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FORUMS General Gear Talk Changing Camera Brands 
Thread started 08 Oct 2018 (Monday) 19:42
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I can only pick one prime

 
stumbows
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Oct 08, 2018 19:42 |  #1

I've decided that my dated 5D mk ii is due for a refresh and with that a whole new ecosystem for me. I am going to go with the Sony A7iii and then pick one prime lens from Sigma initially to keep the costs down. I plan to buy more lenses in the future but for right now the budget will only allow for one.

Here's where my decision gets tough. I think the best all-round lens at this time will be the 35mm Art 1.4. I shoot video indoors at times and I feel 35mm is wide enough to accommodate that. But my other main use is shooting portraits and while I normally use a 70-200 for this I only do so because I can only go as big as 2.8f and the 1.4 will surely make up the missing bokeh the longer focal length was getting me. I am open to a zoom if it has the sharpness and a min 2.8f which I was hoping Sigma would have done in the E mount by now but no luck unfortunately.

What are peoples thoughts on this?




  
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Wilt
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Post edited 2 months ago by Wilt. (4 edits in all)
     
Oct 08, 2018 19:51 |  #2

At the head and shoulders shot distance of 10'

  • 100mm f/2.8 has 2.1" of DOF zone
  • 100mm f/1.4 has 1.05" of DOF zone (0.53" in front of plane of focus)



...as perceived by a viewer with 20/20 visual acuity (not the looser 'manufacturer standard' poor vision.
Is it really so necessary to put the tip of the nose out of focus while the eyes are in focus?!

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davesrose
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Oct 09, 2018 20:50 as a reply to  @ Wilt's post |  #3

Indeed, at work I'm getting a standard workflow within a fairly tight space to take staff portraits. I have the 70-200mm 2.8 in order to try to go from 70-100mm (try to step as far back as I can and have a "portrait" focal length). My issue is that I would prefer 100mm or 135, but I just don't have the distance if I have my subject step far enough from my backdrop. I'm now defaulting to f/4, which has the eyes in focus, as well as nose and ears, and there's noticeable blur with background and separation with shoulders.


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stumbows
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Oct 09, 2018 21:37 |  #4

Wilt wrote in post #18725158 (external link)
At the head and shoulders shot distance of 10'

  • 100mm f/2.8 has 2.1" of DOF zone
  • 100mm f/1.4 has 1.05" of DOF zone (0.53" in front of plane of focus)



...as perceived by a viewer with 20/20 visual acuity (not the looser 'manufacturer standard' poor vision.
Is it really so necessary to put the tip of the nose out of focus while the eyes are in focus?!

I get what you're saying but it's largely disregarding a lot of what I have mentioned in my initial post. I shoot video indoors and sometimes in low light situations. The good thing about a 1.4/f lens is that it can be stopped down. I don't intend to use the 1.4 unless the lighting requires it or I am trying to shoot something where I want an extremely narrow DoF. I am mainly trying to get an idea whether others think that 35mm is a good enough all-round lens for street/urban landscapes, portraiture (but actually more full body shots than head and shoulders to be honest, think model shoot) and lastly shooting video indoors for product reviews etc where sometimes I am using only ambient light for effect.




  
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Wilt
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Post edited 2 months ago by Wilt. (3 edits in all)
     
Oct 09, 2018 21:48 |  #5

stumbows wrote in post #18725903 (external link)
I get what you're saying but it's largely disregarding a lot of what I have mentioned in my initial post. I shoot video indoors and sometimes in low light situations. The good thing about a 1.4/f lens is that it can be stopped down. I don't intend to use the 1.4 unless the lighting requires it or I am trying to shoot something where I want an extremely narrow DoF. I am mainly trying to get an idea whether others think that 35mm is a good enough all-round lens for street/urban landscapes, portraiture (but actually more full body shots than head and shoulders to be honest, think model shoot) and lastly shooting video indoors for product reviews etc where sometimes I am using only ambient light for effect.

Your earlier statement, "I think the best all-round lens at this time will be the 35mm Art 1.4...But my other main use is shooting portraits and while I normally use a 70-200 for this I only do so because I can only go as big as 2.8f and the 1.4 will surely make up the missing bokeh the longer focal length was getting me." misdirected me into thinking you were complaining about bokeh (actually 'out of focus background blur') and wanted more of that, resulting in my prior post about out of focus noses. So I was trying to assist in your apparent struggle about 35mm f/1.4 vs 100mm f/1.4


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kf095
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Oct 09, 2018 22:09 |  #6

35 is not ideal portrait lens. Closer you get for bokeh, more distortions it will generate.


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davesrose
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Post edited 2 months ago by davesrose. (2 edits in all)
     
Oct 09, 2018 22:20 |  #7

I also think the OP is being confusing about intending to use 35mm lens for a "portrait" lens. So it appears the topic is if a 35mm f1.4 could be "equivalent" to standard portrait focal length (100-135mm f2.8+). That's a huge disparity. By itself, wide angle does have a lot more DOF then a telephoto focal length. To try to frame a person for a portrait, your problem with wide angle is not being too close to have too much perspective distortion (only time I use 35mm is group photos). I've found the only time you have good shallow DOF with wide angle is if you're up close and forcing great perspective distortion (and that's terrible for an individual person). IMO, 50mm is the widest focal length that can frame an individual.


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stumbows
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Oct 10, 2018 23:13 |  #8

Wilt wrote in post #18725910 (external link)
Your earlier statement, "I think the best all-round lens at this time will be the 35mm Art 1.4...But my other main use is shooting portraits and while I normally use a 70-200 for this I only do so because I can only go as big as 2.8f and the 1.4 will surely make up the missing bokeh the longer focal length was getting me." misdirected me into thinking you were complaining about bokeh (actually 'out of focus background blur') and wanted more of that, resulting in my prior post about out of focus noses. So I was trying to assist in your apparent struggle about 35mm f/1.4 vs 100mm f/1.4

Sorry that's fault for probably not putting enough emphasis on my other use cases.

Realistically it will be 30-40% video, 25% landscapes and street/urban & and the remainder for model shoots, not actual portraiture but full body shots including scene etc. Sorry for misleading you on that. Given this better clarification of info are you thinking 35mm could be the go to? You have to keep in mind shooting video indoors at 100mm is just not possible but if I really have to shoot a single person at 35mm that can be done too.

davesrose wrote in post #18725922 (external link)
I also think the OP is being confusing about intending to use 35mm lens for a "portrait" lens. So it appears the topic is if a 35mm f1.4 could be "equivalent" to standard portrait focal length (100-135mm f2.8+). That's a huge disparity. By itself, wide angle does have a lot more DOF then a telephoto focal length. To try to frame a person for a portrait, your problem with wide angle is not being too close to have too much perspective distortion (only time I use 35mm is group photos). I've found the only time you have good shallow DOF with wide angle is if you're up close and forcing great perspective distortion (and that's terrible for an individual person). IMO, 50mm is the widest focal length that can frame an individual.

Yeah my fault. See my above comment for better clarification of what I was intending to convey originally.




  
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Wilt
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Post edited 2 months ago by Wilt.
     
Oct 10, 2018 23:29 as a reply to  @ stumbows's post |  #9

The 35mm FL on FF format at a distance of 120" captures an area which is about 80" tall (short axis of frame).
At that distance, at f/2.8 the DOF is 55" deep, while f/1.4 the DOF is 27"...does that accomplish what you want to accomplish?


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davesrose
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Oct 11, 2018 20:00 as a reply to  @ stumbows's post |  #10

If it's for video, 35mm is a popular focal length for having wide enough DOF in a scene (and making it easier to approximate focus). Are you going to manually focus? Another consideration for a lens for video, especially if you want to auto focus, is lens noise.

As for whether 35mm can fit the bill for video, landscapes, and "portrait"...well only you can say what's suitable. Myself, I would side with 50mm for wider portraits, but that's me. But, having an interchangeable lens camera also means you can always collect more lenses:-)


Canon 5D mk IV
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stumbows
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Oct 11, 2018 23:58 |  #11

davesrose wrote in post #18727100 (external link)
If it's for video, 35mm is a popular focal length for having wide enough DOF in a scene (and making it easier to approximate focus). Are you going to manually focus? Another consideration for a lens for video, especially if you want to auto focus, is lens noise.

As for whether 35mm can fit the bill for video, landscapes, and "portrait"...well only you can say what's suitable. Myself, I would side with 50mm for wider portraits, but that's me. But, having an interchangeable lens camera also means you can always collect more lenses:-)

Yeah that's right I will get more lenses but for right now I have to pick one good one. With crop mode on the Sony I can create a virtual 50mm lens or thereabouts anyway. My next lens will probably be the 85mm 1.8 too.

Wilt wrote in post #18726611 (external link)
The 35mm FL on FF format at a distance of 120" captures an area which is about 80" tall (short axis of frame).
At that distance, at f/2.8 the DOF is 55" deep, while f/1.4 the DOF is 27"...does that accomplish what you want to accomplish?

Yeah I think it will. To be honest while being able to produce creamy bokeh when shooting people is nice it's not as important as some of the other things on my list. But thanks for providing the figures on it.




  
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Charlie
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Oct 12, 2018 08:12 |  #12

not sure how prices are in your neck of the woods, but the samyang 35 f1.4 is an insanely good value, and arguable more native than the Sigma 35 f1.4. It seems to use a motor more like focus by wire rather than a USM motor. Image quality is a fantastic balance, sharp enough wide open and great looking bokeh.

Picked it up for $500 USD, sometimes sells for even less than that.

That said, hands down favorite 35mm is the F2.8 for it's capabilities and size. Sure, it's not sexy, 2.8 can be boring for many photographers, but it's sharp, quick, silent, well behaved, and tiny. it's great for video or photo, I can easily use that along with 1.5x crop + 1.5x clear image zoom to get me to 85mm for video (b-roll).

Another option for the 35 prime argument is an F2.8 zoom, with the Tamron in particular.

it's inexpensive for what it is, sharp, a 2.8 zoom that's smaller and lighter than a 35mm f1.4. If I'm going to step up the size, I typically slap on the Tamron and done. The AF is essentially as good as any of my native lenses for both stills and video. IMO, one of the finest lenses of the Sony system, and it's a third party lens ;-)a

I dont plan on selling any of the aformentioned lenses, they are all very useful in their own way. 28-75 f2.8 is just so versatile, 35 f1.4 makes everything beautiful, 35 f2.8 is so tiny and easily the most used due to the size factor.


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RPCrowe
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Post edited 1 month ago by RPCrowe.
     
Oct 17, 2018 16:11 |  #13

Stumbows...

I think that it would be difficult to select a prime that will fill the slots you have aimed for.

I purchased a used A6500 and wanted native lens that would hold me over and decided on the 28-70mm f/3.5-f/5.6. Granted is is not the fastest nor the absolute sharpest lens available but, I have been pretty happy with it while I am deciding on other lenses.

I got an MC-11 adapter as part of the used lens package and, I love using it with my Canon 85mm f/1.8 lens for portraits. I use a combination auto focus with manual focus tweaking with this lens.

However, in your case... I seriously would consider the 28-75mm f/2.8 Tamron zoom which is the one lens that could do most of the jobs you want it to. It is not cheap but, in comparison to some Sony lenses of that type, it does seem inexpensive.


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RPCrowe
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Oct 17, 2018 16:13 |  #14

Charlie wrote in post #18727393 (external link)
not sure how prices are in your neck of the woods, but the samyang 35 f1.4 is an insanely good value, and arguable more native than the Sigma 35 f1.4. It seems to use a motor more like focus by wire rather than a USM motor. Image quality is a fantastic balance, sharp enough wide open and great looking bokeh.

Charlie, do you have full autofocus capability, including Eye-AF with the Sanyang lens on a Your Sony camera?


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stumbows
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Oct 17, 2018 17:31 |  #15

Charlie wrote in post #18727393 (external link)
not sure how prices are in your neck of the woods, but the samyang 35 f1.4 is an insanely good value, and arguable more native than the Sigma 35 f1.4. It seems to use a motor more like focus by wire rather than a USM motor. Image quality is a fantastic balance, sharp enough wide open and great looking bokeh.

Picked it up for $500 USD, sometimes sells for even less than that.

That said, hands down favorite 35mm is the F2.8 for it's capabilities and size. Sure, it's not sexy, 2.8 can be boring for many photographers, but it's sharp, quick, silent, well behaved, and tiny. it's great for video or photo, I can easily use that along with 1.5x crop + 1.5x clear image zoom to get me to 85mm for video (b-roll).

Another option for the 35 prime argument is an F2.8 zoom, with the Tamron in particular.

it's inexpensive for what it is, sharp, a 2.8 zoom that's smaller and lighter than a 35mm f1.4. If I'm going to step up the size, I typically slap on the Tamron and done. The AF is essentially as good as any of my native lenses for both stills and video. IMO, one of the finest lenses of the Sony system, and it's a third party lens ;-)a

I dont plan on selling any of the aformentioned lenses, they are all very useful in their own way. 28-75 f2.8 is just so versatile, 35 f1.4 makes everything beautiful, 35 f2.8 is so tiny and easily the most used due to the size factor.

Thanks so much for the detailed response. I think I will actually go for the Tamron instead, but my main issue is that right now it's near impossible to get stock of it. But I've watched a few reviews online and it seems like it will be a much better lens for what I want to do. I wouldn't also mind a fast wide prime later for astro stuff but not high on the importance list right now.

RPCrowe wrote in post #18730968 (external link)
Stumbows...

I think that it would be difficult to select a prime that will fill the slots you have aimed for.

I purchased a used A6500 and wanted native lens that would hold me over and decided on the 28-70mm f/3.5-f/5.6. Granted is is not the fastest nor the absolute sharpest lens available but, I have been pretty happy with it while I am deciding on other lenses.

I got an MC-11 adapter as part of the used lens package and, I love using it with my Canon 85mm f/1.8 lens for portraits. I use a combination auto focus with manual focus tweaking with this lens.

However, in your case... I seriously would consider the 28-75mm f/2.8 Tamron zoom which is the one lens that could do most of the jobs you want it to. It is not cheap but, in comparison to some Sony lenses of that type, it does seem inexpensive.

Yes I see more and more that the Tamron might be the better option for me now.




  
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