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Daniel Acuña

Choosing the right lens for video?

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Hi

 

I am just starting to enter the DSLR world I am still searching for a camera but I also have been searching for a great set of lenses for video purpose (short films etc...), and I have come across the Samyang/Rokinon cine lenses. They seem to be a really good product considering the money/quality ratio. So I am pretty sure that I am going with that set of primes, (please tell me if there is something better in the same price range). So I am going with the :

 

Samyang 35mm t1.5 cine lens

Samyang 85mm t1.5 cine lens

 

And now to complete my kit I don't know what to choose. I was going to go with the Samyang 24mm t1.5 but then I saw the Sigma 18-35mm f1.8 which looks very nice specially for video, even if it is not designed for it like the cine ones.

 

So should I go with the Samyang 24mm T1.5 or the new Sigma 18-35mm f1.8 to complete my set?  Or should I consider to buy a totally different set of lenses for video? Could you also maybe recommend me a camera (APS-C or MFT? Canon or Nikon or Panasonic?

 

Tell me what you think about the set i am building, and please tell me if there are better lenses out there.  :)

 

There are so many things out there that I have a hard time choosing the right camera and the right lens, so forgive me if I am asking to many things...

 

Thank you.

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First pick you camera, then the lens. Those 35mm and 85mm will behave completely different on a 5D Mark III opposed to a GH4, for example.

 

The 18-35mm f/1.8 is a great lens, very sharp. Many people use it to film. I'd definitely go with the 18-35mm instead of the 24 and 35mm prime. Cheaper, you get both 35mm, 24mm + 18mm and everything in between! Plus you don't have to change lenses.

 

Anyway, it all depends on which camera you are planning to buy.

On a 5D Mark III the Sigma 18-35mm won't even work since it's designed for smaller sensors.

 

So at least tell us which camera's you are considering :)

 

Another note: since you are just starting out, maybe you don't want to spend a lot of money to start with. You can just grab a camera and buy some old manual primes (on eBay) for almost pocket change. You can always upgrade and sell your 2nd hand lenses without loss if you get a good deal.

 

If you have the budget i'd Panasonic GH4 + Sigma 18-35mm (Nikon) + Normal Adapter + Speed Booster (can be a cheap $140 clone too, they seem to be pretty ok. Can always upgrade).

 

With the Speed Booster you will get 'two' lenses. It will make the 18-35mm 1.8 a 13-25mm f/1.3 equivalent.

On the GH4 in Cinema 4K mode (2.3x crop) that will give you ~30-57.5mm f/1.3. Use the 'normal' adapter and it will give you ~41.5-80.5mm f/1.8 (so you can use it to zoom in a bit more).

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Thanks for your comments.

 

I have a budget of a 1000 euros for the camera and 1500 for lenses (because I know lenses are very important that's what people keep telling me) I could put a bit more money on the camera but i prefer to keep some money for a rig and a good tripod.

 

I'am very serious about film making so that's why i have this kind of budget.

 

I was planning on buying a canon t4i, a canon 70D, a canon 7D or maybe a GH3 (probably not a GH4 it's a bit out of my price range), I also looked at the black magic cinema camera, but even if the dynamic range is amazing the camera has to many problems to deal with.

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I think you can start with a smaller budget for your lenses. For filmmaking you don't have to buy brand new high end glass. Old glass is fun! dirt cheap and it has character. If you want to spend the money anyway, you can easily allocate it to your camera.

 

The setup I mentioned will cost like €1500 (GH4) + €720 (18-35mm) + €100 (Speed Booster Clone). You still have money left to buy some vintage glass / adapters.

 

Anyway, if you are serious about your film making, what do you have in mind for audio? You'd probably need a budget for that too.

 

On another note, if you don't want to spend much on the camera, score a Panasonic G6 for CHEAP! (like €400). Image quality is on par with the GH3 and it has focus peaking, the GH3 doesn't. Yes - it is a plastic/cheap camera, but great for the money. Perfect to start with.

 

Actually I think it makes more sense to start with something like that. Of course, if you have the money burning in your pocket, support the economy, that's all fine with me :) But I see you are 19, can't imagine €2500 is peanuts for you.

 

The G6 will be a great tool to start with, image quality won't hold you back in any way (if you think it does, look at the frontpage at the videos of Kendy, shot on a cheap 550D)... Buy some old primes + Speed Booster Clone and you are all set and done for under €1000.

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I have to say I am really interested on the GH4, its seems it is a really good camera and has so many features (4k looks amazing!)

What exactly does the Speed Booster Clone do? And what kind of vintage glasses would you recommend and where could I buy them?

And yes don't worry about the audio I already have a Rode VideoMic Pro which does a great job.

 

What would be for you the best setup i could get? Your personal preference and point of view.

 

Thanks again for taking the time.  ;)

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If you want to be a DP then I suggest truly fretting about lenses, cameras, and all that.  

 

However, if you want to be a true filmmaker, get your hands on anything and make something compelling with it.

 

Can you tell a story?  Ideas are free.

 

Organize and shoot a compelling narrative, let the tech stuff follow.  The stream doesn't always flow so much in the other direction.  It does sometimes, just not as often as tech-centric websites would have you believe.  Cart.  Horse.

 

I've recently been shooting documentary B-Cam stuff with a GM1 and a Pentax auto 110 lens.  Every time I look at the footage I think, man, I could easily shoot a narrative film with this thing.  

 

Perhaps that's next...? 

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you could shoot a whole film on Pentax 110 lens and a full set will cost you $200 !!

and they are very good !! just light your set for f2.8 and off you go - or stack NDs up if you use them outside .

the f2.8 dof looks great outside very filmic!

 

they are great lenses with good glass - small , light , sharp , fast and cheap

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Thanks for all the comments  :)

 

I have actually been working with other peoples cameras and lenses, not worrying to much about technical stuff, I have always been more of a storyteller, focusing on writing a script and directing actors. But I do want my own equipment, and increase my knowledge on cinematography which, I think, every aspiring film maker should do, because he can use it to better tell a story, obviously cinematography is at the service of the story. So that's why I want something versatile and capable of doing many things like the GH4.

 

andy lee => I will definitely take a look a those lenses. would you know a good place to buy them? 

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you could shoot a whole film on Pentax 110 lens and a full set will cost you $200 !!

and they are very good !! just light your set for f2.8 and off you go - or stack NDs up if you use them outside .

the f2.8 dof looks great outside very filmic!

 

they are great lenses with good glass - small , light , sharp , fast and cheap

 

A full set cost me $100...and I got the cool old 110 camera to go with it.

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I'm actually selling my Pentax 110 lenses (switching to Canon FD), I have a 20-40 2.8 and 18 2.8 for sale.

Both include adapters for Pentax110 to M4/3, one with adjustable aperture (which cost me $50).

 

Asking $150 + shipping.

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Thanks for all the comments  :)

 

I have actually been working with other peoples cameras and lenses, not worrying to much about technical stuff, I have always been more of a storyteller, focusing on writing a script and directing actors. But I do want my own equipment, and increase my knowledge on cinematography which, I think, every aspiring film maker should do, because he can use it to better tell a story, obviously cinematography is at the service of the story. So that's why I want something versatile and capable of doing many things like the GH4.

 

andy lee => I will definitely take a look a those lenses. would you know a good place to buy them? 

EBAY  get a full set of primes they make

18mm

24mm

50mm

70mm

 

they make a 20-40mm push pull zoom I sold mine as I find it very soft image wise

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heres a guys test that might help you. i dont like samyang lenses, they are cheap for a reason, but who can afford real cine lenses?

 

http://mattscottvisuals.com/blog/2014/1/19/lens-up-my-nikkors-vs-the-rockinonsamyang-cine

 

p.s i d rather have 1 good lens, that 3 that are meh.. i mean how much do the 3 samyang lenses cost?  1500euros?

better spend that on one canon L 50 1.2

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Olympus zuiko primes.  24f2, 35f2, 50f1.8 and 85f2.  all single coated.  they'll give a lot more of a 'cine' look to a visual piece than a set of Samyang.  They'll cost less, last longer and hold their value for eternity.

 

removing the hard stops and adding a focus gear and using T1.5 instead of f1.4 onto a set of modern chinese lenses aimed at the current dslr movie making consumer (the red line to make them look like L lenses says it all) does not equal a cine lens IMO.  Samyangs don't seem to create a look like Cooke's or Master Primes to me.

 

 

either a full set of oly's or blow the lot on a zeiss 85mm f1.4 (contax) and shoot with only that.  one thing for sure, the zeiss 85 will be the best single lens to acquire if a cinema feel is required.   :)

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Thanks for all the answers  :)

 

richg101 => would you have a video sample to see the 'cine' look you are talking about?

 

I also heard the Yashica lenses are really great for video they where made in the same factory than the zeiss lenses. Would you recommend them? 

 

I am planning on buying the GH4 but the only thing that is keeping me for buying it, is the crop factor, and getting a shallow depth of field is harder and it needs faster lenses like the 25/0.95 from Voigtlander which costs 1100 euros. So I am not really sure what to buy. :wacko:
 

 

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I am planning on buying the GH4 but the only thing that is keeping me for buying it, is the crop factor, and getting a shallow depth of field is harder and it needs faster lenses like the 25/0.95 from Voigtlander which costs 1100 euros. So I am not really sure what to buy. :wacko:
 

 

 

 

As others have said, don't get so far ahead of yourself with gear purchases. Gear comes and goes. If you're - as you say - "just starting to enter the DSLR world," a GH4 with a full set of Voigtlanders might be more camera than you need or want. You say you're worried about shallow depth of field - have you any experience trying to hold focus on a subject shooting at 1.8? Or 2.8? Or 4.0? It's not as instantly simple as many of the films you're watching would have you believe!

Don't fall into the trap of thinking you can't make films or shoot excellent photographs unless you have the newest, hottest camera and gear. People are and will continue to be making INCREDIBLE films on the GH1 and 2, using nothing more than the kit lens and a monopod. Buy what you can afford - if that's a GH4, so be it, but understand that it won't make better movies than will a GH3 (or any other camera, for that matter).

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With the Speed Booster you will get 'two' lenses. It will make the 18-35mm 1.8 a 13-25mm f/1.3 equivalent.

On the GH4 in Cinema 4K mode (2.3x crop) that will give you ~30-57.5mm f/1.3. Use the 'normal' adapter and it will give you ~41.5-80.5mm f/1.8 (so you can use it to zoom in a bit more).

 

This lens 18-35 with speedbooster works well on a glidecam or 3-axis gimbal, without stabalize in post? Does anyone have experience with that?

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jurgen => thanks for the advice  ;) And yes trust me I am very aware of that, it's not the camera but the guy behind the camera that makes it good. Its just that I really want the best thing possible for my money, that's all. I mean if i have the money, why not? And when I say I am new in the DSLR world is just that I don't personally own one but I use them very often for filmmaking but my knowledge is very limited I only know the 5D mark III and the 60D and some canon still lenses, I wanted to have a good advice on from people with more experience on what to buy, and I am glad because I have a very different perspective now.  :)

 

I just feel that the GH4 is a game changer, plus it's not really expensive considering the specs and it has many features that no other camera in this price range has.

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