? Does this have to be done manually?

Hire a good AC (most pros have roughly memorized distance by eye and can pull decently on the fly at normal stops i.e. f5.6 or deeper on the 5D). Otherwise, just write your marks (with erasable marker on the follow focus and tape on set) and find a friend who's good at video games to pull--it's what I do.

All your focusing has to be done manually if you want consistently decent results (I'm not even sure the Mark III has video AF), and if you do not have an AC you'll have to practice like mad or design your shots around your limitations (or shoot at like f11 with wide lenses). Without peaking (please ML?) it is very very difficult to get an in-focus image on the fly, and even with it...very difficult.

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