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Author Topic: The Three Best Lenses for Filmmaking?  (Read 18758 times)

dirtcastle

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Re: The Three Best Lenses for Filmmaking?
« Reply #15 on: September 09, 2012, 01:56:11 AM »
@paul

Thanks for the info!

D) Play is the wrong term, i think you mean 'throw', more throw gives you more modulation, more precision.

I did mean "play", rather than "throw". I've heard that the smoothness and tension of a focus ring can make a difference when shifting a shallow depth of field.

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Re: The Three Best Lenses for Filmmaking?
« Reply #15 on: September 09, 2012, 01:56:11 AM »

preppyak

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Re: The Three Best Lenses for Filmmaking?
« Reply #16 on: September 10, 2012, 10:06:26 PM »
I did mean "play", rather than "throw". I've heard that the smoothness and tension of a focus ring can make a difference when shifting a shallow depth of field.
True, but, what you want there is a long throw. A lens that gives you a 270deg throw is gonna allow for minute adjustments in your DOF. One that has a 60deg throw is gonna be impossible to work with. Having a focus ring that is consistent is important, but the throw is even better. The smoothest ring doesn't matter if shifting it 1/2" means you throw focus 10ft

And I agree with the decision to go with Samyang lenses. You can also go with a variety of legacy lenses (Nikon AI, Contax-Zeiss, etc) that are cheap for what they offer, as you are relying on manual focus anyway. In reality, video gives you a WIDE variety of options, and the 50mm should have the most options. Might even be worth avoiding the Canon options and trying to find something more video specific
« Last Edit: September 10, 2012, 10:08:41 PM by preppyak »

dirtcastle

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Re: The Three Best Lenses for Filmmaking?
« Reply #17 on: September 10, 2012, 11:25:53 PM »
Ohhh. I see. That does make a lot of sense.

Is there a chart I can consult for Canon lenses?

daveswan

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Re: The Three Best Lenses for Filmmaking?
« Reply #18 on: October 04, 2012, 02:55:51 PM »
I tend to use a selection of Leica R glass with adaptors for EF. Focus throw varies from 270 deg to 330 deg for the 21 f/4 Super Angulon, though I use a Zeiss Flektogon 20 f/2.8 for wide.

TBH I'll be moving to the BMC when it delivers and will have to re-think my lens selection.

If my funds hadn't been so tight I'd have sprung for a FD 24 f/1.4 tghough I couldn't use it on my digital Canons. Mind you, I did think of giving it a go on my old EF.

Jesse

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Re: The Three Best Lenses for Filmmaking?
« Reply #19 on: October 04, 2012, 04:42:47 PM »
...um... Zeiss primes......
5D3, 8-15 f/4 L, 24-70 f/2.8 II L, 50 f/1.4, 70-200 f/4 IS L, 85 f/1.8, 100 f/2.8 L, 135 f/2 L 600EX-RT x2, CS6, LR5

Jesse

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Re: The Three Best Lenses for Filmmaking?
« Reply #20 on: October 04, 2012, 04:44:06 PM »
The Canon 100 L is also great with its hybrid stabilization.
5D3, 8-15 f/4 L, 24-70 f/2.8 II L, 50 f/1.4, 70-200 f/4 IS L, 85 f/1.8, 100 f/2.8 L, 135 f/2 L 600EX-RT x2, CS6, LR5

CarlosM

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Re: The Three Best Lenses for Filmmaking?
« Reply #21 on: October 04, 2012, 06:36:01 PM »
I shall echo the Carl Zeiss vote. The whole "Smooth aperture ring" to me is bunk, only because I work on closed sets 90% of the time and if youre fixing exposure while shooting then you lit wrong.
on the fly shooting IE weddings I can see it being useful. But I remember coming across some reviews that tested the amount of light getting into the lens and it wasnt near what they sold it as.
Rokinon/Samyangs were advertising 1.4 when they were really at f/2 kinda thing. Ill have to dig it up and post it here.

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Re: The Three Best Lenses for Filmmaking?
« Reply #21 on: October 04, 2012, 06:36:01 PM »

paul13walnut5

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Re: The Three Best Lenses for Filmmaking?
« Reply #22 on: October 04, 2012, 08:08:45 PM »
@CarlosM

Are you confusing T stops with F stops?

T is a tranmission value, which is measured and can vary from sample to sample and with age etc.

F is a mathematical expression of the relationship between the diameter mechanical aperture and the focal length.

In short, it's more likely that a lens is wrongly marked as say T1.5 than wrongly marked as F1.4.

This may be pedantic, but for film makers the difference is important.  I can't imagine Samyang knowingly sell f2.0 lenses at f1.4's.  I would be very interested if you could provide the link to the review.

unadog

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Re: The Three Best Lenses for Filmmaking?
« Reply #23 on: October 08, 2012, 09:55:45 AM »
What are people's experiences using the 24-105mm f/4 L IS for video?

How important is IS/VR for video?

Many, many people who are shooting ther C300 like the 24-105 as their main lens.

A lot of those folks also say they would not use a lens that did not have IS.

What you are getting here is the tension between traditional "cine" usage of older, manual lenses, and more "run & gun" or documentary usage, with auto focus and even auto exposure in some cases.

It is also important to ask how much still photography you are doing, and whether you need to do both at the same time?

This is a great read on using the C300 for documentary work in Afghanastan (although he is using the 17-55 IS rather thna the 24-105):

http://www.cinemaeosuser.net/index.php?/topic/58-c300-for-documentary-work/


I really like the Canon T4i for video work, with auto focus in video mode.  It also has face tracking auto focus, and the ability to change focus by touching a new focus point on the touch screen.

It isn't perfect, but it moves teh T4i into more of the "camcorder" type range for event video. it also gives you new creative tools for "cine" type work. For example, I can have it track focus on a billboard that is in teh frame, then move the camera laterally and toward teh billboard while it maintains focus (so that "face tracking" isn't a perfect description for what it does.)

Or you can set up a scene with focus on one point, then "pull" focus by touching another point on teh screen. the new STM lenses (the 40 mm and the 18-135) move focus "steo by step" toward the new point silently, rather than huning like traditional USM lenses do.

Purists will chafe - "do everything manually."  (I remember when auto focus first came out on cameras in the 1980's?  It seemed like "real" photographers wouldn't use auto focus - like it was cheating!)

But new capabilites give you new possibilities. With every camera, you learn a "dance" to make use of it's capabilities to get the resuolts that you want." (Focus and recompose using the center focus point, etc.)

You really just need to start playing, and figure out what makes sense to you.

Good luck!

Best,
Michael

preppyak

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Re: The Three Best Lenses for Filmmaking?
« Reply #24 on: October 08, 2012, 10:38:18 AM »
This may be pedantic, but for film makers the difference is important.  I can't imagine Samyang knowingly sell f2.0 lenses at f1.4's.  I would be very interested if you could provide the link to the review.
Yeah, I can't find the link for the exact review, but I believe it was essentially a T-stop issue. They compared the Canon and Samyang lenses side by side, and at f/1.4, the Samyang was a good 2/3 stop darker. I think it was the 24mm lens they tested it on originally, and then confirmed it on other samples and the 35mm. So, it might actually be f/1.4, but the light transmitted was definitely lower than the Canon equivalent.


Quackator

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Re: The Three Best Lenses for Filmmaking?
« Reply #25 on: October 08, 2012, 01:58:22 PM »
There are a number of features to look for in lenses for filming:
1) A long angle for focussing in order to precisely focus when wide open.
2) Hard stops at both ends for focussing. Without that you can't calibrate a focus puller.
3) Floating elements that prevent the lens from breathing while focussing.
4) Clickfree aperture for smooth fading and small exposure corrections that don't jump
    at the viewer.
5) Standard toothing on aperture ring, zoom ring and focus ring to directly match
    standard follow focus appliances.
6) All scales to the side where the assistant/focus puller can better see them.
7) Aperture markings in T-stops, not f-stops.

All these features are contradictory to what AF lenses dedicated for still photography
are optimized for

Except for point 3 ("breathing"), the Samyang/Rokinon VDSLR lenses master all these
requirements. The Zeiss/Arri Master Primes obviously master all these requirements, but
looking at their suggested retail prices is not for the faint of heart.

paul13walnut5

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Re: The Three Best Lenses for Filmmaking?
« Reply #26 on: October 08, 2012, 07:40:53 PM »
@unadog
Quote
Purists will chafe - "do everything manually."  (I remember when auto focus first came out on cameras in the 1980's?  It seemed like "real" photographers wouldn't use auto focus - like it was cheating!)

AF on still cameras only has to be in focus when you take your shot.  Video has to be contiguous and for moving subjects.

Add in the extremely shallow depth of field that large sensor video capable DSLRs offer and it becomes very tricky.

Switch to AF and you are at the mercy of the camera a) knowing what is supposed to be in focus b) having an AF point close enough to make this possible and c)being able to track / rack focus as desired / required.

I am a purist, and I may chafe at AF for video.  But I've tried it the other way, and it just doesn't work.

unadog

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Re: The Three Best Lenses for Filmmaking?
« Reply #27 on: October 09, 2012, 12:10:36 PM »
I am a purist, and I may chafe at AF for video.  But I've tried it the other way, and it just doesn't work.

Do you realize that there is new full time auto focus technology for video that has just been released? Which of those cameras have you used?

Newer cameras from Sony, Canon, and Panasonic have Phase Detection auto focus (the kind normally used for still images) built in to the sensor for use during live view and video, in addition to the older Contrast Detection auto focus.

Stepping mechanism focusing is also new. For Canon, that is new with the T4i body as of approximately June 15, and with the 18-135 STM as of August of this year. If your experience is with cameras prior to that, this is totally different technology.  It is desined to move more slowly and cleaning toward teh direction of focus only, without hunting.

Even the high end Canon C300 will have auto focus enabled via a firmware update for the 18-135 STM. That means there are also likely to be a lot of other, higher end lenses in the pipeline with STM.

It is not perfect, but it is very good. Succeeding generations will improve on the technology. 

The new IS on the STM lenses is also calibrated to reduce vibration from hand held use in video mode.  New tools create new possibilities. They don't work in all situations, but for people who are creative, they do open up new ways of working. 

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Re: The Three Best Lenses for Filmmaking?
« Reply #27 on: October 09, 2012, 12:10:36 PM »

paul13walnut5

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Re: The Three Best Lenses for Filmmaking?
« Reply #28 on: October 09, 2012, 12:30:51 PM »
Quote
Do you realize that there is new full time auto focus technology for video that has just been released? Which of those cameras have you used?

None.

I don't use AF for video.

The lens on my ENG camera doesn't even do AF.

Tell me which system can identify the subject, even in the corner of the frame, and not be confused with foreground movement, can keep the subject in focus even if they move in the frame, or if the camera is moving?  That lets me rack focus during a pan following a soccer player running right at the camera?

At say 100mm and f2 and at 50m, 25m, 30m, 10 meters distance?  That isn't confused by the players nearer the camera?

If you can tell me one I'll certainly try it.

« Last Edit: October 09, 2012, 02:07:48 PM by paul13walnut5 »

paul13walnut5

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Re: The Three Best Lenses for Filmmaking?
« Reply #29 on: October 09, 2012, 12:38:12 PM »
Also how many STM lenses are there just now?  Any fast telezooms?  Ultra fast primes?...

I do keep abreast of technology.  If it gets much much better then I'll consider anything that makes my life easier, for now, and I suspect the next 10 years at least I'll be using MF for video.   

Quote
They don't work in all situations, but for people who are creative, they do open up new ways of working. 

WTFF (effing eff) does AF or MF have to do with creativity?  Am I deemed uncreative because I prefer to MF?

I would get shot down in indignant flames if I were to say that video AF is the mark of the rank novice from all the rank novices who shoot video with AF. So I won't.


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Re: The Three Best Lenses for Filmmaking?
« Reply #29 on: October 09, 2012, 12:38:12 PM »