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Author Topic: "General purpose" lens advice  (Read 3069 times)

Jay Khaos

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"General purpose" lens advice
« on: June 21, 2013, 10:05:11 PM »
My current gear is down to a 5D3, 85mm 1.2, 70-200 2.8 is ii

I'm looking for a shorter length lens that would be useful for both still and video.  For both still and video, it would be handheld 90% of the time.  I'm thinking a 50mm because of the IQ for the price... although if price weren't an issue an issue at all, 35mm would probably be preferable.  I'll be using it for both product shots and video.

For 50s I'm leaning toward the sigma 1.4.  Supposedly its better than the canon 1.4, but it's also a little more expensive and in pics I've seen it looks pretty bulky.  Considering id be carrying it around a lot without a bag, is the IQ worth that size/weight?  Or is it really not that much different? Anything else I should consider when comparing those two?

I'm also hesitant to get a 50 now since a new one is rumored to come out soon..
(Side question: Can a 50mm not have IS?  It seems like it would be the perfect candidate for IS...)

I like the new Sigma 35 "art" lens.  Although my first thought when I considered that one is that I could get a 24-105 with IS for less... and it would be superior (I think?) for video.. and probably not too noticeable IQ difference.

I dont even have a clearcut question, but if anyone has any input that might help that would be cool.
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"General purpose" lens advice
« on: June 21, 2013, 10:05:11 PM »

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: "General purpose" lens advice
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2013, 10:46:48 PM »
The Sigma 1.4 is optimized for crop bodies, but has issues at the edges on FF.  You have to be careful about reviews, because lenses don't always perform the same way on FF as on crop, and vice versa.
 
If you are doing handheld video, IS is really a big help.  Since there are no 50mm primes with IS, consider something like the Tokina 24-70mm f/2.8 with VC
Better yet, consider using a tripod.

distant.star

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Re: "General purpose" lens advice
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2013, 10:57:17 PM »
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Go immediately and get a Canon 40mm f/2.8 pancake lens. It has the supposedly  more useful STM focus motor for video, and it's pocket change ($150) compared to anything else you're mentioning.

Try it for a while to get a sense of that focal length. It's not IS, but the f/2.8 can be pretty helpful.

And as a disclaimer I have to say I don't know marbles about video!
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mwh1964

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Re: "General purpose" lens advice
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2013, 11:58:29 PM »
2me it just looks like you motivated the purchase of a canon 35 f2 IS.
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Hobby Shooter

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Re: "General purpose" lens advice
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2013, 03:14:44 AM »
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Go immediately and get a Canon 40mm f/2.8 pancake lens. It has the supposedly  more useful STM focus motor for video, and it's pocket change ($150) compared to anything else you're mentioning.

Try it for a while to get a sense of that focal length. It's not IS, but the f/2.8 can be pretty helpful.

And as a disclaimer I have to say I don't know marbles about video!
Problem is that the 5D3 doesn't support STM.

About the 50 1.4, even IF a replacement is on the way it's still a very good lens. I would also like to recommend the 24-105.

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Re: "General purpose" lens advice
« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2013, 03:18:57 AM »
I think you'd probably be happier with something 2.8 or faster, if it's going to be your only wide offering. 50 1.4 is a great choice, or as mentioned the 35 with IS would be sweet as well for handheld stuff.

gferdinandsen

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Re: "General purpose" lens advice
« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2013, 05:50:55 AM »
I would have to suggest the 24-70 f2.8/L; it's tack sharp and in my opion the most useful zoom range.  Even if I go out with my 24-105 f4/L, I rarely shoot past 70mm.
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Re: "General purpose" lens advice
« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2013, 05:50:55 AM »

Jay Khaos

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Re: "General purpose" lens advice
« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2013, 11:05:30 AM »
@Mt Spokane:  I didnt know that about the sigma 50... but thats good to know.  Also the Tamron 24-70 2.8 is definitely one I'm considering too.  Although my dilemma is that when I start considering lenses in that price range, I find myself going back to thinking "well the 50 would probably really be all I need, and is a fraction of the price".  I'm even tempted to just get a 50 1.8 again.  That's what I used for years with my t2i (no other lenses)...

@distant star: I've considered the pancake, but the STM issue with 5D was one of the discouraging factors.

@mwh1964:  I WAS motivated to buy the 35 f2 IS, even after it immediately got thrown in the Sigma 35's shadow.  But I continue to hear negative things: like the IS works "differently" (not a good different), and that was a review for the 35 IS for video use.  It's hard to tell because in most reviews people seem to immediately discredit the new 35 for it's price and the bias shows in the rest of the review.

Has anyone used the 35 f2 IS for video and had a more positive experience than expected?  So positive that it's worth spending more than a new 24-105 IS?

Thanks for the advice so far everyone.  At this point I think I'm down to the canon 50 1.4 and 24-105 IS.  It'll be hard to choose between those two.
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bluegreenturtle

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Re: "General purpose" lens advice
« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2013, 11:56:41 AM »
I just bought a 24-105 recently and it's been transformational for me shooting video - it's just a very versatile lens that has great IQ.  Shooting handheld, the IS and the slower aperture are both good features.  My work falls under 2 categories - shooting interviews (which I usually shoot at f4 or shallower) and b roll, which I usually shoot at f4 and slower).  The fact that I can travel on assignment and step out with the 24-105 and get good b roll coverage without heavy weight is fantastic.  However, keep in mind that I use this for work - I'm not shooting arty pieces, I'm not shooting drama, I want what works, quickly, so I can get my b roll coverage and move on.  For that, I think it's about the best lens.  I came from a 28-70 Angineax 2.6, and while that has amazing IQ, it was less versatile and I rarely used it wide open anyway.  I still have it but not sure if I'll keep using it.

jdramirez

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Re: "General purpose" lens advice
« Reply #9 on: June 22, 2013, 02:17:18 PM »
My current gear is down to a 5D3, 85mm 1.2, 70-200 2.8 is ii

I have a mkiii and the 70-200 is mkii...


I'm looking for a shorter length lens that would be useful for both still and video. 

I originally had a 60D crop sensor and I didn't shoot much wide angle.  I had a 24-105 and never thought much about the 24*1.6= 38.4 focal length...  Now that I have a mkiii, the 24 is surprisingly wide.  The IS will be very helpful for video.  I've seen before and after photos of the same scene and the IS make the whole shot borderline incredible. 

For both still and video, it would be handheld 90% of the time. 

http://www.amazon.com/Opteka-SteadyVid-Stabilizer-Camcorders-Improved/dp/B008UUPUPM/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1371924581&sr=8-3&keywords=video+stabilizer

I'd suggest getting something like this.  With IS and the video stabilizer, your scenes will look smooth. 


I'm thinking a 50mm because of the IQ for the price... although if price weren't an issue an issue at all, 35mm would probably be preferable.  I'll be using it for both product shots and video.

All the Canon 50mm's get sharp around f/2 and really look nice around f/2.8 through f/4.  But none of them are image stabilized... so you may seriously want to consider exactly how much walk around footage you are going to do, but if you are simply holding the body... those should do. 

For 50s I'm leaning toward the sigma 1.4.  Supposedly its better than the canon 1.4, but it's also a little more expensive and in pics I've seen it looks pretty bulky.  Considering id be carrying it around a lot without a bag, is the IQ worth that size/weight?  Or is it really not that much different? Anything else I should consider when comparing those two?

Last I heard, the consistency of the sigma's are still a little suspect.  So buy 5, return 4, keep the best one. As for image quality... I don't think it would translate substantially for 1080p video... I think 1080p is roughly 3 megapixels... and I presume you are shooting at 18+ megapixels... so video usually isn't as much of a concern... but for photos, a good sigma is better than a good canon 50.

I'm also hesitant to get a 50 now since a new one is rumored to come out soon..
(Side question: Can a 50mm not have IS?  It seems like it would be the perfect candidate for IS...)

50mm equates to 1/50th shutter speed, so image stabilization is less important than on a longer lens.  Less light, slower shutter speeds, and the IS comes into play bigtime. 

There is a 24mm canon lens with IS, so that can't be all true. 


I like the new Sigma 35 "art" lens.  Although my first thought when I considered that one is that I could get a 24-105 with IS for less... and it would be superior (I think?) for video.. and probably not too noticeable IQ difference.

I'd contend the 24-105 is be MUCH better for video.  Outside of the shallow depth of field and more light from the aperture, the 24-105 will be much easier to focus while not noticing a ton of shake from moving the focal ring.
Upgrade  path.->means the former was sold for the latter.

XS->60D->5d Mkiii:18-55->24-105L:75-300->55-250->70-300->70-200 f4L USM->70-200 f/2.8L USM->70-200 f/2.8L IS Mkii:50 f/1.8->50 f/1.4->100 f/2.8L->85mm f/1.8 USM->135L -> 8mm ->100L

jdramirez

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Re: "General purpose" lens advice
« Reply #10 on: June 22, 2013, 02:18:31 PM »
.
Go immediately and get a Canon 40mm f/2.8 pancake lens. It has the supposedly  more useful STM focus motor for video, and it's pocket change ($150) compared to anything else you're mentioning.

Try it for a while to get a sense of that focal length. It's not IS, but the f/2.8 can be pretty helpful.

And as a disclaimer I have to say I don't know marbles about video!

Ditto... I shoot an occasional school play with my daughter, but video isn't my bread and butter... heck, it isn't even my butter.
Upgrade  path.->means the former was sold for the latter.

XS->60D->5d Mkiii:18-55->24-105L:75-300->55-250->70-300->70-200 f4L USM->70-200 f/2.8L USM->70-200 f/2.8L IS Mkii:50 f/1.8->50 f/1.4->100 f/2.8L->85mm f/1.8 USM->135L -> 8mm ->100L

jdramirez

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Re: "General purpose" lens advice
« Reply #11 on: June 22, 2013, 02:20:06 PM »
.
Go immediately and get a Canon 40mm f/2.8 pancake lens. It has the supposedly  more useful STM focus motor for video, and it's pocket change ($150) compared to anything else you're mentioning.

Try it for a while to get a sense of that focal length. It's not IS, but the f/2.8 can be pretty helpful.

And as a disclaimer I have to say I don't know marbles about video!
Problem is that the 5D3 doesn't support STM.

About the 50 1.4, even IF a replacement is on the way it's still a very good lens. I would also like to recommend the 24-105.

Also, canon holds their value really well... so if you buy a 50mm canon at 350... use it for a year or two, you can still sell it for $300 even with the new one coming out.  Canon likes to inflate their prices at launch and people pay the inflated price... so that will help keep the price of the original 50mm higher.
Upgrade  path.->means the former was sold for the latter.

XS->60D->5d Mkiii:18-55->24-105L:75-300->55-250->70-300->70-200 f4L USM->70-200 f/2.8L USM->70-200 f/2.8L IS Mkii:50 f/1.8->50 f/1.4->100 f/2.8L->85mm f/1.8 USM->135L -> 8mm ->100L

jdramirez

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Re: "General purpose" lens advice
« Reply #12 on: June 22, 2013, 02:24:00 PM »
How much are you looking to pay for a 24-105.  You can find new ones that have been pulled from 5dmkiii kits for $750 or less.  I'm selling one at that price to a lady friend of mine.  If you were thinking of the 24-105 as being a $1100 lens... then I'd seriously suggest thinking about new from a kit for $350 less.
Upgrade  path.->means the former was sold for the latter.

XS->60D->5d Mkiii:18-55->24-105L:75-300->55-250->70-300->70-200 f4L USM->70-200 f/2.8L USM->70-200 f/2.8L IS Mkii:50 f/1.8->50 f/1.4->100 f/2.8L->85mm f/1.8 USM->135L -> 8mm ->100L

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Re: "General purpose" lens advice
« Reply #12 on: June 22, 2013, 02:24:00 PM »

wjm

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Re: "General purpose" lens advice
« Reply #13 on: June 22, 2013, 02:43:22 PM »
The Sigma 1.4 is optimized for crop bodies, but has issues at the edges on FF.

Can you give a source? Because all I've read and heard about this less is good. Also from FF users.

IS is indeed a plus for video.

jdramirez

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Re: "General purpose" lens advice
« Reply #14 on: June 22, 2013, 03:13:57 PM »
The Sigma 1.4 is optimized for crop bodies, but has issues at the edges on FF.

Can you give a source? Because all I've read and heard about this less is good. Also from FF users.

IS is indeed a plus for video.

I think all corners benefit from crop... so I don't know that is someone going out on a limb.
Upgrade  path.->means the former was sold for the latter.

XS->60D->5d Mkiii:18-55->24-105L:75-300->55-250->70-300->70-200 f4L USM->70-200 f/2.8L USM->70-200 f/2.8L IS Mkii:50 f/1.8->50 f/1.4->100 f/2.8L->85mm f/1.8 USM->135L -> 8mm ->100L

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Re: "General purpose" lens advice
« Reply #14 on: June 22, 2013, 03:13:57 PM »