January 14, 2016 at 8:19AM

You voted '-1'.

Which lens to buy?

Hello No Film School, my friend and I are filming our first feature film. The film is a narrative with dialogue, landscape scenes, nightlife/club scenes, etc. We have purchased the Canon 5D Mark III and also have a Rokinon 50 mm lens. We wanted to purchase a zoom lens that will provide movie quality footage. We are looking for 24mm and up and preferably under $2000. Thanks for all responses.


You haven't really said much about why, in particular, you are looking to purchase a zoom lens. Is it because you know you have a scene where actively zooming the lens gives you a very specific effect that you want? In that case, you probably know what range of zoom you need, and that will help you narrow your choices.

If you want a zoom lens because you cannot make up your mind whether you really want a 24mm, a 28mm, or a 35mm wide lens, the new Sigma Art f2 (!) 24-35 might be a good choice: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1162798-REG/sigma_24_35mm_f_2_dg_h...

If you want a zoom lens because you really have absolutely no idea whether you need more at the wide and or more at the tele end, the Canon EF 24-105 f4L is something many DSLR shooters choose. Of course its f4 aperture will require that you get a lot more serious about the amount of light you put into your scenes. (You should always be serious about light, regardless of how fast your lenses are, but slower lenses require not only sensible, motivated lighting, but a larger amount of sensible, motivated lighting).

The almighty Canon EF 24-70 f2.8L gives you a stop more aperture at nearly double the cost of the 24-105 f4L, and it obviously also 50% less telephoto as well. And it's more narrowly centered on what your Rokinon 50mm lens already gives you, so probably not a great choice as a second lens (though very common as a first-and-only lens).

I would also advise reading my answer to a similar question: http://nofilmschool.com/boards/questions/what-cine-lenses-are-must-bmpcc

TL;DR : don't wreck your film by using too many different focal lengths. Zooms are wonderful things, but crafting the visual language of a feature film is a very different exercise than filling a gallery with still images. If you buy a zoom for convenience, don't get lazy and frame willy-nilly. Keep to your marks, and let the perspective of each shot strengthen the consistency of the story.

January 15, 2016 at 8:57AM


Hey thanks a lot for the reply, its very helpful and I will take to mind what you say about not using too many different focal lengths. I guess my biggest concern is, as you said, not sure whether to decide on which prime focal length to get so we will see. Thanks again!

Next Filems

January 18, 2016 at 3:20AM

I love the canon 17-40mm, it looks so good on the 5D. Otherwise the 24-105mm is the wise choice and it's cheap enough to have money left for a 70-200 f4 IS which will give you a very nice quality.
But as you shoot a narative piece I would advise you to not buy a zoom if you don't need the zoom effect and go with other primes like the rest of the rokinon primes for canon ef full frame : the 24mm, 85mm, 35mm, and a bonus lense like the telephoto 135mm and/or a ultrawide 14mm.
Don't hesitate to show your film on NFS after ;-)

January 18, 2016 at 3:58PM


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