What lens is best for a music video? Are prime lenses that are 1.4 better than 2.8?
Don't know if the lower the aperture the better. What would be better?
- keerokLv 72 months ago
The lower that maximum aperture size is, the more aperture sizes choices you have, the better the lens is for low light shooting, and the easier to blur backgrounds. I don't know what you intend to do in your music video but if you want everything sharp and clear, you will be working with higher aperture sizes (f/8 and above) and if you do that, you will have to shoot with lots of light so there is no need to buy a fast lens.
Prime meaning no zoom? That's great! Put your camera on a stabilizer that sits on a dolly and you're good to go for action scenes. You can use DOF to keep you moving at a minimum but if your subject basically stays in place, a tripod alone will perfectly do.
- SumiLv 72 months ago
The two characteristics that make up the best lens for any shooting situation are focal length and maximum aperture.
If the focal length you need is not in your bag, then the maximum aperture is irrelevant. For most videos or photos of people a telephoto focal length is preferred because it flattens the perspective making the face look more attractive. But then again, a fisheye lens with people standing real close to it has been used a lot in videos, too. It boils down to what you want your videos to look like.
Large apertures will allow you to create a very shallow depth of field look. This look is often a characteristic of what people think of when describing a "professional" look.
Prime lenses often have a larger maximum aperture than zoom lenses, but zoom lenses can have a large max aperture of f/2.8 (most pro lenses) and even f/1.8 on Sigma's Art zoom lenses like their 18-55 f/1.8.
There are two types of zooms: 1) variable aperture and 2) constant aperture. Variable apertures often start off at f/4 at the widest point and as the focal length increases, the max aperture decreases to f/5.6. Fix aperture lenses don't change as the focal length increases. This is the best type of zoom lens to use for video because you never have to worry about the exposure changing as you zoom or change focal lengths.
A lens with a larger max aperture is always going to be the better lens because the exposure is constant as you zoom and because theses lenses are designed for pros, the image quality (e.g. sharpness, flare control, color, contrast, distortion control) is going to be better than lenses with smaller max apertures. However, while this is almost always the rule for zooms, it does not necessarily relate to prime or fixed focal length lenses. For example, a 50mm f/1.8 is not as good as a 50mm f/1.4, but the f/1.2 lenses are almost always inferior to the f/1.4 versions. You are paying for the light gathering capability of the f/1.2 and not so much the image quality.
You have basically two ways of going about buying the best lens for your needs: primes or zooms. If you go with primes, then you'll need several lenses of various focal lengths for your shots. You will want to stick with one brand of lens and the same quality level within that brand so as to keep the color and contrast of the images consistent as you change lenses. For example, you would not want to have a 35mm f/1.4, 85mm f/1.4 mixed in with a 50mm f/1.8 because the 50mm f/1.8 is not in the same league as the other f/1.4. In this example, you would want a 50mm f/1.4.
If you go with zooms, you will have fewer lenses to buy. You will want to keep your lenses limited to the same brand as much as possible, too. You would not want to mix an inexpensive consumer-level lens like a Canon 18-55 with one of their L series lenses because the L series has such a superior look and the color could be different, too. Each brand produces a certain color. Nikon lenses, for example, are cooler while Canon brand lenses are warmer. Sigma, Tamron and Tokina are different as well.
Zooms give you more creative options such as being able to change focal lengths while filming. Obviously a prime lens wouldn't allow you to do this, but it would usually provide a larger aperture for filming in darker situations where a faster shutter speed is required.
With this in mind, I would start off with a zoom lens that has a fixed aperture throughout its range of f/2.8, or f/1.8 if you go with the Sigma Art lenses. Then add in prime lenses as need, if or when you need them.
These fast zooms usually will have faster, more accurate and quieter AF motors which is going to be a big deal unless you use a dedicated audio recorder for your shots which is what you'd want to do since the audio in digital still cameras is crap.
I would start off with a standard zoom of around 24-70mm f/2.8 as your main lens. Then add a 70-200 f/2.8 for your close up and distant shots. Add in a fisheye for that look if or when needed.