Lenses for shooting videos on Canon DLSR

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    • #49513

      Hi all! I’m new here, hoping to learn as much as I can about video production.

      Anyway, some friends ans I want to start making short films and the such for YouTube (a la Freddiew or Pwnisher). I had acamcorder but the quality was horrible, and I refuse to put anything with such poor quality on the internet.So I got a Canon 60D DLSR, which I’ve heard praise for for it’s excellent video quality. But now I have a problem: will the stock 18-55 f/3.5 -5.6 lens be good enough to shoot high quality videos?

    • #202690


      I also shoot Weddings with the 60d – it’s a great camera but you do need good lens to really make it work and the stock lens isn’t one of them.

      As I film events I need a few zooms for flexibility, but for ultimate quality you’ll want Prime lens – fixed angle and low aperture. The sort of Prime lens you’ll need to cover a good range of lengths are 24 or 28mm, 35mm, 50mm, 85mm and 135mm. If you got the money, the Canon L Prime lens are the best; cost a small fortune but worth it in glass quality. However, failing that there are Zeiss lens; you can pick up some second hand Zeiss Contex Prime lens for a good price if you shop around. You’ll need to buy an adapter to connect them to your camera and you lose any auto focus (not an issue when doing video), but worth it in the end. Or you can stick to low cost Canon EF lens or equivalent Sigma or Tamron’s. Will still do a good job, but with some shortcomings. Additionally, for wide angle you can’t go too far wrong with the Tokina 11-16; maybe a zoom lens but it’s good quality and a popular choice for APS-C sensor cameras like the 60d.

      When it comes to filming in low light or even for blurring the background and making your subject stand out, the smaller the aperture the better; f2.8, lower if you can afford it. Get an f1.4 or f1.8 lens, stick on some ND filters for daylight shots and you’ll see the difference.






    • #202691

      While it’s true some of the best lenses you can put on this camera are the Canon L Series prime lenses, it’s also true it will cost you a fortune to own a set of them.

      If you are making these videos for youtube distribution, don’t let the lens stop you. Use what you have and make the best of it. Story and production values unrelated to your lens are far more important than a $1,000 piece of glass.

      I’m assuming you’re not making money on these and you’re on a budget so my answers are geared that direction.

      Your first stop should be aCanon 50mm 1.8. They run in the hundred dollar range and will give you that shallow depth of field and low light ability that will really open up some creative posibilities. Is it the best out there? Nope, but for 100 bucks you really can’t beat it. And if you break it, it doesn’t hurt quite as much. You can find reviews of it all over the internet.

      For those longer shots, a 55-250 ef-s is an affordable option. Again, this is entry level glass but it’s better than no glass at all. And it has IS so handheld shots are possible.

      Or, sell your 18-55, save the money you might have spent on the 55-250 and just go with an 18-200. Not quite as long as the 55-250, and certainly not as fast as the 50mm 1.8, but it will feel much more like a video camera given it’s much more substantial zoom range.

      I’ve got a T3i with an 18-55, 55-250 and the 50 1.8. I also have a fun little wide angle converter I swiped off my video camera that fits the 18-55 for extreme fish-eye shots.

      In the mean time, I’m keeping my eye open for a nice, used 24mm-35mm prime for my next lens.

      So those are my two cents. Do I wish I had an L series? Heck yeah! Can I afford one? Nope…

      So keep shooting! Would love to see what you come up with.

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