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Lens Collection - Thoughts


Dustin

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Okay this is a long stream of consciousness type post so take it for what you will. I recently went down the lens rabbit hole and picked up a Samyang f2 for my Sony A6500. My intentions were to have a nice wide lens in my kit. My current kit consists of the following:

- Sony 35mm 1.8

- Nikon E Series Primes (28, 50, 100) with either a Viltrox speedbooster or dumb adapter 

I couldn’t get a satisfying image out of the Samyang to my liking. After two months of toying with it, I put it on eBay and that sold in one day. I now have $250 I can put towards the purchase of either a wide prime or zoom lens. I’m not wanting to jump the gun this time so I’m trying to do some research. 
 

I’m leaning towards picking up the Sigma 16mm 1.4 but I wonder if there is a zoom I could consider. I only hate that the Sigma 18-35 f1.8 isn’t native e mount. I miss the tamron 17-50 f2.8 I used to have with my Nikon. Autofocus in photo wasn’t great but it was so convenient to have this range, quite a shame the Sony version is so expensive (I’m sure it’s a nice piece of glass but I’m on a budget). So regarding the lens I really want to stay under $400-500 used and do want AF for photos. I think my options are probably

- Sigma 16mm 1.4

- Sony 18-105 F4

(I don’t think I want the Sony 10-18 f4)

Ive also had deep thoughts of swapping my entire setup (minus the Nikon primes that live with my Nikon FE2 film camera) for something else entirely. I figure used I could maybe get $1100 for the kit at $800 for the Sony body (with accessories), and another $300 for the Sony 35mm. I’ve seen the Fujifilm XT-3 used on eBay with a 17-50 equivalent 2.8-4 lens for around $1200 on the low side...Also have looked at maybe picking up a used GH5 but I don’t think I want to go micro 4/3 route. Also have toyed with a BMPCC4K used for that price but don’t think I can live without having a hybrid. (Still like taking photos every now and then). I guess the thoughts driving my upgrade is that I don’t have a ton invested in the system and would want to upgrade to a 10 bit codec. That said, I use EOSHD profiles on my camera and I’m usually pretty happy with the look even with all the Sony a6XXX hassles.

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1 hour ago, Dustin said:

 

- Sigma 16mm 1.4

- Sony 18-105 F4

 

I have the Sony 18-105 f4 and it is a very good all rounder, particularly for a one lens travelling setup.

With it having the zoom rocker and with the clear image zoom extending that range on to about 210mm, it effectively turns the A series cameras into APS-C camcorders.

The downside is that it is f4, although I'd rather have a constant f4 than a variable f3.5-f5.6 which would be common with a lens like this.

With it being f4, you aren't going to get shallow depth of field at the wide end but you do actually get decent separation and smooth bokeh at the long end.

The OSS and AF work well but whilst its by no means a soft lens its definitely fair to say it could be a bit sharper but thats less of an issue for video than it is for stills.

The focus by wire is a bit rough but that comes with the territory.

Also, its quite hefty in size if not weight so it can make the A series cameras feel a bit unbalanced but I don't mind it being a bit of a lump as it aids stability as far as I'm concerned when its planted in your hand. 

This video is a very decent and fair view of its pros and cons.

 

With regard to the Sigma, I haven't got that one but I've yet to see anyone who has have anything but fulsome praise for it.

If you are looking for an interesting bargain for E mount, one Sigma I do have is the now discontinued Sigma 60mm Art f2.8 which you can pick up very cheaply secondhand now and you'll have few regrets checking one of those out.

 

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The 18-105 f4 is a boring lens, kind of cheaply built. But its very versatile. Great all around lens, though obviously not the fastest. Great for running and gunning as its very light. 

The 18-35 1.8 is the best of all time. But its heavy AF. Super sharp wide open. 

I honestly think the Fuji XT3 is one of the best options out there right now.  The 18-55 2.8-4 is great too. The IS is fantastic and of course the Fuji image is great overall. 4k 60p and HD 120p are fantastic. 10 bit and the RAW stills and Jpegs are really amazing. 

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12 minutes ago, Dustin said:

Okay this is a long stream of consciousness type post so take it for what you will. I recently went down the lens rabbit hole and picked up a Samyang f2 for my Sony A6500. My intentions were to have a nice wide lens in my kit. My current kit consists of the following:

- Sony 35mm 1.8

- Nikon E Series Primes (28, 50, 100) with either a Viltrox speedbooster or dumb adapter 

I couldn’t get a satisfying image out of the Samyang to my liking. After two months of toying with it, I put it on eBay and that sold in one day. I now have $250 I can put towards the purchase of either a wide prime or zoom lens. I’m not wanting to jump the gun this time so I’m trying to do some research. 
 

I’m leaning towards picking up the Sigma 16mm 1.4 but I wonder if there is a zoom I could consider. I only hate that the Sigma 18-35 f1.8 isn’t native e mount. I miss the tamron 17-50 f2.8 I used to have with my Nikon. Autofocus in photo wasn’t great but it was so convenient to have this range, quite a shame the Sony version is so expensive (I’m sure it’s a nice piece of glass but I’m on a budget). So regarding the lens I really want to stay under $400-500 used and do want AF for photos. I think my options are probably

- Sigma 16mm 1.4

- Sony 18-105 F4

(I don’t think I want the Sony 10-18 f4)

Ive also had deep thoughts of swapping my entire setup (minus the Nikon primes that live with my Nikon FE2 film camera) for something else entirely. I figure used I could maybe get $1100 for the kit at $800 for the Sony body (with accessories), and another $300 for the Sony 35mm. I’ve seen the Fujifilm XT-3 used on eBay with a 17-50 equivalent 2.8-4 lens for around $1200 on the low side...Also have looked at maybe picking up a used GH5 but I don’t think I want to go micro 4/3 route. Also have toyed with a BMPCC4K used for that price but don’t think I can live without having a hybrid. (Still like taking photos every now and then). I guess the thoughts driving my upgrade is that I don’t have a ton invested in the system and would want to upgrade to a 10 bit codec. That said, I use EOSHD profiles on my camera and I’m usually pretty happy with the look even with all the Sony a6XXX hassles.

 I would get a zoom to compliment your primes and have a zoom option. 

If you can deal with the variable aperture the Sony E 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 is actually a better lens. 

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5 hours ago, BTM_Pix said:

With it being f4, you aren't going to get shallow depth of field at the wide end but you do actually get decent separation and smooth bokeh at the long end.

The OSS and AF work well but whilst its by no means a soft lens its definitely fair to say it could be a bit sharper but thats less of an issue for video than it is for stills.

The focus by wire is a bit rough but that comes with the territory.

Also, its quite hefty in size if not weight so it can make the A series cameras feel a bit unbalanced but I don't mind it being a bit of a lump as it aids stability as far as I'm concerned when its planted in your hand. 

This video is a very decent and fair view of its pros and cons.

 

With regard to the Sigma, I haven't got that one but I've yet to see anyone who has have anything but fulsome praise for it.

If you are looking for an interesting bargain for E mount, one Sigma I do have is the now discontinued Sigma 60mm Art f2.8 which you can pick up very cheaply secondhand now and you'll have few regrets checking one of those out.

 

And this is my only issue with this lens...F4! A lot of times I wind up filming with available light and while I often stop down to f4 I don’t know how comfy I would be having that at my min, but man that range is what is drawing me towards it.

 

5 hours ago, Geoff CB said:

 I would get a zoom to compliment your primes and have a zoom option. 

If you can deal with the variable aperture the Sony E 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 is actually a better lens. 

Better lens in what way? I think I’ve actually demoed one of these at Best Buy. Is it sharper than the f4 lens? I don’t think I can deal with a 3.5-5.6 lens but it certainly is quite a range!

 

5 hours ago, thebrothersthre3 said:

The 18-105 f4 is a boring lens, kind of cheaply built. But its very versatile. Great all around lens, though obviously not the fastest. Great for running and gunning as its very light. 

The 18-35 1.8 is the best of all time. But its heavy AF. Super sharp wide open. 

I honestly think the Fuji XT3 is one of the best options out there right now.  The 18-55 2.8-4 is great too. The IS is fantastic and of course the Fuji image is great overall. 4k 60p and HD 120p are fantastic. 10 bit and the RAW stills and Jpegs are really amazing. 

What cons would there be to swap my setup? Fuji mount is adaptable so vintage and other glass can fit. I’d be gaining 4k 60p, 10 bit video.
 

But I’m also kind of wondering what a6xxx camera might get announced now that the a7siii has come out. I probably will wait until next year to switch systems but it’s always fun to browse eBay and see what else I could get into lol

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41 minutes ago, Dustin said:

And this is my only issue with this lens...F4! A lot of times I wind up filming with available light and while I often stop down to f4 I don’t know how comfy I would be having that at my min, but man that range is what is drawing me towards it.

 

Better lens in what way? I think I’ve actually demoed one of these at Best Buy. Is it sharper than the f4 lens? I don’t think I can deal with a 3.5-5.6 lens but it certainly is quite a range!

 

What cons would there be to swap my setup? Fuji mount is adaptable so vintage and other glass can fit. I’d be gaining 4k 60p, 10 bit video.
 

But I’m also kind of wondering what a6xxx camera might get announced now that the a7siii has come out. I probably will wait until next year to switch systems but it’s always fun to browse eBay and see what else I could get into lol

Yeah hopefully Sony puts out something APSC that matches up or surpasses the XT3. I was really puzzled when they put out all those different APSC cameras that were all pretty much the samething with different firmware. 

Sony autofocus is better that is really the only advantage to sticking with them IMO. But yeah waiting is never a bad idea. 

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I believe I will pass on the Sony 18-105 f4, after much research. F4 is just too low for me personally.

I'm really thinking about the Sigma 16mm 1.4. I'm also obsessively researching other systems while I await my nd step up rings to arrive on my new 82mm ND, the budget-friendly K&F Concept Variable ND. Curious to see how this performs versus my 5+ year old Genustech Variable ND. I've decided to rule out the X-T3 for now as lack of IBIS. I shoot most of my videos handheld and with super shaky hands, IBIS does help. 

My time for video fun these days is actually limited because I'm in grad school when I'm not at my 9 to 5. That said, it's fun to research what systems I could get in if I sold my current gear. I'm torn between getting a video-first camera or a hybrid but I think ultimately, I want a hybrid because not having a photo camera would be no fun. Phillip Bloom's hour plus review of the A7SIII certainly has me wanting this body but alas even if I sold my whole setup, I'd only have approximately $1,200 for a new system. I realize this is near BMPCC4K territory if I were interested in video only. (could just get a nikon adapter and use my glass in the meantime) A lot of the cons of the sony a-series system are just fixed on this. Hopefully the next axxx body has some trickle down with the a7sIII. Being that I don't make my living from video, I just can't justify dropping $4k on a setup when I"m not financially ready to do so. The under $1500 crowd with 10 bit, is looking pretty interesting these days though. GH5, X-T3, BMPCC4k,Panasonic S1, Z Cam, any others? 

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Update:

Over the weekend I ordered the k&f nd3-32 filter and my step up rings arrived from bh today. I must say even at nd32 I’m not noticing a gross x pattern or noticeable cross polarization (or whatever it’s called) in the sky. Quite impressive with a $60 filter. The only downside is...I think I need the nd8 version because at “nd32” i’m still getting blown highlights in the sky at the base iso if either cine2/4/SLog2 and this is with stopping my lens down to a 5.6. (Was working with my Nikon 28mm 2.8 on a viltrox speedbooster.) 
 

I’m going to test later this evening but I’ve instead, ordered the nd8 version which supposedly has 3-7 stops vs 2-5. 

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You'll have a tough time finding an S1 for $1500 used. Maybe $1650 at the cheapest. 

The Pocket 4k is swag, but no IBIS. Might as well get a Fuji at that point and save $400. 

You can find GH5's cheap if you look around. Good camera but falls apart after 3200 iso. 

The Nikon Z6 is probably the best camera with IBIS at the $1500 mark.

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So some thoughts...

1) This filter for $60 is excellent. The blue sky performance isn't bad at all compared to my previous genustech filter (nearly $200!) No X pattern thanks to the hard stops

1b) I will be returning this filter because it's just not strong enough for outdoor work. I have ordered the ND8 version which will be here in a couple days.

2) I suck at exposing slog2 but truthfully haven't used it that much over the years

Below is an image I grabbed really quickly this afternoon pulled out of resolve in a) slog2, b&c with a simple rec709 conversion and color correction to taste. Highlights are blown on the clouds because the ND wasn't strong enough but also the whole thing just looks way TOO dark.

3) I know from shooting film my Nikon e-series 28mm 2.8 vignettes pretty bad but with the viltrox speedbooster, it also vignettes. This image isn't soo bad but on some others, it gives off the horror look without intending to! Even my Sony 35mm 1.8 vignettes badly as well...

I've read the Sigma 16mm 1.4 doesn't vignette that bad but with the lack of an affordable, native zoom below an f4, I don't think I can continue with this Sony system on my low budget...Thoughts on the stills (minus the obvious missed highlights) are welcome. I don't believe I've ever posted actual work on here before..

 

 

 

 

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17 hours ago, Dustin said:

So some thoughts...

1) This filter for $60 is excellent. The blue sky performance isn't bad at all compared to my previous genustech filter (nearly $200!) No X pattern thanks to the hard stops

1b) I will be returning this filter because it's just not strong enough for outdoor work. I have ordered the ND8 version which will be here in a couple days.

2) I suck at exposing slog2 but truthfully haven't used it that much over the years

Below is an image I grabbed really quickly this afternoon pulled out of resolve in a) slog2, b&c with a simple rec709 conversion and color correction to taste. Highlights are blown on the clouds because the ND wasn't strong enough but also the whole thing just looks way TOO dark.

3) I know from shooting film my Nikon e-series 28mm 2.8 vignettes pretty bad but with the viltrox speedbooster, it also vignettes. This image isn't soo bad but on some others, it gives off the horror look without intending to! Even my Sony 35mm 1.8 vignettes badly as well...

I've read the Sigma 16mm 1.4 doesn't vignette that bad but with the lack of an affordable, native zoom below an f4, I don't think I can continue with this Sony system on my low budget...Thoughts on the stills (minus the obvious missed highlights) are welcome. I don't believe I've ever posted actual work on here before..

 

 

 

 

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You did not blow out the clouds. Clearly still there in the log image. How are you coverting to rec709? Just a LUT? Are you in resolve? If you are make sure to use lumanence mapping when doing the color space transform.

If you are in Premiere pull down the highlights and they should come back.

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12 minutes ago, Geoff CB said:

You did not blow out the clouds. Clearly still there in the log image. How are you coverting to rec709? Just a LUT? Are you in resolve? If you are make sure to use lumanence mapping when doing the color space transform.

If you are in Premiere pull down the highlights and they should come back.

Ha! Good to know! I think this was using color transform in resolve or a 1d lut slog 2 to rec709. Tried a couple different ways. My struggle was that I could pull the highlight info back but the shadows were too dark. Then I didn’t want to fool with masking. I’ll need to look into luminance mapping...I was eyeballing after conversion to pull the image down.

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2 hours ago, Dustin said:

Ha! Good to know! I think this was using color transform in resolve or a 1d lut slog 2 to rec709. Tried a couple different ways. My struggle was that I could pull the highlight info back but the shadows were too dark. Then I didn’t want to fool with masking. I’ll need to look into luminance mapping...I was eyeballing after conversion to pull the image down.

Also consider a ACES transform as well, still my favorite option with Sony Footage. 

This was only done with a ACES transform, Input Transform: Sony Slog2 (Daylight), Output Transform: Rec. 709. Did not touch any adjustments.  

ACES transform_1.2.1.png

Graded to Brighten it
1637657472_gradedtobrightenit_1.2.2.thumb.jpg.d41bcb418e913e88ae12e64125e59a2c.jpg

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4 minutes ago, Geoff CB said:

Also consider a ACES transform as well, still my favorite option with Sony Footage. 

This was only done with a ACES transform, Input Transform: Sony Slog2 (Daylight), Output Transform: Rec. 709. Did not touch any adjustments.  

ACES transform_1.2.1.png

Whoah! That is impressive. Was this done with the log picture? Will try this later. Most likely switching to Fuji though as I have my a6500 for sale 😂

Absolutely have a lot to learn with regards to color grading still! I’ve been shooting for 6 years or so but only marginally experienced in color grading. I understand scopes and waveforms and basic curve moves but log footage is a bit different to me and I can’t ever get nice colors that don’t look cheesy. Thanks for the advice! May PM you later when I have more time to play with the OG footage. Also my zebras in camera at 100 +\- 5 were showing clipping but clearly I was mistaken. Thanks for the help

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On 8/4/2020 at 1:51 AM, Dustin said:

The under $1500 crowd with 10 bit, is looking pretty interesting these days though. GH5, X-T3, BMPCC4k,Panasonic S1, Z Cam, any others? 

You didn't mention which Z Cam, so to be specific I'd suggest: E2C, E2, E2-M4

Also to add: Panasonic G9

Sounds like you're including secondhand gear there because you mentioned the S1. 

Thus we could include:
Nikon Z6 + Ninja V (or at least, this is very lose to $1.5K, and will hit once the Z5/Z6S hit the market). 
Fujifilm X-T4
Fujifilm X-T30 with an Ninja V

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