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Author Topic: Good, inexpensive zoom lens? Beginner here.  (Read 14542 times)

paul13walnut5

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Re: Good, inexpensive zoom lens? Beginner here.
« Reply #30 on: July 03, 2012, 11:34:32 AM »
For reasons you won't yet comprhend, for video you will need:

A zoom with a fast constant max aperture.  That means an f2.8 zoom.

You will need a zoom with a filter thread that doesn't rotate.

You will need a zoom with a nice tactile long throw focus ring.

Such a lens will be really good for your photography, but will really really help your video.

You won't be using AF if you are doing video seriously.  People may take issue with this, but they are wrong.  AF cannot pinpoint what you want in focus (that is the subjects eye) and cannot track fast enough.

So really forget AF.

You have $500 and a short telephoto.


I would therefore suggest a sigma 18-50 f2.8 EX DC Macro or the same but with OS (not the f2.8-4 version or anything else that sounds similar) can be found used with lots of change, you may be lucky and find a non-OS verison new, and certainly this is the best bang per buck.

18-50 is also a good walkaround lens, decent wide angle, and ok tele.  Would be a good interview and GV lens (thinking video)  Also has good close focus, it isn't a true macro, but for practical purposes, unless you work in a lab, you wouldn't need a seperate macro lens with this.

I have one and so can recommend it.

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Re: Good, inexpensive zoom lens? Beginner here.
« Reply #30 on: July 03, 2012, 11:34:32 AM »

adamdoesmovies

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Re: Good, inexpensive zoom lens? Beginner here.
« Reply #31 on: July 03, 2012, 01:43:50 PM »
For reasons you won't yet comprhend, for video you will need:

A zoom with a fast constant max aperture.  That means an f2.8 zoom.

You will need a zoom with a filter thread that doesn't rotate.

You will need a zoom with a nice tactile long throw focus ring.

Such a lens will be really good for your photography, but will really really help your video.

You won't be using AF if you are doing video seriously.  People may take issue with this, but they are wrong.  AF cannot pinpoint what you want in focus (that is the subjects eye) and cannot track fast enough.

So really forget AF.

You have $500 and a short telephoto.


I would therefore suggest a sigma 18-50 f2.8 EX DC Macro or the same but with OS (not the f2.8-4 version or anything else that sounds similar) can be found used with lots of change, you may be lucky and find a non-OS verison new, and certainly this is the best bang per buck.

18-50 is also a good walkaround lens, decent wide angle, and ok tele.  Would be a good interview and GV lens (thinking video)  Also has good close focus, it isn't a true macro, but for practical purposes, unless you work in a lab, you wouldn't need a seperate macro lens with this.

I have one and so can recommend it.

The 18-50 is probably one of Sigma's best lenses. Don't knock the 17-70 2.8-4 OS, though. Slightly less sharp, but about 200 bucks cheaper, and does well with video.

preppyak

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Re: Good, inexpensive zoom lens? Beginner here.
« Reply #32 on: July 03, 2012, 03:40:07 PM »
That's a sharp lens and a third the cost of the 1.4.
Normally I'd agree with that advice, except, we are talking video here. The 50mm f/1.8 is practically useless when it comes to video focusing, unless you are setting focus for interviews and not changing it. The focus ring is awful.

The 40mm will probably be equally annoying, so I agree with the above poster when he mentions getting a lens that has a convenient ring for AF. Whether its primes or a zoom, you'll regret not getting a lens that makes that aspect convenient

HeWhoShoots

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Re: Good, inexpensive zoom lens? Beginner here.
« Reply #33 on: July 03, 2012, 05:11:17 PM »
That's a sharp lens and a third the cost of the 1.4.
Normally I'd agree with that advice, except, we are talking video here. The 50mm f/1.8 is practically useless when it comes to video focusing, unless you are setting focus for interviews and not changing it. The focus ring is awful.

The 40mm will probably be equally annoying, so I agree with the above poster when he mentions getting a lens that has a convenient ring for AF. Whether its primes or a zoom, you'll regret not getting a lens that makes that aspect convenient

I agree with what you're saying, but he'll have a rig as he's mentioned, and that'll make it easier. I've used both the 1.4 and the 1.8, and while the 1.8 may not have the best focus ring, it more than makes up for it in value. Also I've used it for interviews/fixed focus situations where youre right, the ring is a non-issue.
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paul13walnut5

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Re: Good, inexpensive zoom lens? Beginner here.
« Reply #34 on: July 03, 2012, 06:12:49 PM »
@adamdoesmovies
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The 18-50 is probably one of Sigma's best lenses. Don't knock the 17-70 2.8-4 OS, though. Slightly less sharp, but about 200 bucks cheaper, and does well with video.

Hi Adam, I'm sure it is a good lens, for video I would argue venhemently against a lens with a variable max aperture, can make shot matching -particularly in low light- tricky.

The non-OS version of the 18-50 f2.8 (the version I have) cost about the same, or even a little less than the 17-70, and for me the constant fast max aperture was just more useful.

daniemare

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Re: Good, inexpensive zoom lens? Beginner here.
« Reply #35 on: July 03, 2012, 07:34:49 PM »
I will not recommend anything specifically other than talk about my experience.
Starting with the 18-55 kit, I got the Canon 18-200 as a do it all walk around lens. I was very new to photography so got it based on salesperson recommendation.  And boy, that lens is horrible in all accounts.
Indoor use - forget it to slow
Telephoto - well it basically stops zooming at 170mm or so and just turns to 200 on the barrel
Portrait - no bokeh and not very sharp

So if you really want that range just go for the Tamron and save a bunch

What I did - as I am on a budget as well:
Sigma 17-50 F2.8 OS - helps indoors (with a bit of ISO bump), Useful range for walk around. Use it 90% of the time (crop sensor) and I believe the price vs quality beats the canon hands down
Canon 70-200 F4L (no IS) for $450 used. Gives you the range and awesome colour and sharpness.

When it comes to Canon L lenses, do not hesitate to go used. The lenses are well built, and from experience, people who pays thousands for lenses do take care of it.
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TRIPL3try

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Re: Good, inexpensive zoom lens? Beginner here.
« Reply #36 on: July 03, 2012, 10:13:55 PM »
Excellent feedback all around on page three.  Thank you kindly, everyone.

So would that Sigma lens I originally posted be a decent choice for now?  I don't need to make the decision ASAP, but would like to grab a telephoto lens by the end of the summer.

From what I've gathered from the veteran experience here, either wait for the STM 18-135mm or one of the Sigma 2.8's?  Which one of these would suit me better, the fixed aperture or the ranged aperture?  I know someone mentioned both above me but I'm kind of on the road at the moment (not driving!)

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/689620-REG/Sigma_583101_17_50mm_F2_8_EX_DC.html

or

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/670047-REG/Sigma_668101_17_70mm_F2_8_4_DC_Macro.html

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Re: Good, inexpensive zoom lens? Beginner here.
« Reply #36 on: July 03, 2012, 10:13:55 PM »

TrumpetPower!

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Re: Good, inexpensive zoom lens? Beginner here.
« Reply #37 on: July 03, 2012, 11:30:50 PM »
Excellent feedback all around on page three.  Thank you kindly, everyone.

So would that Sigma lens I originally posted be a decent choice for now?  I don't need to make the decision ASAP, but would like to grab a telephoto lens by the end of the summer.

From what I've gathered from the veteran experience here, either wait for the STM 18-135mm or one of the Sigma 2.8's?  Which one of these would suit me better, the fixed aperture or the ranged aperture?  I know someone mentioned both above me but I'm kind of on the road at the moment (not driving!)

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/689620-REG/Sigma_583101_17_50mm_F2_8_EX_DC.html

or

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/670047-REG/Sigma_668101_17_70mm_F2_8_4_DC_Macro.html

With the 17-40, if you start shooting at f/2.8 and 17mm and then zoom to 40mm (or much of anything inbetween), your exposure will change from f/2.8 to f/4 and the image will now be underexposed by a stop. Your only choice would be to change exposure while you zoom (not going to happen in a single video shot) or to limit yourself to f/4 at the wide end.

With the 17-50, you can start shooting at f/2.8 and it'll stay there no matter what focal length you use.

I imagine there might still be T-stop changes over the focal length range, but it's going to be a while before you're going to care about that sort of thing, and a loooooooooong while before you'll be able to afford gear that deals with it.

Cheers,

b&

TRIPL3try

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Re: Good, inexpensive zoom lens? Beginner here.
« Reply #38 on: July 04, 2012, 01:38:38 AM »
With the 17-40, if you start shooting at f/2.8 and 17mm and then zoom to 40mm (or much of anything inbetween), your exposure will change from f/2.8 to f/4 and the image will now be underexposed by a stop. Your only choice would be to change exposure while you zoom (not going to happen in a single video shot) or to limit yourself to f/4 at the wide end.

That sort of went over my head.  So basically, when I zoom in, my exposure will change due to the ranged aperture?  That's why I want a fixed aperture?

So, bottom line:  buy the Sigma 17-50mm 2.8 or wait for the Canon 18-135mm STM?  I would get either toward the end of August.


And yes, it will be at least two years until I graduate and can afford some serious L glass or mucho expensivo primes.  Paying college tuition sucks.  :(  I'm trying to make the smartest and most reasonable buys, though...once again, why I am here.

wickidwombat

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Re: Good, inexpensive zoom lens? Beginner here.
« Reply #39 on: July 04, 2012, 02:11:19 AM »
With the 17-40, if you start shooting at f/2.8 and 17mm and then zoom to 40mm (or much of anything inbetween), your exposure will change from f/2.8 to f/4 and the image will now be underexposed by a stop. Your only choice would be to change exposure while you zoom (not going to happen in a single video shot) or to limit yourself to f/4 at the wide end.

That sort of went over my head.  So basically, when I zoom in, my exposure will change due to the ranged aperture?  That's why I want a fixed aperture?

So, bottom line:  buy the Sigma 17-50mm 2.8 or wait for the Canon 18-135mm STM?  I would get either toward the end of August.


And yes, it will be at least two years until I graduate and can afford some serious L glass or mucho expensivo primes.  Paying college tuition sucks.  :(  I'm trying to make the smartest and most reasonable buys, though...once again, why I am here.

a constant aperture zoom will be better for video than the 18-135 STM since the 18-135 is variable aperture
I'd probably suggest going with the sigma f2.8 for starters
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kdsand

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Re: Good, inexpensive zoom lens? Beginner here.
« Reply #40 on: July 04, 2012, 03:18:30 AM »
I bought my sigma just this spring.
I will 2nd the opinion or is it 4th - that the sigma 17-50 is a great buy & value & huge improvement over kit lenses.
When it was first released it apparently often needed to be recalibrated but based on reviews in the last year that is now much less an area for concern.

I would buy the canon if it was $100 bucks more but not at around $500 more ( >:( bad canon bad >:().
Sigma also throws in (for free gasp!) a very nice hood & an awesome case.

Thankfully my nifty new Shorty 40 is giving me some hope for the words Canon & value belonging together in a conversation, minus a lens hood of course ::).
« Last Edit: July 04, 2012, 03:20:07 AM by kdsand »
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revup67

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Re: Good, inexpensive zoom lens? Beginner here.
« Reply #41 on: July 04, 2012, 03:53:31 AM »
Quote
With the 17-40, if you start shooting at f/2.8 and 17mm and then zoom to 40mm (or much of anything inbetween), your exposure will change from f/2.8 to f/4 and the image will now be underexposed by a stop. Your only choice would be to change exposure while you zoom (not going to happen in a single video shot) or to limit yourself to f/4 at the wide end.  With the 17-50, you can start shooting at f/2.8 and it'll stay there no matter what focal length you use.

Trumpet power - these are excellent points no doubt but I might add 2.8 might not necessarily always fit the bill with its narrow DOF and lesser IQ if I am understanding your point correctly or was that just an example?  Also, even if the OP did use the 17-40, set the camera on Aperture Priority @ F4 (or Manual) with Auto ISO perhaps that might be an alternate solution no?

On a side note, didn't see anyone mention the 15-85mm Canon EF-S.  Just take a look at http://www.the-digital-picture.com and compare that lens with others even the 16-35 L and it holds up quite well especially in the corners its razor sharp as I am a previous owner and hesitantly sold that lens when I got the 5DMK3.  The lens is around $650 new but have seen it for less used.

Mt Spokane is right.  $500 is on the low end for a tripod with a fluid head.  The Manfrotto 701HDV is very reasonable fluid head at around $170.  Love the secondary security lock on the plate which stops the camera from accidentally sliding off the head - a gear saver no doubt.  Very smooth as well and can easily sustain the weight load.  A great buy.  PS Loads of good fodder in this thread!
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Matthew19

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Re: Good, inexpensive zoom lens? Beginner here.
« Reply #42 on: July 04, 2012, 04:50:27 AM »
isn't the canon 70-200 f/4 non IS like $500?

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Re: Good, inexpensive zoom lens? Beginner here.
« Reply #42 on: July 04, 2012, 04:50:27 AM »

robbinzo

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Re: Good, inexpensive zoom lens? Beginner here.
« Reply #43 on: July 04, 2012, 05:28:00 AM »
I like the 28-135 f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens. It's less than $500.
It's relatively inexpensive, auto-focuses quickly and is nice and sharp. I have no hesitation in recommending this lens.
It suffers from zoom creep, isn't a "fast" lens and is obviously not top end. It does have image stabilisation which will help for hand held shots and video.
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paul13walnut5

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Re: Good, inexpensive zoom lens? Beginner here.
« Reply #44 on: July 04, 2012, 06:30:50 AM »
@revup67
Quote
Trumpet power - these are excellent points no doubt but I might add 2.8 might not necessarily always fit the bill with its narrow DOF and lesser IQ if I am understanding your point correctly or was that just an example?  Also, even if the OP did use the 17-40, set the camera on Aperture Priority @ F4 (or Manual) with Auto ISO perhaps that might be an alternate solution no?

Constant max aperture lens is easier to shot match.  F2.8 is more versatile than F4. On the note of shot matching, then a shot at say ISO 400 cut with a shot at ISO 800 is going to look visually different, in terms of noise at least.   Video needs manual controls.

Quote
On a side note, didn't see anyone mention the 15-85mm Canon EF-S.  Just take a look at http://www.the-digital-picture.com and compare that lens with others even the 16-35 L and it holds up quite well especially in the corners its razor sharp as I am a previous owner and hesitantly sold that lens when I got the 5DMK3.  The lens is around $650 new but have seen it for less used.

15-85 is a slow and variable aperture lens.  The 16-35 is a constant F2.8.  And if I was looking for a  paragon of sharpness I wouldn't look an an UWA.

Quote
Mt Spokane is right.  $500 is on the low end for a tripod with a fluid head.  The Manfrotto 701HDV is very reasonable fluid head at around $170.  Love the secondary security lock on the plate which stops the camera from accidentally sliding off the head - a gear saver no doubt.  Very smooth as well and can easily sustain the weight load.  A great buy.  PS Loads of good fodder in this thread!

701HDV is a toy.  No counter-balance. Limited drag controls (head is either locked or unlocked)
The 501HDV has a limited counterbalance and drag controls.  Although not fluid (teflon disc based) for the little more it is far better.  The MVH502 is about the best in the budget range.

I use pro vintens and sachtlers for my ENG camera, and a sachtler ace for my HDV and DSLR cameras.  There is nothing like the ACE for the cash.  Variable counterbalance, 3 horiz and vertical drag settings.

A counter balanced camera is easier to turn tilt and ramp.  It is one of the most misunderstood aspects of a decent tripod.  Without counterbalance you are fighting against gravity and whiplash.  The 701 is probably ideal for spotting scopes.  if you are serious about video it is a waste of time, when there are far better heads for only a little more.

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Re: Good, inexpensive zoom lens? Beginner here.
« Reply #44 on: July 04, 2012, 06:30:50 AM »