January 15, 2017 at 6:40PM


Lenses choosing

Hi NFS family
I'm currently owning Canon C100 mark II. I would like to ask if I have to choose only 2 lenses. What is your recommendation? I'm thinking about one Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art Lens and another telephoto lens with IS. I'm actually not a documentary or wedding guy. I'm focusing on Short film and TV commercials but I have no budget for the Cinema lenses for now. So please give me some ideas. Thanks


I suggest starting a collection of prime lenses, starting with a 28mm. Primes are generally sharper and cleaner than zoom lenses unless you have $10,000. I have several zooms in my collection (including a $5,000 one), none have seen any use for at least three years.

January 16, 2017 at 4:53AM, Edited January 16, 4:54AM


Hello Stephen,
thanks for your suggestion. Prime lenses are very interesting especially shooting short film and TV commercials like me. but I'm in a small budget that's why I want to have a pair of zoom lenses for enough everyday use. If i go for prime.. 2 lenses are not enough right? and they are more expensive.

January 17, 2017 at 6:10PM, Edited January 17, 6:11PM

Rh Oudom
Director / DoP / VFX

Good prime lenses are a lot cheaper than good zooms. Yeah, cinema primes are ridiculously expensive, but cinema zooms are even more. Still camera primes are inexpensive though and I've been using them on 35mm and 16mm projects as long as I can remember (all purchased used). The thing is, a zoom lens has about as many elements as two primes, so there's more distortion, chromatic aberration, glare, lower resolution. It's especially funny with people who insist on shooting UHD but use zoom lenses that only resolve 800-1,000 lines.

Three prime lenses are standard in a production. For S35, the must-haves are 50mm (your main lens), 28mm or 25mm, 100mm or 135mm. I do probably 80% of my shooting on a 50mm, 15% on a 28mm and the remaining 5% on a 135mm lens. Some A-list movies were shot with only one prime lens, especially in the earlier days. I know of a special effects guy who used nothing but a 105mm Nikon for everything (it was the sharpest he could find)! Any way, the point is that zooms are convenient but generally not good enough for film work unless you're stupidly rich. Framing is done with camera placement.

If it were me and I was wanting to start getting into cinema and commercial work, I'd get the best 25/28mm and a 50mm lenses I could afford, save up for a longer prime later if I can't afford one now. You have no idea how disappointed I was when I started shooting objective tests and found none of my zooms stacked up against my primes, regardless of price.

January 18, 2017 at 5:11AM

You voted '+1'.

Sigma Art 18-35 f1.8 and Sigma Art 50-100mm f1.8 is a great combo if you are able to spend $1,900 (The 50-100mm F1.8 does not have IS, however.)

A brilliant combo for short films etc..

January 18, 2017 at 5:18PM


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