March 28, 2016 at 11:33AM, Edited March 28, 11:35AM

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What ef lenses should a beginner get?

*Sorry for duplicate posts - system was acting strange*
I've bought the Ursa Mini 4.6K. I need recommendations on 1-2 starting lenses. My budget is $2000 for those lenses. Specific purchase links would be great :)

Also I haven't bought any other equipment yet, so what memory card, stand, battery, accessories/etc do you recommend with the Ursa Mini?

It has been hard to get feedback on lenses. Seriously just tell me your favorite lense and I'll buy it so at least I have something to get started with.

32 Comments

Congratulations you bought a revolutionary device!
However you are going to need a lot more than just $2000 for lenses to even get you started. Cine lenses would be most practical for this device but that would immediately blow your budget by a mile.

URSA is more or less a cropped frame device so take that into account when picking a lens.

I would start with a 24mm f/1.4L and a 35mm f/1.4L unfortunately that brings you already over $2000.

March 28, 2016 at 6:40PM, Edited March 28, 6:46PM

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Cary Knoop
Member
2499

- sorry double posting -

March 28, 2016 at 6:46PM, Edited March 28, 6:46PM

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Cary Knoop
Member
2499

For that budget I'd get a Canon 24-70 2.8L II - OR - the Rokinon Cine DS T1.5 bundle. Depends on what/how you're shooting.

March 28, 2016 at 8:44PM, Edited March 28, 8:44PM

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I second Ethan's suggestion.

March 29, 2016 at 5:23AM

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I love the Canon 24-70. Beautiful lens, I always use it as one of my zoom lenses if I'm shooting on EF mount. It paired very nicely with the BMCC. Tamron has a 24-70 2.8 EF for about half the price - I've never used it myself, but supposedly it stacks up nicely to the Canon brand, and like I said, about half the cost.

If you got the Tamron, you'd have some money left over for another lens. Given the crop factor, I'd suggest a wide angle zoom. Tokina has a number of EF mount zooms in that range, a 14-20 f/2 that is very affordable, an 11-16 2.8, a 16-28 2.8, and (I think) a pricier Cinema lens that's 11-16 3.0. Canon also has a nice 16-35 2.8. Sigma has an 18-35 that opens to 1.8, which I enjoyed using on the BMCC, but I did have some issues with ghost images.

March 30, 2016 at 1:01AM

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MattyMustng
Director of Photography
154

Please don't buy Canon glass or Rokinon glass. You can get much better glass for the same price. I would personally look into Zeiss Contax glass. You could probably get a 28/2.8, 35/2.8, 50/1.4, and an 85/1.4 with Leitax mounts for less than $2000. The lenses will be as sharp and have MUCH better contrast and color than the Canon or Rokinon lenses.

March 30, 2016 at 1:29AM

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Kenneth Merrill
Director
1122

There is no "cheap" Zeiss lens. Even in Germany, where you have no extra taxes and tarifs, they are very expensive.

Eric Halbherr

March 30, 2016 at 5:53AM

Check EBay For the lenses I listed. They are more than affordable. I bought 4 Zeiss ZE lenses for $2000, and the Zeiss Contax are typically even cheaper. I'm sorry, but you're simply wrong on this one.

Kenneth Merrill

March 30, 2016 at 1:01PM

With respect to the Canon 24-70, that is a lens designed for a full frame camera and it will not give you the same quality on a cropped frame.

On a crop sensor the Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 will perform better and it has a larger aperture than the Canon and is less expensive.

In addition both lenses surpass the maximum resolution of about 9MP.

March 30, 2016 at 1:05PM

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Cary Knoop
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2499

yeah get the sigma 18-35 1.8
and a 50 when people want close ups/ interviews, honestly anything, hard to find bad 50s

March 30, 2016 at 1:40PM, Edited March 30, 1:40PM

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forest erwin
Cinematographer
13

I would recommend the Rokinon Cine DS lenses. I own the 24, 35, 50, and 85 and they are absolutely great for the price. Solid build quality and very sharp lenses. The focus and declicked apertures are super smooth and I'm always getting great images from these lenses. And, they are sharper than Canon L series lenses. Can't go wrong with that.

March 30, 2016 at 1:52PM

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Jon Cibella
Director/Director of Photography
165

You wrote: they are sharper than Canon L series lenses

I don't think so!
Could you point me to any test that shows that?

Cary Knoop

March 30, 2016 at 2:26PM

Here is a test I found on YouTube back when I was first looking into these lenses.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tWwrpL9eSd0

I wasn't completely sold after seeing this video, due to YouTube's compression, but a friend of mine had both of the lenses used in the video; a Canon 50mm f/1.2L and the Rokinon 50mm T1.5 Cine DS lens. We decided to do our own little test and both of us agreed that the Rokinon was indeed sharper at the same T/f stop values. (T stop is about 1 stop wider when than an f stop when set to the same number values. T1.5 actually equals about f/1.4)

Jon Cibella

March 30, 2016 at 6:24PM

I'm also planning to buy a 4.6K. Does anyone know of a shorter alternative to the VCT-14? It seems that the whole back-half goes unused and it'd be nice to keep the tripod head smaller.

Also, recommendation for a follow focus?

March 30, 2016 at 3:05PM

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My recommendation for a follow focus is to not use a follow focus, it's just a pain in the as and the usra mini is small enough to do your focus on the lense. It's only usefull if you have an assistant, but then you need a second screen for him or her.

AvdS

March 31, 2016 at 5:23PM

Let's not be silly. At $2000, a set of Rokinon lenses is a great choice.
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1181996-REG/rokinon_super_35_cine_...

They are built like tanks and slightly stopped down they are as sharp as they are gorgeous.

March 30, 2016 at 4:28PM

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Tobias N
1116

I agree with Forest grab the sigma 18-35 1.8. An amazing lens for the value. I'm sure the new sigma 50-100 1.8 is going to be great too

March 30, 2016 at 11:08PM

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Charles C.
Editor/ Director/ Director of Photography/ Wannabe Thinker
991

Get cinelenses, 24-70 is kinda crappy for video.

March 31, 2016 at 1:19PM

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A great option that I really like is buying old vintage lenses and adapting them to EF. I have a full range of lenses that I bought for less than $400. There is even a facebook page dedicated to helping you pick lenses and users who are there to help you out. They also give your footage a unique characteristic that isn't possible with modern glass. Then with that money you saved you could get a spare battery or CFast card. Don't think that just because they are old doesn't mean they are as good. Seriously, I like some of my glass better than the Canon CN-E or Zeiss CP.2 lenses.

March 31, 2016 at 1:45PM

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Paul Goodyear
Director/ DP / Writer
143

Problem is that those old vintage full frame lenses on a crop sensor give inferior image quality.

Better than a Zeiss CP.2?
Sure......

Cary Knoop

March 31, 2016 at 1:50PM, Edited March 31, 1:50PM

The crop from full frame actually helps in improving the "image quality" and in a practical sense "image quality" is subjective. But yes, having used a lot of lenses, I have no issue recommending vintage lenses to my clients. They are perfectly adequate for almost every application. I am working on a feature here soon where we are choosing to shoot solely on vintage lenses. But, then, each has their best application. So you can use what you want, but I think they are a great alternative to spending thousdands on lenses to start with.

Paul Goodyear

March 31, 2016 at 2:49PM

Cary's comment about full frame lenses resulting in inferior image quality is inaccurate. In fact, the opposite is true.
Full frame lenses have a much larger sweet spot, and because of the sensor crop your final image ends up using a lot more of that sweet spot than if you'd use the entire field of the lens. The result is less chance of vignetting, edge softness, chromatic aberration and distortion.
Using only the center part of a full frame lens however also means that any damage or inperfections within that area is magnified. Meaning a scratch in the center of the lens is more likely to show on a crop sensor than on a full frame sensor.
I fully recommend anyone serious about filmmaking invest in full frame lenses; That way you'll have high quality lenses that will work for Super-35 and Full Frame cameras that you may acquire in the future.

Tobias N

March 31, 2016 at 3:13PM

Paul Goodyear wrote: "The crop from full frame actually helps in improving the "image quality"
Tobias N wrote: "Cary's comment about full frame lenses resulting in inferior image quality is inaccurate. In fact, the opposite is true."

It does not, it does help avoiding vignetting but not with overall image quality.

In fact the opposite is true a full frame lens reduces image quality as a crop sensor tries to take more light details from less glass surface compared to a full frame sensor.

Here is a video I recommend you watch with test results:
https://youtu.be/YDbUIfB5YUc?t=2m39s
(the details start at 2m 39s)

March 31, 2016 at 2:52PM, Edited March 31, 3:20PM

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Cary Knoop
Member
2499

Well, I have to agree with a lot of the comments on the video saying it doesn't really make any sense.
Regardless of the lens, you are still using the same size glass surface on a crop sensor. In fact, because of optics (and because logic), a full frame lens guarantees you the largest surface of glass possible (and also the best quality surface)- Which is why you'll avoid vignetting etc. Crop sensor lenses use less glass, because, well, you don't need all that extra glass that FF-lenses have. But there really is no optical upside.
The quality is more likely to be higher on a modern full frame sensor than a modern smaller size sensor, because Technology- But as far as lenses go; not really.

Tobias N

March 31, 2016 at 3:49PM

Honestly you shouldn't have buy it, it's a pro camera and you need a lot of knowlage to get the best out of it, or just having something decent with it. You would be better with a sony FS5 or else as they have good auto mode that help if you are a beginner. On the other hand the blackmagic will make you learn a lot as you need to understand the basics to be able to use it so eventually it will be great but the learning curve might be tough.

Be carefull with your budget as your battery and tripod will already cost a minimum of a 1000$ as you need a vplate battery and a tripod sturdy enough to carry the weight of the rigged camera, the memory card are at about 500$ each and you will need at least two if you plan to do anything seriously. For the lenses, I would advice you to get stabilise lenses made for super 35. So you can shoot handheld without making the viewer sick. The "workhorse" is the canon 17-55 f2.8 IS, it's a great all in one for non full frame sensor, then the canon 35mm f2 IS is great. A 50mm 1.8, it's cheap and nice.

March 31, 2016 at 5:19PM

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AvdS
1382

Rokinon/Samyang are a great way to go. They are good glass at a great price. you can find a set of 5 Cine ds lenses for 2k or less depending how hard you look.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Rokinon-Cine-DS-Full-Cine-Lens-Kit-f-Canon-EF-50mm-35mm-24mm-85mm-14mm-/391420712916?hash=item5b227e17d4:g:O~sAAOSwF1dURAUv

March 31, 2016 at 5:29PM

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Michael Militscher
Director / Commercial Producer
2786

This is a tough question. Since you mentioned you don't have other accessories, I would really consider getting a proper video tripod as a part of your budget (as basic as that concept sounds, it escapes a lot of people.) Don't blow your money but make sure it has a bowl head and can balance your camera. Used is good if you know what you want.

Lenses aren't easy and I don't particularly like the Rokinon/Samyang series personally (I had a 35mm break without much of a fall.) Get a cheap 50 to start (vintage or nifty 50). Get another more versatile lens, the previously discussed Sigma 18-35 is a lot of fun and great for handheld. My personal favorite Canon L (that we still use in mostly cinema glass kit) is the 100mm 2.8L macro. It's a killer portrait lens and the macro is really useful for the no-budget filmmaker.

That's close to $2000 and gets you through the day. Seriously don't forget the tripod.

March 31, 2016 at 7:44PM

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I also really like the Canon 24-105mm F4 IS. Combine that with a couple cinema lenses (or vintage glass) and you will have a pretty versatile camera.

March 31, 2016 at 11:43PM, Edited March 31, 11:43PM

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Paul Goodyear
Director/ DP / Writer
143

The Rokinons are an option you can even get a set of 3 for $1200 on eBay, haven't used them though but they are on my wish list. The Canon 24-105 F4 is a good lens,I use it almost everytime and the the good thing about it is you can go from wide to tight without switching lenses. However I read a lot about the Blackmagic cameras not being that great in low light so with the 24 - 105mm you might run into serious issues when its dark.

April 1, 2016 at 7:35AM

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Prosper Kunyetu
Filmmaker,Editor,Vfx
188

Another vote for the Rokinon Cine lenses. I have the bundle and love every one of them. I went from Nikon primes to these and the results have been great.

April 1, 2016 at 11:40AM

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The LazyCat
CEO
15

you can go for one of the sigma zooms.

April 2, 2016 at 10:29AM

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Kazu Okuda
Filmmaker
1440

sigma 18-35mm 1.8

April 4, 2016 at 8:59PM

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