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Advice on 7D lenses


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#1 Christopher Norin

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Posted 07 April 2010 - 08:04 AM

Hi!

I've posted this on the cinema5d message board, but I thought I'd broaden my search for answers. Hope no one's offended by this.

Help or comments on this are deeply appreciated.

Best,
Christopher

Hi!

My name is Christopher and I've been browsing this forum for a while now. Jumping into DSLR filmmaking, getting involved in the discussions seemed only appropriate. I'm only beginning to figure cinematography out, and with a few shorts and music videos under my belt I'm ready to get a Canon 7D for myself (have done a fair amount of research on both the 7D and the 5D. At its price the 7D is right for me). I will use this for a smaller documentary shoot in Malawi this summer, among many other projects.

I need some advice on my purchase, especially lenses. I have about $3500 to spend on a kit.

7D body incl. 1x charger, 1x lithium battery, 1x LP E6 battery, 1x 16G Memorycard, 1x protective bag - $2400
Rode Video Mic - $140
Canon Objektiv EF 50mm f/1.4 USM - $550

This leaves $410 to spend on an additional lens...on which I'm unsure of. Comments?

I could add $275 on the camera package and get the Zoomlens EF-S 18-135mm f/3,5-5,6 IS, which I hear isn't very good.
But that would leave me with about $100 to spend on additional equipment.

Should I go with the stock zoomlens or spend all of the $400 on a better lens (which I feel is the best option)

Advice or comments on this would be appreciated. Comments on the rest of my kit are also welcome.

Thanks alot!

Christopher


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#2 Gregory Middleton

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Posted 07 April 2010 - 04:28 PM

I think the 17-85mm is a sharper Kit lens. One thing you will want to add if you are shooting a lot of video is a viewfinder/magnifier. Zacuto make one as do others. I have a Cavision one which works fine. It makes eye focusing much easier.
Other things like a Monopod are very useful for doc shooting.
Greg

quote name='Christopher Norin' date='Apr 7 2010, 06:04 AM' post='320444']
Hi!

I've posted this on the cinema5d message board, but I thought I'd broaden my search for answers. Hope no one's offended by this.

Help or comments on this are deeply appreciated.

Best,
Christopher
[/quote]
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#3 Hal Smith

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Posted 07 April 2010 - 05:08 PM

The price you list for the basic 7D package looks high. I suggest pricing out what you want on B&H Photovideo and Adorama's websites. They both had $100 off deals on bare 7D bodies recently.

PS: The EF-S 17-55mm F2.8 IS USM lens is very highly rated with close to "L" series quality, they run around $1K.

To research lenses browse http://photozone.de/
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#4 Christopher Norin

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Posted 08 April 2010 - 05:11 AM

I appreciate both your comments.

Gregory, I will definitely get a viewfinder when I can afford it. My budget only allow for the most basic accessories such as cards, lenses etc.

Hal, I'm getting body only for $1987. It's as cheap as they come in Sweden. I opted out of the extra battery, card, bag etc. Will get these seperately.

I'll be looking into what zoomlens is best for my budget. Might be Tamron.

Thanks!
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#5 James Malamatinas

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Posted 25 May 2010 - 05:08 PM

I am in a similar situation as you and have been research a lot about lenses, I think the following articles will be useful:

1. No Filmschool HDDSLR Intro

Great introduction to HD-DSLR shooting included detailed section about choosing lenses

2. Shane Hurlbut Blog

A great blog which I have only found today by Shane Hurlbut. Has great information on lenses as well as a done of other informative blog posts.
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#6 Edgar Dubrovskiy

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Posted 25 May 2010 - 05:46 PM

If you plan to use your 7D mainly as a video tool, I would strongly suggest considering to buy a tripod. $440 could get you some ok-ish video tripod. Hand-held style of shooting is not the strongest side of DSLRs.
And maybe looking into buying 2x8gb instead of 1x16gb - could be annoying to loose/break a card and have no other back-up to shoot on.

Edited by Edgar Dubrovskiy, 25 May 2010 - 05:48 PM.

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#7 Jason Hinkle (RIP)

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Posted 08 June 2010 - 12:25 PM

What Edgar said - two 8Gb instead of the 16. For backup safety, but also so you can swap them out and have one transferring while you are shooting with the other. Otherwise you will have to take 15 minute breaks to download your footage all the time if you only have one card. Obviously you need a CF card reader to do that if you don't have one already, they're cheap though.

If I could only buy one single lens, especially for documentary purposes I'd go for a more practical zoom instead of just one prime. Primes are great but ideally you get a set of them so your not stuck with just one length. With documentary you don't get to set everything up where you want it and you usually want to stay out of the way. You'll have trouble getting close-ups without getting in people faces if the only lens you have is a 50mm.
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