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Author Topic: Inexpensive lens for Video  (Read 4166 times)

Scarpz13

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Inexpensive lens for Video
« on: November 30, 2012, 06:25:23 AM »
Hi Everyone
Always used my 60D for stills; but now our old video camera has crapped out, which my wife normally uses. I figure if I leave the 60D on video/auto all day my wife can snap and on and shoot videos of the kids in case they do something cute.

I love my wife to death but she has a tendency to "Drop" things. :) thus i dont want to leave my 17-40 or 24-105L on the camera; will video quality suffer greatly if I buy a cheaper 28-135 or maybe 17-85 lens for her?

Please keep in mind it's just for family memories; I don't need to hear about moire, etc lol. I just am looking for insight or recommendations on an inexpensive alternative lens for decent video. I am also not too sure about what focal length is best for video...

thanks for your help!
5D MkIII  |  60D  |  EF 17-40 F4L |  EF 24-105 F4L IS  | EF 70-200 F4L IS  | EF 40 f/2.8  |  EF 50 f/1.4 |  EF 85 f/1.8  | 580EX II

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Inexpensive lens for Video
« on: November 30, 2012, 06:25:23 AM »

JasonATL

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Re: Inexpensive lens for Video
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2012, 07:59:35 AM »
Hi Everyone
Always used my 60D for stills; but now our old video camera has crapped out, which my wife normally uses. I figure if I leave the 60D on video/auto all day my wife can snap and on and shoot videos of the kids in case they do something cute.

I love my wife to death but she has a tendency to "Drop" things. :) thus i dont want to leave my 17-40 or 24-105L on the camera; will video quality suffer greatly if I buy a cheaper 28-135 or maybe 17-85 lens for her?

Please keep in mind it's just for family memories; I don't need to hear about moire, etc lol. I just am looking for insight or recommendations on an inexpensive alternative lens for decent video. I am also not too sure about what focal length is best for video...

thanks for your help!
I use my DSLRs (600D/T3i and 5D Mark III) for video only.

As you might have already played around with and figured out, the AUTO mode can have mixed results for video. These DSLRs may not be great replacements for simple video cameras in many candid, capture-the-moment situations in the hands of people who are used to or prefer the simplicity of a video camera.

As to the lens, compared to the nice quality L's that you mention, image quality will suffer, but not "greatly" in my opinion. Yes, there is a difference in video with good vs. not-so-good lenses. The lenses you describe are reported to be nice lenses, so I'm not sure you would see much difference at all. I seriously doubt that using a cheaper lens (e.g., the 18-55mm) will make the video worse than your "old video camera." But, I don't know how good your old video camera was or a lot of other things.

The 17-85 would be the best bet. Anything longer is just not practical in my opinion for what you are describing (candid, probably handheld shots) and the wider end will sometimes come in handy on the crop sensor (as you know from having the 17-40). Image Stabilization is a must unless you are okay with shaky footage (don't know if your old video camera had it or not). Unfortunately, the 17-85 isn't very fast, so the ISO will end up being quite high... Again, I'm sure you know that already. I haven't used AUTO mode in so long, I can't even recall how low it will set the f-stop before preferring a higher ISO (my vague recollection is that it won't go very low).

Not disregarding the last sentence, you might also consider the 50mm 1.8. Fast and cheap with good image quality.  No IS and no zoom. Focal distance match is up to you. But, for what your describing, might preserve some great memories... and, you'd have added a prime to your mix of lenses for stills. But, zoom might take a priorty, I understand.

Bottom line: 17-85 would be my pick for what you describe.

djurma11

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Re: Inexpensive lens for Video
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2012, 08:38:32 AM »
I would look into the 40 2.8. It's a great new little lens, and its auto focus is made to work better with video
5DII, 7D, 70-200 mkII, 24-105L, 50 1.4, Tamron 17-50, 1.4x II, 430 EXII
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Scarpz13

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Re: Inexpensive lens for Video
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2012, 08:55:05 AM »
Hi Everyone
Always used my 60D for stills; but now our old video camera has crapped out, which my wife normally uses. I figure if I leave the 60D on video/auto all day my wife can snap and on and shoot videos of the kids in case they do something cute.

I love my wife to death but she has a tendency to "Drop" things. :) thus i dont want to leave my 17-40 or 24-105L on the camera; will video quality suffer greatly if I buy a cheaper 28-135 or maybe 17-85 lens for her?

Please keep in mind it's just for family memories; I don't need to hear about moire, etc lol. I just am looking for insight or recommendations on an inexpensive alternative lens for decent video. I am also not too sure about what focal length is best for video...

thanks for your help!
I use my DSLRs (600D/T3i and 5D Mark III) for video only.

As you might have already played around with and figured out, the AUTO mode can have mixed results for video. These DSLRs may not be great replacements for simple video cameras in many candid, capture-the-moment situations in the hands of people who are used to or prefer the simplicity of a video camera.

As to the lens, compared to the nice quality L's that you mention, image quality will suffer, but not "greatly" in my opinion. Yes, there is a difference in video with good vs. not-so-good lenses. The lenses you describe are reported to be nice lenses, so I'm not sure you would see much difference at all. I seriously doubt that using a cheaper lens (e.g., the 18-55mm) will make the video worse than your "old video camera." But, I don't know how good your old video camera was or a lot of other things.

The 17-85 would be the best bet. Anything longer is just not practical in my opinion for what you are describing (candid, probably handheld shots) and the wider end will sometimes come in handy on the crop sensor (as you know from having the 17-40). Image Stabilization is a must unless you are okay with shaky footage (don't know if your old video camera had it or not). Unfortunately, the 17-85 isn't very fast, so the ISO will end up being quite high... Again, I'm sure you know that already. I haven't used AUTO mode in so long, I can't even recall how low it will set the f-stop before preferring a higher ISO (my vague recollection is that it won't go very low).

Not disregarding the last sentence, you might also consider the 50mm 1.8. Fast and cheap with good image quality.  No IS and no zoom. Focal distance match is up to you. But, for what your describing, might preserve some great memories... and, you'd have added a prime to your mix of lenses for stills. But, zoom might take a priorty, I understand.

Bottom line: 17-85 would be my pick for what you describe.

Thank you very much for taking the time to word such an elaborate and educational response! To be honest, looks like i cheaped out pretty huge on the old video camera, as I find even with the 60D on auto with very little ambient light the picture is already much better (granted i havent viewed it on a large screen). I know her old video camera was basically useless after the sun went down using just indoor light. I'm sure the ISO is cranked on the 60D, but at least you can see what is going on!

I thought of the 50mm 1.8 or 40mm 2.8 as well, just think she will prefer a zoom lens so shes not backing into walls when chasing the kids around.  I think the 17-85 is probably my best bet, since it goes a little wider on my crop body. that being said, the 18-55 IS would probably still do a much better job than her old video camera... i could probably find a T2i with that lens for the same money as the 17-85 anyway... thus giving her a "decent" video camera, and me a back-up SLR :)

thanks again.
5D MkIII  |  60D  |  EF 17-40 F4L |  EF 24-105 F4L IS  | EF 70-200 F4L IS  | EF 40 f/2.8  |  EF 50 f/1.4 |  EF 85 f/1.8  | 580EX II

Jay Khaos

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Re: Inexpensive lens for Video
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2012, 09:00:29 AM »
+1 for 50 1.8 using manual focus

Id use a cheaper prime with manual focus. For something wider but a lil more expensive, the samyang 14mm 2.8 is great for video.  There is also a slightly more expensive "cine" version of the samyang with a manual aperature adjustment ring.  You can de-click the aperture ring to smoothly adjust aperture without abrupt exposure change while filming

for zoom, the 24-105 is a great choice with IS... although I'm not sure Id trust that one in the hands of a clumsy holder LOL.  Lok from digitalrevTV on youtube uses a 24-105 on a 5DII hand-holding and it always looks very pro.
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verysimplejason

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Re: Inexpensive lens for Video
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2012, 11:25:34 AM »
18-55 or 18-135 will be fine for video purposes.  With 18-55, you won't cry even if you drop.

AudioGlenn

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Re: Inexpensive lens for Video
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2012, 12:29:41 PM »

I love my wife to death but she has a tendency to "Drop" things. :)

bless her heart... i know how you feel =)

+1 for the prime for low light.  she might actually have some fun with manual focus and a prime.  My wife loves turning the knobs (on the camera rig).  At $100 for a 50 1.8, you should have one just to toy with anyway. 
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Re: Inexpensive lens for Video
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2012, 12:29:41 PM »

syder

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Re: Inexpensive lens for Video
« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2012, 12:49:11 PM »
+1 for 50 1.8 using manual focus

Id use a cheaper prime with manual focus. For something wider but a lil more expensive, the samyang 14mm 2.8 is great for video.  There is also a slightly more expensive "cine" version of the samyang with a manual aperature adjustment ring.  You can de-click the aperture ring to smoothly adjust aperture without abrupt exposure change while filming

for zoom, the 24-105 is a great choice with IS... although I'm not sure Id trust that one in the hands of a clumsy holder LOL.  Lok from digitalrevTV on youtube uses a 24-105 on a 5DII hand-holding and it always looks very pro.

-1 for 50 1.8

Utterly horrible to manually focus with its tiny mf ring with minimal travel. Makes accurately focussing damn hard, especially with fast moving subjects (like kids unless they're asleep)

If you go down the prime route you would be way way better off using an old prime which was designed to be manually focussed with an adapter. Or if you can find a cheap copy the tokina 35mm f2.8 macro is a very nice lens to mf with which is reasonably cheap and gives you a standardish focal length (50mm on crop is great for close ups, but particularly indoors where distances tend to be limited it is nowhere near wide enough for gv's)

Cheap but good zoom for video look for the tamron 17-50 f2.8. Without VC is sharper, with VC will probably give you better results handheld though.

emag

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Re: Inexpensive lens for Video
« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2012, 01:46:26 PM »
1)  The 28-135 zoom is horribly stiff.

2)  If I was in your shoes, frankly I'd buy the wife a decent digital or hard drive camcorder.   There are a lot of varieties available for reasonable prices.  Like you say, it's for family memories.  As an added bonus, while your children are still young you can show them how to operate the camcorder and just let them do whatever.  Did that with my son when he was about 10, it's our favorite family video of all time, he had quite the conversation with a garden gnome.

Scarpz13

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Re: Inexpensive lens for Video
« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2012, 01:49:02 PM »
+1 for 50 1.8 using manual focus

Id use a cheaper prime with manual focus. For something wider but a lil more expensive, the samyang 14mm 2.8 is great for video.  There is also a slightly more expensive "cine" version of the samyang with a manual aperature adjustment ring.  You can de-click the aperture ring to smoothly adjust aperture without abrupt exposure change while filming

for zoom, the 24-105 is a great choice with IS... although I'm not sure Id trust that one in the hands of a clumsy holder LOL.  Lok from digitalrevTV on youtube uses a 24-105 on a 5DII hand-holding and it always looks very pro.

-1 for 50 1.8

Utterly horrible to manually focus with its tiny mf ring with minimal travel. Makes accurately focussing damn hard, especially with fast moving subjects (like kids unless they're asleep)

If you go down the prime route you would be way way better off using an old prime which was designed to be manually focussed with an adapter. Or if you can find a cheap copy the tokina 35mm f2.8 macro is a very nice lens to mf with which is reasonably cheap and gives you a standardish focal length (50mm on crop is great for close ups, but particularly indoors where distances tend to be limited it is nowhere near wide enough for gv's)

Cheap but good zoom for video look for the tamron 17-50 f2.8. Without VC is sharper, with VC will probably give you better results handheld though.

I kind of agree with you on this, Syder. I had the 50mm 1.8 briefly (before upgrading to 1.4) and that focus ring is so small I don't think she will like it. I am finding used 18-55 I.S. lenses online for like 80 or 90 bucks... I may start with that for her, and if it turns out she's making Scorcese-esque movies of our kids every day I'll drop a few hundred bucks on a 17-85.

It doesn't matter that the 18-55 isnt full time manual focus I take it? I should know this, but I imagine the camera automatically turns to "manual" focusing when in video mode...?
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cayenne

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Re: Inexpensive lens for Video
« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2012, 01:50:59 PM »
+1 for 50 1.8 using manual focus

Id use a cheaper prime with manual focus. For something wider but a lil more expensive, the samyang 14mm 2.8 is great for video.  There is also a slightly more expensive "cine" version of the samyang with a manual aperature adjustment ring.  You can de-click the aperture ring to smoothly adjust aperture without abrupt exposure change while filming

for zoom, the 24-105 is a great choice with IS... although I'm not sure Id trust that one in the hands of a clumsy holder LOL.  Lok from digitalrevTV on youtube uses a 24-105 on a 5DII hand-holding and it always looks very pro.

Yeah, I was gonna suggest a nifty 50.....

cayenne

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Re: Inexpensive lens for Video
« Reply #11 on: November 30, 2012, 01:54:55 PM »

-1 for 50 1.8


What about the Canon 50 1.4? It is only about $340 right now on amazon...run that on manual focus...should do just fine, decent image and good lowlight....?

C

Jay Khaos

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Re: Inexpensive lens for Video
« Reply #12 on: November 30, 2012, 02:44:28 PM »
+1 for 50 1.8 using manual focus

Id use a cheaper prime with manual focus. For something wider but a lil more expensive, the samyang 14mm 2.8 is great for video.  There is also a slightly more expensive "cine" version of the samyang with a manual aperature adjustment ring.  You can de-click the aperture ring to smoothly adjust aperture without abrupt exposure change while filming

for zoom, the 24-105 is a great choice with IS... although I'm not sure Id trust that one in the hands of a clumsy holder LOL.  Lok from digitalrevTV on youtube uses a 24-105 on a 5DII hand-holding and it always looks very pro.

-1 for 50 1.8

Utterly horrible to manually focus with its tiny mf ring with minimal travel. Makes accurately focussing damn hard, especially with fast moving subjects (like kids unless they're asleep)

If you go down the prime route you would be way way better off using an old prime which was designed to be manually focussed with an adapter. Or if you can find a cheap copy the tokina 35mm f2.8 macro is a very nice lens to mf with which is reasonably cheap and gives you a standardish focal length (50mm on crop is great for close ups, but particularly indoors where distances tend to be limited it is nowhere near wide enough for gv's)

Cheap but good zoom for video look for the tamron 17-50 f2.8. Without VC is sharper, with VC will probably give you better results handheld though.


That is a valid point.  I would definitely never advocate the 50 1.8 as a go-to video lens.... but considering the conditions from the OP: cheap and potential to be dropped--I stand firm on my answer.

If you can't hand-hold a DSLR and manual focus the 50 1.8 with one finger, your skill level doesn't warrant handling anything more expensive if you ask me.  Moving up to the 1.4 is a marginal improvement for a 3x price difference... and getting into that price range, you might as well invest in a slightly more expensive Tokina 11-16

If you're spending as much as $500, I would DEFINITELY recommend the tokina 11-16 2.8.  At infinity focus, everythign a meter out or farther will stay in focus.   For filming kids, wide and already in focus should be a big plus for convenience factor.  Not missing a memory is more important than bokeh quality
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Re: Inexpensive lens for Video
« Reply #12 on: November 30, 2012, 02:44:28 PM »

thelebaron

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Re: Inexpensive lens for Video
« Reply #13 on: November 30, 2012, 03:28:50 PM »
I know this will be against the grain as its eos bodies for video, but a used rx100 does pretty damn good video with af during video, tracking say a face and stabilization, small enough for her to always carry around & at a price point of around 500. im not familiar with camcorders though so I dont know how cheaper alternatives stack up against that but Id say there are far better options out there than using a dslr for this kind of thing.
If your wife is familiar with the camera, then ignore this but its pretty bulky to be operating a dslr's video at a whim if youve got kids or other things happening around you.

sandymandy

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Re: Inexpensive lens for Video
« Reply #14 on: November 30, 2012, 03:52:14 PM »
M42 lenses are good for video. Always got aperture control ring on the lens and its manual focus (which u will use anyway in video mode). And really cheap compared to modern lenses. And build REALLY heavy and sturdy. Metal all the way :)
You just need an 5$ adapter and spend less than for a 50mm 1.8 II for the lens. Negative is no IS but thats all.

For example:

5D MarkII with M42 mount lens Small | Large


make sure to turn on 720p! not my video!
« Last Edit: November 30, 2012, 03:55:49 PM by sandymandy »

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Re: Inexpensive lens for Video
« Reply #14 on: November 30, 2012, 03:52:14 PM »