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What do you think of my lense choices


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#1 Travis Hunt

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 02:40 PM

Hey all, I was just wanting to get some feedback from people about my options for choice of lenses on my Sony FS100. Basically I have been using it with the kit zoom lense since purchase, but I just feel like it is not making the camera "sing" like I want it to. I do corporate shoots / promos / and small TVC's. I am really after some lenses that will help me take advantage of the 35mm sensor, increase that shallow DOF look, and be reasonable quality at the same time. Budget is a little limited, so the below lenses are all pretty inexspensive with the exception of a few standouts which (if I am convinced they will really look great), I am happy to spend a little more more on...

Here's my list (in no particular order - just the oder of my B&H wishlist) - I'd love some feedback from people that know their stuff.

- Sony - SAL-50F14 Normal 50mm f/1.4 Autofocus Lens
- Sony - SAL-135F28 135mm f/2.8 [T 4.5] Manual Focus
- Sony - DT 35mm f/1.8 SAM Lens
- Sony - SAL-50F18 50mm f/1.8 DT AF Lens
- Sony - SEL24F18Z 24mm f/1.8 E-Mount Carl Zeiss Sonnar Lens
- Sony - E-Mount SEL16F28 16mm f/2.8 Wide-Angle Alpha E-Mount Lens
- Sony - VCL-ECF1 E-Mount Fisheye Conversion Lens
- Sony - SAL-1635Z 16-35mm f/2.8 ZA SSM Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* AF SLR Lens

And just for fun: Lensbaby - Composer W/Tilt Transformer

I'd love to hear thoughts on these options, which are a waste of my time / money, and which will become invaluable to me in your opinion.
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#2 Travis Gray

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 03:15 PM

This is just me, but I'd go with the 24 and 50. At least to start with. But that's me. I like those lengths. 50 for going for a little more of a potrait/talking head and isolating the background, and then in the 20s for wider stuff.

You won't use the fisheye or lens baby except in specific situations. I just shot an event on Sunday and used just a 28mm. And that was PL with an additional 1.11 crop. (I did have an SLR set up as a B-camera with an 18 on it for some random stuff, and occasionally pulled out a cheap 70-300 zoom when I felt like getting further back and a shallower DOF, but only for a couple shots, and I hated it.

Look into what creates a shallower depth of field and you'll see what to get. Increasing focal length and opening the aperture does it. But beware. If doing run and gun, you won't want a shallow depth of field, or if stuff is moving around a lot and you're not the greatest focus puller. I was shooting around f/8 and 11 on the 28mm.
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#3 Travis Hunt

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 03:31 PM

Good thoughts Travis...in the case of the 50mm, I have two options there: the f/1.4 and the f/1.8. The f/1.4 is around 3 times the cost of the f/1.8...I suppose the question would be, is the f/1.4 going to be that much better? Any thoughts on that?
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#4 Travis Gray

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 03:45 PM

I would check reviews if you can find them. I know a lot of still photographers love the 1.4s over the 1.8 (except in the case of Nikon's 1.4 vs 1.8G lens, one guy I know says the 1.8 is better, and it's only $200)

I have the $200 1.8 and am perfectly fine with it. Haven't used it on the FS100 yet, but you'll want to look at depth of field charts to see how much narrower things will be at 1.4 vs 1.8 (at 1.4 at 10' is giving you 8" DOF, and 1.8 will give you 2 more inches), but the 1.4 lens might be sharper at 1.8 than the straight 1.8 lens. So that may be something to consider. I haven't had anything to test sharpness on a Super35 sensor, but I've seen the tests on full frame DSLRs and you'll see some differences in lenses. Same with distortion around the edges.
I'm not as knowledgeable in this area as to how it would be on a Super35 sensor at 1080p. Not sure how great the differences is on that vs an 18mp full frame still sensor.

I'd say maybe go to a shop if they have the lenses in stock and see if you can play with them on the camera itself (although, not a fan of taking advantage of brick and motor stores and then ordering online from somewhere else), or look for reviews online from people who have the lenses and have compared.

Another thing to consider is how the handling is on them. If you're using manual focus, the focus ring is important. Whether doing it by hand or where you're hooking gears up to it for a follow focus.


You can also look into renting things to try out. borrowlenses.com at least has the 1.4, and you could even try renting the 28-75. That may suit your needs pretty well if you're looking for diversity and keeping budget down, at least while you build up funds.
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