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Macro lens for ECU vs longer focal length


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#1 Johanan Pandone

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Posted 06 March 2016 - 11:23 PM

It seems like I prefer wider lenses closer to the subjects for dialogue, It makes me feel like I'm there in the room with the characters. When I back up and use a longer lens to get the framing, I feel disconnected from the characters, like I am just a voyeur, excluded....

 

I would like to incorporate more ECU's into my storytelling. I really like the shots of the dilated pupil and etc. in "Requiem for a dream"

 

Could I get away with just using a longer lens? Or should I look for a Macro lens for those types of shots? One thing I was worried about is that I can't get my camera close enough to the subject to make a macro lens worthwhile when it's on sticks. So for cinematography with big heavy tripods and camera support that gets in the way, would it be better for me to get a 200mm lens and shoot from 2 ft. away? Or should I get a 100mm macro and just figure out ways to rig the camera closer to the subject?

 

What do you prefer as a cinematographer? What would be more useful to you? Why would you choose one over the other? Keep in mind I mostly shoot BMCC, so a 100mm lens would give same FOV as 160mm on S35


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#2 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 07 March 2016 - 04:19 PM

When the frame is that tight, I'm not sure it matters too much perspective-wise whether you are closer with a wider lens or further away with a longer lens.

Some factors to consider would be how much space you need between lens and subject to get your lighting and grip in, whether you need to minimize camera shadow and reflections (further away is better for this), and whether there is any movement of the subject or the camera that would be made simpler with a different type of lens. Then there are the considerations of whether you can actually achieve the degree of magnification required given the focal length and close focus, and if you need to add diopters or a snorkel lens system. I think in general, I would prefer to be slightly further away with a longer lens if only for the comfort level of the talent.
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#3 Johanan Pandone

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Posted 07 March 2016 - 09:34 PM

I agree, I would rather be further away so I can have more room for camera support and give talent some room to breath. So would it suffice to say that a fast, sharp 200mm lens that has a minimum focus distance of 1 meter would be better for ECU's than a 100mm macro?


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#4 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 07 March 2016 - 10:56 PM

From pCam:

image.png
image.png

As you can see, a Canon EF 100mm macro with 1' close focus would get you closer. However, you can always add a diopter or an extension tube to the 200mm to get the same field of view.
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#5 Johanan Pandone

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Posted 09 March 2016 - 05:31 PM

Thanks so much for generating these FOV simulations for me. 

 

The 100mm ef USM seems like a bargain at about $300 used. Is this the macro lens you would choose for bmcc? Most of the other budget macro lenses do not focus internally, so I think this is the best choice, unless you have another suggestion?


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#6 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 09 March 2016 - 06:19 PM

Hard to say, I don't have too much experience with various macro lenses. Most of the ones I have used are PL mount. The EF 100mm is one of the few I have used.

Have also heard good things about the Zeiss Contax 60mm S which is 1:1 and 100mm, though I have not used them. The Zeiss ZE/ZF 50mm f/2 is supposed to be quite good. But it sounds like you want something with a longer focal length?
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#7 Johanan Pandone

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Posted 09 March 2016 - 08:17 PM

Yes, If I was still shooting full-frame or aps-c/s35 i would probably want a 200mm for the extra working distance, but I think 100mm might be alright for BMCC, besides it's the only one with decent ergonomics (fixed length/internal focus) that's in my price range. 

 

Again, i really appreciate your help with this. I feel that I have made up my mind to go with the 100mm ef macro. 

 

Re: 60mm macro - the canon 50mm ef STM focuses down to 1ft. and it is incredible sharp and low CA, so I am considering picking one up for about $100 used, (vs. 60mm macro)


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