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Author Topic: Buying my first L lens...which one is best for video?  (Read 6398 times)

RougeRenegade

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Buying my first L lens...which one is best for video?
« on: January 04, 2012, 10:30:57 PM »
Hi guys!  :)

I've been lurking here for quite some time now looking for pointers on what to buy for an upgrade from the standard kits lens. I will soon acquire a Mark II  or a 7D by the end of the month and I'm looking at the 70-200mm f4L to go with my purchase because the reviews are good and most importantly it's cheap. (I think it's the cheapest L lens in the market.)  I'm a student so I don't have any budget for anything more that £500 or so for lens. My question is...even without the IS on the 70-200mm lens...would I still be able to take good videos (outdoor-wise)? If not...I could really use some suggestions. :) Thanks in advance!

Extra question: Is IS really *that* important to videos? I know it has a lot of advantage but any of you guys shot without IS before? What are you experiences? :)

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Buying my first L lens...which one is best for video?
« on: January 04, 2012, 10:30:57 PM »

Minnesota Nice

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Re: Buying my first L lens...which one is best for video?
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2012, 10:33:35 PM »
Depends what type of videos you'll be shooting.

My recommendations are:
16-35mm L
24-70mm L
17-40mm L

simply because I film snowboarding/longboarding and I need a good regular telephoto as well as a nice wide lens. 

IS helps in certain instances, but really it's not too noticeable in my opinion and I don't always use it.

Policar

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Re: Buying my first L lens...which one is best for video?
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2012, 11:08:36 PM »
What are you hoping to record?  The 70-200mm focal length (which I've only used briefly on the 5dII) is wickedly telephoto for general purpose video.  The image is amazing, at least on the f2.8 II and presumably on the f4 as well.  For like wildlife or whatnot it would be wonderful and it's nice for portraiture and music video inserts, possibly, but those aren't the most useful focal lengths for most video.

Not to mention a telephoto lens increases perceived skew.  So, if you don't have a tripod...yes, you would want IS very much.  But really you want a tripod.  With a real fluid head.  Everyone skimps on this.  Don't.

For sports a long lens is great if you're by the sidelines, but if you can get close to the action longer lenses are way more exciting.  For narrative stuff, 24-70mm (on the 5dII or 17-55mm (on the 7d) is almost objectively the best choice.  But for fun, dynamic stuff, the wider the better...

The sharpness of an L lens really won't matter that much for video, but the lack of distortion, the magic color (which isn't real), the wide f-stops, the lack of fall off, the good ergonomics, and the good bokeh will.  But any decent lens should be fine at regular stops.  Even the lowly kit lens and 55-250mm IS do great for video (even at f5.6 excepting the 55-250mm's insane fall off, but no worse than the overrated 17-55mm IS) but they're quite slow.


Depends what type of videos you'll be shooting.

My recommendations are:
16-35mm L
24-70mm L
17-40mm L

simply because I film snowboarding/longboarding and I need a good regular telephoto as well as a nice wide lens. 

IS helps in certain instances, but really it's not too noticeable in my opinion and I don't always use it.

Not bad advice...  I'd throw in the 24-105mm f4 L as a general purpose lens for the 5dII if you get that, especially since you won't need the extra stop so much outdoors.

Seriously, though, buy based on focal length and not "L" vs not.  What focal lengths do you use most now?  Do you want to go wider or tighter than your current lenses let you go?
« Last Edit: January 04, 2012, 11:17:15 PM by Policar »

pete.koehn

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Re: Buying my first L lens...which one is best for video?
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2012, 11:22:01 PM »
Fast primes.

You can get away with the cheaper primes, because as the guy above me said, resolution won't be as critical with video as it is with stills. I haven't had experience with all of them, but for application purposes, I'd recommend to you the following: 28 1.8, 50 1.4, 85 1.8, and 100 f/2). Any three of these lenses will cost you about the same as the 16-35. If you are going to be shooting more produced, polished video, zooms aren't as crucial because you can take time to set up shots. Just my thoughts!

katwil

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Re: Buying my first L lens...which one is best for video?
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2012, 12:14:13 AM »
I came very close to recommending the 24-105 f/4L (however, that’s a bit beyond your budget).  That’s my preferred lens for video, but only because I like to move between wide angle and a bit closer.  If you like the range of the 70-200 line for your video efforts, the non-IS f/4 version should do fine.  I may get some jeers and sneers for this, but I prefer to shoot video with my 3Ti over my 5D Mark II.  With the 3Ti I spin the dial, press two buttons, and I’m shooting video.  The Mark II is more complicated.  On top of that, the articulating screen works very well for video.  For non-professional work, you might get better output with a 3Ti and a nice tripod (Policar’s on target with his tripod comment) than with a hand-held Mark II.

RougeRenegade

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Re: Buying my first L lens...which one is best for video?
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2012, 03:46:31 AM »
Thank you all for your helpful replies!

What are you hoping to record? 

Seriously, though, buy based on focal length and not "L" vs not.  What focal lengths do you use most now?  Do you want to go wider or tighter than your current lenses let you go?

I am hoping to record birds and animals in general but I do like to do a bit of human interest videos that's why the 70-200mm looks like a great candidate to do a bit of both. I have the 18-55mm that came with my current body (350D) and the 50mm 1.8. I find myself shooting mostly with the 50mm though.

Thank you all for your suggestions! But I checked the prices and all of them are way above my budget.  :-\ Would you guys suggest that I hold out on buying the 70-200mm f4 non-IS and save enough money for a better lens with IS instead?

Axilrod

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Re: Buying my first L lens...which one is best for video?
« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2012, 05:36:12 PM »
If you're set on getting a zoom:
7D - 17-55 f/2.8 IS, It's awesome on a crop body and has a super versatile range.
5DII - 24-70mm f/2.8

If you get primes you'll have better low light capability and sharper images with a beautiful bokeh.  But at the same time you have to "walk to zoom" and you don't have the convenience of a zoom.

You could get the Canon 50mm f/1.4 and 85mm f/1.8 for around $350 each used.  Or the Zeiss 50mm f/1.4 ($725) if you get the 5D, it's a great general purpose lens and it's better suited for video.

70-200 - I've had bad experience using the IS on the 70-200 for video, it seems to makes the rolling shutter worse.  As for shooting with the 70-200 handheld, you won't be pleased with the results.  You maybe could get away with it at 70mm but any more zoomed in and you'll need a tripod, slider, or some other type of stabilization. 

Regardless of what you do try getting something that is more wide.... if you end up with 1 telephoto lens it makes it much harder to improvise. 

« Last Edit: January 05, 2012, 05:43:34 PM by Axilrod »
5DIII/5DII/Bunch of L's and ZE's, currently rearranging.

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Re: Buying my first L lens...which one is best for video?
« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2012, 05:36:12 PM »

JR

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Re: Buying my first L lens...which one is best for video?
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2012, 08:44:50 PM »
For video, unless you use a tripod, you absolutely need IS in my opinion.  Especially for the 70-200 zoom, if you dont get the IS version and dont use a tripod, you will be disappointed.

Personally I use a tripod when shooting with prime lens and when I use my 70-200 zoom which is IS I can shoot hand held.  The only exception would be the 24mm.  It is so wide that for video I can get away shooting hand held without IS because small movement are less noticable.  I myself plan to get the 24-105 L IS for general purpose video.

Another compromise you might consider is using a monopod for video at the very least.

Good luck!
1DX, 24mm f1.4L II, 35mm f1.4L, 50mm f1.2L, 85mm f1.2L II, 135mm f2L, 24-70mm f2.8L II, 70-200mm f2.8L IS II :  D800, D4, and a whole bunch of Nikon lenses

AG

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Re: Buying my first L lens...which one is best for video?
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2012, 10:45:10 PM »
I feel like the OP is really limiting himself to what he is trying to shoot if he sticks with the 70-200.

He mentions that he uses a 50mm on a 350D (crop) so that would equate to around an 85mm prime on FF.

If this is the case maybe don't worry about buying L glass for the sake of buying L glass but instead look at some other brands that are similar in quality but cheaper.

As mentioned above fast primes are the way to go and then have a few extra lenses such as the Tokina 11-16mm as a super wide lens.

Again this will all ball down to what body he ends up buying first of all.
Then what he is planning on shooting with it?
Then a few other questions like are you planning on using this camera as just video or also for stills?
Are you planning on making money off of your video work?

Lastly if you are just starting out and not 100% on your skills maybe look at buying some cheaper lenses to start off with and then upgrade them when the money starts coming in.

Oh yeah and get rid of the 50mm f1.8 and upgrade it to at least a 50mm f1.4, just the benefit of having the larger focal ring will improve your video work if you are liking the feel of the 50mm's.
Yes, i shoot video on a DSLR.

Minnesota Nice

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Re: Buying my first L lens...which one is best for video?
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2012, 08:03:26 PM »
I do agree with others on not just sticking with the 70-200.

On a crop sensor that really is a long zoom for a widest focal length.

There aren't many lenses that are not good, so don't think just an L lens will cut it.  Most of the time when I shoot video I narrow the aperture to something like f/8 or f/11 because focusing is a bit easier and it's always bright enough for it. 
And trying to do handheld video with anything over 50mm does get tough, I've tried filming some snowboarding with  my 55-250mm at like 105mm-ish and it's not easy.  Even focusing gives a lot of shake.

Policar

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Re: Buying my first L lens...which one is best for video?
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2012, 11:06:47 PM »
If you can't afford the 70-200mm f4 L with a good tripod (the ideal), consider getting the 55-250mm IS in the interim.  Birds are really hard to shoot with dSLRs since the focus is so shallow with long lenses and pulling focus is a pain, but the IS on this lens is quite good and f5.6 is fast enough for day exteriors.  Mostly it's just a very, very inexpensive lens ($120 used?) with acceptable performance (a little soft but not for video, serious falloff but not horrible).  f5.6 is a pretty standard stop for shooting day exteriors anyway, and gives you more room to pull focus.  And then you'll have 18-250mm covered.  I used the 18-55mm IS and 55-250mm IS for all the day exteriors on a guerrilla short movie last year and these are pretty decent lenses, very well-balanced to operate on a small camera and with really great IS and decent sharpness.  For stills, the L lens will obviously be in an entirely different league, though.

theuserjohnny

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Re: Buying my first L lens...which one is best for video?
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2012, 12:36:26 AM »
I mainly shoot video w/ my 5DMarkII and I use primes more than anything. The one I use the most is a 50mm 1.8, I rarely use zooms. Then as someone mentioned maybe go with an 11-16 for super wide.

FOB2009

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Re: Buying my first L lens...which one is best for video?
« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2012, 12:43:46 AM »
What about Zeiss 50/1.4?

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Re: Buying my first L lens...which one is best for video?
« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2012, 12:43:46 AM »

martinelliminimo

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Re: Buying my first L lens...which one is best for video?
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2012, 01:49:19 AM »
If it's a prime, get the 35L.  If it's a zoom, 24-70L.  If your on a budget w/ a crop, get the Tamron 17-50mm VC.

D.Sim

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Re: Buying my first L lens...which one is best for video?
« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2012, 03:09:09 AM »
If it's a prime, get the 35L.  If it's a zoom, 24-70L.  If your on a budget w/ a crop, get the Tamron 17-50mm VC.

Personally, if you're looking to shoot video, the 24-105 L would be better imo... IS would help the video a LOT...

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Re: Buying my first L lens...which one is best for video?
« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2012, 03:09:09 AM »