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View Full Version : The 17-55 isn't too shabby!



Roman
05-08-2013, 12:15 PM
I thought I would post this because like myself, others seemed to think the 17-55 was kind of soft on the BMCC. Now, it's not the sharpest lens in the world, but it is certainly acceptable. I was thinking this was going to be one of those lenses I just buy and resell quickly after testing... but I'm really liking how versatile a 17-55 can be, especially one as decently sharp as this. I'm thinking if funds allow for it... the Tokina 11-16 and the Canon 17-55 are such perfect pairs to accompany any set of primes. They're both sharp, relatively fast and have good color.

This was shot at about 20mm and 55mm @ f3.2


https://vimeo.com/65691913

Jason Greene
05-08-2013, 12:30 PM
Nice. You're right, this lens looks very good. What ND and/or IR did you have in front of the lens?

I wish I could bring myself to part with some of my other lenses to justify this one. I just can't bring myself to give up my Zeiss primes.

As you suggest, if I were just starting out with the BMCC, I would buy the Tokina 11-16 and the Canon 17-55.

stip
05-08-2013, 01:09 PM
Now, it's not the sharpest lens in the world, but it is certainly acceptable

If you don't get a lemon, this is a very sharp zoom from 2.8 upwards and can be sharper than L zooms and even some primes.

rick.lang
05-08-2013, 01:12 PM
Thanks for posting this. After prematurely aborting someone's otherwise interesting video yesterday because it included the glorification of cocaine use, it is just so reassuring to see that video can simply be about treasured moments.

Although I originally thought I would get a set of Rokinon ciné primes for the original BMCC EF (when only the worthy 35 mm and 85mm were available), but the feedback on the 14mm and 24mm is less enthusiastic and no 50mm in sight. Then I switched my thinking to the BMCC MFT and was patiently awaiting to assemble a set of the SLR Magic ciné hyperprimes but these now look like they are years away from providing a set of lenses. Now with the BMPC4K EF on the event horizon, I have been looking for ciné lenses for that promising cinema 35mm sensor and again having difficulties matching the ciné vision to the budget on the EF mount! If I weaken in my resolve, it is looking like the Canon EF-S 17-55mm 2.8 stills lens will be a necessary evil. Would not be evil if it was modded as a ciné zoom although i understand it would not be a true ciné lens. At least it looks good as a starter zoom and with care and caution should be useful until there is a ciné magical solution! And on the BMPC4K, it is a decent wide to portrait lens.

I am not interested in extreme wide for motion pictures as I dislike the results when there is any camera movement from pans and tilts at the wider angles.

Roman
05-08-2013, 01:52 PM
Nice. You're right, this lens looks very good. What ND and/or IR did you have in front of the lens?

I wish I could bring myself to part with some of my other lenses to justify this one. I just can't bring myself to give up my Zeiss primes.

As you suggest, if I were just starting out with the BMCC, I would buy the Tokina 11-16 and the Canon 17-55.

I definitely agree! Getting this lens now, kind of hurt my wallet... but I realized just how useful this sucker is going to be. Zeiss primes are so sick; big fan of contax. What I do like about having a couple mainstays like the Tokina and the 17-55 is the freedom it gives you to experiment with different primes- or allowing you to invest in 2, maybe 3 nice / expensive ones since you're covered everywhere else for the most part.

I had just the Heliopan Vari ND. For IR... I actually just add blue to the shadows which seems to cancel out the effect... but yeah definitely gonna be getting an IR filter VERY soon!

Roman
05-08-2013, 01:57 PM
If you don't get a lemon, this is a very sharp zoom from 2.8 upwards and can be sharper than L zooms and even some primes.

For sure. I think it's not so much lemons as after 2010 they seem to be sharper? I noticed in a test previously with a 17-55 from '07 and talking with other owners of older versions that they were noticeably softer (at least in lower apertures) compared to newer ones from 2010 and beyond. That may just be hearsay, and backed up by only one empirical example, but who knows.

Roman
05-08-2013, 02:02 PM
At least it looks good as a starter zoom and with care and caution should be useful until there is a ciné magical solution!


Yep, definitely an excellent starter zoom and a great backup! It indeed does require caution as you'll be over shooting your focus point quite easily with such a short throw... without monitoring that really carefully, and if outdoors... you really, really need a viewfinder of some kind (like a GRID), to help out with that. It's not a big deal, just isn't going to be as forgiving as MF glass.

Frank Glencairn
05-08-2013, 04:44 PM
The 17-55 is my workhorse lens for everything, where I need to move fast.
The IS makes it even usable when handheld.

Roman
05-08-2013, 05:33 PM
The 17-55 is my workhorse lens for everything, where I need to move fast.
The IS makes it even usable when handheld.

I've actually noticed that the IS on this lens is just the right amount for video... where it doesn't appear to be overcompensating or give off any signs that unnatural stabilization correction is going on like I've seen w/ the 24-105.

k0bayashi
05-08-2013, 05:49 PM
The 17-55 is my workhorse lens for everything, where I need to move fast.
The IS makes it even usable when handheld.

+1

the 17-55 is my go to lens on my cropped DSLR's. Paired up with the Tokina 11-16mm 2.8 and the 70-200mm f4 I am pretty much set. Looking forward to using the 17-55 and the Tokina on my BMCC 4K.

funwithstuff
05-08-2013, 06:33 PM
Also consider the Sigma 17-50, which has the same constant f/2.8 and IS support, and is also sharp, but is much cheaper. Here's one I shot on it a few months ago:

https://vimeo.com/58248166

alexenman
05-08-2013, 08:08 PM
At first I wasn't a huge fan of this lens, and I can't even remember why now. I'm shooting with it all the time for BMCC stuff. I dig it. Covers a ton of range, nice and plenty sharp enough.

J.F.R.
05-08-2013, 09:07 PM
I thought I would post this because like myself, others seemed to think the 17-55 was kind of soft on the BMCC. Now, it's not the sharpest lens in the world, but it is certainly acceptable. I was thinking this was going to be one of those lenses I just buy and resell quickly after testing... but I'm really liking how versatile a 17-55 can be, especially one as decently sharp as this. I'm thinking if funds allow for it... the Tokina 11-16 and the Canon 17-55 are such perfect pairs to accompany any set of primes. They're both sharp, relatively fast and have good color.

This was shot at about 20mm and 55mm @ f3.2


https://vimeo.com/65691913



Raw or Pro Res?


* Footage looks beautiful, I mean like really really Amazing. I love the look, so much so I need this camera...... You have a great eye as well, from one artist to another, thank you!

Roman
05-08-2013, 09:22 PM
Raw or Pro Res?


* Footage looks beautiful, I mean like really really Amazing. I love the look, so much so I need this camera...... You have a great eye as well, from one artist to another, thank you!

Thanks, it's just ProRes. I hardly shoot Raw- only when I know I want to grade something specifically in Resolve or when I'll need to bring back tons of highlights. I've become too accustomed to magic bullet looks, and grading within premiere. It's just so quick and easy to get exactly the look I want that I just rather shoot ProRes honestly.

J.F.R.
05-08-2013, 10:27 PM
Thanks, it's just ProRes. I hardly shoot Raw- only when I know I want to grade something specifically in Resolve or when I'll need to bring back tons of highlights. I've become too accustomed to magic bullet looks, and grading within premiere. It's just so quick and easy to get exactly the look I want that I just rather shoot ProRes honestly.

Cool

Other question was this shot in Video or Film mode?

Thanks a lot.

Roman
05-08-2013, 10:46 PM
Cool

Other question was this shot in Video or Film mode?

Thanks a lot.

It was film mode, and then graded in magic bullet looks.

J.F.R.
05-09-2013, 12:30 AM
It was film mode, and then graded in magic bullet looks.

Thanks for taking the time to response. I wonder how the pocket camera from Black Magic is going to compare... I am really impressed by this and can clearly see the footage looks much better than GH2/GH3.
Right now I can't invest in a 4k camera, but the 1k pocket camera will be mine real soon.

Keep shooting Roman, would love to see a short production from you outside of this beautiful footage of your family.

Roman
05-09-2013, 01:09 AM
Thanks for taking the time to response. I wonder how the pocket camera from Black Magic is going to compare... I am really impressed by this and can clearly see the footage looks much better than GH2/GH3.
Right now I can't invest in a 4k camera, but the 1k pocket camera will be mine real soon.

Keep shooting Roman, would love to see a short production from you outside of this beautiful footage of your family.

Indeed, one day I'll have to put together a reel of the more production type stuff I've contributed on. Although, I'm planning an actual short very soon- took a while to find the right people to help out.

Pocketcam looks just as good as the BMCC in every way in terms of image quality... I honestly don't see any increased softness over the BMCC, at least by Vimeo standards- which sadly is all that matters most of the time.

Wuudi
05-09-2013, 01:44 AM
I'm interested in "a" 17-55 too, are there any comparsion website that compare the tamron vs sigma vs canon? Canon is like 3x the Tamron price, is it worth it or do I better wait for the Sigma 18-35 ..hmm :)

Frank Glencairn
05-09-2013, 02:34 AM
I've actually noticed that the IS on this lens is just the right amount for video... where it doesn't appear to be overcompensating or give off any signs that unnatural stabilization correction is going on like I've seen w/ the 24-105.

Yup, just enough to get the typical handheld micro jitter out. It's my only Canon glass and I got it because of the way the IS works over the cheaper Sigma. I tried both and while they optical in the same league (IMHO), the IS made the difference for me, so I bit the bullet. On the other hand, the Sigma IS seems to work fine for Ian. Maybe it's just a mater of taste.

Jason Greene
05-09-2013, 08:54 AM
Darnit Roman and Frank, you just cost me $800! Don't worry, I'll credit your goodwill accounts with an amount exceeding that when I get great results from this lens. ;)

I finally just bit the bullet on this and ordered a used 17-55mm. Can't wait to try using it handheld. I finally figured that having this lens and the ability to get useable results handheld will cause me to use the BMCC in situations in which I otherwise wouldn't bother. Given how head over heals I am about the BMCC image, this will be well worth it. Thanks for starting this thread, Roman. And thanks Frank - I remember your previous posts about this lens, which is why I even looked at this thread in the first place.

Roman
05-09-2013, 09:34 AM
Darnit Roman and Frank, you just cost me $800! Don't worry, I'll credit your goodwill accounts with an amount exceeding that when I get great results from this lens. ;)

I finally just bit the bullet on this and ordered a used 17-55mm. Can't wait to try using it handheld. I finally figured that having this lens and the ability to get useable results handheld will cause me to use the BMCC in situations in which I otherwise wouldn't bother. Given how head over heals I am about the BMCC image, this will be well worth it. Thanks for starting this thread, Roman. And thanks Frank - I remember your previous posts about this lens, which is why I even looked at this thread in the first place.

Yeah I bought the lens used locally as well. Actually gave me a chance to shoot a bit with it before I bought it- that and saving over $200 was nice. Just be aware that the IS certainly won't be as strong as the Sigma or even other Canons... although it looks much more natural and gets rid of the micro jitters- which to me is most important, as many have a steadier hand than I do.

Wuudi
05-09-2013, 09:53 AM
Roman, you're saying the Sigma has the better IS then canon?

Roman
05-09-2013, 10:03 AM
Roman, you're saying the Sigma has the better IS then canon?

Well depends what better means. I would say this- there's certainly more movement in the frame using the 17-55 handheld, but w/ the Sigma it can at times look unnatural as it tries to compensate for the jerks and bumps, it's not bad at all, just depends on what look you're going for. Something natural that "looks" handheld but without the most annoying aspects (jitters), or something that is slightly more steady... but looks like it's being manipulated into keeping steady at times. They're both great honestly, but I do prefer the 17-55.

MCShooter
05-09-2013, 05:30 PM
Roman this looks fantastic! Did you do any other color correction besides applying the Magic Bullet look in Premiere?

Andrew
05-15-2013, 03:28 PM
Looks good Roman. I passed up a good deal on this lens awhile back. I've heard good things about it and it definitely matches the BMCC well. I thought my 24-70 would be supported by now, but it's not.

Jake Segraves
03-10-2014, 04:02 PM
How's everyone feeling about the Canon 17-55 lens now that the Sigma 18-35 has become so popular? I have both, but am considering selling the Canon. I'm also considering selling my Canon 35mm 1.4...unless anyone can give me reason not to. Hoping for a little feedback to make me feel good about getting rid of the Canons. Any thoughts?

misterkofa
03-10-2014, 04:56 PM
I love the sigma 18-35 but would really like a lens with a good focal range with IS. You guys got me considering this lens now.

Eric Hasso
03-11-2014, 02:40 AM
My kit consists of only sigma 17-50 and samyang cinema kit 2 14-35-85 and I'm happy camper :)

the sigma is sharp! and can do zoom in without loosing to much focus (without the speedbooster)

Jason Greene
03-11-2014, 06:19 AM
In taking a vacation with my family the last few days, I wanted to pack light and knew I would be hand-holding the BMCC (no rig at all). I also wanted only a small shoulder bag. So, for a ten day trip, I packed one lens: Canon 17-55 2.8 IS. It has been great. As my only lens with IS, I can't think of giving it up.

Roman
03-11-2014, 09:40 AM
Update: Definitely consider going with the Tamron 17-50 2.8 VC instead. You can find one for less than $300 if you keep a look out, vs over $600 for the Canon. The Tamron has fantastic image stabilization and the image looks every bit as good as the Canon on the BMCC. Seriously look at that one before you spend too much on the 17-55, which is still a great lens.

vicharris
03-11-2014, 10:04 AM
Update: Definitely consider going with the Tamron 17-50 2.8 VC instead. You can find one for less than $300 if you keep a look out, vs over $600 for the Canon. The Tamron has fantastic image stabilization and the image looks every bit as good as the Canon on the BMCC. Seriously look at that one before you spend too much on the 17-55, which is still a great lens.

There's no chance that really matches with the 18-35 does it? Kholi mentioned he wouldn't mix them.

Unknown
03-11-2014, 11:06 AM
I remember the same discussion between the sigma, tamron and canon 17-55 2.8. Couldn't decide back then which one to choose. And still...

I like to work with my primes, but once in a while i could see some benefits using a zoom. That said, i won't use it as much as my primes i guess. Is the Tamron sharp wise compareble with the canon? Or just in general, how's the IQ between those 3?

Jake Segraves
03-11-2014, 12:11 PM
I have the Sigma 18-35 f/1.8, the Canon 17-55 f/2.8 and a Canon 35 f/1.4 L series. I want to sell one of them, but i can't decide which. If you had to choose, which would you sell and why?

Kholi
03-11-2014, 12:19 PM
There's no chance that really matches with the 18-35 does it? Kholi mentioned he wouldn't mix them.

Won't match. Only thing I would match with Sigmas are Sigmas, personally.

Jason Greene
03-11-2014, 09:47 PM
I love primes, too. However, in this case, I'd sell the 35mm, simply because the Sigma is so great that you have very few compromises with it when using it at 35mm. Yes, you lose 2/3 of a stop. But, only at 35mm. If you sold the Sigma, you'd lose more than a stop of light at everything below 35. If you sell the 17-55, you lose ever focal distance above 35mm.

If someone stole my 35mm prime, I would not replace it, since I have the Sigma. Indeed, if all I am shooting is 35mm, then I chose the Sigma over my Zeiss 35mm. I only use my Zeiss when I am doing multicam and using the Sigma wide. This is all with the BMCC. If you factor in stills utility or use with another cam, my preference might or might not change.

Best to answer this yourself: take some test footage using the Sigma and the Canon prime @35mm. Can you justify keeping the prime?