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Andrew Reid

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I dont think many woul say the old Sigma 30mm f1.4 is Clinical. It has always been criticized by the chart people and loved by others for its character. It was my first "expensive" prime and lived on my t3i.

Some of Sigmas newer lenses can be a tad sharp but Im very happy with the 18-35/1.8 and 50-100/1.8 combo.

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EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

Wouldn't categorize Sigma as lifeless, that's the beauty of them. Their character is just not dramatically exaggerated or flawed as some others have that would give it something interesting right off the bat (that like screams like 'look at me!' or 'I'm special, because I'm different! I'm a true artist'), but it's for sure there (more in like a 'I love my job and I love to do it right' kind of way, like a chef in a kitchen). You really need to use a dreamy, quirky or different look with purpose, otherwise it might get a little gimmicky. But it you match it up with the right kind of situations, it adds a whole lot to your scenes and helps to convey the mood/emotion you're trying to get across more I feel like. I'd say the Sigmas are more versatile and approachable however, as they have a more laid back character and are just up for the task. Their consistent quality makes sure you won't get surprised, they're really reliable. But where these others might turn a bit cold and clinical, you still get more of a sense of beauty out of the Sigmas. Think the good wide open performance, smooth bokeh (f/1.4 or f/1.8 speedboosted is arguably more S35-esque than native f/1.7-1.8 and up options) and good light gathering helps there too.

Guess that balance between solid performance and just a fine amount of character is what has made them popular with all of us, be it the ART zooms or any of their primes. Also makes them a good choice for camera manufacturers to turn to when they're in need of solid optical designs, although once provided with the main ingredient it's up to the manufacturer to add the flavoring of course. Of course in the end you can make masterpieces with any lens, enough videos on the internet are liked despite being shot on a potato. But a good lens can resonate with awesome content to bring it to that next level.

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Wow, at one moment it sounds to me as an love letter to a faithful dear (lenses) from an experienced, grown masculine mind!

I'd try also and add: they called to be tenderly cradled as serene babies - these zoom sigmatwins - to whom they so much look like by size/weight and unobstructive, unscreaming-lowdly serenity.

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My writing’s definitely not as eloquent as @Cinegain‘s, which is why I’ve got to rely on videos. 😬 In his vlog, Christian Maté Grab says the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DC DN and 18-35mm f/1.8 are his two favorite crop sensor lenses, though he considers manual focus with the prime all but unusable, which it is. And if it weren’t for the excessive weight, I’d probably be shooting with the 18-35 more regularly myself. Hugh Brownstone often shoots his own YouTube videos with the Sigma 30mm too. In a few more days, I’ll have to decide whether or not to pick up the Sigma 16mm f/1.4, though common sense tells me not to. But since when did common sense ever prevail when it comes to glass? Backtracking a bit just to keep you off guard, it must be said that although Mr. Grab has good judgement, he’s still young and relatively inexperienced, and his list of five favorite lenses will in all likelihood look very different in a few years. Traveling back in time, my favorite lens was the Panasonic 35-100mm - but I only owned two lenses! Right now, I’m seriously considering picking up an anamorphic lens. Although they’re quite popular now, I’m not overly fond of the SLR Magics, and I’m certain I don’t want to mess around with dual focus setups either.

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Yeah, my first hands-on introduction with Sigma was their EX DN line-up with the early models of the 19 & 30mm f/2.8 (with the grippy focus ring, not the later rebranded ART lenses (just 'DN') with smooth finish). For 100 bucks you had a lens that was optically incredible (mechanically/finish not so much). They were very compact too. Then of course I as well went with the 18-35mm f/1.8 in Nikon mount with an aperture control ring focal reducer, because that's something that you've got to experience for yourself. Now that one... is pretty nuts. Especially for the price and being constant f/1.8. Who even does that? Well: Sigma. But it lends itself more to be used a tripod, rigged out, rather than the casual roaming around shooting handheld. It's just travelling wise... not the ideal combo. For me, unless the goal of my trip is photo & video (like if I were to go to Iceland or something), I'm not really looking to bring a lot of gear with me. To me it's one of the most attractive attributes of the MFT system, that you can keep the lenses/set-ups so compact and light. Now, the 30mm f/1.4 DC DN, also in my collection for a while now, is pretty fair in that regard. But with the 16mm, personally I'm taking into account there's already the Leica 15mm f/1.7... and concerning detail/sharpness I don't really need much more than that and I like the character, so better image quality for me hardly warrants giving up that compact formfactor (that DJI figured would be a perfect match for their Inspire camera X5). So it sorta depends on what you value most, for some one lens is the best compromise between a bunch of factors, for someone else it's another. But for sure it's going to be a stunner. Much like Kazuto Yamaki himself: on point, well-composed and very charismatic.

Regarding anamorphics. Yeah, I tried that once too a couple of years ago. I bought a Kalart Victorscope 2x from eBay, it's much like the Sankor 16-D. But the dual focusing and the alignment and set-up of it all... it was just too bothersome and the results (although I'd happily take some of the blame for that) were quite soft. Don't really feel like SLR Magic, Letus, etc solutions do it for me (or Panasonic LA-7200 / FM Lens / ...). I personally really like LOMO squared front anamorphics. Some good stuff here for example: http://presynkt.com/2014/05/19/testing-testing-testing/http://presynkt.com/tag/lomo-2x/ . Of course for anamorphic stuff in general you gotta check out fellow EOSHD user Tito: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8nvNpXmCZmg_YJFkrQsryw .

Alan did a bunch of stuff on that subject as well:

But you might be right, in this day and age, it would be really nice to see some more accessible modern anamorphic lenses. The Atlas line-up is looking mighty impressive indeed. You don't get weird smearing of the image, it's not soft, you don't get outrageous flaring or anything, the footage I've seen just impressive. But so is the pricetag. Not sure owning a set would make much sense, but fair renting prices are very welcome!

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59 minutes ago, jonpais said:

ight now, I’m seriously considering picking up an anamorphic lens. Although they’re quite popular now, I’m not overly fond of the SLR Magics, and I’m certain I don’t want to mess around with dual focus setups either.

Same here - still looking for affordable options

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2 hours ago, jonpais said:

Right now, I’m seriously considering picking up an anamorphic lens. Although they’re quite popular now, I’m not overly fond of the SLR Magics, and I’m certain I don’t want to mess around with dual focus setups either.

Resist the temptation, Jon. For the money of the Atlas, you can buy a C200 or EVA1.

I went through a lens buying phase a couple of years ago and now I’m stuck with a hundred lenses lying around I don’t use. Of course, I bought vintage lenses, so I didn’t spend all that much, but some of them are stinkers that are hard sells. 

I don’t know a lot about anamorphics but they seem to be a lifestyle choice that are entirely unnecessary for your street shooting. But then again, it’s your money and time... so do as you please.

I would expand my cameras if I were you. To see comparison videos between your current lenses on an Olympus camera or a BMMCC would be interesting for your YouTube channel. Or pick up another branded mount entirely like Canon or Nikon or Sony.

Shit, get an Ursa Mini Pro and shoot some Raw or ProRes.

I don’t know if you have monetized your YouTube channel but you have enough equipment and reviews that an expansion of cameras or systems may make more sense than effing around with expensive anamorphics that most of your audience can never afford. 

Just my opinion. 

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Thanks, @mercer, I appreciate the input. The cost of the Atlas 65mm T2 I've been considering would be pretty devastating to my savings account, that's for sure. And I'd probably have to fly to the USA and smuggle it in through customs to avoid paying insane duties. Then there's the weight - unlike all the cool anamorphic footage I see online, where the filmmaker's nimbly following some petite blonde around the gently winding cobblestone streets of some idyllic European city at golden hour, I'd be forced to use a sturdy tripod. It'd also mean getting a new set of rails and god only knows what else. Schlepping around a Ronin in this 90 degree heat is out of the question for me. Anamorphics are like Lays potato chips - it seems nobody can buy just one, so you're right about the lifestyle part - they're like an addiction or something. You've got me thinking about RAW - if only JVC added it to their LS300, like you were fantasizing about. :) A cinema camera really doesn't appeal to me though, as much as I love to ogle them! I haven't monetized my YT channel yet. I thought I'd wait till I had more than 400 subscribers. =) 

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10 minutes ago, jonpais said:

Thanks, @mercer, I appreciate the input. The cost of the Atlas 65mm T2 I've been considering would be pretty devastating to my savings account, that's for sure. And I'd probably have to fly to the USA and smuggle it in through customs to avoid paying insane duties. Then there's the weight - unlike all the cool anamorphic footage I see online, where the filmmaker's nimbly following some petite blonde around the gently winding cobblestone streets of some idyllic European city at golden hour, I'd be forced to use a sturdy tripod. It'd also mean getting a new set of rails and god only knows what else. Schlepping around a Ronin in this 90 degree heat is out of the question for me. Anamorphics are like Lays potato chips - it seems nobody can buy just one, so you're right about the lifestyle part - they're like an addiction or something. You've got me thinking about RAW - if only JVC added it to their LS300, like you were fantasizing about. :) A cinema camera really doesn't appeal to me though, as much as I love to ogle them! I haven't monetized my YT channel yet. I thought I'd wait till I had more than 400 subscribers. =) 

Idyllic cobblestone streets... who says you ain’t a writer... 

Get a 5D3 if you want to try some Raw. Or a BMCC in m4/3 mount for some 2.5K Raw. They’re cheap as hell now on the used market.

I don’t mean to go on and on about the 5D3 but that bastard was a game changer for me. I am not particularly talented at all this stuff, but I love it. I went through camera after camera trying to find a good fit with easy color. I was ready to stop altogether and go back to screenwriting only when I decided to sell as much as I could for the 5D3. You know how that story ends. I’m still not that talented but the 5D3 couldn’t be simpler. With an IS Canon lens or two and a hefty strap, I can shoot handheld with practically zero shake. Then ETTR (we won’t have to argue about that anymore) and hit record. 

It isn’t 4K but it’s the best image I’ve ever created and I am still rather sucky at it... lol. 

I still fantasize about cameras but instead of buying them, I just go and shoot with the 5D3 and forget about everything else. In the end it doesn’t really matter what camera you use. Just try and tell good stories. 

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39 minutes ago, mercer said:

Resist the temptation, Jon. For the money of the Atlas, you can buy a C200 or EVA1.

Please, don't listen Mercer, Jon! He is just one reputable clever and prudent voice of Canon EOS3 sapience - i.e. voice of that entity from which you already escaped :)

I humbly vote for your acquisition - as soon as possible - of Atlas bazookas and panoramic-wide view of Far East beauties of every age. Seriously - because your joy in testing lenses is so contagiously and refreshingly rejuvenating!

 

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35 minutes ago, anonim said:

Please, don't listen Mercer, Jon! He is just one reputable clever and prudent voice of Canon EOS3 sapience - i.e. voice of that entity from which you already escaped :)

I humbly vote for your acquisition - as soon as possible - of Atlas bazookas and panoramic-wide view of Far East beauties of every age. Seriously - because your joy in testing lenses is so contagiously and refreshingly rejuvenating!

 

How dare you call me reputable?! It’s all a ruse.

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1 hour ago, mercer said:

I still fantasize about cameras but instead of buying them, I just go and shoot...

Well, it is so reputable solution... happily, there are some brave and silly hazardous men that go behind the legendary dreamy eastern boundaries, searching for holy lens Grail of whom nobody yet know if it really exist... only rumors are whispering some mythical name, like Veydra or Atlas... but at least one is certain: its mesmerizing image grow bigger and bigger in a dream of brave men...

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1 hour ago, anonim said:

Well, it is so reputable solution... happily, there are some brave and silly hazardous men that go behind the legendary dreamy eastern boundaries, searching for holy lens Grail of whom nobody yet know if it really exist... only rumors are whispering some mythical name, like Veydra or Atlas... but at least one is certain: its mesmerizing image grow bigger and bigger in a dream of brave men...

I guess it is definitely brave for a retired guy to spend most of his savings on an anamorphic lens.

But again, not my money, so I don’t really care. However I would probably find a comparison of the Veydra lenses on a BMMC vs a GH5 to be a more interesting video than an Atlas Anamorphic. Or maybe some Veydra goodness on the previous mentioned LS300 or handheld on an Olympus... A $7500 lens on a $2000 camera doesn’t really intrigue me all that much.

Hell for that money, why not spend your whole nut and get a used Alexa Classic and some Super Speeds?

Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate Jon’s affinity for better equipment, but if I were him, I would just sell off all of my native micro 4/3 lenses before I jumped off that Atlas cliff.

And even still, I think I’d be more interested in a Voigtlander and the SLR Anamorphic or one of those FM/VM anamorphics (if those combos are even possible) instead of that huge hunk of Atlas.

But can anyone recommend an inexpensive, single focus Anamorphic for my 5D3 with either my Canon 35mm f2 or my Nikkor ai-s 35mm 1.4 as the taking lens?

I know very little about Anamorphic lenses so something simple would be better and I guess with the IS of my 35mm f2, something light that I could go handheld with would be preferred as well (if that’s even possible?)

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