November 28, 2014, 04:36:36 AM

Author Topic: small light wide angle for steadicam-like capture in real estate  (Read 3107 times)

jonathan7007

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All,
I am a stills guy adding an occasional simple walk-through video to keep customers who insist on both. I have experimented with a Hague DMC steadying device for my 5Dmk3 and could tell that my 24-70 v2 was too heavy and too big, because the length/weight combo introduces swaying and movement when lifted or swung. So it appears I need a pancake-like wide angle to trim down the shape and weight effects of the body/lens at the top of the stabilizer.

I already own a lot of wideangles for stills: my Sigma 12-24 seems too big for this and, like the Canon 24-70, too heavy out front. I have the 24mm f1.4L, trimmer in length but almost as heavy as the 24-70.

I am considering the Voightlander 20mmf3.5 or 28mmf2.8. These are manual, pancake designs. The 20 is not sharp at the edges but the 28 is much better. My biggest unknown is whether moving through spaces and doors and hallways in smaller houses will the 28 be insufficiently wide? If I shoot a still to show a whole small room I have my 17mm tilt and shift or the Sigma 12-24. (But I use my 17 on every shoot.) With a moving video camera I have the flexibility to pan. The 20's lack of sharpness might be OK because video never seems very sharp anyway. But the changes in shapes get weird(er) with the very wide lenses.

I have read that very wide focal lengths help mask glitches in the stabilizing.  But 20 is pretty wide to be moving past objects in the tracking shots. . 28 doesn't feel "wide" to me now. But video handles distortion differently.

Here's a really good review of the two lenses by a photographer. The link is to the review of the 28 and at the end of this review is a "related" link to his earlier write-up of the Voightlander 20.
http://joserochaphoto.wordpress.com/2013/09/10/voigtlander-color-skopar-28mm-f2-8-sl-ii-aspherical-review/

Perhaps there are other candidates. Couldn't think of a different forum for this. Feedback, please.
Thanks, in advance for all thoughts.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2014, 04:58:41 AM by jonathan7007 »

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RLPhoto

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Re: small light wide angle for steadicam-like capture in real estate
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2014, 07:41:13 AM »
16-35 f/4L IS is very steady handheld with IS on. Maybe with a stedicam it would be even better but I'd look into that lens

jonathan7007

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Re: small light wide angle for steadicam-like capture in real estate
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2014, 02:52:24 PM »
Ramon,
I appreciate the suggestion because I had not looked closely at this new product and was impressed by the review at
http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Canon-EF-16-35mm-f-4-L-IS-USM-Lens.aspx

Now I want one. But the problem created by my long heavy 24-70 will, I think, still be present for the use I see becoming more common, based on the comparison charts for weight and length. It is 8oz less than the 24-70 2.8L v2 (21.7oz compared to 28.something). The 28mm or 20mm Voightlanders are 8.2 oz, barely a bump on the body.

This is tough. I wish it was easier to justify both... The 20mm Voightlander is less sharp and more expensive. That's annoying and makes it a video-only lens for my kit. And that makes the $$ harder to justify.

I took from your post that the IS was allowing you to shoot video handheld. What situation -- and with what focal length within that 16-35 range? Walking while capturing?

I appreciate anything you can share from your experience, because my immediate client is now talking about a bigger production with other nearby attractions shown. (It's a vacation rental property, not a real estate job.) I'm looking forward to the production and have to start soon.

Jonathan

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Re: small light wide angle for steadicam-like capture in real estate
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2014, 02:56:10 PM »
I don't shoot Pro video but I tested it out and @16-24mm with steady suspended hands + IS and moving, It looks really good. 35mm not so much.  :-\

mackguyver

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Re: small light wide angle for steadicam-like capture in real estate
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2014, 02:58:12 PM »
Ramon,
I appreciate the suggestion because I had not looked closely at this new product and was impressed by the review at
http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Canon-EF-16-35mm-f-4-L-IS-USM-Lens.aspx

Now I want one. But the problem created by my long heavy 24-70 will, I think, still be present for the use I see becoming more common, based on the comparison charts for weight and length. It is 8oz less than the 24-70 2.8L v2 (21.7oz compared to 28.something). The 28mm or 20mm Voightlanders are 8.2 oz, barely a bump on the body.

This is tough. I wish it was easier to justify both... The 20mm Voightlander is less sharp and more expensive. That's annoying and makes it a video-only lens for my kit. And that makes the $$ harder to justify.

I took from your post that the IS was allowing you to shoot video handheld. What situation -- and with what focal length within that 16-35 range? Walking while capturing?

I appreciate anything you can share from your experience, because my immediate client is now talking about a bigger production with other nearby attractions shown. (It's a vacation rental property, not a real estate job.) I'm looking forward to the production and have to start soon.

Jonathan
How about the 8-15 fisheye or 24 f/2.8 IS - they are a lot smaller:
http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Lens-Product-Images.aspx?Lens=787&LensComp=737&LensComp2=788&Go.x=9&Go.y=14

jonathan7007

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Re: small light wide angle for steadicam-like capture in real estate
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2014, 03:43:32 PM »
Sort of... Thanks for the suggestion!

I researched the Canon 20mm prime as a direct comparison to the Voightlander and my long heavy 24-70 and found that it was not sharp and still pretty heavy, not short either. Ramon above points out the value of the IS (and modern IS is better) so perhaps I should compare weight and size of the smaller, slower Canon 24mm prime.

I do have the super-sharp Canon 24mm f1.4 and it is shorter but almost as heavy as the 24-70 v2 (8oz difference.)

The person from whom I bought the used stabilizer confirmed for me that the sway I saw was due to the physics of initiating movement in a mass (camera/lens) distributed across a longish distance between back of camera and front element. A big front element weight hurts a lot among the factors influencing the motion seen on video.

BTW, this YouTube video -- shot with a different [low-end like mine]stabilizer brand and that Voightlander is pretty impressive for the non-Hollywood types and clients like mine. Check it out:
Canon 5D Mark III with Voigtlander 20mm Lens (Tested with Glidecam)
Takes a little while to get to the footage you want to see, but you can see him RUNNING while capturing (by showing his shadow.)

So I have two questions to investigate today: 1. is weight/size going to be MORE important than sharpness, and, 2. is 28mm wide enough for the rooms I will do for at least my first gig (which has to pay for at least a part of the added junk...)

...and I realized that sway aside, I can use another lens I have here to establish -- using my little house -- if the Voightlander 28 would be OK and save me a couple of hundred over the 20mm.

Even if... I bet I eventually get that newer 16-35. Results are quite good.

Jonathan

Halfrack

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Re: small light wide angle for steadicam-like capture in real estate
« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2014, 03:57:03 PM »
Based on the end use, wouldn't doing a crop body or action camera be a lighter option?

Is the framing on the 24-70 what you want?  If so, try a heavier setup with a Glidecam or such.
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Re: small light wide angle for steadicam-like capture in real estate
« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2014, 03:57:03 PM »

jonathan7007

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Re: small light wide angle for steadicam-like capture in real estate
« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2014, 04:19:44 PM »
Halftrack,
Thanks. Yes, I just tried the 24-70 set at 24 and 28 to see if the longer 28mm Voightlander pancake would serve. I think it would be OK. Saves a little $$. Same weight as the 20mm version but sharper, so could maybe use as stills lens.

I don't have a crop body. It's the size of the lens that driving most of the unwanted movement. And lack of experience on my part! By action camera you must mean a GoPro? My client wants quick clips of other scenes: nearby beaches, surf, mountain views, restaurant buildings, sunset through the palms... I'd like it to have better quality and range of imaging: long lenses, where applicable, for example.

I *will* have to try out different stabilizers. It's just an expense (experimenting, $$, selling what I don't adopt) that I was hoping to avoid because I bought this Hague DMC model stabilizer. Where I live there is little used gear. My current video requests are for small $$ projects. I have discovered there is a learning curve with these units, too. Both in weight choices and hand-hold-control.

The model used in the YouTube video above is pretty impressive in the hands of that videographer. Running?


josephandrews222

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Re: small light wide angle for steadicam-like capture in real estate
« Reply #8 on: July 24, 2014, 06:39:37 PM »
I haven't read, carefully, this entire thread...but here is what I will say.

The EOS M/11-22mm combo sounds perfect for this sort of thing.

We are preparing to travel to FL/Disney/beaches and the light weight/small size of the M/11-22 means that it fits in my cargo shorts pocket...and is light enough to be placed safely on a tiny tripod that I would NEVER trust to hold a DSLR.

I've written this before on this board--the 11-22mm is the 'killer app' for the EOS M.

5DMkIII; 40D; M; S95 + a dozen or so lenses & a half-dozen flashes

jonathan7007

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Re: small light wide angle for steadicam-like capture in real estate
« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2014, 02:58:59 AM »
Joseph,
Thanks for contributing. I don't have an M body. I will stick with the 5dMk3 bodies I have for consistent video look in for these walk-through segments, which will be edited into the other quick views -- some done already -- room pans, outdoor details on the property, flowering plumeria close-ups, local scenery, ocean, etc.

I have a Manfrotto 502 fluid head and a super heavy tripod that I love, so I can collect the remaining material with the lenses I have. I am ordering the Voightlander 28 and will try that. Ramon's suggestion of the new 16-35 piqued my interest in that lens and I may add that to the kit, too, for its well-reviewed IS. All the rest of my wide lenses have no IS.

Thanks, everyone. Looks like there aren't a lot of wide lenses like the Voightlander(s) available in Canon mount.

Jonathan

sjschall

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Re: small light wide angle for steadicam-like capture in real estate
« Reply #10 on: July 29, 2014, 10:20:08 PM »
I agree - good wide lenses are heavy and hard to find! The person in the youtube video had a Glidecam which I wouldn't consider low-end - it's meant for much heavier setups and would give you the outcome you are looking for with the 24-70. At around $500 it's the same price range as the lenses you mentioned.


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Re: small light wide angle for steadicam-like capture in real estate
« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2014, 05:50:56 AM »
16-35 f/4L IS is very steady handheld with IS on. Maybe with a stedicam it would be even better but I'd look into that lens

This seems like a good suggestion, but I haven't used it.

The 17-40mm L is a nice glidecam lens on the Mark III if you balance it right. I have actually found if it's too light it feels wrong... Talked with an MK-V owner and he claimed there is a visual difference, even if stabilized, between heavy and light, for which small stabilizers can't account, heavy being better and the MK-V being able to emulate an Alexa's weight while flying a DSLR-style camera. (He was flying an Alexa at the time.)

So if you can't balance it... it might be on you. That said, if the 24-70mm II (which I've seen used plenty, but only used the original) extends it will lose balance as you zoom. The 17-40mm L doesn't do this and if the 16-35mm L is similar but wider and with IS and sharper then... jump on it. It should be smaller, balanced, and not change the rig's moment of inertia so much and thus not unbalance it. It's SUPER wide, too.

wickidwombat

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Re: small light wide angle for steadicam-like capture in real estate
« Reply #12 on: August 08, 2014, 10:19:31 PM »
EOS-M and 11-22 IS?

super light package, awesome lens nice and sharp with flexability of zoom, nice live view, STM and video autofocus
can also use magic lantern on it

cant really think of a better setup for what you want, the EOS-M is a great little video cam
battery life is its biggest downside here though

and with the current pricing of the M its a cheap option even when you factor in buying the 11-22

or you could just use the 18-55 kit lens which is pretty decent anyway and is also IS.
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Re: small light wide angle for steadicam-like capture in real estate
« Reply #12 on: August 08, 2014, 10:19:31 PM »

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Re: small light wide angle for steadicam-like capture in real estate
« Reply #13 on: August 18, 2014, 06:55:54 PM »
EOS M +18-55. Lens is also IS.

Seriously.

Cheaper than another WA and gives you a b cam for other shots.

wickidwombat

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Re: small light wide angle for steadicam-like capture in real estate
« Reply #14 on: August 20, 2014, 11:06:10 PM »
EOS M +18-55. Lens is also IS.

Seriously.

Cheaper than another WA and gives you a b cam for other shots.

 true but then you have to buy the adapter too may as well just get the 11-22 and have a smaller package
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Re: small light wide angle for steadicam-like capture in real estate
« Reply #14 on: August 20, 2014, 11:06:10 PM »