Canon Telephoto Lens for Dance Recital Video

Discussion in 'Digital and Video Cameras' started by ChAoTiCpInOy, Jan 27, 2013.

  1. ChAoTiCpInOy

    ChAoTiCpInOy Diamond Member

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    I'm planning on recording on a Canon T2i a dance recital (so lots of movement and low light). What kind of lens should I be using? I think I'm going to be able 60 ft away from the stage. I used a EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM last year, but I was wondering if there was a better lens that I could use (I'd probably rent it somewhere).
     
  2. iGas

    iGas Diamond Member

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    80mm f1.2, 50mm f1.4, or 135 f2
     
  3. ChAoTiCpInOy

    ChAoTiCpInOy Diamond Member

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    What are the pros/cons between the different ones? Which would you choose?
     
  4. randomrogue

    randomrogue Diamond Member

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    He's picking low aperture primes for low light video. The one you'll want will depend on where you're sitting and what kind of frame you want to capture.
     
  5. SecurityTheatre

    SecurityTheatre Senior member

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    We don't know the venue or what you're looking at capturing. Was a 70mm lens not long enough?

    You might want to get a longer lens. Probably the most important thing is using a tripod, though. There is NOTHING worse than shaky-cam, and unless you're an experienced videographer with a stabilized lens, you will shake.

    Get a tripod and then get any lens that's long enough to reach the stage. Shutter speed is less important for video, but still, for quality, you want a lens that's decently fast.

    I don't necessarily agree with the options like an 80 f/1.2. The depth of field may be too shallow for your use. You will be more likely happy shooting at f/2.8, I suggest a 70-200 f/2.8 lens and a tripod. If you can't get a tripod, be absolutely certain you have an IS lens - the stabilization will make the shots suck less (though handheld is still very very difficult with a long lens).

    Good luck
     
  6. iGas

    iGas Diamond Member

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    Fast lens for low light, and focal length depends on the type of shooting you will be doing. f1.2 or f1.4 isn't bad if the subject is 2/3-3/4 of the frame. And will not pose as a problem if you take in the entire stage.

    IMHO, it is best to have at least 2 cameras, 1 for the entire stage, and 1 for single out the subject.

    Fast lens requires much prep work, and is more difficult for focus. You can do so by marking the stage with tape and put marking indication/tape for distance on your lens before the recital so that you can keep the subject in focus. Manual focus will be better than auto focus and can be done so with a focus puller or a homemade focus puller (jar opener and a piece of card).

    http://www.theblackandblue.com/2010/09/30/toolkit-diy-cheap-follow-focus-solutions/

    Tripod or monopod is a must, but an IS lens can do the task in a pinch.

    Add:
    Crop body,
    80mm f1.2 DOF at 60' is 7.75', f1.4 DOF at 60' is 9.23'
    50mm f1.4 DOF at 60' is 24.5'
    135mm f2 DOF at 60' is 4.55'
    80mm f2.8 DOF at 60' is 18.8', 200mm f2.8 DOF at 60' is 2.92'
     
    #6 iGas, Jan 28, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2013
  7. ChAoTiCpInOy

    ChAoTiCpInOy Diamond Member

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    I have a tripod that I'm going to use.

    I guess I forgot to mention that I was going to be using it to get the whole stage. The 24-70mm was all right, but I was wondering if there was a lens that would give me a better image.
     
  8. ChAoTiCpInOy

    ChAoTiCpInOy Diamond Member

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    I have a Canon XA10 but I wasn't sure if i would get a better image for the whole stage with that over the T2i with a lens that you guys recommend.
     
  9. slashbinslashbash

    slashbinslashbash Golden Member

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    Whole stage? Meaning you're going to set it on the tripod, start it recording, and leave it running the whole time without zooming in/out?

    My first suggestion would be the Sigma 30mm f/1.4. It would let in 4x as much light as the 24-70/2.8, but the focal length has to be right. Basically, figure out which focal length is needed (do you remember from last year with the 24-70? Were you zoomed all the way in, or all the way out, or somewhere in the middle?) and then find the biggest aperture (lowest number) that you can at that focal length. 30mm/1.4, 50mm/1.4, 85mm/1.8 are all reasonably cheap (<$500) and fast.
     
  10. SecurityTheatre

    SecurityTheatre Senior member

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    If you have a 24-70 f/2.8 lens, you have one of the best zoom lenses available, bar-none, provided it is the correct focal length.

    The biggest problem with this type of video is usually the perspective (placement of the camera). Shooting it from the middle of the room, with a wide angle lens makes everything tiny, flat and generally really poor looking.

    Most professional shoots, when they want to get the whole stage, will position the camera very high in the back of the room and in the center, or possibly slightly to one side. Is there a balcony, or a ledge you can put it on? That will look much nicer. The further back you can get (and use a correspondingly longer lens), the better because the longer lens compresses the image and makes those distant dancers seem closer together and is a more natural perspective for viewing things on stage.

    But if you don't have these options, then, in the end, you won't find a much better lens than the 24-70 for what it sounds like you're describing, unless I've misunderstood your needs. Seriously, a faster lens like the f/1.8 options would let in more light, but I don't think it would change the video quality much, if at all.

    If you had a problem with the quality last year, what was it?

    Video is low resolution, so unless you're saying that it was too dark, I don't think any change is warranted.

    Was it blurry last year? Was it too dark? Or was everyone on the image just a tiny dot because it was set to record the whole stage from within the audience with a wide angle lens? heh
     
    #10 SecurityTheatre, Jan 29, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2013
  11. ChAoTiCpInOy

    ChAoTiCpInOy Diamond Member

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    The main problem was last year everyone's face was overexposed. It was hard to see their faces because it was really bright. I don't know if a lens will fix that though.

    Would a Canon XA10 be any better than my T2i with a 24-70mm or better lens?
     
  12. AkumaX

    AkumaX Lifer

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    A new lens wouldn't fix that.

    If the 24-70 worked fine (as in, it was wide enough @ 24, and it was long enough @ 70), then you should stick with it.

    What you should try beforehand is changing the exposure setting. Not necessarily moving it into Manual Mode, but you can tweak the EV value on the EV exposure bar to -1 and experiment with that!
     
  13. ChAoTiCpInOy

    ChAoTiCpInOy Diamond Member

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    Is a Canon XA10 a better sensor/zoom lens than the T2i?
     
  14. iGas

    iGas Diamond Member

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    I do not think that one is much better than the other in the sensor department, however the XA10 zoom mechanism will be better and more quiet than T2i for video, as well as sounds.

    I would shoot with both cameras the T2i for wide angle shot, and the XA10 for close up because it have better zoom.
     
    #14 iGas, Jan 30, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2013