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Zoom recommendation for video?


Kristoferman
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Hey everyone,

I'm looking for a mid range zoom that's suitable for video for $1000 or under.

I'm looking for something like a 28-70/35-105, even a 35-75 might do. I would prefer it to have manual aperture and of course the manual focusing has to feel good and be usable. 

I know vintage zooms aren't usual that well regarded but it seems that new zooms never have manual apertures so that's concerning.

I've been looking at

Contax zeiss 28-85 f3.5-4 : big and not a constant aperture. Otherwise appears to be pretty nice.

Contax Zeiss 35-75 f3.5 : good size, smaller filters than the 28-85. But obviously a limited range.

Pentax 35-105 f3.5:  interesting range. Cheeeeap. Seems pretty decent optically.

Vivitar  Series 1 28-90 f2.8-3.5: can't find a lot of info but seems interesting. Not constant aperture.

Tokina 28-70 f2.6-2.8: pretty well regarded, no?

An AF 28-70 f2.8: any of these suitable for video work? Let me know! 

 

I'd appreciate any and all suggestions. Some weird , overlooked Soviet lens? Sure!

Cine zooms are a bit out of my price range. $1000 tops. Prefer 500 or less. Thanks everyone!

 

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I have both the Tokina 28-70 and the Nikon 28-70 AF-s...Andy Lee spoke extensively in the 1st 15 pages of the lens thread at the top of the forum about these (and many other lenses) and I could not recommend his observations and advice more highly. He is a fountain of info, and I bought both lenses based on reading his views on these, and other glass...well worth the time spent on that thread...the Tokina is slightly softer...depending on your needs, neither will disappoint...the Nikon aperture operates manually with the adapters I use on my GH cameras, so of course dependent on your mount.

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

I whole-heartedly suggest the Nikon 28-70mm F/2.8 AF-S lens. It's a complete tank construction (and heavy!), has a full big iris ring, a great large, well dampened focus ring and zoom ring is perfect as well, plus the awesome optics of course, beats everything on the list in terms of image quality (Sharpness, Contrast, corner shading, abberations). The only thing I found bothered me while shooting was the weight, and the fact that I found the zoom range not large enough for me personally, when I need a zoom I need a zoom, from wide wide to tele, not slightly wide to normal (that's my only personal gripe with the lens)

Anyhow It almost feels like Nikon made it for Cine use actually when you shoot one for cinema. 

It's below your budget so get that, plus you'll be able to sell it for the same or more, it's a Nikon Autofocus lens afterall. 

The only reason I didn't own one is that it has no stabilization and I rely on it heavily, thus for a zoom I went for small s35 IS glass like Canon's 18-135mm and Sigma 24-105mm IS. Great lens too with a much larger reach in both ends and much smaller lighter kit, great for A7s if you want that IS but will forgoe the Iris ring. 

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I have the Nikon version of the Tokina Angineux 28-70/2.6-2.8, its nice, has that legacy lens glow wide open and super sharp the rest of the way. I'm selling it in favor of the Nikon 28-70 that's now so famous here, because I want a matching tele and the 80-200 can be had for peanuts. Contax/Zeiss lenses are nice as the Reduser thread can attest, the one drawback for me is the fact that most are one-touch zooms, so you zoom and focus with just a single ring, beautiful rendering, but focusing while trying to stay at one FL can sometimes be a pain, especially if you use the lens when handholding. I had the 28-58 and 35-70 and both could be slightly annoying focus shift too. YMMV. 

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7 hours ago, JazzBox said:

I mostly use primes, but I have 2 zooms that I like: Olympus 12-40 for m43 and Contax Zeiss 28-70.

The Contax Zeiss 28-70 is way easier to use then the more professional 28-85. It's also lighter and has more blades. I love it.

Do you care to show something shot on it? I'd quite appreciate it!

 

Same for the Bourne lens (having trouble finding footage not from Bourne haha) 

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Agree whole heartedly with Ebrahim on the Nikon, though a good one below a thousand may be a challenge...I also own the 80-200 and the 17-35, though I don't use them as zooms but as primes with infinite FOW's...they are as good as that on any point in the zoom range, but I paid more for mine than they are apparently available for as per discussion here...

Edit....just glanced at EBay...several copies from Japan listed as very good to excellent in the $700 to $900 range...incredible value for that lens...

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On May 30, 2016 at 9:06 AM, Kristoferman said:

Hey everyone,

I'm looking for a mid range zoom that's suitable for video for $1000 or under.

I'm looking for something like a 28-70/35-105, even a 35-75 might do. I would prefer it to have manual aperture and of course the manual focusing has to feel good and be usable. 

I know vintage zooms aren't usual that well regarded but it seems that new zooms never have manual apertures so that's concerning.

I've been looking at

Contax zeiss 28-85 f3.5-4 : big and not a constant aperture. Otherwise appears to be pretty nice.

Contax Zeiss 35-75 f3.5 : good size, smaller filters than the 28-85. But obviously a limited range.

Pentax 35-105 f3.5:  interesting range. Cheeeeap. Seems pretty decent optically.

Vivitar  Series 1 28-90 f2.8-3.5: can't find a lot of info but seems interesting. Not constant aperture.

Tokina 28-70 f2.6-2.8: pretty well regarded, no?

An AF 28-70 f2.8: any of these suitable for video work? Let me know! 

 

I'd appreciate any and all suggestions. Some weird , overlooked Soviet lens? Sure!

Cine zooms are a bit out of my price range. $1000 tops. Prefer 500 or less. Thanks everyone!

 

A used Canon 24 - 105 is a really nice all around lens. You can use this for a variety of shoots, really goo for documentary shooting with the IS. F4 is a bit slow so it really shines in outdoor settings. The Sigma 18 - 35 is good as well. 

It really depends what camera. If you're shooting handheld or on a rig, image stabilization will be huge.

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14 hours ago, BenEricson said:

A used Canon 24 - 105 is a really nice all around lens. You can use this for a variety of shoots, really goo for documentary shooting with the IS. F4 is a bit slow so it really shines in outdoor settings. The Sigma 18 - 35 is good as well. 

It really depends what camera. If you're shooting handheld or on a rig, image stabilization will be huge.

This is a major factor. I have tried shooting hand-held DSLR video without optical stabilization, and it generally doesn't work well -- even if using a chest brace. The A7S doesn't have built-in IBIS stabilization, so lens-based optical stabilization is the only option. The Canon 24-105 is stabilized, so that's a big plus. However the 24-105 zoom rate is highly non-linear and difficult to smoothly zoom, even with aids like gears or velcro sticks. If the OP will never shoot hand held, stabilization isn't an issue.

The OP has a Nikon adapter so the Nikon 24-120 f/4 is another option. It has stabilization and a nice wide zoom range. We use it frequently on the D810 in run-and-gun documentary stuff and it works well. I don't recollect how smooth or linear the zoom action is since another operator uses it.

Using some simple clip-on aid for manual focus and zooming can help. Below are links I have collected. I have not used all these:

DSLR Solutions clip-on follow focus: http://www.gizmag.com/dslr-follow-focus/19110/

FocusShifter: http://www.adorama.com/ENFSHIFT.html

LensStrap: http://www.lensstraps.com/

Bed Bath & Beyond twist-jar opener: http://cheesycam.com/simple-sunwayfoto-lens-zoom-focus-lever/

SunwayFoto: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=&sku=845021&is=REG&Q=&A=details

Ebay zoom levers: http://tinyurl.com/lx2u87w

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The tokina 28-70 2.6-2.8 has been my main workhorse lens for the past 5 years or so and I still love it.

I have the nikon 80-200mm 2.8 ED and would like to get the nikon 28-70 at some point as well, but I really have a hard time going away from the tokina. It's a very nice lens to use.

I've also gotten the canon FD 35-105mm 3.5 that was mentioned in this thread as well and I really like that a lot too.

The lens feels really good and I like having a bit more range on the tele end.

That lens is definitely worth the money and can be had cheap.

 

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Aaaaaand another 28-70 Nikkor user. Since shooting 4K, it's on the camera maybe 80% of the time. Shooting interviews a bit wider now for reframing. But I shoot 1080 with it a lot as well. The 28 end is really good looking for a zoom that wide, no visible distortion for usual shooting situations. At 60-70 you can get a decent soft BG up to F4 or so, depending upon the setting. (I'm not a fan of "get the BG as mushy as you can", and I don't like the "nose-in-focus/ears soft" full-frame look, I generally shoot people from F4 - 5.6). 

I'd skip the F3.5 and non-constant zooms unless you really love the image. 2.8 can be pretty handy sometimes.

Really beautiful lens (I prefer the 85mm 1.8 Nikkor on people but for interviews, space can be a huge issue and often in an office environment, there's only one place to stick the camera). If you hunt around you might find one with a squeaky or dead focus motor, which should knock hundreds off the price.

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Representing the lower price end here: Nikkor 35-70 F3.5 AI or AI-S. It is pretty much parfocal but has some focusbreathing, hardly any distrotion on the lower end and none at the long end. Internal zooming but the front rotates outwards while focusing. Build quality is great and you can get it for around a 100€.

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I've got the Vivitar 28-90mm

Was one of my first lenses I ever bought. And I still regularly use it. 

It is so dirt cheap to buy it is almost free!

My only wish is it is 24-90 instead of 28-90 as sometimes 28mm wide end on S35 is a little restricting.

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I suppose I'm leaning toward the nikon 28-70 , but I'm just very concerned about focus throw. I've read it's about 70 degrees which seems like it'd be dreadful if you ever had to track a moving subject. 

Can you use follow focus and maintain zooming capabilities ?

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