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jmlew

Suggestions for my Next Lens

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Hello. I am fairly new to shooting dslr video. For the past several months, I've been shooting with a Canon t3i // Canon 50mm f/1.8. I'm now looking into wider (budget-ish) lenses. Obviously there are some really really nice ones I could get for $1000+, but for right now I'm looking for something a little cheaper. 

The main two I've been looking at are the Sigma 17-50mm f2.8 and the Sigma 30mm f1.4. My main concern with the 17-50mm is that I'm not going to be satisfied with the f2.8 and might want something even faster. I want my shots to look very cinematic and professional, which this may be a good lens for that, I don't know. My concern with the 30mm is that it won't be wide enough. I don't like how close up my 50mm is on a glidecam, when I shoot outside and want to get a wide shot of the landscape or something. I'm just not sure that the 30mm will be THAT different from the 50mm.

Working on a tight budget, I need my lenses to be usable for many different things until I can build up my inventory. The kinds of videos I would shoot are promo videos and weddings, mostly, but I also want to shoot videos of outdoor adventures I go on.  


I plan on renting lenses before I make a final decision, but I wanted to get some input before I even did that.

 

Thanks for your help in advance,

 

Josh

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Hi Josh, for a long time -- I shot with the same t2i/50mm combo like you!  

 

Do you have room in your budget for something like the Tamron 24-70? It's about $1,300 at Amazon and is similar to the Canon variation, including image stabilization. The Sigma is a little wider -- but if you are hunting for the cinematic, you'll probably find it more at long end of the Tamron. (With the T3i crop, you are getting close to 100mm, which is -- yay!) In fact, a Tokina 11-16 would be a great investment when you definitely want a wide lens. 

 

BTW, f/2.8 is plenty fast for most for most of the work you'll need to do. As you go wider, you normally lose some sharpness and it's more challenging to nail focus. For many cameras now, you can crank the gain to overcome light issues.

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Hi Ben, thanks for your response. The Tamron 24-70 is a little more than I would like to spend right now. I really do like the 11-16, but I'm worried that if I just have that and the 50mm, that won't be enough. I suppose I can always rent nicer lenses to use at say a wedding or something, but only having one lens right now, do you think it'd be better to go with the 11-16 Tokina or the 17-50 Sigma first?

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Hi Ben, thanks for your response. The Tamron 24-70 is a little more than I would like to spend right now. I really do like the 11-16, but I'm worried that if I just have that and the 50mm, that won't be enough. I suppose I can always rent nicer lenses to use at say a wedding or something, but only having one lens right now, do you think it'd be better to go with the 11-16 Tokina or the 17-50 Sigma first?

The 17-50 is really a pretty nice lens. Definitely more versatile than the 11-16 and the IS is a huge plus. 

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I find the OS on the Sig 17-50/2.8 to be designed for stills, it's much more grabby than the Canon version and doesn't have smooth pans. Also the focus wheel is crazy short and undamped. So I don't really recommend that lens for video although it does work and is lovely sharp with nearly L-glass level color. The Canon version is bigger but offers better pans, has more focus throw and smoother zoom throw and a touch more reach.

 

The best lens I think for you would be the new Sigma 18-35/1.8. Doesn't have OS but it has SPEED and sharpness and replaces a whole handful of primes for the APS-C/S35 format and under $800. You will just have a bit of trouble with HH shots, but when shooting wide it's not all that critical, you will need a good balanced shoulder rig of steadicam.

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