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Zooms to get started on BMPC4K

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  • Zooms to get started on BMPC4K

    I am trying to select a set of zooms to start with on the BMPC4K. I would appreciate your comments if I used the following zooms:

    Tokina 11-16mm, f/2.8
    Canon 17-55mm, f/2.8 IS
    Sigma 50-150mm, f/2.8 OS APO (third generation, 21 elements)

    The first two have been talked about extensively but I listed those to provide completeness. It is really the new version of the Sigma 50-150 that I am most curious to know if anyone would recommend or dissuade one from using this on the BMPC4K in conjunction with those other zooms. Does anyone know if that zoom has its iris and optical image stabilization working on the BMCC EF?

    I am now looking at these still camera zooms as a starter set largely for convenience and relatively modest prices compared to the unaffordable ciné zooms and ciné primes that are available or in the pipeline or still pipe dreams. Maybe the ciné approach will need to wait. Thanks for your advice.
    Last edited by rick.lang; 05-11-2013, 08:54 AM.

  • #2
    I was looking at the Tokina 50-135 f/2.8, but that lens has been discontinued. No replacement for it? So the Sigma 50-150 f/2.8 OS APO seems to stand alone as a reasonably fast aperture zoom with a constant aperture through the zoom range. Apparently this new version of the Sigma is very similar to the Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 IS in terms of size and weight.

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    • #3
      The Sigma 17-50 2.8 gets better reviews than the Canon 17-55 2.8 and it's half the cost. I purchased the Sigma 17-50 2.8 in a Nikon mount last year and it was of my best purchases I've ever made.

      http://www.amazon.com/Sigma-17-50mm-.../dp/B003A6H27K

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      • #4
        Also I want to note that I use the Sigma 17-50 in conjunction with the Tokina 11-16 all the time, and they look like they are in the same family of lenses. Shots cut back and forth between the two with ease. It might also make sense since you plan to go with the Sigma 50-150.

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        • #5
          Thanks, Brian. I shall take another look at it as I can't recall right now why I chose the Canon over it. Will report back.

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          • #6
            Sigma 17-50 has very little rotation on the barrel for focus.

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            • #7
              Brian, the Sigma 17-50mm lens does look like a good candidate so it is a possibility I could go that way. Especially good if I matched it with the Sigma 50-150mm lens since there is alikelihood the warm cast of the 17-50 will also appear in the 50-150 versus the cool cast of the Canon 17-55mm. Are you using the lens on the BMCC or other cinema camera or on a stills camera?

              The Sigma 17-50mm is very sharp in the centre but the corners are not nearly as sharp as tHe Canon 17-55 unless stopped down to f/11 in the review I read:
              http://www.photozone.de/canon-eos/531-sigma1750f28os
              http://www.the-digital-picture.com/R...ns-Review.aspx

              I am also concerned about the barrel distortion of the Sigma 17-50mm at 17mm but apparently it is gone by about 25mm and doesn't have significant pincushion at 50mm. I like straight verticals if possible when building lines are close to the edge of the frame. In shots without vertical lines, not an issue really.

              One comment in both those reviews about the Sigma 17-50mm puzzles me. Something about full manual focus not available in single AF shooting mode and that the focus ring moves with the AF which apparently is considered to be a problem. On the manual focus BMD cinema cameras, AF would never be engaged so I don't think this is a problem, correct?

              The OS image stabilization on the Sigma 17-50mm is either ON or OFF. I liked that the Canon 17-55mm has an additional setting to allow stabilization to be used when panning the camera so it doesn't fight the panning action.

              That is all. Not major concerns considering the reduced cost and the colour matching may be quite important if it was so close I could use the same grading settings on clips for both the Sigma 17-50mm and Sigma 50-150mm clips. Good to know the Tokina 11-16mm colour matches well with the Sigma 17-50mm. Anyone want to comment on the desirability of matching lens colour for the lenses i am considering since the expensive true ciné lenses all have that feature?

              Thanks for any additional comments. I find it interesting that many people obviously like the Canon 17-55mm but what do they pair with it and not have a gap in their lens' focal lengths and yet stay with a zoom with constant aperture? Not much to chose from! You either go with the Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 IS and live with the gap between 55mm and 70mm or you go with a zoom that doesn't maintain a constant aperture. I think the gap is the lessor evil since a ciné lens really benefits from a constant aperture as you zoom during a take.
              Last edited by rick.lang; 05-11-2013, 05:01 PM.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Robert Rogoz View Post
                Sigma 17-50 has very little rotation on the barrel for focus.
                Thanks Robert, that is a concern since it makes it more difficult to focus but I don't know the focus throw of the Canon 17-55mm. One review I read estimated the Sigma had a throw of about 30 degrees. The other review said it was 42 degrees. Both said it was short.

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                • #9
                  Is there a reason why you want zooms, or even an 11mm with a super35mm sensor?

                  If you need zooms, then disregard my advice, but I think you'd be better off with cheap, used Nikon AIS manual focus lenses. I see you're in Canada, but I just looked at our New York superstore (B&H) and other used camera stores, and those nice Nikon primes are all over the place. You could probably get a whole set of lenses that's cheaper than renting the latest Zeiss DSLR lenses.

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                  • #10
                    The Sigma 17-50mm is very sharp in the centre but the corners are not nearly as sharp as tHe Canon 17-55 unless stopped down to f/11 in the review I read:
                    http://www.photozone.de/canon-eos/531-sigma1750f28os
                    http://www.the-digital-picture.com/R...ns-Review.aspx

                    There is significant variation between copies. On my Sigma 17-50, I've not seen blurry corners like they did on theirs. With a Canon 550D in stills mode, I shot both the Canon 17-55 and the Sigma in a store, then pixel-peeped to compare. I got shots with sharp edges from both lenses at f/2.8, and even the sales guy was surprised at the Sigma's sharpness.

                    Yes, the focus throw is short, but manageable, and as mentioned you'll use it in manual focus mode so the lack of "full-time manual override" isn't a problem. Hard stops can be convenient too.
                    Iain Anderson, Apple Certified Trainer
                    http://trainingbrisbane.com

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by funwithstuff View Post
                      There is significant variation between copies. On my Sigma 17-50, I've not seen blurry corners like they did on theirs. With a Canon 550D in stills mode, I shot both the Canon 17-55 and the Sigma in a store, then pixel-peeped to compare. I got shots with sharp edges from both lenses at f/2.8, and even the sales guy was surprised at the Sigma's sharpness.
                      Iain, thanks for the endorsement of the Sigma 17-50mm APO. The variation in image quality in different reviews may be explained by inconsistencies from copy to copy. Not a lens I would buy sight unseen but should be fine to test on my old Canon 350D (APS-C) camera at a local dealer.
                      Last edited by rick.lang; 05-12-2013, 06:43 AM.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by RobertJ View Post
                        Is there a reason why you want zooms, or even an 11mm with a super35mm sensor?
                        If you need zooms, then disregard my advice, but I think you'd be better off with cheap, used Nikon AIS manual focus lenses. I see you're in Canada, but I just looked at our New York superstore (B&H) and other used camera stores, and those nice Nikon primes are all over the place. You could probably get a whole set of lenses that's cheaper than renting the latest Zeiss DSLR lenses.
                        Thanks, Robert.

                        Why zooms? The short answer is convenience to get started quickly given my existing lenses are not good enough for the BMPC4K. I would buy the Canon 17-55mm or the Sigma 17-50mm and the Sigma 50-150mm first and then the Tokina 11-16mm if I felt it was needed. But something like SLR Magic 12mm would be fine for ultra-wide and I may not need the Tokina zoom.

                        I would prefer a set of quality budget primes (still a bit of a contradiction in terms) and had settled on the manual Rokinon/Samyang lenses for the original BMCC EF and then SLR Magic Hyperprimes for the BMPCC MFT and may yet go that way or buy Owen Davies manual primes set when they are available, but I am trying to decide what is affordable now for me for the BMPC4K as the idea of shooting 4K and downscaling deliverables is appealing not to mention global shutter and Academy cinema 35mm sized sensor. I am not in a big city where I have a lot of options over the counter and I have never bought anything new or used from Amazon or eBay but mail order from Adorama or B&H or a trusted Canadian dealer is fine. But these inconsistencies in lens copies are a reality to recognize and make mail order less attractive, especially going back and forth across the border due to the extra paperwork re duties and taxes.

                        I find it harder to decide on lenses than the camera itself! And I suspect either the BMCC MFT or BMPC4K will be fine but if the BMPC4K has almost as good an image as the BMCC, I'll take the BMPC4K. The BMPCC sample footage from John Brawley has not shown what it can really do yet and is a great choice for a second camera that is always with you given one has a good lens to put on it. The Panasonic 7-14mm doesn't seem good due to distortion on the BMPCC and I don't like the idea of applying corrections in post compared to getting it right in the camera. Maybe I am too fussy but I want affordable precision if I can find it.

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                        • #13
                          You could go for the rig that they show in all the promo pics on the website... That's the ultimate zoom lens rigged up on there. haha

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                          • #14
                            The Sigma 18-35 Is something you might think about. Since the camera is rated lower, you could find the extra stop and some useful.

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                            • #15
                              ON my FS100 I use my 'lightweight' kit

                              nikkor 18mm manual
                              nikkor 28-85 manual

                              Both these lenses have long throw and a fine feel to the focus and of course manual apertures that don't involve menus in the camera

                              Having done the 17-50 thing I find that I want too many shots at 70 or 80 so a 17-50 did not make a 'one lens solution'

                              If we consider 18 to be a wide, 50 to be a MCU and 80 to be an ECU we find that there are less lens changes in a typical seuqence if one lens covers MCU and ECU rather than having one lens that covers Wide and MCU but misses ECU

                              Id also have an emergency lens in my 'leightweight' setup - currently the sony 18-200 but that would have to be replaced with the BMC to a canon 18-200 or similar

                              For larger shoots I have a pile of primes.

                              Of course everyone wants that fuiji cabrio

                              Edit - worth considering in the mix is that new Stigma 18-35 1.8 zoom - personally I dont like plastic lenses but the spec of that one is good

                              S

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